Ron Hawkins is an uncommonly versatile songwriter. So while prolonged exposure to Elvis Costello and Squeeze has had an appreciable effect on his music, he's gifted enough to roll with it before moving in the opposite direction. Just as the song Little Backstabber has you wondering if you've forgotten something from This Year's Model, in creeps Guttering, shoulders hunched and head bowed in pensive reserve.
That's breadth. And taken together, the songs on Crackstatic amount to a record that never stays put long enough to earn a binding definition, though very clever pop comes closest. Production by guitar guru Ian Blurton and supreme backing by the Rusty Nails both play to Hawkins's strengths. Hawkins and the Nails unveil Crackstatic Saturday (October 21) at the Horseshoe. KH