Terry Clear review:

by Ernie Hawkins
Say Mo' Music SM007

At last, the long awaited follow up to "Blues Advice" is ready to hit the streets. (January 2001) Ernie's new CD "Bluesified" is a great mix of originals and covers, with most of the covers being Ernie Hawkins arrangements, rather than straight copies. As it says on the CD cover, this is "accoustic guitar and vocals in the old blues, gospel and ragtime fingerpicking traditions that range from the East Coast Piedmont to Texas" That statement just about describes this CD exactly - it's great stuff. The title track is an Ernie Hawkins original and features Marc Reiman playing some nice harmonica alongside Dave Pellow and George Heid - this is a lovely laid-back blues, with a nice driving back-beat ticking along - it makes compulsive listening. The Reverend Gary Davis (with whom Ernie studied in the past) & Blind Willie McTell are obviously great influences on Ernie Hawkins and he has included some excellent covers of tracks by both of these past greats - McTell's "Broke Down Engine" really shows off the superb guitar work that Ernie Hawkins is capable of, and Gary Davis' "I Belong To The Band" is an absolute winner, with Maria Muldaur helping out on the vocals. The track was actually recorded in Muldaur's living room. Incidentally, Ernie will be guitarist on Maria Mulduar's sping 2001 tour. Each time that I get a new CD to review, I play it constantly for about 2 days to try and pick out a favourite track. With this CD, that was no easy task - in fact it was probably one of the most difficult that I've had. Eventually, I picked the last track on the CD "Amazing Grace/Tribute to Blind Willie McTell" which is a masterpiece of slide guitar work. If you, like me, are a lover of acoustic slide guitar, then buy this CD just for this track and play it to death! ---------------------------- best regards Terry
Blues Bytes


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