Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

181

Ted Hawkins: The Unstoppable Ted Hawkins

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Calling Ted Hawkins a blues artist unnecessarily narrows the breath of the man’s repertoire and reach. Closer to a modern troubadour his songbook drew on a wealth of music and influences. Busking on the sidewalks of Venice Beach for years he cultivated a sound steeped in the blues and rock and roll, Stax-era soul, American folk, Country and spirituals as well. But unlike Hendrix, a return to the streets and anonymity marked his return to the States in the early 90s. Only in 1993, after getting a lucky break from Geffen records, did his music find widespread American acclaim.

Echoes of 70s singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkel surface in his richly rendered musical stories. His approach was minimalist, basic unadorned guitar chords and an honest roughhewn vocal delivery filled with pure emotion and pathos. This disc captures the best segments of a concert tape recorded privately by Michael Messer, a slide guitarist whose star is currently on the rise. Hawkins was in relaxed and focused form on the date cycling through many of his favorite tunes and pausing frequently for friendly exchanges with the London audience. Perfectly in touch with his limitations as a guitarist he openly admits his shortcomings to the crowd and his self-effacing statements only add to the intimate charm of his performance. In his own words “I’m just a busker off the beach...you won’t get no heavy metal here.”

Highlights of the well-rounded program include a shimmering reading of Curtis Mayfield’s classic “Gypsy Woman” stripped to spare rhythmic simplicity and the raw rock & roll beat of the emphatic warning tale “Watch Your Step.” Hawkins’ music touches the heart via the ears not through jaw dropping virtuosity, but through a plain and unassuming directness. Sadly, despite this disc’s assertion of his invincibility Hawkins mortal form left the world in 1995. But his legacy is one that proves once again that music of high quality and longevity can be achieved through the simple means of a single voice and acoustic guitar.

Catfish on the web: http://www.catfishrecords.co.uk/

Track Listing: That

Personnel: Ted Hawkins- vocals & guitar. Recorded: December 18, 1988, London, England.

Title: The Unstoppable Ted Hawkins | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Catfish Records (UK)

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019
Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019