The Hale & Hearty (no label)
Folky singer/songwriters are certainly in no short supply these days. Nope, there’s a real plethora of ‘em stretchin’ out all across this great nation, east to west, north to south. Probably in Alaska and Hawaii and some of the territories too. (We still got territories?). It’s lucky for Heyward Howkins that he’s got some singer/songwriter chops. The eleven songs on The Hale & Hearty feature some quality songwriting with full, but not cluttered, arrangements that showcase his ease at writing gently rolling melodies. Howkins makes a smart move hooking the listener early too. The record kicks of with the simple and beautiful “Thunderin’ Stop”, a simple guitar and violin tune which is not thunderin’ in a thunderin’ sense but the point is made nonetheless. The rest of the record follows suit with mellow, buttery jams (“The Live Oak”) and more somber numbers (“The Raucous Call of Morning”). A solid, earnest effort from a relatively unknown player.
As a side note, Howkins’ Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather (G5) was the “Singing Signer” Thomas Heyward who put his John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence (along with John Hancock) in 1776—Jan Hancock [Heywood Howkins]