The Second Disc

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Wounded Bird Helps “The Hawk” Take Flight Again

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It’s very possible that you might be enjoying Bobby Charles, reviewed yesterday in this very space!  But whether you’re grooving to Bobby or not, you might be interested in some more Band-related news!

Long before Rick Danko produced Bobby Charles’ Bearsville LP, Danko joined Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson in supporting the one and only Mr. Ronnie Hawkins as his Hawks.  Though colorful rockabilly legend Hawkins was born in Arkansas, he found his greatest success in Canada, where he assembled the Hawks line-up that would later become The Band.  (Helm was another transplanted Arkansan, while the other Band members hailed from our neighbor up north.)  That classic Hawks line-up left Hawkins in 1964 to explore new musical avenues, eventually backing Bob Dylan at the arguable peak of his career.  By 1970, The Band was firmly established, and Dylan was on his own, once more.  But the ripples of The Band’s early albums were felt throughout many quarters of the music industry.  The time was right for The Band’s mentor, the original Hawk, to soar once more.

The perfect complement to Rhino Handmade’s deluxe edition of Bobby Charles’ self-titled album might just be the two Ronnie Hawkins titles coming your way from Wounded Bird Records.  1970’s Ronnie Hawkins and its 1971 follow-up, The Hawk, were both originally released on Cotillion Records.  For each album, Hawkins collaborated with a famed group of musicians and proved that he could still fly on his own.  Wounded Bird drops these on October 18.

Hit the jump for more on both albums including full track listings!

1970’s Ronnie Hawkins was the result of September 1969 sessions at Alabama’s famed Muscle Shoals.  Producers Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd brought their formidable Southern soul touch to the proceedings, and brought the ubiquitous Sweet Inspirations along with them on background vocals.  Eddie Hinton and Jimmy Johnston featured on guitar, David Hood on bass, Barry Beckett and Scott Cushnie on keyboards, Roger Hawkins on drums and King Biscuit Boy on harmonica.  One more player joined Hawkins, too: none other than Duane Allman, naturally on guitar.  The result was pure Americana.  The Band’s old employer Dylan showed up via Hawkins’ performances of “One More Night” and “One Too Many Mornings.”  Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, also much admired by Dylan, was represented with “Home From the Forest,” and tribute was also paid to American rockers and Hawkins’ fellow rockabilly pioneers Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins and Bo Diddley.  (Hawkins was a longtime champion of Lightfoot, having recorded “Early Morning Rain” a few years earlier.  Lightfoot wrote the song “Silver Cloud Rolls Royce” about The Hawk.)

For its follow-up, Hawkins travelled to Florida to Atlantic’s South Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida for sessions with the Dixie Flyers.  He retained Allman’s services as well as those of Donald “Duck” Dunn (bass), Charlie Freeman (guitar), Jim Dickinson (piano/guitar), Mike Utley (organ), Sammy Creason (drums) and the Memphis Horns under Tom Dowd’s watchful eye.  Despite the change in locale, the same spirit pervades this album, which is similarly filled with pure rock-and-roll rave-ups and well-selected covers by writers like Tim Hardin (“The Lady Came From Baltimore,” “Black Sheep Boy”), Roy Orbison (“Ooby Dooby”), Charlie Rich (“Lonely Weekends”) and even Paul Simon (“Leaves That Are Green”).

As per the norm for Wounded Bird, there are no bonus tracks or new notes, but there’s still plenty of great music.  Both titles are in stores October 18 and you can pre-order below!

Ronnie Hawkins, Ronnie Hawkins (Cotillion SD9019, 1970 – reissued Wounded Bird, 2011)

  1. One More Night
  2. Bitter Green
  3. I May Never Get To Heaven
  4. Will the Circle Be Unbroken
  5. Matchbox
  6. Little Bird
  7. One Too Many Mornings
  8. Forty Days
  9. Down In the Alley
  10. Who Do You Love
  11. Home From the Forest

Ronnie Hawkins, The Hawk (Cotillion SD9039, 1971 – reissued Wounded Bird, 2011)

  1. Don’t Tell Me Your Troubles
  2. Sick and Tired
  3. Lonely Weekends
  4. Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
  5. Red Rooster
  6. Ooby Dooby
  7. The Lady Came From Baltimore
  8. Leaves That Are Green
  9. Patricia
  10. Odessa
  11. Treasure of Love
  12. Black Sheep Boy

Written by Joe Marchese

August 17, 2011 at 10:05

2 Responses

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  1. I’m not particularly interested in this release, but I have to complement you on the excellent writing of the post title. It’s pun-eriffic and made me smile when it popped up on my Twitter feed yesterday.


    August 18, 2011 at 09:35

  2. Thanks for writing about these two wonderful but neglected albums. Hawkins is at his artistic peak here, backed by a stellar crew, including Duan Allman. Even though we’re approching the end of the compact disc era, it’s great to finally see these two gems available on CD.


    October 19, 2011 at 11:48

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