Fire Out of Stone
3 Notches Music
Treading The Fine Line Between Contemporary Country and Americana With Ease
For someone who has been ‘on the scene’ for a whole lot of years Chuck Hawthorne isn’t the most prolific of recording artists; with this being only his second release and a follow up to the debut disc in 2015, Silver Line (which we loved).
Even this release only came about when Chuck received a copy of his friend and ‘Original Outlaw’ Richard Dobson’s posthumous release I Hear Singing; and especially the beautiful I Will Fight No More Forever, which Chuck has faithfully recorded and has chosen to close his album with.
The evocative Such is Life (C’est La Vie) an epic tale of a Biker’s ‘last ever ride’ on ’46 Indian opens proceedings and sets the mood quite perfectly for a series of stories and anecdotes that couldn’t be more Americana if each came packaged in the Stars and Stripes.
Like so many before him, Chuck Hawthorne is obviously a mighty fine songwriter, but what sets him apart is his expressively warm voice which draws the you in as if you are listening to a secret. Prime examples are Standing Alone and Broken Good; but it’s true of just about every song here.
While there’s a definite ‘taste’ of Don Williams and Charly Pride in the way Hawthorne delivers Amarillo Wind, Arrowhead & Porcupine Claw and the winsome Worthy of the Sea; but all are a lot more contemporary and slightly edgier than either of those Legends would or could write or sing about; with Chuck Hawthorne majestically treading the tightrope that is Country Music these days.
Earlier today I read an article about why Country Music radio in the USA is haemorrhaging listeners; and while some of what the journalist said was true …… he also failed to mention that there should be a place on daytime radio for singers like this; especially when he can break a heart in two one minute with Broken Wire then lift you up and make you think deeply about the world we live in with New Lost Generation; but perhaps these are the ‘truths’ they don’t want you to hear?
That last song New Lost Generation is by far Chuck Hawthorne’s finest song here, but I’m going for his rendition of his friend Richard Dobson’s ode to Chief Joseph, I Will Fight No More Forever as the RMHQ Favourite Song; because it’s not just intelligent and articulate but a song that will stay with me forever; and also make me hunt down the original album it came from.
Released 26th July 2019