Hawksley Workman has been making albums since the late 90s (his first full-length, For Him and the Girls, came out in 1999) and he's been releasing new music every year or 2 since then. He's rarely been one to stick to the same vibe record-to-record, jumping between styles and influences in a way that he says was likely frustrating for record execs, his touring band, and perhaps even some of his fans over the years. However, he's always been a unique and singular artist, and his longtime fans have never doubted the authenticity of his music, whether it's stripped-down folk, high-energy synth-pop, or anything in between.
Besides his many solo releases and tour dates around the world, he's also served as a producer for some of Canada's best folk and pop acts (working with Tegan and Sara, Sarah Slean, Hey Rosetta!, Serena Ryder, and Great Big Sea), wrote a stage musical with accompanying soundtrack, and has put out a pair of records as drummer and singer with the band Mounties (along with Limblifter's Ryan Dahle and Hot Hot Heat's Steve Bays). More recently, he released a brand new solo record (Median Age Wasteland) earlier this year, just yesterday put out a single ("Around Here") from an already-completed new album, and will be on a 24-date tour with a full band across Canada from November 1 through December 4 (dates below).
I got a chance to speak to Hawksley last week ahead of his month-long excursion across the country, and during our in-depth chat we talked about his return to Europe the past couple years, the music and influence of the 1980s on his last release and his upcoming record, the idea of "less rage, more tears", the destructiveness of fame, his sense of gratitude heading into this tour, and what his trusted piano player Mr. Lonely has meant to him musically and personally over the years.
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A Hawksley Workman live show is something special to experience -- personally, I've been fortunate enough to see him in all sorts of settings over the years, from intimate solo shows to full band theatre productions to music festival stages. His energy on stage is electric, and his storytelling and banter between songs would be worth the price of admission alone. Of course, you also get the incredible songwriting, musicianship, and soul that one would expect from such a talented performer. So go check him out in one of these cities -- if the show isn't sold out yet!
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found putting on and promoting music and comedy events with The Purple Room in Winnipeg, or co-producing the live comedy game show Pants on Fire. (@comedygeek)
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LOCATIONS: Canada - excluding Quebec