Lake Worth singer/songwriter Jason Hanley is another area genre-surfer, and he releases more material than most under the umbrella of his group Sound Proof ( His latest is from the vault. Social Ritual originated as a collaboration with fellow singer-guitarist Greg Hathaway, under the band name Enterlandscapes, in the mid-1990s in Charlotte, N.C.The material ranges from the dreamy Face To Face (paced by Rich Paray’s tabla drums) and the ballad Fall Out (featuring flutist Jim Kovalcik) to full-band rock (All We Have Are Words) and reggae tunes (Some May Say) with bassist Marco Heeter and drummer Godfree Fernel that bear Grateful Dead elements.

By Bill Meredith
Posted July 14, 2011


Lake Worth group breathes new life into jazz standards, Lake Worth-based singer/songwriter Jason Hanley’s group Sound Proof ( shifts away from its usual worldly pop sound to play standards on a new, self-released CD called Jazz Images. And for the most part, the amoebic guitarist’s formula works.With no drummer, Hanley and acoustic bassist Steve Jernigan essentially form the rhythm section for flutist Jim Kovalcik and guest vocalist Marijah Speziale. Kovalcik’s lyrical playing, and Hanley’s nimble fretwork, highlight instrumental versions of Georgia and Sugar, respectively. Speziale makes Somewhere Over the Rainbow and My Funny Valentine her own, as the reggae singer’s unique phrasing actually breathes new life into the jazz chestnuts.

By Bill Meredith
Posted November 5, 2010


Lake Worth-based guitarist/vocalist Jason Hanley is the driving force behind Sound Proof ( and its latest self-release, Broad Strokes. The CD earns its title, ranging from the opening Middle Eastern instrumental “Gypsy Madness” to the rootsy, Bob Dylan-like “Jakeamaya” over its first 10 minutes, even if the other lyric-driven roots tunes fall short of this early high-water mark.
But Hanley gets fine performances throughout Broad Strokes from acoustic bassist Steve Jernigan, lead guitarist Tom McPherson and tabla player Rich Paray. Flutist Jim Kovalcik adds acidic texture to the psychedelia of “Swampers”; Hanley’s lead vocals and harmonies drive “Castle”; and Tony Arcaro’s banjo is a surprise highlight on “Web Eyes”.
See Sound Proof at 8:30 p.m. every Monday at The Whale Raw Bar & Fish House, 7619 N. St. Road 7, Parkland (954-345-9190), and at 7 p.m. on Oct. 9 at the Ocean Avenue GreenMarket Cafe, 400 E. Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach (561-752-8598).

By Bill Meredith
Posted October 9, 2009

Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

This is an MP3 of cafe folk-blues with heavy intrusions of jam, psyche, rock, jazz, and whatever the spirit of the moment directs. It's raw, gritty, passionate, home-made, and adventurous as hell. Jason Hanley's a guy who's seen a few rough tumbles in life (adopted, jailed, dealt drugs, etc.), wised up, reached deeply into his soul, and emerged an artist of more than a few talents and merits. Nor has his dance on the edge of things hardened him: the guy runs a recording studio dedicated to getting grassroots music out to people in a communal effort. It's no accident that his band Sound Proof is the sort of ensemble one might have run into in the 70s, openers for a some more famous group at The Whiskey A Go Go. It's drenched with the stoned boundlessness that the creatives of the era enjoyed in abundance. When in full envelope-stretching mode, there are distinct echoes of Amon Duul II and Can (Screamin), but his true base is kinda like Donovan pumped on coffee, anger, and a more obtuse cognizance of social conditions. Political commentary populates Sound Proof's lyrics right alongside sociological insight and psychological teardowns. Hanley's vocals are sometimes mellifluous but far more often strong and ringing, occasionally quivering with heat and intensity. He found a brilliant contrast in…well, it's either Gail Pemberton or Victoria Pearson, the liner's woefully inadequate re: credits and several inquiries have found Hanley apparently unwilling to communicate...a lazily confident chanteuse with a road vet's art-smarts, gorgeously bedding Hanley's passion in a resonant feminine counterpoint, soul-based and bayou smoky, delicious.
Though it's next-to-last in the line-up, Man is an excellent entrypoint for the guy's work. Fueled by a driving rhythm, it displays what are frequently Richie Kotzen-ish leanings to full effect. A wealth of instrumental colorations flesh out the song and quickly draw the listener deep into pulsing recesses. Played in a live situation, Sound Proof's work would get the joint jumpin' and bring the customers back for more, week after week. Though there are technical problems here and there, a glitch or two, with one song almost collapsing, the sheer energy and willingness to go out to the edge more than make up for all that. Larry Coryell used to execute of-the-moment improvs in his 70s tours and Hanley's work shows both sides of that kind of daring, succeeding far more than failing. And, hey, isn't it the honesty to document a full spectrum, warts and all, that illustrates just how wide the palette really is? Even the righteously surreal cover painting is indicative of how far-ranging this cat gets.
Elsewhere in FAME, I reviewed Troy Faid. He and Hanley are spiritual cousins. Brash, ballsy, intense, and packed to the nines with ideas, gusto, and integrity, Sound Proof is what art is made of, from the street up. I hope to hell this sort of undercurrent catches on, because, now that the indies have been hopelessly co-opted by Warners, Coors, Nike, and Trojans, this is the new alt-rock. Its promises are tantalizing.

by Mark S. Tucker
Posted April 15, 2007


Sound Proof- Sound Proof (Nasoni Records 059CD) I'll start by saying that is this not what you would expect from Nasoni Records but don't let that put you off. Sound Proof are a Florida based 60's inspired blues-folk band. They feature male and female vocals (ala. Jefferson Airplane) and feature electric and acoustic guitars, percussion, blues harp and bass and keyboards on a few of the more electric tracks. This is quite stoned blues stuff in a good 60's way. Very retro in sound and feel but that is cool. A lot of the music is improvised and jammed, which I like quite a lot. You can tell they are having a good time and you will too if you light one up and have a cold beer and crank this sucker up! If you dig: Country Joe and the Fish, Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company.

Posted March 31, 2007


South Florida
Local CDs have been piling up on my desk, gathering dust and silently demanding my attention. In an effort to clean up the mess in my cubicle, I offer you these reviews in what may be my most positive local-CD roundup ever. Live at the by Sound Proof and Friends ( At first, I was turned off by the press release that came with this CD, which featured one music critic hailing Sound Proof, a.k.a. Jason Hanley, as "soulful acoustic blues-rock" and never-negative Palm Beach Post critic Bill Meredith calling Hanley "a musical freedom fighter." But, in fact, the tunes on this album draw as much from world-music influences as they do from blues or rock, making it a good soundtrack for a wake-and-bake, lazy Sunday morning. Bongos, swirling guitars, lengthy instrumentals and positive lyrics fill the disc. It starts off slowly, giving you time for the coffee and whatnot to kick in, before picking up with a clever cover of the klezmer tune "Russian Sher." The album mellows out again with the reggae-inflected "Some May Say," then grows dull with the 16-minute, New-Agey flute solo "Living in Harmony." But until that nap-inducing ninth track, the album's varied influences make for an intriguing listen.

- Dan Sweeney
Posted January 31 2007


Lake Worth, FL.
Composer-musician’s work offers a personal commentary

Jason Hanley’s dark skin, black hair and eyebrows and deep brown eyes seem to look through you and away. He glances away as if to reposition himself in the world that now exists between you and him. The Lake Worth composer and musician seems withdrawn behind the counter at Studio 205 or in the adjacent Java Juicebar. He is tall and thin, and he greets customers softly. Hanley has a lot on his mind. The composer-musician has recorded his music under the Sound Proof Productions label for about five years. Sound Proof is also the name of his group, which includes other artists who create music and seem to dissolve into other worlds when finished. "I got tired of paying other recording studios for inferior work, so I decided to do it myself," Hanley said. He calls his music "a provocative raw form of folk-fueled blues and jazz sound." About four years ago, he started to record other artists. About two-dozen CDs can be found on the Web site, and they are a mix of Hanley’s and other artists’ music. Percussionist and Lake Worth resident Robbie Astrove has worked with Hanley to record tracks to mix with other artists' work. "Jason is supporting local music in a positive way," Astrove said. "The songs have good messages. They bring people together and people realize how wonderful music is for a community." Hanley has recorded many local artists and bands, including flutist Jim Kovalcik and Jack Heideier's three-piece string-and-vocal group, The Onion Band. "A lot of musicians don't know much about technology and don't really want to learn," Hanley said. "They just want to make music." Heideier calls Hanley "a brilliant artist." He said, "Our styles are extremely different but I love what he does." Hanley has lived in Florida for eight years, first settling in Delray Beach and later in Lake Worth. "I moved to Lake Worth because it's more my speed. It feels easier than Delray Beach, and the music scene is better here," he said. Hanley, who is in his early 30s, said his music career fell into place in South Florida. He worked at the Nutrition Cottage in Delray Beach and would play in the back of the store and sell his CDs. Later, he was booked at venues in Palm Beach County, including the Gold Bean Café in Jupiter and the Round the World Art Village in West Palm Beach. "I had been thinking of traveling, but I was getting pretty decent gigs so I decided to stay in the area," he said. The Detroit native said he has had his share of luck, and not all of it good. He was arrested when he was in his early 20s, he said, and held in what he calls "unbelievable conditions" for more than a month. He decided to "beat the system" when he got out, and he began selling drugs. He was caught and placed on probation, but his drug use and sale continued. "I realized that my rebellion wasn't hurting those guys who had treated me so badly, and it wasn't helping me," he said. "So I got my act together, got away from drugs and focused on my music." Hanley’s Web site offers The MP3 Café, a mixed-media collaboration of visual artists-writers and musicians. The collaboration provides a commentary on our global political climate, he said. "You've got to do something about the craziness all around us," he said, looking into the sunlight outside Studio 205. His gaze ends in the middle of Lake Avenue, never reaching the other side, as one of his CDs plays in the background. For information, visit

- Donald Cavanaugh
September 25, 2006


West Palm Beach, FL.

It may not qualify as a musical empire, but Jason Hanley's Sound Proof Productions has become a Lake Worth epicenter for under-the-radar local music. The singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer goes by his recording label name rather than his own when producing music by other artists. The Web site, and even his own live gigs, are also billed as Sound Proof. Ask the Detroit native why, and you get an answer that goes beyond humility. "It's very methodical, actually," Hanley says from work at the Java Juicebar (an extension of his other downtown Lake Worth job at the adjoining newsstand, Studio 205). "I'm doing business as Sound Proof Productions. It's the name I'm using to build the label, and a performance name to let people know to expect the kind of music I'm producing. The name itself goes back to childhood. My real name is Jason Durham, not Jason Hanley. My stepfather adopted me, and I had to adjust to the fact that I had no control over that. But my art is the music that I've created, and the sound is proof." Hanley records artists, at either his home studio or at remote locations, through his laptop computer, which he's equipped with ProTools recording technology. The two-dozen CDs available on the Web site are either by Sound Proof or a handful of other artists, from local flutist Jim Kovalcik to Moonhead, a Denver band Hanley befriended while touring. The label's latest release is Grasp of Your Attraction by the Onion Band, comprised of area singing guitarists Jack Heideier and Steve Rodgers and singing bassist Phil Mann. A compilation CD, Live at the, ranges from overdubbed solo performances by multi-instrumentalists Jason White, Melissa Griffin and Paul Bobit to tracks by combined labelmates from different groups. Aside from the site's MP3 player, there's an MP3Cafe link that's actually a forum for political opinions; a couple of featured soundtrack projects, and partnerships to distribute other companies' CDs. Plus, there's plenty of music available for download; a calendar of Sound Proof performances, and a "Make a Donation" link that makes you wonder how often Hanley gets help in his musical crusade. "Never," he says with a laugh. "We've never gotten a donation. I've sold a few CDs on the site, but there are about 60 tunes people can download for free, so they don't even need to really buy them. But I sold a couple CDs today here at work. I have an MP3 player on my phone, so I can let customers sample songs that way." Hanley returns from a road date in Asheville, N.C., to play a Sound Proof co-headlining show with singer/songwriter Ric Pattison at 8 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Luna Star Cafe, 775 N.E. 125th St., North Miami. Phone: (305) 799-7123. Be the first-ever donor to www.soundproof, and he may even buy you a smoothie.
-Hanley is a musical freedom fighter.

-Bill Meredith

The Music Box

November 2004, Volume 11, #11 Written by Brad Podray

Sound Proof’s self-titled effort is a calm trip through a well-crafted landscape of organic sound, and on the whole, its songs, while simple, lack pretentiousness in any and all regards. Rather than attempting big budget drama that it likely can’t afford, the group clearly aimed at capturing a minimalist sound. However, where many have struggled with a similar approach, Sound Proof succeeds, utilizing its acoustic guitar accompaniments to punctuate the "laid back and chilled over ice" ambience of the entire album. There are touches of folk and Latin-tinged flourishes that grace the collection, and a faint echo of reminiscence hangs over many of the tunes. Tracks such as Jakeamya show off a heartfelt sentiment that is severely lacking in today's angst-y musical world, and with a sonic diversity that rumbles from power odes to head-bobbing grooves to harmonica showpieces, the album is chock-full of quality material. Granted, Sound Proof isn’t for everyone — it’s music is far too relaxed for that, but while no barriers are broken, none are left unexplored.


Now here’s a real musician…someone who still sees his songwriting as a growing, evolving craft. Combining Latin, Jazz, Rock, Blues and improvised jams, Jason Hanley catches on a groove and shapes it. He has a very expressive style of playing, really losing himself in his music. Singing straight from the gut, he has a very strong, captivating voice used for more message-oriented stories. Sound Proof, as far as I can tell, is most often a trio of accomplished musicians led by Hanley, streaming ideas back and forth to each other in a jammy environment. The entire album moves forward as one extended piece, incredibly organic, and each track sounds more like a movement than a single. Within the extended improvised sections, there doesn’t seem to be too much structure; they’re more experimental and open to ideas and space. In most tracks, there is a good base laid down by a clear, brilliant acoustic guitar and accented by subtle percussion. A lead guitar shines overtop of that base creating beautiful, moving melodies. A harmonica dances in and out of most tracks, wavering and toying with the rhythm and even sounding strangely similar to a violin at times. Each track stays fresh with tempo changes and instrument changes, but it all stills fits together like a colorful puzzle. The production on the album is outstanding; the sound is very crisp and clear. There is a wonderful use of space and channel panning throughout the entire recording. “Screamin” is a great Indian-tinged track with floating chant vocals haunting the background, moving the lead guitar along. They employ an intriguing rhythmic scratching/rattling of acoustic guitar strings in this and a few other tracks. I always wonder how and why musicians choose certain distortions or tones for their leads; this album completely threw me off. Where did he get the idea to lay a buzzsaw-distorted, reverb drenched lead over an acoustic rhythm, and an epileptic harmonica over a soft percussive progression? I don’t know, but it sounds absolutely brilliant, and it all works together ridiculously (check out “Brothers”). “Blasted Back” is definitely a bit more funky; there’s a beautiful Latin-laced acoustic guitar and piano rhythmic duet happening that gets cut in half by a surging, wandering, distorted guitar line. In the following track, he drops back down to a softer, more emotional guitar and harmonica number, keeping the album moving. I dig his voice, but I absolutely love the instrumental sections, and there are plenty of them. I give it a…solid.

-Chaz Martenstein


Tampa, FL.

-Adventurous, soulful acoustic blues- rock.

-Mark Sanders


Charlotte, N.C.

- Sound Proof is, in essence, a one-man project. Jason Hanley, once half of the early version of Latino Chrome, returns to town with a set of blues-inflected psychedelic tunes. Hanley's guitar playing has a somber tone and his lyrics bemoan tales of lives lived rough.

-Samir Shukla


“Sound Proof is a collection of songs and music built around the styles of the musicians and artists who perform them. Therefore, the music is fluid and free of monotony or any structured format (Other than the rhythm of the moment).” That quote is cut and pasted right off the website of this east coast trio who sent me their prolific CD this week. This largely acoustic music initially reminded me of some bluesy folk artists of the late sixties, with touches of John Mayall, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead. Beginning with the political overtones of “Money Machine”, this music moves along like a live jam session being recorded in someone’s living room. The feeling is loose, experimental and improvisational. “Daniels Drum” is an aptly named tune where the musicians seem to be playing anything that resembles percussion instruments, including Mom’s pots and pans. The lead vocalist sings in a deep, soulful voice that is slightly reminiscent of Country Joe MacDonald. “Always” is an effectively moody number with harmonica flourishes, abstract lyrics and jazzy rhythm guitar. “Screamin” definitely sounded like Jefferson Airplane’s instrumental material a la “Embryonic Journey” and is nicely augmented by female vocal parts. Though this disc draws heavily from the influences I have cited, it stands on its own as music unique to today’s sometimes pasteurized sounding records. Some of the lyrics are a bit politically cliché but the overall mood of the disc hearkens back to simpler, less encumbered production values of today’s modern rock or folk music. If I am suddenly taken by the urge to light some incense, plug in my psychedelic lights and lay back on my waterbed, this will be my music of choice.