For a brief time I became casually smitten with Hawksley Workman, so seeing him at my one-time favourite local venue on October 11th, 2001 was a slam dunk. I had first caught Workman playing a free show at the National Gallery and was impressed that a guy so new on the scene had an act so solidly developed and confidently presented. His style was unique in that it was reminiscent of the most respectable of artists (Freddie Mercury, David Bowie) and yet wholly his own, never giving off the aura of being a former tribute artist.
He was pretty busy trying to build a fanbase so he was coming through town a lot, though I only caught him a few times, and though I could hum several of his songs off the top of my head after just one hearing I never made the plunge and bought any of his work. And despite being a thoroughly engaging (unforgettable?) performer, I remember basically nothing about this particular show aside from a vague, lingering image of Hawksley preening on the Barrymore’s stage, which may or may not be a mistaken memory left over from the time I fell asleep watching Edward Scissorhands. Nothing at all remains of Martina Sorbara’s opening set – which I may or may not have witnessed – whoever that is in the first place.
I guess it’s not surprising that my fleeting flirtation with Hawksley Workman soon came to a close, despite seeming to be everything I looked for in an artist. But the bottom line is: if I’m not excited enough to get out of my house for a show and I’m not inspired enough to delve into an artist’s music in my own home then my time with said artist will likely be short.
But then again, I’m such a huge fan of so many other artists that I don’t have too much extra listening time to go around, so it might be John Lennon’s fault.
(Speaking of other artists, Hawksley will soon be releasing an album with the great Kevin Breit, a musician who looms so large in my skandas that he’s bound to get me listening to Mr. Workman again.)