Hanson takes 'The Walk' across America
July 25, 2007 03:07 PM
By Kym Kilgore
LiveDaily Contributor

Pop/rock band of brothers Hanson [ tickets ] just released their fourth studio album and hit the road last weekend for a North American tour.

The first leg of the trek resumes tonight (7/25) in New York City and will stop in Toronto before heading to West Hollywood, CA, next month for two shows at the Viper Room. In September and October, the band will roll through the East and South. Details are listed below.

The Hanson brothers--guitarist Isaac, lead singer/pianist Taylor and drummer Zac--shot to fame 10 years ago with their smash, teeny-bopper hit "MmmBop." Now they're all grown up and garnering critical acclaim for their music, which U2's Bono has called "genius."

Hanson's latest album, "The Walk," was released yesterday (7/24) on the band's own 3CG label. The set, co-produced by Danny Kortchmar (Billy Joel, Eagles), was inspired in part by the brothers' trip to South Africa and Mozambique, where they recruited children from a local orphanage to form a choir.

One song that features the choir, "Great Divide," was released in November in honor of World AIDS Day. Profits from the download-only tune are forwarded to the Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Soweto, South Africa, according to a press release. "Great Divide" is streaming at Hanson's MySpace page.

"The Walk" is the first record in a decade that Hanson made from scratch as an independent band, according to middle brother Taylor.

"We've stepped it up a notch creatively, writing songs that connect to really personal experiences and recording them live 'from the floor,'" the 24-year-old said in a statement. ("From the floor" is an old-school approach where the band members play together in the studio as they would in front of an audience.)

The new set also marks the first time that 21-year-old Zac handles lead vocals on two singles: "Go" and "Running Man."

"The Walk" follows 2004's "Underneath," which reached No. 1 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart and No. 25 on The Billboard 200, making it one of the most successful self-released albums in history, according to Hanson's bio. The record spawned the No. 2 single "Penny and Me."