Hawksley Night in Canada

I believe any artist I spin has a great imagination. They’re creators, people who bring ideas to life via musical compositions. Hawksley Workman, the one-man jam outta Ontario, has kept me guessing for over a decade. The man conjures up idea after idea and consistently re-imagines his sonic signature.

Hawksley Workman headlines shows in Canada. Sadly, few know of him in the States. His ability to create energy in an artful, I’m going to do it my way draws me in. It’s his unique musical footprint that caught someone else’s ear, too.

Queueing up songs to set a mood and create energy brings me joy. Sometimes it’s an independent endeavor, other times, it’s for an audience of two. The setting was my girlfriend’s kitchen as we collaborated on our first joint dinner. I was plugged in, playing who knows what and was asked to consult the recipe. I inputted her password to access the app – trust had been established – and Spotify appeared on her device. At this moment, we as a couple are a month in. Deep musical conversations hadn’t transpired yet; I only knew so much of what she gravitated towards. If name dropping had happened, it wouldn’t have been anything obscure.

I do a double-take, and I ask myself whose phone I’m clutching. My hand is wrapped tightly around her pink cassette cased mobile and the screen is displaying Treeful of Starling, Workman’s 2006 ballad-heavy, nice on the toy piano record. How is this possible? At this point, I’m well versed in his catalog, aware of his lack of presence nationally, and absolutely floored my girlfriend recently spun him. Standing in a girl’s kitchen I barely know, blankly staring at a screen, with a mind already stumbling over my next set of words, whatever action I follow with is crucial. An epiphany strikes me: this girl is whip- smart and crazy cute, she knows of this quirky lost Canadian, what’s my move?

We joke this moment defined our relationship: Any girl who knew and listened to Hawksley Workman was special. Picture something you value, anything that has brought you repeated pleasure, and then create an alternate reality where you meet a person who shares this interest.

Fast forward eight years and that girlfriend is now my wife, and we are sharing “Hawksley Night in Canada” intimately this evening. A 75-minute virtual show of “your favourite songs”, “Hawk Talk”, and “Pet Songs” broadcast from Hawksley’s father-in-law’s basement.

We make decisions every day. Some affect us immediately, others don’t show their effect until later in life. If I remove a few simple variables from life’s complex equation, I have to ask myself, How different is today if her phone didn’t open to Treeful of Starling?

1 Response to “Hawksley Night in Canada”

  1. May 21, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    No shit!? I love this, Dave! How sweet, that pink phone! I need to read again.

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