Hawksley Workman blows my mind.
I was lucky enough to see him play at the Bluesfest last night, and holy hell, I was floating on cloud nine. I took off my shoes. I felt my whole body relax. I couldn't stop smiling. That's worth the price of admission, even if it is insanely high.
I've always adored his music, but since becoming a bit of a hermit this past year, I had somehow forgotten what his live shows are like. Seeing him on stage yesterday jolted me back. The very first time I saw him play was at Barrymore's when he was releasing the Wolves album. I guess this was a while back now. I actually went to the show because I was a fan of his opening act, Martina Sorbara, who has since moved on to start up Dragonettes. Anyway. My Better Half and I stayed to check out this mysterious headliner, since we were there anyway.
When he walked on stage in his pinstripe suit, red fender and matching tie, I swooned. When he started singing I distinctly remember being unable to close my mouth for the shock. Beautiful AND talented? And that voice....? I was on sensory overload. I think I felt high for the rest of the week.
Last night's show was very different from that first one, but he still managed to wow me. At one point, he noticed a kid singing along to his songs and pulled him up on stage to sing into the mic. Awesome. The crowd loved it, and the kid was beaming. Still, I wonder if Hawksley's had a tough go lately. He kept thanking the audience for being enthusiastic and supportive, as though he didn't expect anyone to enjoy the show. He looked a bit rough around the edges. I felt like someone needed to tell him how wonderful he is.
I was happy when he said how much he enjoys playing Ottawa. Or, as he put it, "You always amaze me, Ottawa. For a city of alleged bureaucrats, you always seem to be chronically oversexed or undersexed. You just like to get it on anywhere."
Yessir. It’s nice to have someone appreciate a good Ottawa audience, for once.
Aside from the Bluesfest craziness, my BH and I had a Pembroke wedding to attend. I had never been to Pembroke before. I’m not sure I’ll ever go again. But the wedding itself was great fun, all churchy and proper (my determination to get married in a backyard wearing a party dress still stands). There was lots of dancing and the band was surprisingly wicked.*
But now, broke and tired, I want to go to bed early, put on some Hawksley in the background, and ground myself again. Pictures will be posted soon.
*Would YOU expect a wedding band to play Johnny Cash and Hank Williams? Would YOU guess that they would whip out the accordion, harmonica and mandolin during a Beatles song? I know I was impressed.