Front and centre in the march of alt-country traditionalists on Nashville, Hannah Juanita is back waving the banner for her brand of bare-knuckle throwback country, as she boldly reimagines classic honky tonk for the 2020s.
Her new single, ‘Girl, Where You From?’ is a shuffling, laid-back country jam that fondly recalls the time Juanita left her home state of Tennessee and travelled across the country, eventually ending up in the Pacific Northwest; where she spent most of her twenties.
The song looks back on the culture shock, open-mindedness and kindness she encountered from people along the way, while learning that her southern charm was her own barely concealed secret weapon she could always rely upon when she needed to.
"In my twenties, I left Tennessee and headed out west. During these rambling days, no matter where I was in the country, my accent gave away my roots", Juanita told us about how the song came about.
"'Girl, where you from?' is one of the first things people asked when we met. My loud and friendly southern ways are apparent, and sit on the tip of my tongue for everyone to hear. It makes me think of how vast and culturally diverse America is, all the different pockets with their own colloquialisms and idiosyncrasies – some more obvious than others".
When Juanita left her hometown of Chattanooga to ramble around America and Europe, eventually settling in Oregon and then the foothills of Mount Rainier in Washington State, she wasn't to know that it was the beginning of a journey that would take her all the way through the next decade and land her back in Tennessee 10 years later.
It was in the foothills of Mount Rainier that it all turned around; slowly at first. She found herself at 30 years old, living in a Hostess step-van-turned-mountainside-cabin, in a relationship that had run its course. So, she began writing country songs about it, left the relationship and packed up her belongings and moved to Nashville and began work on cutting the songs shed been fervently writing.
Those songs became Hardliner, a salty mix of honky tonk, western swing and bluegrass with a smattering of Tex-Mex. Juanita picked up the tough-as-nails traditionalism of Loretta Lynn and the straight-talking feminism of country millenials like Kacey Musgraves, Margo Price and Miranda Lambert and drove it back home to a raucous all-nighter in the honky tonks.
As a mainstay of Bobby’s Idle Hour, Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge and other local haunts in Nashville, Juanita’s become a shining light in the booming trad-country scene and marked herself out as the one to watch.
Listen to her new single and watch the video exclusively premiering on Holler below.
Ace session players Dennis Crouch (Loretta Lynn, Allison Krauss & Robert Plant), Billy Contreras (Béla Fleck, Sierra Ferrell) and Pat Lyons (Colter Wall, Dustin Lynch), among others, bring a delicious new earthy bluegrass side to Hannah Juanita’s signature honky tonk style on this new single; the first taste of her forthcoming album.
"This track was recorded to tape at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville, where I live these days", Juanita explained to us about how the recording came about. "I wanted this song to be a little more earthy and vibey than my debut record. I think I really accomplished that with the help of some incredible players and Mose Wilson, who co-produced this track with me. This song’s got a mood I’m down to be in pretty much anytime."
'Girl, Where You From?' is out on May 6th