Hanna PK is a solid pianist, soulful vocalist, and vibrant performer, born and raised in South Korea, currently residing in Rochester, NY. She plays a wide variety of the blues & swing, old school folk, and boogie-woogie. Her dynamic songwriting style ranges from funky tunes with socially conscious lyrics to mournful slow blues; from a pop-edged ballad to an uplifting swinging number; and from barrelhouse boogie to jazz.
Her first Booga Music/VizzTone release, out today, is a full length album produced by internationally known bluesman Kenny Neal. Blues All Over My Shoes presents what has been developed and honed over years in the woodshed and nights gigging with her band.
When meeting Hanna, it’s not uncommon to wonder how a young woman born and raised in Korea stepped into the Blues. But her music makes it clear she is not only touched by it, but also dedicated to this great art form. Hearing her strong left hand bass rocking steady with her swinging right hand on the piano, one cannot deny she has done her homework and is carrying on the tradition. Her original songs also prove her to be a creative artist who will continue to build her fans in a wide range of ages and backgrounds.
On stage, her warm personality invites the audience right to her heart — she is a soulful singer who can accompany herself on a piano, with an impeccably steady and strong left hand bass, and a swinging and shuffling right hand freely cascading over it. She also plays the guitar and a few other instruments. This all-in-one package allows her the flexibility of being able to play as a solo act or in any ensemble small or big.
Though Kenny had met her in Memphis during IBC 2019, and during his tour in upstate New York, what got his attention to sign her to his label was a video of hanna’s performance on a Curtis Jones’ tune that she recorded in her U-Haul storage room.
“My first impression of Hanna is that she was very interested in music itself, the blues itself. I mean there wasn’t something else, like jumping on the bandwagon. Instead, it was something sincere, like from the heart.” – Kenny Neal
For her first major outing, she’s packed the album with 10 originals, with just one cover song – yet no two songs are alike. World blues fans, especially piano blues fans, will get their fill from this smorgasbord. Kenny Neal really wanted to focus this album on PK and her songs, showcasing her ability to lead a band with her roaring keyboard along with her resonating voice. But he also performs on a few tracks which is a special treat.
“I think this album is not only a blues album but also catches Hanna’s style. She got her own ideas, and I think this album is catching that, and that’s what I like about it.” – Kenny Neal
But words, and even recorded samples, cannot fully convey the essence of Hanna’s music — to really understand it and feel it, you have to hear her perform live. Her music continues to evolve and reflects the very moment she is living in — the happenings and vibe in the room, the reactions of her listeners, the musical contributions of each band member, and even the events of the week in the world, all combine to inspire a new and different performance of each song. As is the case with all true blues performers, she works from and in the tradition of the music while bringing her own stamp of creativity and originality to it. Her music tells a story, sometimes an age-old one, but she tells it in her way from her perspective, which in turn informs and expands our experience.