Songwriters In The Raw w/ Jessica Smucker, Hannah Bingman, and The Four26
Run Time: 180 min.
~ Saturday, August 19th, 2023 ~ Doors @ 7:00 PM, Showtime @ 7:30 PM ~ $20 Advance/$25 Day-of ~
Songwriters in the Raw
Student, farmer, mail carrier, woodworker, instructor, arts council president, prison librarian, Appalachian Trail hiker, musician. Hannah Bingman has held many titles throughout the years, but the one that’s been glued to her through them all is musician. Bingman sees herself as a songwriter first, guitarist second, and singer third. These experiences continue to provide depth and meaning to her lyrics, maturing her songwriting process she began at the age of 14. Bingman grew up in rural Pennsylvania where the arts didn’t flourish but the landscape did. She found mentors and a community in the area’s music scene. By age 16, she was playing regularly in that scene. Since then, Bingman’s journey over the last decade and half has been one guided by where the wind takes her. Bars, coffee shops, basements, living rooms, festivals, farms, rehab facilities, and just about every corner of a venue in driving distance. Not to mention, three albums, the latest being Loam (2013) where she weaves the stories of farmers, inmates, and lovers into a pattern of interconnecting songs, leading the listener through its story.
In 2006, she grabbed the top prize for the Susquehanna Folk Music Society’s songwriting contest. Bingman became a Regional Round Finalist for the Mountain Stage NewSong Songwriting Competition in 2011, and grabbed third place in the Pennsylvania Heritage Songwriting Competition in 2016. She’s played opening spots for the likes of Christine Lavin, Michael Glabicki, Jeffrey Gaines, Kaki King, Ellis, David Rovics, the Infamous Stringdusters, and Ann Rabson, among others.
Ten years ago, she found herself in a blues duo with Doug McMinn, and most recently formed a band, the Dilly Beans, with her pal Nell Hanssen from the band Chicken Tractor. These days, Bingman calls State College, Pennsylvania home. She has fully embraced her role as a folksinger in today’s political climate, opting to share home recordings and writings as they come and playing wherever people may gather.
“Jessica Smucker is an original; a real artist with a cohesive message, a drop-dead gorgeous voice that is all her own. Her background in poetry gives her lyrics a specificity and depth. Each time I listen to ‘When I Was the Weather’ I hear something new, the way I do when I listen to Joni Mitchell or Bob Dylan. She is that good.” – Nerissa Nields, singer/songwriter (The Nields)
“Sharp, cogent lyrics with a stealth profundity that sneaks up on you after you listen and the songs are marinating in your memory.” – John Hammel, Homegrown RadioNJ
Jessica Smucker believes that the best way to change the world is to channel our pain into connection. Her songs have a way of reaching deeply into people’s souls and inviting the kind of reflection that feels both reassuring and unsettling. Wrapped in catchy melodies, her lyrics appear simple and relatable on the surface, but each listen will uncover more hidden pockets of nuance. She’s the kind of writer and performer who can lull a noisy room into a hush with a single line.
A Lancaster, PA native, Jessica was raised in the Mennonite faith tradition by a family full of storytellers, activists, adventurers, and pranksters. She has toured nationwide, and performs regularly throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. having shared bills with a range of notable artists including Cheryl Wheeler, Bill Staines, Heather Maloney, Meghan Trainor, Gangstagrass and the Stray Birds.
Jessica has won or placed in national songwriting contests including SolarFest’s Singer/Songwriter Showcase Competition, the Connecticut Folk Festival Song Competition, and the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. Her discography spans from 2008-2020 and includes two EPs and three full-length albums. Between the summers of 2021-2022 she released five more singles, including synth-pop anthems “Dinosaurs,” “Rose of Jericho,” and “Phoenix,” and piano ballads “Stones to Throw” and “War of Attrition.” Her fourth studio album, After the Meteor, is planned for release later this year.
In her life beyond music, Jessica is a published poet and essayist, a social justice warrior, a freakishly good Scrabble player, and mother to two of the smartest people she’s ever met in real life!