dimanche, novembre 21, 2004

La belle-soeur... circa 2000

Brotherly love

When Marsha Hansen decided to incorporate her music skills and theological education into a ministry, her brother-in-law gave support and advice. Encouragement from a family member may not seem like much ... unless you happen to be related to Keith Richards.
A year after Marsha married Rodney Hansen, an ELCA pastor, her sister-in-law married Richards, the guitarist for the Rolling Stones, suddenly making her related to one of rock 'n' roll's most notorious men.
But Hansen has never seen the side of Richards that the public does. "I met Keith in 1982 when he and Patti were dating," Hansen said. "I couldn't have named one member of the band back then. From the beginning I was so impressed with his character. He's been so consistent as a good family member.
"It's funny to see it from the inside because you couldn't ask for a better person to know or to trust."
Hansen said when she told Richards about her desire for a music ministry, he encouraged her to sing in front of more people and to feel secure about her talent.
Since then Hansen has followed his advice, performing in churches throughout the San Diego area. She also assists her husband when he is a guest pastor (Rodney Hansen is currently between calls).
"I think music is not an adjunct to worship but part of it," Hansen said. "Sharing music that is not only Christian but also represents my cultural heritage helps bring more of my experience of the role Christ [has played] in my life."
Hansen, with a little help from Richards, is working toward her first record deal and is recording her second CD. But Richards has been more than just a musical adviser.
"Marrying into this Norwegian family, I felt like an outsider," Hansen recalled. "Keith ... made me feel comfortable. He would be the one to lean over and whisper, 'It's OK,' and squeeze my hand." Hansen's CD, I Know the Lord's Laid His Hands on Me (Orchard), is available through.
Building a Bridge to Babylon
Marsha Hansen Brings a New Dimension to the Extended Rolling Stones Family
by Jill Underwood
Summer may be officially over but, somewhere in Connecticut, a barbecue is still smoking and music is still blasting. Not that unusual, except that the music is old African-American spirituals and the home belongs to Rolling Stone Keith Richards. Both are music to the ears of Marsha Hansen.’Keith would open all the doors up so everybody could hear the singing and playing,’ says the Chula Vista singer and mother of three. Richards’ listening sessions were what gave Hansen the inspiration to give up teaching and pursue her dream of singing spirituals professionally.The leap of faith came with encouragement from Richards, who also happens to be Hansen’s brother-in-law. ‘I love her dearly. We started singing around the family,’ remembers Richards. ‘That’s where music comes from. It comes from the heart. When she started getting into it I said, ‘Good luck and get going and I’ll keep an eye on you.’’Richards’ reputation isn’t exactly that of a choir boy. But as a child he was a member of a prestigious youth choir in England that performed before Queen Elizabeth II. Hansen herself is a product of the Southern-pewed singing set. When they met almost 20 years ago, the two heard beautiful music. ‘She’s got a great feeling as a sister,’ says Richards. ‘When we get together, we start to hang around the piano and the guitar and pick out and choose songs.’Hansen returns Richards’ respect and affection, whatever his reputation. ‘You get to know a person’s character over the years,’ defends Hansen. ‘If he says something, you can count on it. He has a lot of integrity and he’s very kind. All the children love Uncle Keith.’ Hansen says she has no problem allowing her lambs to lay down with the lion.And why should she? This is a woman with degrees in theology, sociology and human relations. When she met Rod Hansen 20 years ago, she was a Naval officer in Japan. She knew him as a Navy chaplain long before realizing he was also the brother of international supermodel, Patti Hansen. The two married in 1981 on the aircraft carrier Midway. Patti and Keith married in 1983. At the time, his sister’s union gave Rod Hansen little satisfaction.’I represent the establishment,’ says the 48-year-old Hansen. ‘Quite a different world from where Keith lives, and my first thought was, ‘Of all the people in the world you had to fall in love with, Patti, look what you did!’But the two families eventually grew close and learned how to have fun together. Now, with five children between them, the families have flourished. The Hansen’s even have a favorite Rolling Stones song: ‘Brown Sugar,’ admits Marsha. ‘When our daughter was born, I said, ‘Oh look, Keith. She’s ‘Brown Sugar,’ isn’t she? She even had that played when she walked out as the Homecoming Princess last year.’But it’s her own music Marsha concentrates on these days. Her first CD of African-American spirituals, I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me, was released late last year. ‘These are songs that are from the pre-Civil War [era],’ Hansen explains. ‘They’re sacred folk songs which rose up from enslaved African-Americans with a rural bent. It distinguishes them from Gospel. Gospel grew from an urban experience.’The project came about after Richards gave Hansen a DAT recording machine and introduced her to keyboardist, Rob Whitlock. Together, Hansen and Whitlock co-produced the debut. Its completion left Hansen flying high, but there were still clouds of concern: Would Richards like it? After all, his musical opinion means more to her than almost anyone’s. ‘He’s an encyclopedia in his knowledge of music. I really don’t know anybody who has the music knowledge he does,’ says Hansen.She didn’t have to worry. Hansen’s disc was like a revelation to the rocker. ‘It’s quite pure as compared to a lot of Gospel singers I know,’ says Richards. ‘It kind of intrigues me, too.’But would Richards have told her if he didn’t like it? ‘Now and again I’ll say ‘You’ve got to hit there on another key,’’ Richards admits. ‘But that’s just me being an old record producer.’And Marsha Hansen can take it. Neither sticks nor Stones will break the bones of her sound, which she describes as ‘personal.’ ‘I like the ethnic characteristics in my voice,’ says Hansen. ‘It’s passionate and rich. You can tell you’re listening to an African-American woman sing.’And she’ll be singing a lot more. A second CD is in the works. And she’s leaving space on at least one track for a few guitar licks -- licks that Richards has promised to fill. What’s this? Keith Richards jamming for the robed one?’I love music, no matter what it is,’ says Richards. ‘Music is music to me. It’s not necessarily the message to me. Whether it’s church music or comes from the Honky Tonks, I don’t mind as long as it’s good.’ Richards even made his own record of soul music years ago, Wingless Angels.So how do you repay a Rolling Stone? If you’re Marsha Hansen, with a gift from the heavens. ‘I gave him a hymn book for his house,’ Hansen laughs. ‘He did sing sacred songs as a little boy, but there was never a hymn book around when I was looking for one. So I said, ‘You have to have this now!’’ You can buy Marsha Hansen’s CD, ‘I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me,’ at Sam Goody stores or at www.MarshaHansen.iuma.com