Blair Hansen: Breaking Away

Blair Hansen breaking away at the El Rio: Aidin Vaziri | Blair Hansen’s friends and family are huddled in the lounge of the Rockit Room, a nightclub on Clement Street, still dripping from the downpour outside. They’ve come from as far away as her hometown of Castro Valley just in time to find out that her headlining slot has been pushed back an hour. For most young singer-songwriters, this would be the perfect moment to throw down the guitar, aim a few four-letter words at the soundman and pitch a tantrum. But Hansen shrugs off the delay like an old pro. That’s because even though she’s 23 and still under the radar, she kind of is. She studied opera at 9, picked up a guitar at 14 after she discovered the Dixie Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces,” and started playing bars a year later, before she could even legally patronize them. “I literally would have to stay out in the car with my parents, and all my band members would be inside throwing back beers,” Hansen says. “Then the bouncer would come out to the car and tap on the window, ‘OK, you’re on now.’ The minute I would step off the stage, I was out again.” Read more.

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