Michael "Hawkeye" Herman | Everyday Living

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Everyday Living

by Michael "Hawkeye" Herman

blues, acoustic blues, country blues, blues piano and guitar, slide guitar, classic blues
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Big Road Blues
2:54 $0.99
2. When You Got A Good Friend
3:09 $0.99
3. Rocket To Chicago
2:38 $0.99
4. Blues After Hours
3:01 $0.99
5. Man Or Mouse
3:34 $0.99
6. Drifting Blues
3:51 $0.99
7. Dark Was The Night/Come On In My Kitchen
2:52 $0.99
8. Letter To My Baby
2:43 $0.99
9. Deep Feeling
2:12 $0.99
10. Old Folks
4:33 $0.99
11. New Crossroads
2:25 $0.99
12. No Money Down
3:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Victory Review/Acoustic Music Magazine
February 2006/vol. 31/number 02

Michael "Hawkeye" Herman
"Everyday Living"

This terrific album first appeared in 1988 to launch Hawkeye Herman as a full-time, professional blues player. Ensconced on the banks of the Mississippi in his youth, he would later begin soaking up the history and mojo from his mentors, the great showman Cool Papa Sadler and the legendary singer, writer, bandleader, pianist, Charles Brown. Ready to graduate, he waxed this mix of standards (Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Charles Brown) and originals, establishing his coolly powerful acoustic sound that has grown into one of the idiom's benchmarks. The album gets off to a loud, swingy start on "Big Road Blues," propelled by some extra guitar from Herman's luthier, Ralph Novak. Sadler and Brown are along for tunes they wrote, the former characteristically hopping while the latter has a deep, smooth, sound. The rest is just Hawkeye alone and while we don't need to be reminded that he passed his test, it's sure nice to hear those "A" grades again.

Tom Petersen

Sing Out!
Spring 2006, vol. 50, #1

Michael "Hawkeye" Herman

"Everyday Living" (Topaz 0110)

On the reissued "Everyday Living," the accent is more solidly on blues as Herman plays lots of ballsy slide guitar. His own, joint-jumping "Rocket To Chicago" and fluidly sensual reprise of Chuck Berry's seminal instrumental "Deep Feeling" are especially tangy. Brown guests on piano on his classic "Drifting Blues" and gifted guitarist and wailing singer Sadler takes a solo spot on his signature jumper "Old Folks." Herman also delivers a series of inspired redos of compositions by legend like Big Bill Broonzy and Robert Johnson. A sparks-flying reshaping of Tommy Johnson's "Big Road Blues" and a fetching vivification of Pee Wee Crayton's reflective instrumental "Blues After Hours" (with Brown on piano) are other exceptional inclusions.

If you're fond of John Hammond or Arlo Guthrie, you'll enjoy Hawkeye's blues vision as well.

- by GvonT
"Everyday Living" is a reissue of "classic recordings" originally released in 1987. The album contains some very special musical moments that were recorded at a time when Hawkeye was at a personal crossroads in his journey and committing himself to the blues highway. Hawkeye and friends romp through a broad variety of blues tunes from Delta slide and country blues to the more sophisticated sounds of West Coast blues, all rendered on acoustic instruments. Of special note, Charles Brown, true royalty in the world of blues music and a friend and fine mentor to Hawkeye, performs on tracks #4 ("Blues After Hours") and #6 ("Drifting Blues"). Oakland blues great, Haskell "Cool Papa" Sadler, also a longtime mentor to Hawkeye, performs on two tunes, "Old Folks" (track #10) and "No Money Down" (track #12). "Old Folks" is one of Hawkeye's favorite original songs by "Cool Papa." "Cool Papa" sings and plays rhythm guitar and Hawkeye plays lead acoustic slide guitar. On "No Money Down," "Cool Papa" plays acoustic lead guitar backing up Hawkeye's guitar and vocal.
"...an uncanny grasp of so many different Blues styles."
-Holler, Colorado Blues Society

"Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Muddy Waters were giants of the genre he grew up listening to and who live on through the evocative, haunting acoustic slide-guitar style he plays." - The Reporter, San Diego, CA

"One of America's finest acoustic guitarists and blues educators." - Cascade Blues Association

"...plays haunting music on a mournful guitar."- LA Times

"...plays a powerful variety of hard-driving acoustic blues, a crowd pleaser." - Mississippi Valley Blues News

"...a mean, clean guitar picker." - San Francisco Examiner

"Herman plays with a sensitive, reflective touch that continually draws attention to his vocals, which are effectively understated and free of affectation... Herman can rock with the best of them. A solid choice for fans of traditional acoustic blues." - Living Blues Magazine

"The only thing better than hearing this live album is seeing Hawkeye Herman in the flesh. Whether adding his own spin to blues classics or offering his own songs, Herman is a one-man history of blues, noteworthy guitar player and inimitable communicator. Miss him at your peril."
- Blues Access

"Each song is presented with a heartfelt depth rarely witnessed these days amongst all the amplifiers and studio embellishments... Throughout "Blues Alive!," Herman proves to be a seasoned storyteller above all, as well as an accomplished guitarist." - Blues Revue Magazine

"Playing both fingerpick and slide guitar, Herman's licks are clean, yet spare..., his vocals are direct and straightforward, but full of emotion... he has immersed himself in the sound and feeling and has emerged as one of the most widely respected acoustic blues musicians around... Blues Alive! ain't electric, doesn't have drums and such, wasn't produced in a high-tech studio, but it's about as real as the blues gets." - Sing Out!

ve a "good" voice, and you'll feel a whole lot better.

With over 40 years of performing experience, Michael "Hawkeye" Herman exemplifies the range of possibilities in acoustic blues, and personifies versatile musicianship, originality, and compelling artistry as a blues storyteller. His dynamic performances have won him a faithful following, and he leads a very active touring schedule of performances at festivals, concerts, school programs, and workshops. Hawkeye performs a wide variety of traditional blues, ballads, swing, and original tunes, on six-string and twelve-string guitar, and is an adept and exciting practitioner of slide guitar and slide mandolin. His music has been included in video documentaries and in three hit theatrical productions, and his solo CD, Blues Alive!, released in 1998, was greeted by rave reviews and greatly increased the demand for his live performances at major blues and folk festivals. His newest CD, It's All Blues To Me!, was released in May of 2005.

Hawkeye was born in Davenport, IA, on January 11th, 1945. As a teenager, he discovered a broad variety of blues music in late night radio broadcasts from Memphis, Shreveport, Dallas, New Orleans, Little Rock, Chicago, Detroit, and other points beyond the Iowa/Illinois Quad Cities, in the upper Mississippi River Valley area where he was growing up. Hawkeye got his first guitar in 1959, at the age of fourteen, and was performing two years later. Seeking to broaden his musical horizons, he relocated in the San Francisco Bay area in 1968. He sought out, and learned at the feet of many icons of the blues, including: Son House, Brownie McGhee, Bukka White, Mance Lipscomb, Furry Lewis, Lightin' Hopkins, John Jackson, K.C. Douglas, and Sam Chatmon. He became a staple in the Bay Area blues scene as both a solo artist and a back-up guitarist and worked with Charles Brown, Haskell "Cool Papa" Sadler, Sonny Rhodes, Jimmy McCracklin, Buddy Ace, Charles Houf, Little Joe Blue, Boogie Jake, and many others.

Hawkeye began touring outside of California in 1984, and has performed at blues and folk festivals, and in concert, across the US/Canada and Europe. His dynamic performances have won him a faithful following and he leads a very active touring schedule. Hawkeye performs a wide variety of traditional blues, ballads, swing, and original tunes, on six-string and twelve-string guitar, and is an adept and exciting practitioner of slide guitar and slide mandolin. His 1989 album, Everyday Living, featuring Charles Brown and Cool Papa, received much critical acclaim. His song, The Great Flood of &lsquo93, has been used on the sound-tracks of two video documentaries on that Midwest disaster, and has been included in a compact disc anthology of singer/songwriters produced by the New York based music magazine, Fast Folk.

As a music educator, Hawkeye has taken his love of blues music to students of all ages, from pre-school to university campuses through his enthusiastically received "Blues in the Schools" programs, which he initiated in 1980. He has taught guitar for over 25 years, and has presented blues and slide guitar instructional workshops at major folk and blues festivals as a part of his frequent concert touring schedule. In May of 1998, Hawkeye received the "Keeping the Blues Alive" Award for achievement in education from the Blues Foundation in Memphis. The award was the result of many years of blues educational programs he has done for students of all ages. He began this effort long before most blues support organizations and blues festivals even existed. Hawkeye has helped to initiate in-school educational programs for many blues societies and has single-handedly introduced blues music workshops to major festivals. He is the co-founder of the Rogue Valley Blues Festival in his home area of Southern Oregon.

Hawkeye was the composer/musical director/musician for the hit play El Paso Blue, which has had successful runs in San Franciso, Seattle, San Diego, Chicago, Portland, at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Philadelphia, where he was awarded the prestigious Barrymore Theater Award for Best Original Music in a play for the '99/'00 season, and at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR, the largest theater complex in the US. In 2004, Hawkeye performed off Broadway in the New York City production of El Paso Blue. He collaborated with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan on the music for the 2002 West Coast premiere of Schenkkan&rsquos play, Handler, also produced at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Hawkeye served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation in Memphis, and was chairperson of the Foundation's education committee. He has contributed blues historical articles and personal memoirs to many national and regional blues magazines, as well as contributed to the recent book/CD anthology, Up the Mississippi/A Journey Of The Blues, published by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society in 2003.

Hawkeye has provided musical soundtracks for a number of video productions, most recently, Tying Bob Quigley's Signature Flies / Volume One (Pegasus Productions).

Hawkeye served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation in Memphis, and was chairperson of the Foundation's education committee. He maintains an active touring schedule performing in concert and at blues festivals throughout the US/Canada/Europe, and his original articles about blues history appear in numerous national and regional blues magazines and newsletters.

In November of 2004, Hawkeye was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame in Des Moines, IA.

In September of 2005, Hawkeye composed "Katrina, Oh Katrina (Hurricane Blues)", detailing the hurricane disaster on the Gulf Coast, at the request of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). The song was aired to over 7 million listeners on BBC Radio news' "Today" program.

This musician has definitely carved out a spot for himself in the contemporary acoustic blues/folk field, and has earned a reputation as one of the most accomplished artists in the genre. Michael "Hawkeye" Herman has been called "The Midwest's Blues Ambassador," and audiences throughout the US/Canada/Europe have come to know and appreciate Hawkeye's talent, dedication, and captivating performances.



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