Where Hanson invites their songster buddies over for a week of music camp
Oh, Fools Banquet, the ridiculousness you've spawned.
Every year Hanson invites various musician buddies over to their home studio for a week of songwriting. The rules are simple. Each day you get put in a group of two or three, write a song, and record it. At the end of the week there are a rash of new songs - some good, a few great, and one or two rather ridiculous ones. Some of the songs from Fools Banquets have been recorded and put on one of the songwriter's albums, recorded by someone else (in the case of 2008), or pitched for a TV or movie soundtrack.
I'm a rather large fan of Fools Banquet for several reasons:
- We get a peek into which other musicians Hanson hangs with
- Hanson gets to challenge themselves both lyrically and musically
- New music. Need I say more?
Some attendees from past years are Bleu, Carrick Moore Gerety (Everybody Else), Jason Mraz, Pat McGee (Pat McGee Band), Adam Green, Weird Al Yankovic, Allan Vest (Starlight Mints), and Miles Zuniga (Fastball)...
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The Origin of the Banquet
Though there is no definitive commentary from Hanson on why they decided to call their songwriter's retreat, I suspect it's a homage to the 1968 Rolling Stones album called Beggars Banquet. Hanson's first publicized songwriting camp wasn't one they hosted, but one they attended in France during Miles Copeland's songwriting retreat in 2001. Songs penned that week include Let You Go with Carole King and Someone, which Isaac sang duet with Emma Dumas.
Tinted Windows & Fools Banquet
Tinted Windows (a side project band/album by Taylor) was inspired by Fools Banquet? US Weekly interviewed Taylor May 16, 2001. Here's the skinny:
US Weekly asks:
"What was the whole Tinted Windows thing? You got a lot of good reception and that was a great album. Was that trying something different or was it really trying to leave the band?"
Taylor kicks that notion to the curb:
"Oh no, it was never about leaving the band. One of things that is sort of behind the scenes of Hanson is how much we write, and the last several years we set up retreats where we write songs with tons of different artists every year. Tinted Windows was partly was spurned by that process. With Hanson, we grew up listening to classic rock 'n roll and soul music, and that kind of shines in this record. It just really comes out."