• Bryon Harris

Loretta Hagen - "Not Now”

Review by Daniel Deprè

“Not Now” is the kind of song you can unwind to. It has such a relaxing vibe to it, yet it is also so nuanced and well crafted. Everything about it is gentle and kind. The song begins with an acoustic guitar ostinato and by the end of the song it grows into a full arrangement that is warm and satisfying. There is something subtly epic about this song. It’s the kind of epic-nature that can make a listener very pensive. Loretta Hagen has created a song that will tap into something deep within you, something you haven’t addressed in a long time.

Lyrically, Loretta Hagen is singing about wishing for more time when something tough is approaching. The opening lyrics set up the mood for the song, which is tragic and bleak.

“I am shipwrecked, on an oceanwide, I barely catch my breath, when the wind subsides, I’ve never been so lonely”.

The poetic imagery here is so poignant and it’s very relatable. We’ve all hit a low in our life where we feel exactly like Hagen is describing here. Her lyrics also have an inspiring resilience to them, she remains strong despite the troubles in her life.

“I won’t let this be the end, not now, I’m not ready now, to let go now, I hear my family calling me back home now”.

The arrangement has a wonderful sense of progression as the song slowly grows and expands by the end all while maintaining its gentle touch. The acoustic guitar is at the heart of the instrumentation as it is the main instrument supporting Loretta Hagen’s warm and cozy vocals. The drums are restrained and minimalistic, but the snare is so tight and pops right in the center, it gives the song a wonderful sense of groove. The outro features a beautiful acoustic guitar solo that is so lyrical and expressive, and it’s the perfect way to wrap everything up. “Not Now” is a low-key folk song that features impressive songwriting and a unique voice from Loretta Hagen.

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About Loretta Hagen

Reviewers describe award-winning singer-songwriter Loretta Hagen as ‘heart driven, soul-filling, Folk Americana.‘ With 4 critically acclaimed CDs to her credit, Loretta’s rich alto voice and strong songwriting skills have led her to win many awards, including a JAM Awards’ (Jersey Acoustic Music Awards) “Top Female Songwriter of the Year,” JAM nomination for “Album of the Year,” winner of the NJ Folk Festival Songwriter Competition and 2-time designation as a CT Folk Festival finalist.

In every life, there are inevitable times of darkness and light. Loretta Hagen's fourth CD "Lucky Stars," takes the listener on a personal journey through loss, healing, and ultimately the promise of hope. Four years in the making, "Lucky Stars" brings Loretta's journey full circle, when faced with the heartache of illness, death, and going on without loved ones so cherished. She finds solace in the promise of new beginnings, love, and the inherent knowledge that our Lucky Stars are watching over us.

Loretta's third CD, “Mud and Stone,” well received by DJs worldwide, debuted at #10 on Folk DJ Charts, consistently #1 on the Roots Music Report for NJ, #5 Top 50 Folk Albums RMR, and topped many best-of lists. Five years later the album is still going strong, recently receiving 4 nominations for the Just Plain Folk Awards with awards being announced late fall 2017.

"This effort [Mud and Stone] is first class, top tier, a true contender as an artist to reckon with." John Apice ~ No Depression

Following her critically acclaimed CD Something More, co-produced by Pat McInerney (Nanci Griffith), Hagen released Sundown Till Dawn, a CD that garnered rave reviews and radio play across the country.

Sundown Till Dawn is extremely personal, with the title track written about her mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Loretta’s Mom passed away peacefully at her home. The emotionally charged ballad is included on the soundtrack of a film called “10 Mountains 10 Years” chronicling the journey of a group of mountain climbers who are raising awareness about the disease.

Loretta has performed at premier venues across the Northeast and Nashville, sharing the stage with Pete Seeger, Roger McGuinn, Sloan Wainwright, Steve Forbert, Richie Havens, Kim Richey, and Marshall Crenshaw among many others. Loretta performs primarily with her trio consisting of husband/guitarist Gary Hagen and djembe players Linda Lambiase or Curtis Kretz.


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