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Andrew Hawkey: Long Story Short

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We liked Hawkey before we heard a note: he was born in 1942 (yes, really) in Wadebridge, Cornwall, a favourite Review Corner haunt (and home to Andrew Ridgeley) and also lived in Cheshire.

He left school at 15 to work on poultry farms, but became an estate agent. He was in London for the swinging 60s before he turned to music, playing the folk and hippy festival circuit, running a small recording studio and indie label. He was a freelance publisher’s editor for a while, and played keyboards and harmonica in blues bands for 21 years, 1,000 gigs and more.

He has released albums before but we’re going to guess this is a collection he’s taken some time to write.

It’s a nice set of tunes, ranging from basic acoustic folk to country and some electric blues. He can write a song and it’s professionally done, by which we mean it seems to us that he’s done his songs justice.

The opener is Dear Friend, one of the more acoustic tracks. It gets the listener settled into Hawkey’s voice – fairly gentle, some Cornish rolled Rs but not sounding many of his 77/78 years. He gets to show the listener he’s a decent guitar player. This is one for people who like to sit in pubs listening in silence to singer/songwriters.

Golden Heart (On A Rusty Chain) brings in drums and a more country twang. Painter is more folk, with finger picking. Jones On Me is bluesy and soulful; if he could make an album all like this, it would be a doozie.

Towards the end, Stony Land is less folk and more classic singer/songwriter, with Hawkey giving it the full Johnny Cash.

If you like honest folk with a blues/country influence (including both blues and country) and like your music heartfelt and unfiltered by commercialisation, this is worth a listen.


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