Guitar Artistry of
Blues & Ragtime -
In this DVD Ernie talks about his influences and performs a wide
range of blues, ragtime and gospel tunes.
"I am really impressed with the Guitar Artistry DVD. It’s a
great collection of songs and the performances couldn't be better.
There is a nice balance between the music, stories and biographical
info, and Ernie’s thoughts about playing guitar. The camera work
is also excellent, and even though this isn't an instructional DVD,
there are lots of great licks to be learned from these performances.
I can't get enough of Ernie’s music!"
You Gonna Do, Railroad Blues, Chump Man Blues, Rev. Davis Medley,
Police Dog Blues, Slow Drag, Fast Fox Trot, Twelve Sticks, Florida
Blues, Penitentary Blues, Potoatoe Head Blues, Hawkins Rag, If
You Haven't any Hay Get Down That Road, Call Up China, Lightnins'
Hideaway, ElmStreet Blues, Masanga, Riding On A Moonbeam and Blue
Robert Tilling - Blues
in Britain magazine
Guitar Artistry of Ernie Hawkins
- Blues and Ragtime Guitar.
This ninety minute long disc is one in a series from the Stefan
Grossman Guitar Workshop Inc stable and others in this highly
recommended series, include Rory Block and Paul Geremia. In this
relaxed session acoustic guitar picker and vocalist Hawkins talks
informally about his life and times, as well as performing an
intriguing selection of songs and instrumentals.
Sixty year old Hawkins has led a fascinating life, leaving school
as a teenager and travelling around the USA searching out musicians
and material, as well as gaining a university degree. He met and
performed with many legendary players including Son House, Fred
McDowell, Jim Brewer and Manse Lipscomb, but it was the legendary
Rev. Gary Davis that had one of the most powerful influences.
Hawkins is a highly skilled interpreter of Davis’s music and there
are a number of his titles here including ‘Will There Be Stars
In My Crown’, ‘Penitentiary Blues’ and ‘Florida Blues’, three
instrumentals that Hawkins learnt direct from Davis which I do
not believe Davis ever recorded. (Hawkins has a number of excellent
teaching DVD’s out on the Vestapol label including two teaching
the music of Davis, as well as of two well received solo discs
– all worth searching out).
There is no doubt that Davis had a tremendous influence on Hawkins
but he talks equally enthusiastically and knowledgeably of other
musicians including Skip James, Blind Blake, Mississippi John
Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins, and performs titles from each of them.
I particularly enjoyed his interpretation of Louis Armstrong’s
‘Potato Head Blues’ and he talks with passion about his interest
in African guitar music and includes and beautifully lilting instrumental
The session is filmed in a simple and tasteful setting with first
rate camera work, which guitar players will find very useful,
and Hawkins comes over as a highly committed, skilled and experienced
musician. This disc I am sure will have a wide appeal and I hope
that before very long Hawkins will have a major tour of the UK
and I for one would look forward to that with anticipation.
& Bones - ORDER
Folks are Saying about Rags & Bones
on title for a sample MP3 clip
Believe Stunt: 2:51 (Rev. Gary Davis
arr. E. Hawkins, Chandos Music ASCAP.
Blues: 3:11 (Mississippi John Hurt arr.
E. Hawkins, Wynwood Music Co Inc BMI)
Boy was Kissing the Girl (and Playing the Guitar at the Same
Time): 2:22 (Rev. Gary Davis arr. E Hawkins,
Chandos music ASCAP)
Blues: 4:50 (Jimmie Rodgers arr. E.
Head Blues: 4:06 (Louis Armstrong arr.
E. Hawkins, Universal MCA Music Pub ASCAP
Easy Street: 4:08 (Henry Thomas arr.
Chop Suey: 4:02 (Louis Armstrong arr.
E. Hawkins, Universal MCA Music Pub ASCAP)
Blues: 4:24 (Blind Willie McTell arr.
E. Hawkins, APRS BMI
Be Satisfied: 3:00 (Rev. Gary Davis
arr. E. Hawkins, Chandos Music ASCAP)
the Blues: 5:20 (C. Conrad, S. Lewis,
J. Robinson, J. Young arr. E Hawkins, J. Russell Robinson
Street Blues: 3:51 (Art Eskridge arr.
Rag: 3:30 (Mance Lipscomb arr. E Hawkins)
am the Light of This World: 4:35 (Rev.
Gary Davis arr. E Hawkins, Chandos Music ASCAP)
3:57 (Jean Bosco arr. E. Hawkins)
rather spin Hawkins' new disc than anything 'new' by The Rolling
Stones. It's clear to anyone with ears which cat can play the blues."
Moore Vancouver BC
Western Pennsylvania's master of acoustic blues guitar returns with
another spectacular offering of Blues, Gospel and Dance Tunes, with
just a little Voodoo thrown in to boot. Hawkins has been building
his reputation as one of the (perhaps the) finest purveyors of solo
acoustic blues guitar playing in the world.
Ernie's most recent CD, Mean Little Poodle, opens with an imaginative
take on one of the most famous guitar instrumentals, Freddie King's
"Hideaway." Ernie plays the classic in the style of Lightnin'
Hopkins. Ernie's playing is very fluid and he creates a dead-on
impression of Lightnin' playing Freddie's song. Hawkins plays tribute
to several of the great old bluesmen: an excellent version of Blind
Blake's "Chump Man;" a rendition of Blind Boy Fuller's
"Weeping Willow" on which he incorporates several signature
guitar licks from Rev. Gary Davis; and Blind Willie Johnson's "The
Soul of a Man". The original 1930 version featured a frighteningly
harsh vocal by Johnson. Hawkins gives the song a lighter, more sensitive
treatment; his best vocal performance to date, subtle, moving and
Ernie has made some wonderful choices for vocal performances pieces.
He approaches Blind Willie McTell's "Delia" just a little
slower than other versions I've heard, and in so doing brings out
the sadness inherent in this song (with it's refrain: "
the friends I've had are gone".). Ernie sounds perfectly comfortable
with his lively version of Fuller's "Step It Up and Go"
with his guitar dancing all through the piece. He gets adventurous
with an original piece, "Voodoo Soup", that he describes
as "magic and love simmering on a hot Texas night." The
description is accurate, although it sounds more of New Orleans
than Texas to my ears. This piece grew on me after a few listenings
with its wild, haunting slide guitar and ominous deep re-verb on
As please as I am with Ernie's improved vocal performances, the
highlights on this CD are the four instrumental tracks. In addition
to "Lightnin's Hideaway," Ernie adapts a Bix Biederbecke
piece, "I Need Some Pettin'" for solo guitar and plays
it with supple delicacy. His take on a traditional tune, known as
"Railroad Blues" is absolutely flawless, evoking wistfulness
and danger at the same time. Of course, no Ernie Hawkins CD is complete
without a flat-out great tribute to Rev. Gary Davis. No one can
touch Ernie when it comes to playing Rev. Gary, and this version
of "Fox Trot/Buck Dance" is a killer.
Dave Little Maine Blues Society
Little Poodle - Order
title for a sample MP3 clip
Hideaway (Freddy King arr. E. Hawkins)
Man Blues (Blind Blake arr. E. Hawkins)
Little Poodle (E. Hawkins, Say Mo' Music ASCAP)
Need Some Pettin' (Robert King, Ted Fio Rito, Gus Kahn, Gus
Co. ASCAP, arr. Ernie Hawkins)
Soul of a Man (Blind Willie Johnson arr. E. Hawkins)
It Up and Go (Blind Boy Fuller arr. E. Hawkins)
Soup (E. Hawkins, Say Mo' Music ASCAP)
(Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Willie McTell, arr. E. Hawkins)
Blues (Trad. / arr. E. Hawkins)
Willow (Blind Boy Fuller, arr. E. Hawkins)
Fox Trot/Buck Dance (Rev. Gary Davis, arr. E. Hawkins)
title for a sample MP3 clip
I Am a Pilgrim
(Merle Travis arr. E. Hawkins)
2. Slow Drag
(Gary Davis arr. E. Hawkins)
Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed
(Gary Davis, E. Hawkins)
on a Moonbeam
(Peter Kimuri, E. Hawkins, Francis
(Willie McTell arr. E. Hawkins)
Hog or Die
(Harlem Hamfats arr. E. Hawkins)
(Ted Hawkins, E. Hawkins)
You Gonna Do?
(E. Hawkins, Harlem Hamfats)
I Belong to the Band
(Gary Davis) Featuring special
guest Maria Muldaur
Grace/Tribute to Blind Willie McTell
(Trad., McTell, E. Hawkins)
Hawkins is a true living apostle of the True Living Blues. He
not only plays each note authentically and flawlessly in a wide
variety of traditional and modern blues styles, but more importantly,
he delivers a huge measure of soul in every note - and after all
- that's what the Blues are all about!"
Blues sample in .WAV format (1.3MB)
Blues sample in RealAudio format (157k)
title for a sample MP3 clip
Dog Blues * Whole Song
Time Killin' Floor Blues
Friend Like Me
Am I To Do Blues
There be Stars in My Crown
You Haven't Any Hay, Get On Down That Road
South When You Do Anything Wrong
Ragtime Signatures (E. Hawkins)
2. Hawkins Rag ( Ted Hawkins, E. Hawkins)
3. Mexican Poetry (E. Hawkins)
4. Carolina Shout (J. P. Johnson)
5. Country Blues (Doc Boggs)
6 Animal Fair/Weeping Willow (trad. , S. Joplin)
7. Slow Drag (Davis)
8. Cocaine (Davis)
"Ragtime Signatures" is currently out of print and these are CD-Rs
to order with typed track listing - no cover art. We are hoping
to re-issue this on CD soon. Also, we have available limited quantities
of the original Collector Vinyl LP for $50.
lot of CDs promise Celtic, but few deliver such an authentic and
enchanting experience as
A Celtic Christmas.
rich acoustic textures and pleasant
musicality of these arrangements quickly warmed me up to the virtues
of this record. Featuring a tremendously talented group of contemporary
folk musicians, A Celtic Christmas resonates with the sounds
of the British Isles. George Balderose's fine work on bagpipes lays
down the Scottish base for a catchy instrumental quartet. L.E.
McCullough contributes a hint of Irish spring with his tin whistle.
T.H. Gillespie adds beautifully traditional percussive sensibilities,
and Ernie Hawkins knits these brilliant threads into a beautiful
Celtic fabric with his strong, but relatively understated work on
guitar. I particularly liked the sound of The First Noel/Joy
to the World medley and thought their arrangement of Auld
Lang Syne, which featured the instrument and mood of each musician
in turn, was appropriately sentimental for ringing in a new millennium.
An evocative and pleasurable experience.
Various artists GARY DAVIS STYLE: THE LEGACY OF REV. GARY DAVIS
2002 -- Recordings by contemporaries Willie Walker and Blind
Boy Fuller, and modern recordings by many of his disciples and
proteges including Dave van Ronk, Ian Buchanan, Mary Flower,
Rick Ruskin, Cephas & Wiggins, "Philadelphia"
Jerry Ricks, Maria Muldaur, Ernie Hawkins, Peter Paul &
Mary and more. Produced by Andy Cohen.
has two songs included on this compilation: "Will
There be Stars in my Crown"and "I am the Light of
This World" with Maria Muldaur.
Hawkins has performed with:
Robert Pete Williams
Big Jack Johnson
Rags and Bones
2002 Mean Little Poodle
1996 Blues Advice
1980 Ragtime Signatures LP
1979 Harrisburg Radiation Blues 45 rpm
1992 Bombs Away
Set Volume 2 Austin Texas circa 1983 (the best of KUT FM Austin
public radio along with such performers as Lucinda Williams, Willie
of Gene's Blues
WYEP - Live at Grafitti (WYEP is Pittsburgh public radio)
WYEP - Blues from the 'Burgh
WYEP - Live and Direct 1999