Austin acts and others with local connections make up the bulk of the track list on “Cold and Bitter Tears: The Songs of Ted Hawkins,” a tribute album to the late blues-folk great coming Oct. 23 on the Austin label Eight 30 Records.
The hometown participants include James McMurtry, Jon Dee Graham, Sunny Sweeney, Randy Weeks, Gurf Morlix, Ramsay Midwood and Shinyribs. Also in the lineup are Danny Barnes and Steve James, former area residents now living in Washington state, and the Damnations, one of Austin’s top alt-country bands of the late-’90s before its members moved away.
Shinyribs leader Kevin Russell co-produced the album along with Jenni Finlay, who manages McMurtry, and writer Brian T. Atkinson (an occasional American-Statesman freelance contributor).
In a press release, Russell said that “the opportunity to steward this tribute record is a ‘go tell it on the mountain’ moment for me that I hope can bring greater attention to the songs and recordings of Mr. Hawkins himself.”
Hawkins, who’s included via the hidden track “Great New Year” (an unreleased demo), was in the midst of a career revival with his 1994 abum “The Next Hundred Years” before his death on New Year’s Day of 1995 at age 58. He was well-known in southern California for his frequent performances on the Venice Beach boardwalk.
Here’s the full track list:
James McMurtry, “Big Things”
Kasey Chambers & Bill Chambers, “Cold and Bitter Tears”
Tim Easton, “One Hundred Miles”
Mary Gauthier, “Sorry You’re Sick”
Jon Dee Graham, “Strange Conversation”
Sunny Sweeney, “Happy Hour”
Randy Weeks, “I Got What I Wanted”
Tina-Marie Hawkins Fowler with Elizabeth Hawkins, “Baby”
Gurf Morlix, “I Gave Up All I Had”
Danny Barnes, “Bad Dog”
Damnations, “Bring It on Home Daddy”
Ramsay Midwood, “My Last Goodbye”
Shinyribs, “Who Got My Natural Comb”
Steve James, “Whole Lotta Women”
Evan Felker, “Peace and Happiness”