Jan Hauenstein | Looking At Life

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Looking At Life

by Jan Hauenstein

'Looking At Life' is folky, jazzy, bluesy, rocking… chances are you´ll like this album. Story songs, some will make you cry, some may make you angry, some will make you laugh or smile. Original songs and covers, a varied bunch, but all about Life.
Genre: Folk: Folk-Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Such A Beautiful Smile (Feat. Fred Grittner)
3:10 $0.99
2. A Thousand Dead People In Her Hair
3:07 $0.99
3. The Floyd B Olson Blues
4:45 $0.99
4. Sixteen Tons (Feat. Fred Grittner)
3:46 $0.99
5. Strange Alchemy (Feat. Martha Ann Brooks)
4:07 $0.99
6. Rocking Chair (Feat. Fred Grittner)
3:38 $0.99
7. Wrong End Of The Rainbow
3:07 $0.99
8. Forgiveness
2:49 $0.99
9. Those Cold And Lonesome Towns (Feat. Rex Delong)
4:42 $0.99
10. A Pink Pork Chop And A Grilled Link Sausage
3:34 $0.99
11. The Dead Heroes Of Ergoldsbach
5:55 $0.99
12. Midnight Train (Feat. Charlie Woodward)
4:05 $0.99
13. Sleep Come Easy (Feat. Fred Grittner)
4:45 $0.99
14. Waiting For The Moon
4:50 $0.99
15. Craig Loves Minnie, Minnie Loves Craig
3:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Here are songs that tell stories about real people, songs with a meaning, about 9/11 ( “A Thosand Dead People In Her Hair”), about a good politician (“Floyd B Olson Blues”), about John Weiner, who, along with 12 other Jews, was saved by Bavarian village cop Max Maurer in WWII (“The Dead Heroes Of Ergoldsbach”), about a monkey that helps a man (“Craig Loves Minnie, Minnie Loves Craig”), songs about the human condition (“Such A Beautiful Smile”, “Strange Alchemy”, “Wrong End Of The Rainbow”, "Those Cold And Lonesome Towns"...) fun songs ("A Pink Pork Chop And A Grilled Link Sausage"), covers of great songs written by Bruce Cockburn ("Waiting For The Moon"), Merle Travis ("Sixteen Tons") and John Stewart ("Midnight Train")... songs written by or with my friends, songwriters Fred Grittner, Rex DeLong and Martha Ann Brooks - she sings harmony on our song "Strange Alchemy".
Fred played mandolin, tremolo guitar and electric guitar, Rex keyboards, Charlie Woodward acoustic guitar and bass. Thank you for all your help and the good music you contributed. Fred Grittner also mastered the album.
There are folk songs, bluesy songs, some have a jazzy feel, some rock nicely. I am proud of this album.

Hope you like the music, and the words

Jan Hauenstein



to write a review

Terry Ransom

The BEst Yet
I have been lucky enough to hear Jan's musical growth revealed in a series of CD's over the years. Looking At Life certainly showcases his development as a writer and musician. But, more than that, it captures a glimpse of life that is a lovely mix of melancholy, angst and poetic giggles. His song choices are quite varied, yet still linked with a coherency that results in a very satisfying listening experience. It is hard to pick a favorite because each song has its own place in the album. Fortunately, I don't have to pick only one. If you like tasty instrumentation and a voice the resonates with the things of life, get a copy of Looking At Life.


Good things come in small packages
Well, that's what they say. Yet that old idiom certainly held true when I opened the package and listened to this CD.

The jaunty melody of the first two numbers belies the subject matter. I like this bitter-sweet nature in the songs - it works well. The old standard, "16 Tons" really suits Jan's fine tonsils, I like the tempo - it certainly had my feet tapping.

Then,.. pow! We get treated to the gorgeous melody and poetic lyrics of "Strange Alchemy". I really like this number. for me, it's one of the album's highlights. I feel like I'm getting a lesson in the very nature of life and love. Wonderful song.
Another highlight is "Wrong End Of The Rainbow", a fine song which, I know Mark Knopfler would happily plug his guitar in and play along with.

It wouldn't be a Jan Hauenstein album without a quirky song and on this CD he doesn't let us down. This tine he leaves us experiencing what I can only refer to as Meatageddon! Hugely enjoyable, but not one for the vegetarians.

"The Dead Heroes Of Ergoldsbach" is an old favourite given a new arrangement. The song itself is a powerful reminder of what we sacrifice on the altar of political correctness. It's nice to hear it again, it's always been one of my very favourite songs of Jan's. "Sleep Come Easy" is another highlight for me. A well-crafted song with a polished delivery.

Putting it all together gives us a fine example of that synergy of the whole being greater than the sum of its individual parts.

Thanks to Jan and all involved for another fine set.

Tom Barrett

A superb new CD from a terrific singer/songwriter
Wow! While I have (and enjoy) most of Mr. Hauenstein's CDs, I was not ready for what I listened to when I first heard Looking At Life. What really struck me was the variety. Whether it be subject matter, dynamics, or styling's, I was pleasantly surprised by each of the fifteen tracks on the CD. Looking At Life showcases Jan's deep, rich vocals dutifully supported by brilliantly layered acoustic instrumentation. The CD is a mix of self-penned songs, writing collaborations, and covers. The lyrics range from strong and sensitive to light-hearted and whimsical. There is something here for every listener who loves the Folk/Americana genre. But if I had to pick a favorite it has to be The Dead Horses Of Ergoldsbach. A true story that is as epic as classics like The Edmund Fitzgerald and other historic accounts put to verse and melody. Looking At Life is a gemstone in Mr. Hauenstein's vast body of work.

Joe Dearie

Strongest set so far
‘Looking at Life’ is Jan's best album to date in my opinion. Starts of with the jaunty 'Such A Beautiful Smile' which brought a smile to my face especially as I have visited the location. Track 2, ‘A Thousand Dead People in Her Hair’ has a very original lyric and examines an interesting philosophical point. It immediately tales you back to the event an stirs some new thoughts. No bad thing.

‘The Floyd B Olson Blues’ is probably my favourite JH song (Along with ‘Only Six Thousand Generations’). Good politicians as Jan mentions in the notes should certainly be celebrated.

The album has some great original work and even a history lesson in ‘The Dead Heroes of Ergoldsbach’. The sort of song which makes you want to find out more about the subject.

‘Strange Alchemy’ has a nice feel, quite like some of Mark Knopfler’s solo work in atmosphere.

Jan always picks some good cover versions and the best one on this album is Bruce Cockburn’s ‘Waiting For The Moon’.
Glad to see the great John Stewart comment on Jan;s work as there are definite similarities.