HJ/EDJuly 31, 2006

Cokato woman writes song about water tower dismantling

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Holly Hansen of Cokato is releasing her CD of alternative folk music just in time. The old Cokato water tower she calls “The Tin Man,” which she wrote a song about, was torn down Tuesday.

Hansen, a 2004 Dassel Cokato graduate, is releasing her recording, “Buildings,” at a performance, Friday, Aug. 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Grounds in Cokato. She will perform all 10 of the songs on the CD, including “The Tin Man.”

“The Tin Man,” is a song about the water tower’s history and how Hansen feels anxious about the end of the landmark. Hansen said she has a passion for Cokato.

“They’re taking it down. No!” Hansen said. “The scene of my song is playing out right before me,” she said.

“I have an interest in old buildings,” Hansen said, but added that the CD is called “Buildings,” because it is the foundation of what she’s starting in music.

Hansen, who is the daughter of Bernelle Hansen, and is attending Metropolitan State University of Minneapolis, said the CD has five folk songs and five electronic pop songs on it. She has been writing music for eight years. This CD and her first CD, that she made during high school, were recorded in her basement.

Hansen plays guitar and sings with a band. Lacey Schmidt of Arlington plays keyboard. Garrett Laakonen of Dassel plays bass. Tim Abramson of Dassel plays lead guitar, she said.

On “Buildings,” Hansen plays both guitar and drums, and sings. She plays by ear and does not read music at all, she said.

Besides “The Tin Man,” Hansen’s songs are about her friends and how they reflect society as a whole. She also is a Christian, so her songs are about hope. Despite the ugliness of the world, God reveals how good He is, Hansen said.

Hansen said she enjoys taking “something old,” such as the history of the water tower, turning it into something “new;” a song.

On Saturday, Aug. 12, her CDs and T-shirts about “The Tin Man,” will be available at Scoops in Cokato. Rachel Kurtz and Caroline Newsom, both of Cokato, helped her get started in music recording, she said.

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