Alabama-native Caitlin Cannon shares the hard truths of the prison system and what it's like for families who've been separated by it on "Mama's a Hairdresser," the latest release from her forthcoming The TrashCannon Album.
The song was inspired by Cannon's own family. Her brother was sentenced to life in prison when he was 17, when Caitlin was just 9 years old. Cannon's mother has spent the last 29 years visiting her son in prison, saving the money she makes from cutting hair to pay for plane tickets.
"Mama's a Hairdresser" captures the way Cannon's brother's imprisonment has shaped the family in heartbreaking detail, from saving up money for the prison commissary to a difficult goodbye at the end of an all too short visit. The song even features an automated message from Cannon's brother calling from the prison.
Cannon says she wanted to showcase the unconditional love between families and the humanity of those who are often forgotten by society.
"My brother was sentenced to life in prison when he was a teenager. So, for 29 years, my mother has been going to Alabama to visit him on a regular basis, doing however many haircuts it takes to pay for the plane tickets," Cannon tells Wide Open Country. "I wanted to translate the experience of what that's been like for them, to explain the humanity I've seen in men like him who are discarded by society, but whose families do not abandon them. It's another collaboration between me and Megan Burtt and her living room floor."
Listen to "Mama's a Hairdresser" below.
A portion of the proceeds from "Mama's a Hairdresser" will be donated to the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth.