A well constructed and well done CD that certainly brings the ‘cowboy’ way to life.
Wow, this is a fun one to listen to!
How in the world does a professor in Maryland become a member of the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists become a yodeling cowboy singer? In today’s world, that’s not so hard to do. This excellent old-timey yodeling cowboy singer has been influenced by not only Janet McBride who is going to host a cowboy-western night this year at LeMars, but also K G & The Ranger, who will also be with us for that show. We would certainly welcome Tom Hawk’s easy to listen to old-time yodeling songs in western style. I can’t get over it, he is also a mutual friend to Mike Johnson who lives near Washington DC, and Tom I have to tell you, Mike is going to be with us for the big cowboy show too.
Greg Latta helped Tom put this particular CD together, playing 6 and 12-string guitars, some banjo, some bass, some harmonica, and occasionally sleigh bells. Wow this is a fun one to listen to. I can yodel a little, but only in the Jimmie Rodgers blues style, but this guy Tom Hawk is right into the original ‘cowboy and western’ style of yodeling, so it’s a great change for me. I’d have to say he’s pretty accurate on everything he’s doing on this CD. I particularly liked “Out on the Lone Prairie” where no doubt yodeling could become a passionate substitute for loneliness and away from family for long periods of time. Good going I say, this is a well constructed and well done CD that certainly bring the ‘cowboy’ way to life. Professor Tom, if you can make your way to LeMars, Iowa, I’ll not only buy you an ice cream cone from the Blue Bunny company which is located here, I’ll also put you on the “Cowboy and Western Show” which will take place August 31.
Bob Everhart, President, National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show (Jul-Sept 2011)
A Worthy First Outing
To his credit “The Yodeling Professor” left professing and came to music, loved it, and began learning how to do it.
Done with multi-instrumentalist Greg Latta providing accompaniment Tom Hawk gives credit to two of his yodeling inspirations; Taylor Ware & Margo Smith. He also states that all the songs have been recorded by others but they are songs that have spoken to his heart and bring him joy. Can’t argue with sentiments like that!
Hawk is a developing artist who is obviously working to create within his chosen art form, and he can get there through perseverance. The technical aspect of yodeling is in place already. There could be more of the seemingly effortless warble of the bird about it and the smile that he shows on his CD cover needs to also be audible in the songs. Also a good producer’s ear in the mixdown…some reverb here, a backed-off attack there…never hurts. Twelve tracks total.
It’s a worthy first outing, and we’ll watch how things develop.
The focus of my repertoire is primarily on western yodeling songs and traditional cowboy and western songs from the first half of the twentieth century. I perform at a number of venues in the United States as well as abroad.