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The new CD What Did I Come Up Here For? is now available - go to Music page to buy!

* 'Wild Flowers', featuring Sian James, is 'the gem of the album ... an immense tone poem ... Hawkey [...] sounding like a male counterpart of Sandy Denny - wonderful', says the No Depression reviewer - LISTEN NOW: ​https://soundcloud.com/blabbernsmoke/wild-flowers

* Promotional video for 'Apple Green' now available on-line:​ ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwujZ0xb2FI

(The video is the work of Zoe Spencer, and I'm indebted to her ... her setting of the images and the subtle way they reflect and follow the narrative of the lyrics is just beautiful. Zoe is herself an incredibly gifted songwriter and musician, whose unreleased self-produced CD Time To Fly is an astonishing and atmospheric piece of work ... post-modern folk of a very special kind, something of a tour-de-force. Zoe truly deserves to be heard.)

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20 April 2015: First airplay ... well, almost! Frank Hennessy included 'Wild Flowers' on the playlist for his regular Radio Wales Celtic Heartbeat show last night (Sunday), but sadly his live studio guest over-ran her allotted time span, and there was no time left to play it! I duly emailed Frank, who's kindly promised to re-scedule it ASAP. He obviously likes it ...

28 April 2015: 'The Sidelines' was played by BB Skone on his regular Radio Pembrokeshire show on 19 April. '... a beautiful, world-weary voice', he remarked. Thanks, Malcolm!​

29 April 2015: Frank Hennessy emails to tell me that 'Wild Flowers' will definitely be included in his Celtic Heartbeat show on Sunday coming, 3 April.​

3 May 2015: AAAARGH! 'Wild Flowers' was duly played by Frank Hennessy. ​Unfortunately there was something of a hiatus in the nomenclature department, as Frank consistently referred to me as Andrew Hawkes, not Hawkey! About six times ... Ah well ... At least he liked it, and he gave Sian James a well-deserved mention for her
contribution. (Postscript: Frank apologized for the error, and promises to 'make amends' ...)

7 May 2015: This week's Cambrian News carries a feature on the CD, along with a photograph. Journalist Robert Parker-Munn describes What Did I Come Up Here For? as ​'... sentimental, articulate, interesting and very tuneful' ... I'll settle for that.   
     I've already had some heartwarming feedback from some of those who've invested in the CD ... none more so than the following, from Tony Cooke, which arrived today:

'I LOVE the album. It's so good to hear some thoughtful music for a change - poetic, artistic and melodic. You may think the songs "sentimental" but I think they are just truthful. I am happy to be allowed to share your reflections on time, ageing, memories and love, and pleased at the wisdom these have brought you.'

Tony clearly 'gets' the album. Thank you so much, my friend. And in an earlier email Jayne T. says:

'[We] started to play from track 1 on our return journey home ... and were stunned into silence for the whole journey ... mesmerised by both the quality of the music and the lyrics ... which blend into something quite special. It is not just the quality of the music and lyrics, which we feel stand up on their own, but also the CD cover and insert, which in many ways adds value and a sense of place/purpose to the musical and lyrical content ... kind regards from a very happy purchaser.'


Meanwhile, my musician chum John William Davis weighs in from Colorado:

'Yep, that's a strong album. You really do have a great voice because it's a believable voice. ... Track 3 is a whole nother matter. That particular track isn't like anything else on the album and reminds me of what Jack Bruce was doing on three of his four solo efforts ... Man, I am just so envious of your piano playing and compositional sense on that song ... I can only say of "Forgiveness", "Wow!"'


15 June 2015: Paul Kerr has given What Did I Come Up Here For? a glowing review on his respected and authoritative Americana music blog Blabber'n'Smoke today - here's some of what he has to say:

'... [a] fine meditation on life ... superb songs stuffed full of fine lyrics ... moments that are actually quite sublime ... I Had A Fight With My Heart [is] a slow burn in the style of Otis Rush and the recording sounds like vintage John Mayall with Peter Green ... Forgiveness [explores] the angular waywardness of folk like Jack Bruce or Peter Hammill ... Invitation (For N.T.) recalls Clifford T. Ward or Donovan ... Hawkey is able to reflect on life with a grace and wisdom that at times recalls the poetry of WB Yeats, while his music is akin to the work of Christy Moore or Jackie Leven ... Stuart Bolton [adds] inspired Knopfleresque guitar flourishes ... No Shadow is dark and moody, reminiscent of David Crosby's ruminations with a hint of the dark side of Peter Green ... the gem of the album is the immense tone poem of Wild Flowers ... which might have been plucked from the Child Ballads, as Hawkey relates the tale sounding like a male counterpart of Sandy Denny. Wonderful.'


 Click this link to read the review in full:

https://paulkerr.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/andrew-hawkey-what-did-i-come-up-here-for-mole-lodge-records/

Scroll to the bottom of the review and you can also listen to 'Wild Flowers'!

25 June 2015: Paul Kerr's review now also appears on the excellent and widely-read No Depression roots music site - see:

http://nodepression.com/album-review/andrew-hawkey-what-did-i-come-here-mole-lodge-records

10 July 2015: Internet airplay coming up on John Godfrey's Troubadour Show! John says he's 'really liking' the CD, and promises to play a track from the CD on his excellent online programme, which throws the spotlight on the singer-songwriters: tune in next week, either at 7 pm (UK time) on Wednesday on www.bluesandrootsradio.com or at 10 pm Thursday on www.thepenguinrocks.com . John says he'll be revisiting the album on future shows.

10 July 2015: the CD has picked up another great review, this time from Alan Harrison on his Rocking Magpie roots music website. Some of the things he says:

'... Now 72, the singer-songwriter is finally releasing his debut album - let me tell you, it's worth the wait ... ​His voice is warmly delightful and the musicianship throughout is worthy of the big boys in them there London studios ... Apple Green is simply beautiful: and if anyone with half an ear in radio hears, it will become a daytime favourite. Trust me. ... [This] is grown-up music for people who appreciate the intricacies of a well constructed and delivered song. Fans of Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, and Randy Newman will love this from start to finish.'

Read the rev​iew in full:

https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/andrew-hawkey-what-did-i-come-up-here-for/

12 July 2015: Just discovered that 'I Had a Fight With My Heart' was played by Genevieve Tudor on her Sunday Folk show on BBC Radio Shropshire, on 31 May! Thanks to Genevieve ... and a bold choice - that's about as far from 'folk' as I get!

15 July 2015: Internet radio airplay breakthrough! John Godfrey played 'Hold On, Let Go' on The Troubadour Show tonight, on Blues and Roots Radio - the show airs again tomorrow, Thursday 16 July at 10 pm, on The Penguin Rocks (www.thepenguinrocks.com). This show, togther with shows from the five previous weeks, can be heard on www.troubadourshow.com - John plays great stuff, mainly folk and country-slanted singer-songwriters and bands, and it was a buzz to hear myself beamed out across the globe, alongside the likes of Warren Zevon and Gretchen Peters! 'It's a fantastic album', says John.  

​16 July 2015: R2 (previously Rock'n'Reel) is the UK's premier glossy roots music magazine, and the new issue contains the following three-star review of What Did I Come Up Here For? :

'There is nothing the slightest bit trendy about Andrew Hawkey's debut album. Then again, doesn't the old maxim state that you should never sport the lastest fashions but wear classic clothes? After all, fashions are here today and gone tomorrow. 'Classic' is always in vogue. As a regular around the UK blues circuit with Pat Grover's Blue Zeros for the last two decades, Hawkey will have seen more than a few musical styles come and go. However, his music draws from the staples of Americana and the tasteful end of British roots and rock. Across a dozen songs there are shades of Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler (particularly in the fluid guitar lines of Stuart Maman Bolton), and Gerry Rafferty. On the songs where Hawkey pushes his vocal range beyond his comfort zone a touch of Orbison em​erges in the fragile near-falsetto vibrato in his voice. The writing, backing music and vocal performances are strong across the whole record. Only on one song, 'Forgiveness', did it fail to capture my ear. Here the emotion poured into a paean to fatherhood extended far beyond mawkishness into melodrama. One bum note on an otherwise fine collection.'  - Trevor Raggatt

​The magazine's reviews are split into genre headings, and while I would have expected my review to be under either 'Folk' or 'Singer-Songwriter', it instead appears under 'Rock', which, on the face of it, seems like a fairly incongruous miscategorization ... still, I shouldn't grumble: it's nice to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ringo Starr, The Brainiac 5, Jeff Beck, Boz Scaggs, and The Pretty Things! (Incidentally, Trevor is completely entitled to his opinion on 'Forgiveness', but slightly misses the point - it's intended to be melodramatic, in the style, maybe, of the late and now largely forgotten David Ackles ... melodrama doesn't have to carry a negative connotation. That's just me defending myself!)

27 July 2015: Mike Ritchie played 'Treasure of Time' on his regular Mike Ritchie on Sunday afternoon show on Celtic Music Radio (95FM and online) yesterday - and promises to play another song next week. Had all kinds of nice complimentary things to say: I remind him of Mike Scott from The Waterboys, apparently. Thanks, Mike!

3 August 2015: As he promised, Mike Ritchie played another track on his Celtic Music Radio show yesterday - this time it was 'Invitation (For N.T.)'.  Again, he was highly complimentary, and made the Waterboys comparison once more ... thank you, Mike.  

10 August 2015: Mike Ritchie's generous championing of the CD's cause continues: for the third week running he played a track on his Celtic Music Radio show yesterday - 'Apple Green' this time ('A lovely, lovely song ... a really, really good album', says Mike).

19 August 2015: Following on from his unprecedented featuring of the CD three weeks running on his radio show, Mike Ritchie has penned a review for Fatea magazine which ​reveals his respect for the CD in no uncertain terms. A few of his words:

'There's a wistfulness, a sense of sorrow but also a generous sprinkling of fond memories in the hugely gracious and intimate songs that Andrew Hawkey has brought to share on this memorable album ... it feels humbling to be involved as the listener such is the intensity of his gentle lyrics and flowing melodies ... [the songs] are honest, beautifully constructed, endlessly rewarding and passionately delivered in ways that remind me, pleasingly, of Mike Scott and his Waterboys at their most delightful heights, with warm hints of Christy Moore charm and Nick Drake dreaminess in there, too ... While the airy feel of the wilderness undoubtedly lingers, the songs are heartwarming, heart-tugging, even, and delivered with deft touches by Hawkey and his band ... This album is a gem and succumbing to its powerful reflections is such a pleasure.'


It's hard to imagine a more fulsome review than this - thank you so much, Mike. Read the review in full:

http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/2015/AndrewHawkey.html

22 August 2015: Steve Jones (once a Radio 2 jockey) played 'Apple Green' on his The Jones Boy show this morning, on Scotland 69am - it's a show that's re-broadcast across the world several times over the following week ... especially popular in Fiji, says Steve!

31 August 2015: Mike Ritchie's weekly show yesterday on Celtic Music Radio was his fiftieth, and he was generous enough to include 'Wild Flowers', describing it as 'absolutely gorgeous - beautifully played and beautifully sung', and the CD as 'a gem - I've succumbed to its powerful reflections ... more people need to listen to this man.' Just great to be played in the company of fine songwriters, some established (John Fogerty, Iris Dement, Kathleen Edwards), some less so, to me anyway (John Murry, Ed Dupas, Dick LeMasters). We're all bustin' to be heard, and it's dedicated and knowledgeable broadcasters like Mike who give us a sporting chance.

15 September 2015: Fish Records, the long-established mail-order folk CD specialists, are now stocking the CD - hopefully their international customer base will respond favourably ...

15 September 2015: from today, the CD is downloadable in digital format (individual tracks @ .70 pence, the whole CD @ £7 GBP) via Bandcamp - now available on the Music page.

14 October 2015: Terrascope, the respected online home of all things of a vaguely psychedelic bent, includes the following kind words in its monthly Rumbles column:

'Andrew Hawkey lives in deepest rural Wales and this is a return to his acoustic roots. Sentimental and reflective in nature (he is 72, after all), the album is a joy with organ, piano, slide guitar, harp and mandolin as the main instruments, the songs concern the passing of time and a love of his rural locale.
    Jeb Loy Nichols helped design the booklet and there are some fine photos from Welsh photographer Anthony Griffiths. This may not be typical Terrascope fare, however it is a real delight, mostly singer-songwriter folk with one live blues song. Highlights are the lovely gentle 'Apple Green', 'No Shadow', and 'Wild Flowers' which features gorgeous harp and backing vocals from Wales's premier player Sian James. With a running time of nearly an hour, it's a fine record indeed.'


7 November 2015: some nice US airplay: WFMU is an independent station which broadcasts in the New York area, and which is also available online. Shrunken Planet is a weekly 2-hour show on which Jeffrey Davidson airs mostly gentle acoustic music ... the final track on his 10 October show was 'Turn Around'. And very nice it sounded, too, as the culmination of a show that included tracks from Jackson C. Frank, Tucker Zimmerman, Martha Scanlan, Michael Chapman, Robbie Basho, Chantal Acda, and a host of other names previously unknown to me. This show, along with previous and more recent ones, is freely available online, and comes highly recommended if you're in need of a couple of hours' therapeutic and calming listening ... an oasis in a world that's growing rapidly crazier by the day ...

31 December 2015: To round off a significant year, Mike Ritchie has posted his favourite albums of 2015 on the Flyingshoes Review blog - and included What Did I Come Up Here For?, alongside CDs by the likes of Iris Dement, David Corley, James McMurtrey, and Malcolm Holcombe! I am honoured and flattered. Sincere thanks to Mike for his unwavering support, and his frequent airings of my songs on his radio show.

20 July 2017: See Gigs and Blog pages for some updates ... still alive & kicking, still playing! What else to do, in these strange and frightening times? Keep the faith.

11 September 2017: check out these new Youtube clips from the Senior Moments (AH and Stuart Maman Bolton) gig on 1 September: first, here's Stuart's take on Gene De Paul's jazz classic 'You Don't Know What Love Is': https://youtu.be/Z9JVH1reSSs . And here's yours truly covering Donovan's 'Catch The Wind' approximately in the style of (and the same key as!) the late Jimmy LaFave: https://youtu.be/sxsShu0aPR0 . Lo-fi phone-camera recordings, but hopefully there's enough there to enjoy ... we had a great night.