Ted Hawkins was an American singer/songwriter, born in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1936 and died in 1995.
Hawkins was an enigmatic figure through most of his career; he split his time between his adopted hometown of Venice Beach, California where he was a mostly-anonymous street performer, and Europe, where he and his songs were better-known and well-received in clubs and small concert halls.
Born into a poor family in Mississippi, Hawkins lived a difficult early life, ending up at a reform school by age 12, and drifting, hitching, and stealing his way across the country for the next dozen years, earning several stays in prison including a 3-year stint for stealing a leather jacket as a teenager. Along the way, he picked up a love of music and a talent for the guitar. “I was sent to a school for bad boys called Oakley Training School in 1949,” from a brief piece of autobiography he wrote. “There I developed my voice by singing with a group that the superintendent’s wife had got together.” After reform school, he ended up in the state penitentiary and was released at 19. “Then I heard a singer whose name was Sam Cooke. His voice did something to me.” For the next ten years or so he drifted in and out of trouble around the country, living in Chicago, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Newark. In the middle of the mid-1960s folk music boom Hawkins set out for California to try for a professional singing career. He recorded several tunes without commercial success, worked at odd jobs, and took up busking along the piers and storefronts of Venice Beach as a way to supplement his income. Hawkins made ends meet by developing a small following of locals and tourists who would come to hear this southern black man, sitting on an overturned milk-crate, play blues and folk standards as well as a few original tunes in his signature open guitar tuning and raspy vocal style (Hawkins claimed the rasp in his voice came from the damage done by years of singing in the sand and spray of the boardwalk).
MP3: Ted Hawkins – Strange Conversation
Buy The Next Hundred Years
MP3: Ted Hawkins – Happy Hour
Buy Happy Hour
MP3: Ted Hawkins – Cold & Bitter Tears
Buy Happy Hour
MP3: Ted Hawkins – Watch Your Step
Buy Watch Your Step
MP3: Ted Hawkins – I Gave Up All I Had
Buy Watch Your Step
MP3: Ted Hawkins – As Long As I Can See The Light
Buy The Next Hundred Years
[Photo Marc Marnie]
In support of the launch of the Led Zeppelin YouTube channel there’s a Led Zeppelin contest/sweepstakes with YouTube. The Grand Prize winner will receive the complete Led Zeppelin catalog and a Gibson Guitar. We want Zeppelin fans to film themselves and explain what Led Zeppelin means to them. Below are links to the contest.
Apple® announced that a special digital boxed set containing Led Zeppelin’s entire discography, “The Complete Led Zeppelin,” is now available for pre-order exclusively on the iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com). “The Complete Led Zeppelin” is a 165-track collection of all 13 of the legendary group’s albums, including the new career-spanning “Mothership” retrospective, for only $99.
Led Zeppelin’s “Mothership,” a 24-track collection of the group’s best-known songs, hand-picked by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, is also available for pre-order. Touching on every studio album, the collection contains defining songs including “Whole Lotta Love,” “Rock and Roll” and “Kashmir.” In addition to “The Complete Led Zeppelin” and “Mothership,” Led Zeppelin’s entire catalog of songs and albums will also be available for individual purchase and download beginning November 13.
Fans who pre-order “The Complete Led Zeppelin” or “Mothership” will be automatically entered to win the chance to see the band’s reunion performance at London’s O2 Arena on November 26 as part of the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute. The winners will receive two tickets to the show, round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations.*
While you’re preordering the box set and pondering just what Led Zeppelin means to you so you can enter the contest, here’s a live track that’s not included in any of the collections for your listening enjoyment.
MP3: Led Zeppelin – How Many More Times
Live August 31, 1969 at The Texas International Pop Festival
There’s a reason Rolling Stone magazine picked Philadelphia as it’s Hot City recently. The city’s music scene has more amazing quality bands playing around town on a regular basis than it has in at least 20 years. I mentioned The Swimmers earlier this week, they’re playing a cd release party at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Grammar Debate and The Creeping Weeds are just a couple doors down at The M Room. Philadelphia’s Fishtown section is going to have the roof blown off all around. Beretta 76 are taking their blistering rock show on the road to Trenton NJ and are playing the 449 Room tonight, and today’s featured band Public Record brings it to The Khyber in Old City along with Brown Recluse Sings. That’s just four of the many choices for tonight. All of them well worth seeing on any night.
Public Record lists their influences on their myspace page as Bohannon, Orange Juice, Al Green, Studio One, Caetano Veloso, Motown, Joe Gibbs, Stax, Josef K, Broadcast, Ethiopiques, Channel One, James Brown, Jackie Mitoo, Talking Heads, The Contortions, Jorge Ben, Sound Dimension, Big Flame, King Tubby, David Axlerod, Hard Bop, Impressions, Fela Kuti, Sonic Youth, Stereolab, Carlton & the Shoes. Now I’m sure as you read that list you’re probably saying to yourself how can they possibly roll all that into one sound. As I sit here listening to a couple mixes of tracks from their upcoming release I’m trying to put into words for you how it all really does make sense. An all instrumental septet, they bake jazz,funk,indie rock,afro beat and more into one heavily danceble, highly textured rhythmic cake, all iced with Hilary Baker’s slinky saxophone lines. Their new record on Philadelphia’s own High Two label comes out early next year and it’s one you don’t want to miss. Many thanks to Gareth for sharing an early taste you can all hear below.
Public Record :
Hilary Baker – saxophone
Brent Bohan – bass
Gareth Duffield – guitar, keyboards, melodica
Charles Duquesne – percussion, drums
Ted Johnson – drums, percussion
Matt Lyons – drums, percussion
Greg Pavlovcak – guitar
MP3: Public Record – Comfortability
MP3: Public Record – French Suburb
10/27/2007 08:00 PM – The Khyber 56 S. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA
Public Record w/ The Lodger, Small Sins, & Brown Recluse Sings.
10/28/2007 08:00 PM – The Velvet Lounge The Velvet Lounge 915 U Street, Washington, DC
Public Record w/ The Lodger, Lorelei, and Julie Ocean
Looking back on some of the “stories” of 2007 . Heard any good stories lately ?
1: Brandi Carlile – The Story
Buy The Story
2: Limbeck – Your Story
3: The National – Apartment Story
4: Memphis – A Ghost Story
Buy A Little Place In The Wilderness
5: Social Distortion – Story Of My Life
Buy Greatest Hits
Back about a month ago when I saw Vampire Weekend play a sold out show a Philadelphia’s M Room two highlights of their set were the songs M79 and I Stand Corrected. Thankfully now you don’t have to wait until after the new year when their album is released to hear them. They were kind enough to include them in an amazing session they recently recorded for Daytrotter. Head on over to Daytrotter to hear a couple more songs from the same session.
If you’re a regular reader of the is blog you know that The Swimmers have been one of the absolute favorites here since I received a copy of their as yet unreleased cd Fighting Trees back in January. I even boldly proclaimed it “the first truly important release of 2007” and talked it up relentlessly to anyone who would listen. Well folks “all the new sounds” are here, Fighting Trees will be seeing a national release on March 4 of 2008 on Mad Dragon Records and distributed by Ryko/Warner.
The lucky Philly peeps get a jump on the rest of the world at a special local release party this Saturday October 27th at Johnny Brenda’s, recently named Rolling Stone Magazine’s “2007 Hot Music Club”. It’s going to be a special night you won’t want to miss.
See the new cover artwork above by Janell Olah, but better yet see it in person, as anyone who comes to the show gets a copy of the cd right then and there with admission. I’ll be there so should you, and you, and you and you and you.
Cowboy Junkies – Cutting Board Blues
Buy At The End Of Paths Taken
Bright Eyes – Cartoon Blues
Buy Four Winds EP
Sister Vanilla – Pastel Blue
Buy Little Pop Rock
Mark Olson – Salvation Blues
Buy Salvation Blues
Ryan Shaw – I Found A Love
Buy This Is Ryan Shaw
Of Montreal – The Kids Are Alright (The Who Cover)
Nada Surf – See These Bones
The New Whole Ususals – No Name Sally
Foo Fighters – Band On The Run
Josh Ritter – The River (Springsteen Cover)
AA Bondy – There’s A Reason
Drug Rug – Day I Day
PJ Harvey The Piano
Shrinking Islands – The Slow-Moving Aftermath
The Silver Seas – The Country Life
In honor of Neil Young‘s Chrome Dreams II coming out next week, today a look back at Neil’s unreleased 1977 classic Chrome Dreams. 6 of the songs still remain unreleased while others have appeared on subsequent albums. So instead of the usual 5 today you get a bonus track as I bring you that half dozen unreleased gems.
Chrome Dreams features a large amount of still-unreleased material. The version of “Powderfinger” included is the original acoustic demo, while the “Sedan Delivery” featured is at a slower pace than the Rust Never Sleeps take and contains an additional verse. “Pocahontas” is the same version heard on Rust Never Sleeps without overdubs. “Hold Back the Tears” is a radically different take compared to the one that appears on American Stars ‘N Bars, also featuring additional lyrics. “Too Far Gone” would not see release until 1989’s Freedom. It is presented on Chrome Dreams with Crazy Horse’s Frank “Poncho” Sampedro accompanying Young on a 1917 mandolin. “Stringman”, a piano ballad, was written for Jack Nitzsche and is presented as a performance from Young’s 1976 European tour with slight studio overdubs. Eighteen years later Young revived it for his Unplugged performance, never having released the song as a studio track. “Homegrown” here is a different mix than the version on American Stars ‘n Bars. The rest of the songs are for the most part identical to their releases on subsequent albums.
The original tracklisting:
Pocahontas – 3:24 (solo acoustic version – overdubbed for Rust Never Sleeps)
Will to Love – 7:11 (American Stars ‘n’ Bars)
Star of Bethlehem – 2:42 (Decades)
Like a Hurricane – 8:14 (American Stars ‘n’ Bars)
Too Far Gone – 2:41 (alternate version)
Hold Back the Tears – 5:16 (alternate version)
Homegrown – 2:20 (alternate mix)
Captain Kennedy – 2:55 (Hawks and Doves)
Stringman – 3:32 (3-31-76 Hammersmith Odeon + studio overdubs)
Sedan Delivery – 5:22 (alternate version)
Powderfinger – 3:23 (alternate version)
Look Out for My Love – 4:06 (Comes a Time)