Ted Hawkins

I can't say that I know the specifics of his story, but I know it goes something like this: Ted Hawkins was homeless and collecting change by strumming his guitar up and down the Santa Monica pier. One day a record producer, or maybe it was an A&R rep, passed by Hawkins and was mesmerized by his mix of soul, blues and folk. His sound was as much Otis Redding as it was Townes Van Zandt.

He subsequently went on to land a recording contract and spit out some of the best records of the 80s and 90s. Despite critical acclaim, he remained under the radar for most of his short career. He died in Los Angeles in 1995 and it was his posthumous release "The Final Tour" (1998) that summed up his genuis. If there's ever an artist that deserves more praise, it's Ted Hawkins. Start with "The Final Tour" and then move on to "Happy Hour" and "Watch Your Step". You won't regret it.

Top 10 of 2006

It was a week year, but here's what I've got:

1 Bruce Springsteen: We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions
2 Centro-matic: Fort Recovery
3 Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
4 Cat Power: The Greatest
5 Tim Easton: Ammunition
6 Richard Buckner: Meadow
7 The Pernice Brothers: Live a Little
8 The Drams: Jubilee Dive
9 Vetiver: To Find Me Gone
10 Cold War Kids: Up In Rags


The ten most important musicians in my lifetime (to me):

1 Bruce Springsteen
2 Jeff Tweedy
3 Bob Dylan
4 Richard Buckner
5 Elliott Smith
6 Nick Drake
7 Jay Farrar
8 Neil Young
9 Gary Louris
10 Townes Van Zandt

Others: Mick Jagger/Keith Richards, E, Damien Jurado, Joe Pernice, Will Oldham, Beck, Aimee Mann, Josh Rouse, Mark Bolan, Kevin Russell/Jimmy Smith, Ray Davies, Will Johnson, Paul Westerberg, Johnny Cash, Rhett Miller, Tim Easton, Brent Best, M. Ward, Paul McCartney/John Lennon, Michael Stipe.........