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Emerson Hart

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Though millions already appreciate former Tonic frontman Emerson Hart’s poignant lyrics, smart songcraft and evocative voice, Hart’s debut solo album, Cigarettes and Gasoline, begins a new chapter for the renowned performer. His 12-song debut disc is a cathartic journey and intimate lyrical portrait that includes the irresistible, melodic “Run To,” the thoughtful and unforgettable “I Wish the Best For You,” and the memorable first single, “If You’re Gonna Leave. ” As lead singer for alt-rock radio and concert favorites Tonic, Hart enjoyed platinum sales, chart topping singles and albums—including the # 1 hit “If You Could Only See”—and two Grammy nominations in 2003. Striking out own his own with Cigarettes and Gasoline proved “freeing and educational in the way that I had to learn to again trust my instincts about what is best,” Hart relates. “That was the greatest experience for me in making this record; I learned to trust myself as a writer.”

Thematically, Cigarettes and Gasoline has an underlying current of forgiveness, and also touches on the difficult topic of his father’s still-unresolved murder when Hart was a boy growing up in New Jersey. “This record, I had to address those issues before I moved on, so I had to forgive the people who killed my father and let that go,” Hart says. “Also, learning how to come full circle with that, thinking about being a father myself someday.

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