By Dick Shaner
Singer/songwriter Ron Hawkins is best
known to Western New York music fans from his days – and high-energy Buffalo
area shows – with Toronto’s beloved Lowest of the Low, as front man for the
Rusty Nails, and for his Acoustic Review. Ron’s solo career includes his latest
release, “10 Kinds of Lonely,” and a coveted spot opening for Billy Bragg
across Canada this fall.
is also an accomplished artist and will showcase both sides of his talent at a
pair of upcoming Buffalo shows titled simply, Art and Music.
Vault art gallery at 702 Main and Tupper will display more than two dozen new
paintings by Ron on Friday, November 13. The artwork includes rendered
portraits of musicians including Johnny Cash, Feist, Joe Strummer, Jeff Tweedy,
Sid Vicious, Tom Waits and Johnny Rotten (seen here).
Saturday night, November 14, Ron will appear at the Allendale Theatre, 203
Allen Street, where he will debut songs from his new release and perform a few
old favorites as well.
art and music show came about when Ron had the idea of a “recession buster”
series of smaller paintings. “I often heard people lament that they liked my
work, but couldn’t afford to buy some of the larger pieces,” Ron said. “Being
in the same economic boat, I thought this was both good karma and a savvy
friend and Buffalo area promoter Vincent Lesh of Elmwoode suggested Ron do a portrait of Johnny Rotten or Joey
Ramone. Always one to “take an idea and turn it into a massive, labor-intensive
project,” Ron decided to do an “alphabet of sorts,” to include 26 paintings of
musicians of all stripes, from punk to country to jazz.
paintings are all 3.75 x 5.75 inches, include custom framing, and are ready to
technique is oil on Mylar, mounted on wood panel. Ron uses a Mylar that is
frosted, and semi-opaque. “I find that I’m able to do a sort of alla prima
style (painted in one sitting) that also gives a blended effect which might be
achieved by several layers of paint and glaze. Though they aren’t done in one
sitting, typically I do two or three sessions on each, they maintain the energy
of something done as one spontaneous piece.
frames are all shadow boxes and are painted oxide red, the intention being to
give them a uniform look and to reinforce the series, or alphabet allusion.”
to the Vault show is free (21 and over). Doors open at 8 p.m. and the evening
includes a reception with Ron and a brief solo acoustic show with Alex McMaster
at 10 p.m.
for the Saturday, November 14 show at the Allendale Theatre will be available
at the door and are also on sale now.
says, “10 Kinds of Lonely” is a country record that began as demos recorded
solely by himself in his basement last winter, and that “The Devil Went Down”
was the first song to really come together.
wrote it after finding out that the quaint Ontario town near my parent’s
cottage turns into a crystal-meth addicted teenage hellscape after dark.
started me thinking about small town life and the people who grow up there. One
story turned into two, one song turned into ten, and the demos turned into the
recruited a few friends – Alex McMaster, cello and vocals; Lawrence Nichols,
harmonica and vocals; Jill Riley, vocals; and Jeremy Strachan, tenor and
baritone sax – painted the cover art and finished the disc.”
Ron said he is really looking forward to
playing his first show at the Allendale, a beautifully restored gem, built in
1913, and reopened as the home of Theatre of Youth in December of 1999 after a
long restoration. He’s also
excited about its proximity to The Old Pink, a favorite post-gig destination.
open at 8PM for a reception with Ron where he will again display his
paintings. The music starts at 9PM featuring Ron and Alex.