"Ernie Hawkins is a true living apostle of the True Loving Blues. He delivers a huge measure of Soul in every note, and that's what the Blues are about!" Maria Muldaur
Ernie Hawkins, Pittsburgh based acoustic guitar virtuoso, plays and sings blues, ragtime, and gospel. His riveting music springs mostly from the early 1900’s east coast Piedmont and Texas steel-string flattop fingerpicking styles. In performance Ernie captivates the audience by infusing his articulate and dynamic personal style while communicating the tradition of this intricate and complex style.
“Ernie Hawkins is an important link in the unbroken chain of blues and gospel artists. His guitaristry and love of the style is incomparable. From the Rev. Gary Davis into the future with his own style Ernie is one of the special ones!” Jorma Kaukonen
Ernie’s latest release “Rags and Bones” follows “Mean Little Poodle” (Oct. 2002), “Bluesified” (Jan. 2001), "Blues Advice" (1996), "Celtic Christmas" (w/ LE McCullough, G.Balderose, TH Gillespie -- 1998) and "Ragtime Signatures" (1980). Instructional videos by Ernie have been released by Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop: “The Music of... Lightnin’ Hopkins, ... Blind Willie McTell, ... Mance Lipscomb”(2 Vol.) and four Rev. Gary Davis gospel videos.
Ernie’s early exposure to roots music was under the tutelage of the caretaker on his uncle’s farm. Ernie studied extensively with Rev. Gary Davis, and played with Son House, Mance Lipscomb, Fred McDowell, Robert Pete Williams, Arthur Crudup, and many others. In addition, he spent thousands of hours ferreting out and studying obscure and historic recordings. Ernie went home to the source.
Ernie took a detour to earn a PhD in phenomenological psychology at the University of Dallas.
Ernie has appeared on "A Prairie Home Companion", “Mountain Stage” and “Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour” and toured extensively in Europe and Japan. He has been featured in SingOUT! summer 2001, Fingerstyle Guitar summer 2000,Vintage Guitar August 2004 and Acoustic Guitar June 2006.
Ernie Hawkins has become one of our best living links to this rich and magnificent American musical heritage, and is joyfully dedicated to preserving and passing on his treasured knowledge, both “in the letter” and “in the spirit”.
Ernie appears on Maria Muldaur’s Indie winning, Grammy and Handy-nominated album, “Richland Woman Blues” and was the guitarist for her all-acoustic national tour.
As one of a handful fortunate enough to study with the old masters, he now serves as a master to other aspiring musicians. Ernie is dedicated to the continuation of this music and generously shares his “trade secrets”. His instruction is tailored to fit any situation, audience or school. A beloved and patient teacher, he is in demand worldwide and has taught at most of the major guitar camps.
“Bluesified” regularly plays in the preemie and radiation unit of a Pittsburgh hospital where the soothing and soulful melodies are considered an integral part of the healing process. “Rags and Bones” has reviewers raving it is his finest work to date.