By Eric DuVall
A lot of things have changed since Ron Hawkins was on the stage at Gateway Harbor in North Tonawanda in 2006.
For starters, Hawkins was fronting The Lowest of the Low, a band that drew 10,000 people to the canalside venue for an old fashioned Buffalo lovefest.
The Iraq war dominated headlines, there were about as many jobs as Americans and Canadian rock and roll was enough to let people get away for a night.
In Buffalo, at least the latter is still true.
But for Hawkins — a songwriter from Toronto whose stuff resonates here more than a lot of the musicians who actually call Western New York home — really, for all of us, things are different today.
An economy locked in a deep recession lends plenty of fodder for a songwriter whose material has never been a stranger to tough times or the political divide.
Maybe that’s why a new record from our old friend feels so comfortable.
During times like these, Ron Hawkins makes a lot of sense.
The art of music
Hawkins comes to Buffalo this weekend for a two-night stand, but not for two concerts. He’s diversified.
Sure, there will be the usual Saturday night gig (9 p.m. Allendale Theatre). But Friday night, he’ll open a gallery art show of modest rock star portraits.
Hawkins has held several gallery shows north of the border, but this is his first in Buffalo.
Like almost everything that drove the creative energy surrounding his latest offerings, the recession played a role.
“When the recession hit, people said they couldn’t afford to buy (the paintings),” Hawkins said in a phone interview this week. “I thought I would do a recession-buster series. I called it the ‘Pocket Painting Project.’ ”
That idea combined with a suggestion from his longtime Western New York promoter Vincent Lesh to do portraits of some of the musicians from Hawkins’ punk-infused youth. The result was a four-by-six inch portrait of Johnny Rotten and the idea that would eventually lead to his first art show here.
By Eric DuVall
Hawkins doubles down with Do Good Assassins
Former Lowest of the Low frontman returns to WNY with new band, debut double CD
Baseball tune worthy of hall
As of this summer, the list of people in the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will grow by one.
It will then total one.
But that one person is wholly deserving of the dual accolades.
Local music impresses
I wasn't the first choice to be a judge in the Hard Rock Cafe Battle of the Bands. But that didn't make the experience any less fun.
Bieber wows kids, but can his act mature with him?
Justin Bieber impresses teenagers, but can he keep their interest as they - and he - age?
TSO embarks upon holiday-free music tour
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra finally will get a chance to showcase its nonholiday fare during a spring tour.
NT-based jam band Aqueous looks to ride the wave to musical stardom
Speaking during a recent interview in the News office, the members of Aqueous discussed the difficulties in achieving musical stardom and the downfall of much of modern music.
NIGHT & DAY: Flaming Lips bringing oddball antics to Artpark
The Lips will bring what’s sure to be an odd-looking playlist — among the band’s songs are “Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber)” and “Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus with Needles” — to Lewiston this summer for a dynamic and lavish stage show to Artpark on July 22. Tickets for the concert go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.
- LIFESTYLE: TSO brings holiday magic back to Buffalo The Trans-Siberian Orchestra might have a name that implies chilly conditions, but the musical group has been red hot as of late.
- MUSIC: Best of the Decade No industry changed more this decade than the music industry.
- MUSIC: Solo pianist George Winston visits Buffalo At this rate, George Winston reckons he’ll be back in Buffalo, by, oh, 2022. So if you want to see him perform live, Friday night’s your chance.
- More Music Headlines
- Hawkins doubles down with Do Good Assassins