Hawksley Workman @ Glenn Gould Studio

. : : November 4th, 2011 : : .

I’ve written about Hawksley Workman a few times before. In these reviews I usually go on to disperse adjectives generally reserved for gross hyperbole, but in the context of a Hawksley Workman review, they are entirely without irony or exaggeration.

A consummate performer dripping with charismatic charm, you cannot help but be enthralled by Hawksley within minutes of first seeing him perform. So when blog regular and friend @Ricker sent me a tweet informing me that Hawksley would be performing at the For A Living Planet event, organized as a fundraiser for the World Wildlife Fund — one of the few charities I personally support — it seemed like a no-brainer.

Any hesitation I might have had about the $45 enterance fee (an amount I’d gladly pay for a full Hawksley Workman set, but this would be a shared bill) was dashed out the door when I read the event was being held at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio.

Without a doubt, Glenn Gould is one of the best sounding venues in the city. Like others similarly brilliant sounding venues in the city (The Drake Underground, anyone?), Glenn Gould eschews volume for separation and pristine, breath-taking crystal clarity. It’s beautiful, it’s classy, and I can’t think of a better place to see Hawksley.

A better time? Well, that’s a different story. As the first of three marquee performers on the shared bill, each band’s set was painfully short. Clocking in at just under forty minutes, Hawksley (accompanied by Mr. Lonely on piano) managed to sneak in just five songs. Sure, a couple of songs stretch on for more than five minutes, but a good chunk of the evening was taken up by Hawksley’s amicable, albeit often meandering, bantering that would be frustrating if it wasn’t so damn endearing.

Based on Hawksley’s self-censoring of the naughty lyrics in Warhol’s Portrait of Gretzky, I’d guess that the event was taped for CBC, likely to later be aired on an episode of Canada Live. Until I can capture the digital FM broadcast, this is a fine consolation prize to tide you over.

Otherwise, I’ll stop this review early, before I can’t control the inevitable explosion of favourable adjectives. Get this tape.

01. [introduction]
02. [banter]
03. A House Or Maybe A Boat
04. [banter]
05. Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off
06. [banter]
07. Warhol’s Portrait of Gretzky
08. [banter]
09. Autumn’s Here
10. [banter]
11. Oh You Delicate Heart

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[ Request FLAC or MP3 Download ]

Oh You Delicate Heart (Live In Toronto) [MP3 sample]

Thanks to Hawksley Workman, Mr. Lonely, Glenn Gould Studio and the World Wildlife Fund.

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