Blending passion with elegance and sophistication, Doug Hawco presents his new album Follow, acollection of nine original songs plus two covers. This album is a follow-up to 2017’s Life On The Water, which saw Doug evolve from a small town rocker, into a professional, mature musician bringing value to his folk roots. With Follow, Doug Hawco has shaken off the dust from the road, and has committed himself to the majesty of folk guitar and evolved songwriting. Mixed with themes of partying, regret, content, and fun, Follow offers the listener an in-depth view of Doug’s Halifax roots.
The title track for Follow is mature well-written piece utilizing an up-tempo strumming rhythm which drives the rhythms forward like a Matador in a bullfight, brandishing a rose between his teeth. The suave singing styles of Doug Hawco croons the listener with his light baritone grandeur. “Wherever I will go, If you follow me, I would take you wherever I will go.” A romantic folk melody to set the pace for the rest of the album, Doug asserts his charm and presence with the listener with rich dynamics in his guitar and salsa-inspired percussion.
I’m A Fool, showcases Doug’s proficiency with the guitar as he rings out every picked note with grace and style. Coupled this melody with Doug’s natural vocal harmonies, this track presents a full spectrum sound, as displayed in the chorus as Doug executes a falsetto harmony to his vocal, ascending his vocal range. “I’m a fool, a fool for you”, a song rich with thematic elements of insecurities and doubts, “When you walk into the room, and everything seems fine, if I don’t say what you want, then I’m a fool.” To compliment I’m a Fool, Doug offer this track in the outset of the album as an acoustic-only piece, creating a stronger folk feel than its full instrument rocker counterpart.
We cannot complete this review without touching on the two cover songs, Doug offers in this collection. Adele’s Hello is a track that most would find too risky to attempt, however, Doug Hawco relishes the challenge and executes a mindful, complete rendition of this modern classic. The fingerstyle guitar lines exquisitely create a melody complimenting the baritone vocals. Coupled with Hello, Doug Hawco plays tribute to the late Tom Petty with his version of Free Falling. A folk, downtempo acoustic interpretation of this timeless rocker. Again, Doug showcases his vocal might as he carries the high notes with his upper register falsetto.
This is a highly enjoyable album which should make it into any folk collection. This contains many would be singles which could be sent to adult contemporary, middle of the road radio formats. As reflected by Doug, this album targets “A stadium of 5000 or a cafe of 20 will be clapping and singing along with his performance.”
With the high production values, as each track is mixed professionally and skillfully, the rich dynamics calm and satisfy the listener. The overall lyricism on Follow display a mature and evolved songwriter destined to take his music to the major label level. We would expect to see Doug Hawco embarking on a national tour backed by an album of this caliber, gaining the attention he deserves.
About Doug Hawco
Doug Hawco is based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Doug initially started out on George Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland, performing almost every day and night of the week.
In 2000 Doug started performing in Vancouver, Canada in the winter months and back to the East coast throughout the milder seasons. He moved to Nova Scotia in 2003 to record his first album,“My World” and quickly started performing in bars throughout the Maritime Provinces over the next 13 years.
In February 2017 Doug released his 2nd full length album called “Life on the Water”, which has earned him award nominations along with local radio charting.
Doug Hawco writes on emotion instead of genre mainly due to his musical influences of rockers U2, Ryan Adams, Dave Matthews to name a few.