MP3 Pete Hawkes - Witchcraft
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9 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Orchestral, CLASSICAL: Chamber Music
Pete Hawkes â Bio by notes complied by Laura Summerfield &Tony Bates during interviews with Pete â reviews have all source listings and names
â A composer with the ability to transcend several musical genres and yet stay firmly focused within his own perceived soundâ¦he is certainly one of Australia's most creative and interesting composers for acoustic music to emerge in the last decade. The word 'genius' I have always reserved for the greats like Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Richard Thompson and Louie Armstrong, but given the diversity, variation, number of musical genres, and the prolific number of high quality, original compositions of all styles of music Pete has put out on this record, and continues to produce every year, not to mention a back catalogue of finely crafted original songs (that always have something unique to say about the human condition), it's hard not to use the word for him here as wellâ Tony Bates 3WBC 94.1FM, Box Hill, Victoria
Pete Hawkes was born in Lake Macquarie, Australia in 1965 and after hearing Robert Johnson for the first time as a teenager he was inspired to play the guitar. At twelve when most kids were listening to Abba, Pete was working out Roberts tunes on an old guitar him mom had bought him. Eventually at the age of nineteen he moved to Newcastle city to study mathematics at the Uni - There he supported himself by playing slide guitar with different blues bands around the city. Slide was his first love, and he obtained most of his session work in his later life via slide.
After his studies, Pete just upâd and packed his belongings moved to Bream Creek, Tasmania â where he studied instrument making (lutes, bodhrans, dulcimers) with Strato Anagnostis. A year later, he moved to Hobart to further his skills with luthier Neil Laughlin. (He designed a guitar at the workshop to which be built and now uses.) He remains in close contact with him today
Pete moved to Canberra after his time in Tasmania with a teaching job and with his girlfriend, Tasmanian at the time & wanting to move away from the island. He began teaching and honing his song writing skills in the ACT. Ultimately, he found gigs in Murrumbateman (small town outside ACT) and it was from there that a fiddle player âSandy Gibbneyâ local muso who played ons several local bands heard Pete and invited Pete to perform at other clubs and festivals in the region. Pete and Sandy formed a small partnership, playing local festivals, clubs and wineries around the region. From these gigs Pete formed a working partnership with Sandy Gibney (Feral Bothers) and Malcolm McDonnell who added harmonica and thing stepped up a bit - supporting the local big folk bands that were coming to town (Steelye Span and other major folk acts at the time.
Pete and Sandy then played at the National Folk Festival that year and he was persuaded by friends to record an album after he played the song âa housewifeâs lamentâ at this festival where people were crowding rooms to hear the song. The word had got out
Secrets, Vows & Lies his debut was released by Festival Records with critical acclaim with Dave Swarbrick the famous/infamous folk fiddler of Fairport convention, who was living in Leura at the time, guested on a few tracks. Upon its release it received unanimous critical acclaim worldwide from the folk press, with reviews from the Sydney morning herald (Bruce Elder) and from the Uk (Folk On Magazine, Jim Hancock âUK Folk talk and Dirty Linen magazine from the US heralding a new talent.
Sydney Morning Herald Australia 'It is a comment on Pete Hawkes that many of his songs are reminiscent of the great Nick Drake and John Martyn in their heydey. Secrets Vows and Lies is an outstanding recording' Bruce Elder
Doug Porter UK, Folk On Magazine 'One of The most highly regarded,but little known US singer song writers was Danny O'Keefe, a man in the mould of the late Jimmy Buffet. One or two of you may have heard of these guys but speak to many of the more mature (shall we say) performers and theyâll go a bit mellow. From the first notes of Pete Hawkes album I too went mellow. There is much here to qualify Pete for this select club. He manages to cram so many moods and meanings in his work that its almost a relief when faced with a verse which only has one emotion in it.'
Dirty Linen Magazine USA 'Gorgeous acoustic guitar, songs tinged with melancholy, irony and passion. Hawkes is a refreshing find, a cut above the usual recordings'
Jim Hancock -UK Folktalk 'First released in Australia this album is by one of that countries leading singer songwriter guitarists and is now available in the UK. The album comprises of 13 tracks ranging from a no -nonsense delta blues style to sophisticated instrumentals with cello, fiddle and harmonica; offered on an even mix of songs and instrumentals. First impressions are one of tremendous musicianship, whether it is the skilled slide playing on the blues tracks or the crisp precision on the contemporary pieces. Pete has a mastery of the guitar, which allows him to create the most delicate of moods. A rich smooth voice this album is a pleasure, but it is the guitar which lifts this album into the realms of the exceptional.'
Niche Records Australia 'A very special collaboration with Fairportâs Dave Swarbrick, the mood is immediately set by the rollicking opener 'ive changed my mind' followed by the popular Radio National trackâ a housewife's lament' Accomplished folk-blues reminiscent of the early 70's players such as John Martyn, the vocal has an echo of Nick Drake at his best, while the impeccable guitar work brings to mind James Taylor or Luka Bloom. Sensitive production and string arrangements highlight Swarbricks virtuoso fiddle. which even at its peak fails to overshadow some impressive harmonica from the lesser-known Malcolm McDonald. Supremely listenable'
Following the release an Australian tour followed, with fiddler Pip Thompson and the great harmonica player Justin Smith, (winner of the golden harmonica three times running) during which, Pete supported Steeleye Span, Bert Jansch. The album was supported to some degree by Radio national playing the popular âa housewifeâs lament â Pete toured Australia playing on the then Bert Newton morning show and touring all cities, but the tour was largely unsuccessful and Pete, despondent decided to relocate to London.
Pete relocated to London, initially living in a caravan on Canvey Island (where apparently he wrote most of the beautiful âmelancholy cello) - he had a few contacts up North in Coventry and catching up with swarb again he later teamed up with the folk icons swarbrick and Carthy, supporting them on occasions in Scarborough and Whitby. In the meantime Select Records and a magazine called rocknreel had heard Pete and his albums and were blown away, and released a 10,000 copied sampler with the magazine and his music hit Europe with a bang, this followed putting his album on Fairport conventions huge mailing list across Europe and co-incided with a TV show appearance on Jools and Holland, playing the popular Housewifeâs lament track, which seemed to strike a chord in many people (especially women).
Offers rolled in and Pete was soon touring throughout Europe. A gig in northern Europe has Pete explore St Petersburg in Russia and he seemed to âenter Russia and never returnâ as one of his band mates said. Despite people wanting him back in London, Pete stayed on in Russia, not a sensible career move but he was attracted to the culture, the people and the musicians and felt at home. With offers rolling in from central Europe he joined an unknown jazz trio in St Petersburg at the height of his recent fame and disappeared.
During his time in St. Petersburg, he played exclusively with these jazz musicians. âWe pretty much played up and down Nevsky Prospect - doing the hotels â we did clubs and hotels in Moscow, catching the sleeper train between cities. Pete never returned back to London taking the Siberian train to China and heading back to Oz
Pete released âUnspoken Riddlesâ on his return, with the same producer who did secrets vows and lies (Ian Blake, producer of Eric Bogle band, wiggles)
A few years later he relocated to Melbourne Pete found his creative stride and released Melancholy Cello â which has a very Russian flavour thanks to his experience abroad. Pete won ABC songwriter of the year in 2002 that year in recognition of his works to date.
Pete then embarked on several projects, all different The Dadgad Files, Original Reels, Jigs, and Airs, featuring a number of great fiddlers, including Michael McClintock was an album arranged in DADGAD guitar tuning of original; airs and reels. Double Diversity was released by timeless music a double album containing music form all genres including some great acoustic Jazz and catalogued Peteâs prolific and highly original writing style covering all genres of music.
In the meantime Peteâs session work continued as a result of his contacts, and he continues to work with some of the highest biggest stars in the industry, and in a new development Peteâs music became known to film producers, who now call on him to write music of all types for adds Films and commercials.
Peteâs latest project is the beautiful âWitchcraftâ chamber music.
Jeb Tyler (Australian Hi Fi magazine) â writesâ the music on Witchcraft will certainly come back to haunt you! Hawkes writes music that is strange and sad but at the same time bitterly beautiful. Itâs difficult to describe. The closet I can get. A cross between Romany Gypsy and New Age doesnât really do it justiceâ
Regarded now as one of Australiaâs if not the worlds most prolific and gifted composers, not only for the unique melodies and high quality music that he creates, but due to his capacity to write several genres and his prolific writing speeds, he continues to write and now lives in Melbourne and still writes and records currently on a range of projects. He is currently completing the album with electric virtuoso Phil Emmanuel on the epic âRequiem For the Lost Souls Entwinedâ epic a different album for all the others yet again.
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