12
Sep
10

JOHN EMMS REVIEWS/RON HAWKINS/THE VIC/INDIE/MAINSTREAM AND A RARE TREAT

I had never met Ron Hawkins previous to a club date here in our city at THE VIC.

But I did  know some of his songs from his former group Lowest of The Low, and had recently checked out his solo work.

When I walked in the club Charlie Angus  member of Parliament, Grievious Angel head honcho and former punk rocker from L’Etranger along with Andrew Cash and Peter Duffin was laying down the story lines of George Chuvalo, Heartbreak Town and a dandy new track called Diamonds in the Snow inspired by the youth in James Bay.

Hawkins arrived at the same time with Wayne Bozzer (former astute booker of all time cool and hip Canuck acts) to the stand up bar where Charlie and myself began talking about what else MUSIC (not politics)  Oh yeah and why most music that sells gazillions is pretty damn bland (I’m being nice) 

I introduce myself to Hawkins, buy his latest cd and Hawkins an intelligent and good guy joins in the conversation.  All three of us are not complaining.  Nope it boils down to the fact that these days even a great song (Hawkins and Angus have a few of those) really has a hard time getting translated to a mainstream audience without globs of production and the marketing genius of Ellen DeGeneres. 

It’s like there is an invisible bridge that if you happen to trip over it and walk across it your going to get a leg up. Then again getting 100 million youtube hits by playing your guitar and looking cute may also help.

Ok here is where it gets tough folks. Why did The Clash,  Bob Marley, Bruce Cockburn,  Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen,, Billy Bragg, Neil Young , Elvis Costello, and others have their views and songs explode to the mainstream. I would say it somehow falls into the structure and TIMING of when a pop song that actually says something catches up with people.

Don’t forget  POLIITCS. Left leaning,  right, or middle can still produce classic songwriting.  CCR’S Fortunate Sun, Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind, Neil Young’s Ohio, or anything by JOHN LENNON.  So maybe songwriters have to channel their  focus and talent.

 I think it comes down to that ol’ songwriter magic. You know when you have something really good.

It’s too bad corporate bullshit does not really know this. That’s why they are corporate bullshit leaders. They (for the most part) don’t know anything about music

I love having a RADIO SHOW http://emms.podbean.com/ that you can put out to the world and show people there is real music out there made by real honest players and true talents. BUT UNLIKE conglomerate radio I get caught up in ACTUALLY programming blues, hard rock,  acoustic folk, country, alternative and whatever else that MOVES ME..maybe u will listen and say…wow i have never heard that artist or if you did you never heard them play that track.

Oh yeah the capper is RON HAWKINS then lays out a show full of songs with lyrical sense and TONS OF moments where you actually find out what moves him as a person and songwriter. This is of course a rare treat. Our band has even got lucky with that on occasion. 

RON HAWKINS is making sense in the real world.

All you have to do is go and listen  

check him out at http://www.ronhawkins.com/

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host, and musician

www.johnemms.com

www.theshaftmen.com

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