Destined to remain remembered as the frontman of indie rock heroes The Lowest Of The Low, ace songsmith Ron Hawkins now leads another formidable combo, the Do Good Assassins. To make Garden Songs, the band worked at a furious pace in elite studio Revolution Recording, and the live off the floor results are highly impressive. The material here (four new songs alongside six reprised from earlier records) focuses on the ballads side of the troubadour's repertoire, but Hawkins tells us to expect more rock 'n roll on a new record they're already working on. First single "Peace and Quiet" is faring well, and there's not a dud cut here. The band launched the album in stirring fashion last week with three nights at The Drake in Toronto (we caught the first). These Garden Songs were brought to life by an expanded DGA, featuring a horn section and keyboards by long-time comrade Bob Wiseman (Blue Rodeo). Despite the presence of as many as nine players on some numbers, it was Hawkins' eloquent songs and gritty vocals that were centrestage.
For a full listing of upcoming Ontario gigs, check here.