Ginny Hawker
  • Play Me the Waltz of the Angels
  • The Back of Your Hand
  • I Couldn't Find My Walking Shoes
  • Wall of Bottles
  • Blues in my Mind
  • Old River
  • I'll Be There
  • Gonna Write Me a Letter
  • If You Go I'll Follow
  • Jesus Is the Rock
  • This Last Request
  • I Heard You Crying in Your Sleep
  • The Testing Times
  • Play Me the Waltz of the Angels
    Genre: Traditional Gospel
    MP3 (03:26) [7.86 MB]
  • The Back of Your Hand
    Genre: Traditional Gospel
    MP3 (03:55) [8.96 MB]
  • I Couldn't Find My Walking Shoes
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (03:31) [8.06 MB]
  • Wall of Bottles
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (04:23) [10.04 MB]
  • Blues in my Mind
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (02:12) [5.05 MB]
  • Old River
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (03:28) [7.93 MB]
  • I'll Be There
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (02:28) [5.65 MB]
  • Gonna Write Me a Letter
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (04:08) [9.45 MB]
  • If You Go I'll Follow
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (03:36) [8.26 MB]
  • Jesus Is the Rock
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (02:33) [5.84 MB]
  • This Last Request
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (02:37) [6 MB]
  • I Heard You Crying in Your Sleep
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (03:19) [7.58 MB]
  • The Testing Times
    Genre: (Choose a Genre)
    MP3 (04:06) [9.4 MB]
Biography


1. Play Me the Waltz of the Angels 3:24
2. The Back of Your Hand 3:53
3. I Couldn't Find My Walking Shoes 3:30
4. Wall of Bottles 4:21
5. Blues in My Mind 2:10
6. Old River 3:26
7. I'll Be There 2:27
8. Gonna Write Me a Letter 4:05
9. If You Go I'll Follow 3:35
10. Jesus Is the Rock 2:31
11. This Last Request 2:35
12. I Heard You Crying in Your Sleep 3:17
13. The Testing Times 4:05


Rounder 11661-0607-2
p & © 2009 Rounder Records Corp. One Rounder Way, Burlington MA 01803 USA. ROUNDER is a registered trademark of the Rounder Records Group.
www.rounder.com info@rounder.com

UPC number 0-11661-0607-2-2


booklet:

1. Play Me the Waltz of the Angels
(Dennis Knutson-Rory Lee/Seven Angels Music, BMI)

Whenever Tracy and I do nursing home shows, we see memories wash over the residents’ faces of precious ones now gone. The songs bring those loved ones back for just a minute. That minute is what this song is about.

2. The Back of Your Hand
(Carol Elizabeth Jones-James Leva/Happy Valley Music, BMI)

The first time I heard Carol Elizabeth sing this in a jam with just her guitar, the words jolted me like a slap. She speaks for so many women.

3. I Couldn’t Find My Walking Shoes
(Paul Overstreet-Milton Brown/Scarlet Moon Music/Bama Boy Music/Writers' Group/Warner Electra Asylum Music, Inc., BMI)

I have loved and saved this song for years. I figure if a song stays with me that long, it will touch other hearts as well. We couldn’t resist letting it pass into the Cajun sound that surrounded the Cypress House in Louisiana.

4. Wall of Bottles
(Dirk Powell-Martha Scanlon)

When a fine musician writes a song and says, “Here’s one for you,” I pay attention. It was hard to sing it without crying – or dancing around the room. This is definitely a singer’s song.

5. Blues in My Mind
(Fred Rose/ATV Milene Music, ASCAP)

I’ve heard this song for years, but it never grabbed my ear until I heard Ola Belle Reed sing it. She gave it a heart and legs for dancing.

6. Old River
(Mike Henderson/Georgia Frog Music, BMI)

Where we live in West Virginia, the Little Kanawha River both attracts us and terrifies us. We want to live close to it and yet it can wipe us out overnight. It really is like being betrayed by a loved one.

7. I’ll Be There
(Ray Price-Rusty Gabbard/Ernest Tubb Music, BMI)

Doesn’t every country singer have a Ray Price song they love to sing? The band took off with this one, and you can hear the smiles on our faces.

8. Gonna Write Me a Letter
(Ola Belle Reed/Happy Valley Music, BMI)

One of the true joys of my life is singing with my husband, Tracy Schwarz, with his guitar in banjo-like, modal open tuning. I think Ola Belle would have liked the way we did her song.


9. If You Go I’ll Follow
(Dolly Parton-Porter Wagoner/Velvet Apple Music, BMI)

I knew I had to find just the right song to do with Courtney Granger, my Cajun singing soulmate. What could be better than a Dolly-Porter duet?

10. Jesus Is the Rock
(Traditional)

This song was given to me at a festival in Ohio, so I phoned Hershall Wright who sings it with the True Gospel Echoes. Sure enough, he’s a Primitive Baptist elder, the church of my grandparents.

11. This Last Request
(Jacob Landers, BMI)

Joe King from Toronto sang this to me about 10 years ago and although he changed the tune at times, I left it as he did it, in his memory – for Sharron.

12. I Heard You Crying in Your Sleep
(Hank Williams/Sony ATV Acuff Rose Music, BMI)

Who hasn’t been there? Who could write about it better than Hank? Singing with Kari is like crying with your best friend.

13. The Testing Times
(Larry Sparks-Lonnie Nipper/Southview Music Co., BMI)

I still cannot believe I had the courage to record a song done by one of the greatest singers in my world, Larry Sparks. But I just had to have this song!


Song notes by Ginny Hawker
Produced by Dirk Powell.
Recorded and mixed by Dirk Powell at Cypress House Studio, Parks, Louisiana.
Mastered by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering, Boulder, CO
Photography by Gina Schrader.
Cover design by Sarah Lainie Radawich and Ginny Hawker.


Play Me the Waltz of the Angels
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Anna Laura Edmiston, harmony vocal
Richard Comeaux, pedal steel
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Jim Miller, guitar
Dirk Powell, piano
Eric Frey, upright bass
Glenn Fields, drums

The Back of Your Hand
Ginny Hawker, lead vocal
Jim Miller, guitar, harmony vocal
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Jesse Wells, mandolin
Eric Frey, upright bass

I Couldn't Find My Walking Shoes
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Kari Sickenberger, harmony vocal
Jim Miller, harmony vocal, guitar
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Dirk Powell, accordion
Eric Frey, upright bass
Glenn Fields, drums

Wall of Bottles
Ginny Hawker, lead vocal
Jim Miller, harmony vocal, guitar
Richard Comeaux, pedal steel
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Dirk Powell, piano
Eric Frey, upright bass
Glenn Fields, drums

Blues In My Mind
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Jesse Wells, fiddle
Brett Ratliff, banjo
Tracy Schwarz, guitar
Jim Miller, guitar
Eric Frey, bass

Old River
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Jim Miller, guitar
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Jesse Wells, mandolin
Eric Frey, upright bass

I'll Be There
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Kari Sickenberger, harmony vocal
Richard Comeaux, pedal steel
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Jesse Wells, fiddle
Jim Miller, guitar
Eric Frey, upright bass
Glenn Fields, drums

Gonna Write Me a Letter
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Tracy Schwarz, guitar

If You Go I'll Follow
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Courtney Granger, vocal
Richard Comeaux, pedal steel
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Jesse Wells, guitar
Eric Frey, upright bass
Glenn Fields, drums

Jesus Is the Rock
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Kari Sickenberger, tenor vocal
Tracy Schwarz, baritone vocal
Eric Frey, bass vocal, upright bass
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Jim Miller, guitar
Jesse Wells, mandolin

This Last Request
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Kari Sickenberger, harmony vocal
Jim Miller, harmony vocal, guitar
Tracy Schwarz, guitar

I Heard You Crying In Your Sleep
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Kari Sickenberger, harmony vocal
Richard Comeaux, pedal steel
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Jesse Wells, mandolin
Jim Miller, guitar
Eric Frey, upright bass
Glenn Fields, drums

The Testing Times
Ginny Hawker, vocal
Tracy Schwarz, fiddle
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Jesse Wells, mandolin
Jim Miller, guitar
Eric Frey, bass


Ginny Hawker’s voice is one of the true glories of traditional music. One of the great thrills occasionally available to those of us who frequent the traditional end of the music business is to come upon Ginny in a late night hallway jam at some event, sitting in a chair, head thrown back, eyes closed, hands on her knees, rocking to the inner rhythm of the song she’s singing, lost in the lyrics, giving herself over to whatever she’s singing, inhabiting that song, because she doesn’t sing anything casually. I’ve observed such occasions a few times in the last fifteen or so years, and count myself lucky for having been there each time.

Through much of the 90s, I booked the music for a traditional music venue in California, The Freight and Salvage, in Berkeley, and first learned about Ginny Hawker from Jody Stecher, himself a prodigious traditional musician, and a man who knows whereof he speaks. My trust for Jody’s opinion on such matters was, and is absolute; I heeded his advice and booked Ginny and her frequent duet partner at the time, Kay Justice, for an evening at the Freight at the earliest opportunity. The performance that night remains among the most memorable I’ve helped produce, and I have been a great admirer and advocate of all Ginny’s music ever since. Hearing Ginny and Kay in concert for the first time was a delight and a revelation; it took me back to musical and actual places I’d all but forgotten existed and a few I’d never visited. The level of commitment to the material that night is rare even in the often austere and always demanding circles inhabited by practitioners of traditional music forms. With whomever she performs—and her voice and approach to lyrics draws talented musicians across the spectrum of traditional music—Ginny invariably elevates the music to a rarified place; her voice and her music cut to the quick. She has the uncanny knack of locating the emotional core of whatever song she approaches, and once she’s sung it, it stays sung, whether it’s a Primitive Baptist hymn, a honky-tonk shuffle, or an obscure Carter Family number you’ve heard all your life but never really understood until you hear her sing it.

The ferocity of her approach to lyrics—and ferocity is the right word—is often startling, even jarring. In the world of traditional music, where passion is often favored over pitch, Ginny possesses both in abundance. The pitch is true, the passion controlled, not contrived, and it doesn’t lapse into folky histrionics. One element of Ginny’s voice to which one is instinctively drawn—and which I instinctively recognized—is the stark, straightforward style favored by old time Primitive Baptist singers. I recall my Grandma Bryan so vividly when I hear Ginny launch into one of those hoary old hymns; Ginny’s father, Ben Hawker, was a highly regarded practitioner and teacher of the style, and it is ingrained in her. That starkness and that beauty are also much in evidence, often alongside a sublime cruelty, in the traditional ballads Ginny, alone and with her collaborators, often perform and record. Here again I am reminded of my Grandma Bryan, who sang Fair Ellender and The Brown Girl and Barbara Allen to my sister and me when she babysat us as tykes ; the fervor of her singing left us awestruck and scared the crap out of us. Something like that happens when Ginny sings as well.

Like her friend, mentor, and sometime musical collaborator Hazel Dickens, Ginny is fiercely protective of her southeastern heritage, and brooks no nonsense regarding it. A Virginia native, she now lives in West Virginia with her husband, the great Tracy Schwarz.

On this album, Ginny once again brings her unique sensibilities and talents to another exciting project; she tackles a diverse bunch of songs from a variety of traditions bound together by her taste, talent, her good judgment and unerring song selections, plus guidance and musical input of her producer Dirk Powell .With the assistance of a Murderer’s Row of traditional musicians and singers, they create as beguiling a musical package as I’ve heard since, well, since Ginny’s last Rounder album, also produced by Dirk, from 2001. From “Play Me The Waltz Of The Angels,” a song about a song that Ginny heard the nouveau traditionalist honky-tonkers Derailers perform on Austin City Limits, to the Primitive Baptist “Jesus Is The Rock,” to the relatively obscure Hank Williams classic “I Heard You Crying In Your Sleep,” to the Cajun tinged Ray Price song “I’ll Be There,” to bluegrass numbers by stalwarts Jake Landers and Larry Sparks, to the Fred Rose oldie “Blues In My Mind,” to “The Back Of Your Hand,” a poignant original by James Leva and Carol Elizabeth Jones, to another new one by her producer Dirk Powell and Martha Scanlon (“Wall Of Bottles,” which could have been a hit for Kitty Wells in the fifties if it had existed then), to a Porter and Dolly duet number on which erstwhile Cajun fiddle child prodigy Courtney Granger proves himself to be a worthy country duet vocal partner, to “Old River” by West Virginia guitarist and luthier extraordinaire Mike Henderson, to a modal Ola Belle Reed number featuring husband Tracy on guitar, to an obscure Tommy Overstreet gem gleaned from a Seldom Scene live 15th anniversary album, to the haunting “This Last Request,” these songs run the gamut from awe inspiring to heart rending .

The musicianship by guitarist and harmony singer Jim Miller, fiddle player Kevin Wimmer and pedal steel player Richard Comeaux, is first rate, and Ginny and Kari Sickenberger's harmonizing on a couple of the weepers is chilling. Anchoring it all is Eric Frey's warm bass, locking into the understated rhythm provided by Glenn Fields, a drummer who knows how to work with a singer. Multi-instrumentalists Tracy Schwarz and Dirk Powell add just the right touches. This recording has been living in my player since I received it, and will for weeks to come, and I expect it will in yours as well, once you give it a listen. Ginny's voice and singing style, on first encounter, is likely to strike your ears like the thunderbolt it is, much as it did mine that night at the Freight some fifteen years ago.


Randy Pitts
Nashville
September,2009




---

There is a sense among many of today's listeners that digital recording has taken a dose of humanity out of music - that the ability to correct every mistake and quantize every beat has resulted in recordings that feel created not just with, but by, computers. On the other side of the coin are those who reject this trend completely, some of whom put forth rawness without refinement. They long for the soulfulness of days gone by but don't always realize the depth of the artistry that created the emotional impact they seek to deliver.

Ginny Hawker is from an older school, in the end a timeless school, one based not on technology or trends but on the balance that great artists have always struck between raw passion and the limits of the form in which that passion is expressed. Musical styles get caught in cycles and fads, actions and reactions. But there is a deeper sort of pride that transcends all of it, one that trades away neither the gritty, passionate edge nor the impact of a complex, artistically expressive voice.

Perhaps the greatest example of this duality, to my ears, is Ray Charles.
Is Ginny a vocalist of that caliber? Absolutely, and she has more in common with someone like Ray, singing from hot Southern soil and the passions of a life fully lived, than with many of those who imitate her style but do not fully tap the source of their own trials and triumphs. There's something complete about her sound and her music that mirrors, perfectly, the wholeness of life. What more could we ask of an artist? In the end, though, what less should we ask? Ginny, like all the greats, opens life up so we don't have to. Listening to her is a catharsis.

The variety of music on this record reflects what Country Music means when the word "country" is taken literally. As social and economic forces have led America to become a less rural and more urban place over the last few decades, sounds have changed. Lives have changed. People, indeed, have changed. This is not, of course, a new story, but it's one that has proceeded at a remarkably elevated pace over the last generation. The styles on this record tend to speak to those rural themes as they meant something to rural people over the bulk of the 20th century. They're country, in totality.

But, as always, it's not so much the style, or even the song, as it is the singer that matters most. Ginny could, I believe, sing the phone book and make you cry. Or, maybe I should say, in this day and age, she could sing a google search history and make you cry!

No matter. The main thing, as always, is to close your eyes and listen.


Dirk Powell




Thanks:

To all the hard working, patient musicians who shared their talent and enthusiasm on this project. To Linda Castle and Lori Henderson for their quiet hospitality for the week. To Ina Powell for the relaxing respite of her home. To Dirk Powell for his wisdom and kindness. To Hazel Dickens for her encouragement and good advice. To my mother, Katherine, for her loyalty and belief in me. And always, to my father, Ben Hawker for giving me a reason to sing.

For lyrics or bookings see www.ginnyandtracy.com or call 304-462-8427

Also available:
Rounder 18964-4443-2 Heart of a Singer (with Hazel Dickens and Carol Elizabeth Jones)
Rounder 82161-0491-2 Letters from My Father
Rounder 82161-0543-2 Draw Closer (with Tracy Schwarz)

CD label:

Ginny Hawker

Rounder 11661-0607-2
p & © 2008 Rounder Records Corp.
Manufactured in the USA.


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