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.