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New CD continues Hawkins' exploration of Davis' music


By Regis Behe
Thursday, January 12, 2006

Keith Hodan/Tribune-Review

A lifetime devoted to the music of a single musician might seem to be a myopic pursuit.

For Ernie Hawkins, it's the opposite. His study of the music of Rev. Gary Davis Jr. has opened him up to a kaleidoscopic array of sounds by one of the greatest musical innovators of the 20th century.

"Gary Davis could play blues, jazz, rags, gospel, any kind of music in any key," Hawkins says. "He had a style of playing where he could improvise, particularly blues, in any key. But he was not just improvising."

The CD release party for Hawkins' new album, "Rags & Bones," is Saturday at the Rex Theatre on the South Side. His fifth release, it continues Hawkins' exploration of a music that inspired him to journey to New York City to seek out Davis after graduating from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1965.

"I was an 18-year-old kid from Pittsburgh who didn't know anything about anything," Hawkins says, "sitting in front of this guy who was this blind seer, a great genius who had rewritten the whole way of playing guitar. I look back on it and it's kind of amazing I was just sitting there." ... [MORE]


Artists  Blues  


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