R.I.P. Jeff Hanson

June 16, 2009

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We have terribly sad news to report:

Kill Rock Stars singer/songwriter Jeff Hanson was found dead on Friday, June 5 in what his label calls “a terrible accident.” He was 31.

It has been widely reported that Hanson most likely died from a fall onto the concrete floor of his new apartment, which he had just moved into days earlier. His parents found him in his apartment. It appears he fell and hit his head.

Portia Sabin, president of Hanson’s label Kill Rock Stars, said, “Jeff was only one of two people we have ever signed from an unsolicited demo tape. We get hundreds and hundreds of tapes, and for us to have been so captivated by him is pretty impressive. He was a terrific songwriter with beautiful melodies. The icing on the cake was his incredible voice.”

A 2005 Paste magazine review wrote that Hanson’s idiosyncratic voice was an “angelic falsetto, a cross between Alison Krauss and Art Garfunkel that is often (understandably) mistaken for a female contralto.”

Hanson recorded three albums under Kill Rock Stars (2003 Son, 2005 Jeff Hanson, 2008 Madam Owl), the label that also supported Elliot Smith.

On May 15, Hanson opened our Meadowlark outdoor stage for the summer, here in Denver. As with most of the venues Jeff played on his last tour, he held the audience in his grasp for the entire set.

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