“Music has always been at the heart of my family,” says Hannah when asked how it all started. “From a family gospel band, to singing along with Faith Hill and Shania Twain, then jamming out to Creedence Clearwater Revival, music was a part of everything we did.” Hannah grew up in rural Mississippi in a place called Red Lick. “There wasn’t too much to do around there. Town was 30 miles away… so on a normal day you could find me working outside with the animals or singing my heart out with a karaoke machine in my bedroom.”
Hannah’s family has always been musical. On her dad’s side, music ran deep tracing her family heritage all the way back to Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley. And even her dad himself fronted his own band back in the 60’s playing lead guitar and singing everything from country to rock and roll. “I always joke and say that music runs in my DNA, but the older I get, I truly believe it. It’s not really a choice, it is a part of me.”
Hannah began her career singing in church. With her dad being a Baptist preacher, she always had the opportunity to get on a stage and perform… and that’s exactly what she did. “We had a family band, and my part was to play my red tambourine and sing my heart out,” she laughed, “and I loved every minute of it. I knew that I was meant to be a performer.” Her performing continued as she grew up. Throughout high school you could find her singing at any event at school, performing at local town festivals and participating in talent contests, and even singing the National Anthem for the Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson, MS. But Hannah always knew there was more inside of her than just singing other artist’s music. “I knew there was more to this.. I loved singing all of the classics from Patsy Cline to Loretta Lynn. My favorites to cover were Shania Twain, the Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, and Patty Loveless, but I wanted to sing my songs.” Even though she didn’t have any songs at that point!
In 2007, she graduated from high school and headed to college. That’s where her songwriting journey began. “I wrote my first song sitting in a piano practice room at Mississippi College. I had been wanting to write for a long time, but nothing would ever come.” After many prayers and almost giving up, she sat down to the piano and the words flowed. “I was so excited! I had tried for so long, and finally it happened. It lit a fire under me and ignited a passion I always knew was there.”
From there, Hannah continued to write and inevitably recorded her first original album titled “Chasing Thunder” produced by Ernie Rowell and recorded at Fun House Studios in Nashville, TN. “It felt so good to put my words out there, and the title “Chasing Thunder” was so fitting because it summed up what I was trying to do… chase a dream of being successful in the music business which is so hard to accomplish, something that might not ever happen.” But success did happen for Hannah! With two more original albums under her belt, “Preacher’s Daughter” and “Catch Her if You Can,” Hannah was chosen as a Country Music Association Emerging Artist from 2013-2017 where she was honored with her very own booth in the Music City Center to meet and greet with fans from all over the world at the CMA Fan Fair X during CMA Fest. On top of that, she was honored with a nomination for “Songwriter of the Year” at the 2017 Nashville Music Awards. “I still can’t believe it sometimes! I’m just a country girl from Red Lick, MS and people are taking notice of my songs, my music… That’s been my dream for as
long as I can remember.” She had also polished her skills as a performer, performing at fairs and festivals in Mississippi and the Southeast Region while sharing the stage with the big named artists such as Sawyer Brown, Frankie Ballard, Diamond Rio, Bucky Covington, T Graham Brown, Jo’el Sonnier, Shenandoah, Joe Diffie, and Josh Thompson, just to name a few. And she was able to make another one of her childhood dreams come true by filming several music videos that had much success with one claiming a top 5 spot in the Independent Country Music Association awards and her others being picked up by Great American Country, CMT, and The Country Network.
It seemed that everything was falling into place for Hannah and her career, but then tragedy struck her family. “We were at CMA Fest in June, and I was doing my usual meet and greet with the fans… that’s when I noticed my dad wasn’t himself.” Having already recovered from major heart surgery months before, Hannah’s dad, Paul, was diagnosed with cancer. “Everything just kind of stopped. He was the driving force behind my success in the industry, and when he got sick, it all came to a screeching halt.” Hannah’s focus turned solely to the wellbeing of her father leaving music by the wayside. After over a year of fighting the terrible disease, the family heard the news that they were longing for…”Your dad is cancer free.” “Thankful didn’t even begin to describe the way I felt. Our family had witnessed a true miracle through the healing of my dad.”
After overcoming so much, Paul encouraged Hannah to get back in the saddle and continue on her musical journey. She had never stopped writing and had even challenged herself to write more during the times of struggle and heartache. “I felt that writing was a way of releasing what I was feeling. It was a way for me to cope, and I really think some of my best writing came during that time.” That’s when they decided to head back into the studio to make her fourth album. With new original music and a reignited passion, Hannah is ready to take on whatever comes next. “I feel like it’s a new beginning for me. I don’t know what’s next or where I am going from here… All I know is music is my heart, songwriting is my passion, performing in front of crowd is when I am the happiest, and I am meant to be a part of the country music family.”
Album, Chasing Thunder, 2011
Album, Preacher’s Daughter, 2015
EP, Catch Her If You Can, 2017