Hannah Jane Kile
Gig Seeker Pro

Hannah Jane Kile

Auburn, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Auburn, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Hannah Jane Kile keeps the faith, whatever the stage"

Hannah Jane Kile exudes remarkable self-assurance. It's a somewhat recent development for the 20-year-old Auburn singer-songwriter, and it's well-documented in her coming-of-age Americana record Little Blue Heron.

“It’s about admitting when you’re wrong, becoming independent, becoming your own person, not letting the other people in your life dictate who you are,” Kile says.

Finding the courage to be herself wasn’t an easy path. Growing up in what she says was a rocky household, Kile found solace in music: Bonnie Raitt, Ella Fitzgerald, Carole King. She started writing her own songs by age 12 and became fluent on four instruments before she was an adult.

But her dream was theater; the goal was Broadway. She flew to Los Angeles to audition for a prestigious Manhattan theater school. Family and friends all promised they’d help her to find a way to pay tuition and make it happen. And Kile got in. Her months of practice paid off. She was accepted.

“Then, the people faded away. They didn’t help, they didn’t do anything,” she says. “It was really hard to understand that sometimes, even when you work as hard as you possibly can, things just aren’t possible.”

That difficult time inspired “Chaileen’s Song,” the most haunting and vocally impressive track on Little Blue Heron.

“It’s about not letting the world take your light, take away who you really are,” Kile says. “And not allowing yourself to become bitter or resentful over something you have no control over.”

The rest of Little Blue Heron reflects similarly on darker moments in Kile’s life, as well as the growth that came from them. While maintaining a general Americana style, she also dabbles in blues, jazz and theatrical singing. Sometimes her notes soar endlessly, sometimes she adopts a familiar twang. Other times, her voice rings deep and raspy.

It’s quite the departure from her debut album, Becoming Someone, which she released when she was 18. While Becoming Someone sounds stripped-down and fragile, often with just Kile and her piano, Little Blue Heron wins you over with its range, power and charm. Kile assembled a full band, utilizing piano, guitar, upright bass, drums, organ, violin, banjo, mandolin and pedal steel, among other instruments.

Though not quite so full, Kile will perform with bassist Barry Prior and drummer Corey Morgan Strange for her Sacramento release show on Thursday, December 10, at 24th Street Theatre. In the future, she’s looking forward to playing a free courtyard gig at the Mondavi Center in the spring, and hopes to embark upon a national tour in the summer. And she’s already got a stockpile of songs ready for the next album.

Does Kile still wonder about that Manhattan theater school? Sometimes. And maybe she’ll become one of those musicians who also performs in the local theater productions every so often. But for now, Kile is focusing all her energy on music. She’s confident it all worked out for the best.

“I feel like to do theater, you have to fit into a box. To be a songwriter, you don’t,” she says. “I don’t have to change what I look like, I don’t have to have a perfect body, I don’t have to be extremely flexible. I just get to be who I am. That’s beautiful.” - Sacramento News & Review

"Hannah Jane Kile conjures a young Bonnie Raitt and explodes at Barmel."

From the raw urgency of her early material as a teenager to the confident stomp of her newest album Little Blue Heron, Auburn-based Hannah Jane Kile, 20, flashes a remarkable control of style and form.

Kile plays Barmel on Friday night, joined by backup bandmates Barry Prior and Corey Morgan Strange.

Little Blue finds Kile honoring her Bonnie Raitt influence with pride. But where the OG Raitt can bludgeon the listener with her sheer power, Kile is content to kill them with kindness. Album opener “Warm Your Heart” soars into focus with rolling waves of alt-country guitar riffs and deep, echoed snares. Kile’s voice stamps its presence on the track with warmth and ease: “So say a little prayer for me darling/ tell me that you’re free till the morning/ we can share a dance… let me warm your heart.”

The banjo picking and delicate melody of “September” leads into Kile’s opening lament, “You were mine in September,” before trailing into fond memories of her lost lover. The lyrics tell the story of passion that derives from deep relationships.

While the new material is sonically and lyrically light years ahead in maturity, Kile’s freshman effort, “Becoming Someone,” offers little nugs of folk-pop charm and foreshadowing.

“Train” has vibrant chords and pressing, witty lyrics. “You said you had a scheme, you said that we were going to rob a bank/ and we were on the way until you took us to the lake and then we sank… ”

“Santa Fe” is the closest hint to Kile’s current songwriting direction. It’s a powerful pop counter-punch punctuated by xylophone keys twinkling off in the corner. Kile’s voice edges the depths of someone who can’t take it anymore, before rising with the hope of leaving it all behind. By the end of the song, she’s gone for good and we’re all happy for her.

It’s the sort of poised effort that is hard for a teen to pull off convincingly. Now, several years deep into a promising career, Kile has elevated that demeanor to rival a young queen’s grace and elegance. - Monterey County NOW

"Hannah Jane Kile debuts sophomore album Saturday at 1078 Gallery in Chico"

When Hannah Jane Kile left her full-time job as a receptionist last October to further pursue her career in music, uncertainty didn’t linger over her shoulders.

“In the past year I’ve just been working on growing and becoming a better songwriter and playing more shows,” Kile explained. “I think when I quit my job that was that big leap and I knew this was what I needed to do with my life.”

Having grown up in a musically saturated household, it was a natural progression for the young artist to chase a career on the stage.

“One of the best things about being an artist is you feel everything so deeply,” Kile said. “I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, sometimes it’s hard to be an artist because you have to be vulnerable and you have to know yourself or else your songs are not going to be genuine.”

Two years later, the 20-year-old Auburn songstress celebrates the debut of her sophomore album “Little Blue Heron” with a show 7 p.m. Saturday at 1078 Gallery, 820 Broadway in downtown Chico.

The 11-track album weaves hopeful messages of finding and keeping one’s light while being engulfed in darkness.

Much like the title track she wrote for her mother when she moved out and onto new adventures, Kile said a lot of the songs on her latest album embody these themes of self love, growth and assurance.

“It’s a delicate balance to keep your roots while you’re still growing,” she explained. “A lot of the songs touch on that growth that I had as well as how hard it is to really leave the nest especially if you have a good family and you’re very rooted in your family.”

For the album release show, Kile will be joined by bassist Barry Prior and percussionist Corey Strange.

She often plays as a trio live, but on “Little Blue Heron” the musician invited multiple artists including Joe Craven and her brother Wesley Kile to create a fuller sound.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve made,” she said. “I’m so lucky to have the group of people to be in the studio as often as I was and to work so hard to make something so explosive and vulnerable and colorful and exciting. It’s really, really neat.”

Her first album, “Becoming Someone,” is a compilation of Kile performing live with a few musical accompaniments leaving listeners with an intimate and candid feeling the then 18-year-old wanted to capture and evoke in her songwriting.

“I really wanted people to get to know me through my songwriting,” Kile explained. “It was very passive aggressive and this new record is definitely more aggressive.”

Kile refers to this new body of work as a “coming of age” album that reflects a deeper narrative lyrically, inviting listeners into Kile’s personal struggles and fears she faced becoming an independent adult.

The artist says these ideas are eloquently reflected and illustrated in her song, “Pale Yellow.”

“It was one of those very, very dark moments when you’ve got everything you own just thrown into this room that is entirely too large for your heart to fill,” she explained. “So it kind of takes you on those ups as well as downs when you can look at yourself in the mirror and not understand what you’re seeing and not like it, necessarily.”

It took a while for the young musician to become truly satisfied with her work, she said.

Having spent relentless hours practicing with guitar in hand and being self critical of what she was creating, Kile said she can now step away from her music and be content with what she has created.

“I am still very much self-critical of everything I do and everything I write,” Kile said. “But to be able to just step away just for a moment and realize I’m helping people with this, I’m touching people and reaching people with this because music is really about connecting with others.” - Chico ER


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


     On first impression she is sweet and lovely, bright and cheerful…then, with a flourish of harmony pouring from her guitar, she steps up to sing…and you enter another realm. Hannah is radiantly fluent in the universal language of song, and she has the gift of making seriously beautiful music with effortless grace. Her performances are always artistically surprising and deeply moving. She finds treasure in even the most daunting of life’s experiences. Her songs and her voice, soulful and haunting, are magic, and she is fearless in sharing the most complex of emotions with her listeners.

     Performing with an openhearted sense of compassion and wonder, her voice soaring from an earthy blues swagger to an ethereal heart rending whisper, like a lullaby in a storm, she packs an emotional wallop. Eloquent, warm and wise in an innocent way, she has a comprehensive artistic vision, a vision that is as inspiring as it is engaging.

     Two major inspirations shaping Hannah’s work are the music of Stephen Sondheim, who lit a deep spark of desire to master the art of storytelling in her compositions, and the iconic intensity of Bonnie Raitt, who fires Hannah’s drive to push beyond the idea of being a “singer who plays” and be a “player who sings”. Sondheim's ability to create complex three-dimensional characters using music and lyrics provided Hannah a map for her determination to have her own songs achieve similar power and detail that add up to revealing portraits of human nature. And Raitt’s courage in exceeding all expectations for a young artist, mastering her instrument with compelling technique, and carrying the traditions of guitar based music into a promising future continually kindles her imagination.

     Hannah writes vivid music that is all the richer for the heartfelt intimacy of her voice.
Hers is a sincere craft, created with a jeweler’s attention to design. Her songs are saturated with a charm and melodic color that can be as evocative as Appalachian ballads or as rousing as Broadway show tunes, and they shine with pure emotional truth.

- Kit Burrows

Band Members