Ron Hawkins has long been revered as one of Canada’s greatest contemporary singer-songwriters. As lead singer/multi-instrumentalist and main songwriter of Canada’s legendary Lowest of the Low, Ron Hawkins has enjoyed many accolades through the years: In 1996, 2000 and again in 2005, Chart Magazine honoured the group’s 1991 debut album, Shakespeare My Butt, with spots in the top 10 of the Top 100 Canadian Albums of All Time. In 2000 and once again in 2015, Hawkins was voted Songwriter of the Year by NOW Magazine’s reader’s poll. Also in 2000, Ron received Toronto station 102.1 The Edge’s Lifetime Achievement Award. And in that same year Ron Hawkins and the Rusty Nails won album of the year at The Indie Awards, for their album Crackstatic. In 2008 The Lowest of the Low was inducted into the Canadian Indie Rock Hall of Fame and awarded gold records for Shakespeare My Butt.
Over the years, Ron has written and released eight LOTL albums, five solo discs, three records with his band The Rusty Nails, and three records (one a double album) as Ron Hawkins and The Do Good Assassins. That’s 19 albums of original material to date plus a commemorative vinyl box set called “Shakespeare My Box” – an anthology of the entire Lowest of the Low catalogue.
His latest album with LOWEST OF THE LOW, TAVERNS AND PALACES, was released in 2021.
GARDEN SONGS REVIEWS:
Winnipeg Free Press
“…the allure of these songs lies in Ron’s lyrics and conversational, observational storytelling style. Every song harbours a memorable line or three, and his narrators are middle-aged romantics who pine for youth and loves lost and remembered. I get these visions in my head and I go downtown and look for you, is a typical lament, while acknowledgement of what happens when the words you never should say meet the things you can never take back will be an evocation of time and place for many. Producer Joe Dunphy and the DGA do a splendid job of augmenting Hawkins’ tales, with strings, subtle horns, tasteful guitar all bringing colour to the palette without making it muddy, ponderous or overbearing. When Garden Songs is done, as it is all too quickly, you’ll find yourself playing it again to find out what else it might reveal. “ ~ John Kendle
Toronto/Winnipeg/Ottawa/Edmonton/Calgary Sun-London Free Press-24 Hours-Vancouver
“Armed with a sheaf of the Lowest of the Low leader’s bittersweet odes, lovelorn laments and sharp-witted ballads, they cut this disc live off the studio floor and mixed it all within a week. And why not? With songs and performances this magnificently magnetic, anything more would have been a waste of time.”
~ Daryl Sterdan
“Here he is with his other ace band, offering a live-off-the-floor collection of ballads and mid-tempo material. It’s what Hawkins does best, where his lyrics are given space to sink in, where the richness of his voice really shines, where cellos and accordions bring out more in his material than loud electric guitars do. The new material shows that he’s certainly not in a slump.”
~ Michael Barclay
Wildy’s World/Amherst, NY
“The album was recorded over the course of one week, and highlights Hawkins’ brilliance as a songwriter and lyricist. It also shows off The Do Good Assassins ability to bring those songs to life….listeners newly introduced to Hawkins will be stunned by what they hear. Garden Songs is a must have album. I’ll give it 5 stars, without reservation.”
“The songs on this album were arranged and recorded in the space of a week, recorded live; it shows in the confident and laid-back energy of the band…an excellent ensemble. The intimacy of this album feels real, too; it’s a visit to Ron Hawkins’ musical neighbourhood.”
“Produced by Grammy-award winner David Bottrill… a brilliant album… striking, singable… an optimistic offering about affecting change for the better.”