“Authentic, sparse prairie-folk.” — Mark Bennett, Terre Haute Tribune Star

Some are born to tell stories. Americana artist David Hanners is one of those people. He’s from the corn and soybean fields of East Central Illinois and now lives in Manchester, England. Need some storytelling bona fides? He may be the only folksinger with a Pulitzer Prize.

David’s songs have the grit and groove you’d expect from a newspaper reporter, which he used to be. Whether he’s writing about working coal, working at a small-town dollar store or working to navigate a broken heart, his songs feature vibrant characters living in stories that ring true in ways reminiscent of Prine, Earle and Bill Morrissey.

His first record, Nothingtown, was a Critic’s Year-end Top Ten selection by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The follow-up release, The Traveler’s Burden, was “like Townes Van Zandt doing Nebraska,” said

His third record, There Are No Secrets in This Town, also earned acclaim. Inspired by an oral history of a Depression-era madam in Terre Haute, IN, the album “plays out like a musical version of a McMurtry novel,” wrote Terry Paul Roland, a featured contributor to No Depression.

David grew up in Casey, a town of 2,400 in East Central Illinois. An outsider may see it as little more than corn and soybean fields (and home to The World’s Largest Rocking Chair) but it is a region with a rich history of literature and music. Drive 20 minutes to the east and you’ll see where James Jones wrote “From Here to Eternity.” Or drive 20 minutes south and you’ll find the hometown and final resting place of folk legend Burl Ives. Most of David’s songs are rooted deeply in his native Midwest, but he also draws heavily on Texas, where he lived for 17 years.

And, yes, David has a Pulitzer Prize (1989, Explanatory Journalism) and he spent most of his life working as a journalist. He’s lived in the U.S., Kuwait, Cyprus and now England. David is a winner of the Minnesota Folk Festival’s “New Folk” songwriting competition and has opened for such legends as Tom Paxton, Bill Staines, Ellis Paul and Garnet Rogers.