R&B-JAZZ GUITARIST ADAM HAWLEY IS "RISING UP" TO THE OCCASION WITH NEW CD DROPPING SEPT. 10.
Compiled By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
ADAM HAWLEY IS: "RISIN' UP"
Dropping his third album two weeks prior to last year’s stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t halt guitarist Adam Hawley’s remarkable chart domination. His R&B-jazz collection “Escape” proved inescapable, scoring three No. 1 singles, including the No. 1 single of 2020, “To The Top.”
The musician-songwriter-producer who to date has amassed nine No. 1 singles returns on Sept. 10 with his fourth album, “Risin’ Up,” which will be preceded by the horn-powered title track as the first single that debuted on Aug. 16.
The second release on Hawley’s MBF Entertainment label, “Risin’ Up” is purposely upbeat after what the world has endured since his last album.
“Risin’ Up” represents us as a country ascending over the past year and a half with a sense of renewed purpose and vigor," said Hawley who wrote nine new songs for the set, three of which were cowritten by keyboardist Carnell Harrell. "It’s about overcoming and feeling inspired and hopeful."
Hawley added the title track, featuring a great horn arrangement from David Mann, encapsulates the positivity of this album. "I started writing as soon as my last album was released, which coincided with the pandemic. Like many others, I found myself at home with a great deal of time on my hands and spent most of it in the studio writing, experimenting with new sounds, and exploring my creativity.”
One of the other things that Hawley did during quarantine was launch “AH•Live!,” a weekly Facebook Live show on which he interviews and jams remotely with other prominent musicians from the R&B and contemporary jazz worlds. Connecting with his fellow artists from a different perspective opened the door to new collaborations. That’s how Hawley got saxophonists and fellow chart-toppers Steve Cole, Vincent Ingala and Riley Richard to appear on the album.
“Many of the musicians on the record were people I got to know better through the show and collaborating virtually via my broadcast. It was natural to think of them for this album and I was excited that they agreed,” said Hawley, who will support the new album with concert dates through the end of the year.
Other featured soloists on “Risin’ Up” include bassist Julian Vaughn, who appeared on Hawley’s second album, “Double Vision,” and Kat Hawley, his wife who sings on all of his projects. Kat Hawley’s vocals command the spotlight on “Tell Me You Love Me,” a reimagined Demi Lovato tune that closes the collection.
The album explodes out of the gate with “Gotta Get Up,” a danceable number that recalls the mighty Earth, Wind & Fire horn section. The powerhouse horn arrangement in this case was provided by Michael Stever, Hawley’s former bandmate when the two toured with hitmaker Brian Culbertson.
“I always like to make a statement with the opening track and this funky tune is no exception. Look out for the killer horn break!” said Hawley, who released his first two albums on Kalimba Records, the label founded by EWF visionary Maurice White.
As charismatic as he is a nimble-fingered fretman, Hawley was an in-demand sideman and versatile session player who played with Jennifer Lopez, Natalie Cole, Dave Koz, The Manhattan Transfer, Brian McKnight and Backstreet Boys among others before dropping his 2016 debut disc, “Just the Beginning.” He’s performed as a solo artist at festivals, theaters and clubs around the world. An educator who earned a doctorate in music arts from the University of Southern California, Hawley has played in the house band on “American Idol.”
For more information on Adam Hawley please visit https://adamhawley.com.