Best Albums of 2018

Best Albums of 2018

To me, 2018 wasn’t a stellar year for music. Artists I normally love like Fall Out Boy, Ashley Monroe, and Mumford & Sons disappointed me with their albums and with the exception of the few on this list, I continued to listen to last year’s favorites instead.

My list is country heavy, features a new-ish album from my favorite band and an EP from their little brother. What were you listening to and loving in 2018?

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Graffiti U by Keith Urban
Is he pop or country? It’s getting harder and harder to tell with Mr. Urban but on his tenth studio album, Graffiti U,  the Aussie musician turns out another solid effort full hooks and signature guitar solos. He’s joined on several tracks by up and coming female singers and even shares a songwriting credit with Ed Sheeran on “Parallel Line.” Probably the best song on the album though is “Female”, a powerful ballad about respecting women in the #MeToo era.
Songs to Download: Coming Home, Same Heart, Drop Top, Texas Time, Female

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Gifts for the Hanson Fan in Your Life

Gifts for the Hanson Fan in Your Life

This is probably the most unconventional gift guide you’ll ever read but there are so many Hanson fans in my life that I thought it would be fun to put together a post of unique things we might like for Christmas.

Snowed In on Vinyl
Amazon is selling a limited edition pressing of Snowed In on vinyl. While this is not an official piece of merchandise sold by the band themselves, it is still very cool. The U.S. version is green and if you live in the U.K., your pressing is white.

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Vintage Hanson Tee
This one takes me back to 1997 – I had this tee in the white version (and still do, except it’s full of holes and yellowed now). Urban Outfitters is selling the black version and I couldn’t be more excited!!

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2019 Hanson Wall Calendar
This is beautiful and handmade by someone on Etsy. Actually the next several ideas are from Etsy – sometimes fan created items are better than actual official merchandise from the Hanson.net store.

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Hanging Wooden Sign
I want this and may buy it for myself and kind of hate to share it in case it sells out!

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Hanson Pins
Add some flair to your bag or show the world who your favorite Hanson brother is with these handcrafted enamel pins. Pins not your thing? She also has patches and plenty of resistance approved designs as well if that’s your thing.


Tulsa Snow Globe
Made famous by 1997’s Tulsa, Tokyo and the Middle of Nowhere, the Tulsa Snow Globe is a coveted item for fans all over the world. Formerly sold at Saks, Ida Red now has them and ship, so what are you waiting for?

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Lyric Charm Bracelets
These can be customized and are handmade by another fan. I bought one a few years ago and love wearing mine stacked with other bracelets and I put my Hanson necklace pendant charm on it for an added personal touch.

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Indiana State Fair

Indiana State Fair

I kind of forgot how much I love going to the fair. It was a summer staple growing up – I was a 4-H farm kid and showed my mini lop rabbits for 10 years at the Gibson County Fair. A few of my other projects made it to the state fair and we came up a few times to see them, but other than working at the library’s booth, I don’t think I’d really had the fair experience for about five years.

Hanson played on the free stage Friday night and a bunch of my Kentucky crew came up for it, so we decided to make an afternoon/evening out of it and had so much fun!

I tried the lemonade strawberry boba first thing and it was kind of like an elevated lemon shake-up. It’s supposedly new to the fair this year. The bobas at the bottom of the drink are squishy liquid filled creations that didn’t really dissolve, so I had to fish them out at the end to get them all.

I also had the best funnel cake known to man. This booth is over by the midway area and has a bunch of different flavors like red velvet and mint chocolate chip. It was by far the best thing I ate at the fair and I almost finished the whole thing off by myself.

The fair also has an upscale beer/wine garden of sorts this year. Maybe it was there last year too, but for those who enjoy an adult beverage, there are moonshine lemon shake ups, alcohol infused ice cream and sangria along with local Indiana brews to choose from.

Also new to the fair this year: the Subaru skyride. I couldn’t get anyone on it with me but enjoyed my solo ride from one end of the fair to the other.

I also got some fried okra, so I wasn’t just eating sweet foods. Verdict on that: not great. My homemade okra is way better. Should have gone with something else, like the inside out grilled cheese, which was on my list to try but I got too full before I found it.

Then it was time for the main event: Hanson! It was SO NICE to not have to travel very far to see my favorite band. I don’t think they had played in Indy since 2011 and it was long overdue. Hanson, if you’re reading this, us Hoosiers are tired of fighting Chicago traffic to see you at the House of Blues.

The place was really full – the usual crowd was there at 3 p.m. waiting out in the hot sun (not doing that anymore) and there was actually some seating, which is rare at a Hanson show. We however, did not get to sit down because by the time we were done doing fair things, all seats were taken and it was standing room only.

Great show, great set list and lots of energy from my favorite band. Come back next year!!