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With its lyric originality, unforgettable melodies and contributions by a dazzling array of artists, this is a truly exceptional recording.

At the heart of Dancing Alone are 22 songs by William Hawkins: the songs of an accomplished poet. Songs of love and lust, loss and longing, tragedy and heartbreak. Tender and haunting songs, like "Scorpio" and "Gnostic Serenade". Goofy and raunchy songs, like "Christopher’s Movie Matinee" and "Frankly Stoned". Songs with a wicked humor and a rare emotional honesty. Like fellow poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen, Bill Hawkins understands pain yet knows how to laugh at himself.

This two-CD set mobilizes a wealth of musical talent to interpret Hawkins’ music.

The lineup brings together two generations of Canada’s best folk, blues, jazz and country artists: Bruce Cockburn, Sandy Crawley, Kellylee Evans, Mike Evin, Terry Gillespie, Murray McLauchlan, Lynn Miles, Ana Miura, Bill Stevenson, Ian Tamblyn, Brent Titcomb, Suzie Vinnick, Sneezy Waters, and Neville Wells, backed by a diverse group of fine instrumentalists.

Clearly inspired by Hawkins’ compositions, each of these artists stamps his or her unique imprint on every song. And as producer, acclaimed musician Ian Tamblyn brings to the project his own luminous creativity:

"I wasn’t part of the heady scene that generated Hawkins’ songs," Tamblyn states, "yet through this project I have come to know his music and some of the characters from those protean times. Besides some wonderful, elegant, zany and enduring music, what I’ve received from this experience is an understanding of the ongoing affection and admiration these musicians have for each other and for this enigmatic fellow, Bill Hawkins. I join them in appreciation of Bill’s work and generosity. Thanks also to Harvey Glatt for his faith in me and for the opportunity to undertake this project, and thanks to all the musicians who made Dancing Alonesuch a pleasure to work on. Quite a trip."

Indeed it is. Hawkins’ music now resonates memorably for all of us.

-- Roy MacSkimming

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