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Chuck Hawthorne – Great American Songwriter

We review ‘Fire Out Of Stone’ from Chuck Hawthorne

Photo: Valerie Fremin

By Rob Dickens

With a voice sometimes reminiscent of greats Gordon Lightfoot and T Bone Burnett, the comparisons for Chuck Hawthorne on his new release Fire Out Of Stone do not end there. As well as wonderfully worn and rustic vocals, the songwriting and arrangements are perfectly presented.

There are so many illustrative examples. The ebullient jubilation of “Such Is Life (C’est La Vie)” and the tender, evocative, pining “Amarillo Wind” is a gritty triumph (see clip below). “Arrowhead & Porcupine Claw” picks up on poignant dusty and lonesome Native American trails (this is suggestive to these ears of the vibe on the wonderful Way Out West by Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives).

Then there’s the slow, lilting and purposeful “Sara’s All The Way” which builds with imposing defiance, while “New Lost Generation” contains winsome arrangements accentuating the difficulties of following a hero. Ray Bonneville‘s harmonica and Geoff Queen‘s steel guitar steal the scene in “Worthy Of The Sea”. “Broken Wire” has a simplicity and honesty of delivery which segues into “Broken Good”.

The shuffling “Standing Alone” (dedicated to Felipe ‘Chappa’ Montoya) with just Hawthorne and Queen feels just right – “Feel Like a Road Sign, Shot Full Of Holes, People Look Right Through You, When You’re Standing All Alone”. Libby Koch adds some tasteful vocals to the earthy closing cover of Richard J. Dobson‘s “I Will Fight No More Forever” (the song is dedicated to Dobson).

Fire Out Of Stone is a collection that is a dazzling example of American songwriting and tapping into the real truth of that land. The album was released on July 26 via 3 Notches Music.

Here’s the video of “Amarillo Wind”:

The album (the follow-up to Hawthorne’s 2015 debut Silver Line) was produced by hit songwriter Walt Wilkins and Jumping Dog Studio owner/engineer Ron Flynt. It features accompaniment by some of the finest musicians in Austin, who also happen to be Wilkins’ band – The Mystiqueros.

Fire Out Of Stone Players

Chuck Hawthorne – acoustic guitar & vocals
Ray Bonneville – harmonica
Marian Brackney – fiddle & viola
Julie Carter – cello
Ron Flynt – bass & baritone guitar
Libby Koch – harmony
Geoff Queen – steel guitar & dobro
Ray Rodriguez- drums & percussion
Walt Wilkins – high strung guitar & percussion

Fire Out Of Stone Track List

1. Such Is Life (C’est La Vie) (3:42)
2. Amarillo Wind (3:53
3. Arrowhead & Porcupine Claw (4:37)
4. Sara’s All The Way (4:09)
5. New Lost Generation (3:08)
6. Worthy of the Sea (3:25)
7. Broken Wire (3:37)
8. Broken Good (3:17)
9. Standing Alone (3:37)
10. I Will Fight No More Forever (3:31)

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Via Broken Jukebox Media

We review ‘Fire Out Of Stone’ from Chuck Hawthorne

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Author: Rob Dickens

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