I don’t pretend to be a music reviewer. I’m always the first to admit that my music taste is less than perfect. My basic rule of thumb is that if Ryan Seacrest hasn’t talked about it than it’s probably not good. Like I said: embarrassing.

I really do like all kinds of music, but in today’s fast paced world, I have a hard time being exposed to anything that could be classified as “good music”.

So I was very happy when my cousin told me that she had gotten us two tickets to see Ontario native Hawksley Workman live in Banff for Easter weekend. Hawksley Workman is neither hugely popular in mainstream music nor has he ever been featured on Rick Dees and The Weekly Top 40 so this was going to be a great chance for me to take in some of that “good music” I have been hearing so much about.

To be fair, I had heard of Hawksley before. The song “We Still Need A Song” was my personal anthem for my short lived attempt at the “trying to work out” period in my life. While that week seemed to drag on forever, the song always seemed to pick me up.

Needless to say I was a little nervous about going to a concert in which I only knew one song. But at the very least I would have something to look forward to right?. Well, unfortunately Hawksley Workman played that song first (on a toy drum and pianto set no less)! Now what was I going to do? I decided that there was nothing I could do but sit back and enjoy the show.

The first thing anyone will notice about Hawksley (born Ryan Corrigan) is that he is a genuine artist in every sense of the word. You can tell he loves what he does and it really is a pleasure to see how effortlessly he can control both his powerful voice and a cheering crowd. Watching him perform is kinda like watching a stand up comic. He makes it look so easy that you wanna go home and learn how to sing. The only problem is that you can’t sing and your musical career has probably peaked with the 80% you got on the Easy Level of Rock Band.

I also really enjoyed how every member of the band was given their moment to shine in the spotlight. I’ve always wondered if back up singers feel at least a little resentment towards the solo artist but I didn’t have to worry about this time. Each of the artists on stage gave amazing solo performances and were on the receiving end of Hawksley Workman’s constant pride and admiration.

Perhaps what is most impressive and something that most Top 40 artists should take notice of (I’m talking to you Nickleback) is that Hawksley Workman performed for 3 hours straight. That’s right. No opening act and no intermission. Just song after song after song. And if you have listened to Hawksley before you know that his songs aren’t easy to sing. He almost literally pours his heart and soul on to the stage.

One of the things I’ve never understood about concert reviews is why you’d want to read them after the show is done. How is that helpful to you if you decided you wanted to see that artists. That’s why this review is different. Hawksley Workman will be playing this Tuesday (March 25th) at the Jack Singer Hall in Calgary. And since the show is only $30 a ticket, it is the perfect opportunity to catch this amazing Canadian artist. I mean we all spend at least $30 watching Cavemen speak perfect English at the local movie theatre anyway. Why not put that money towards watching a pure talent give you chills…..in a good way. Again, I’m talking to you Nickleback.

Mike Morrison