Those who attended the Port Theatre’s Spotlight Series presentation of Hawksley Workman Nov. 9 were treated to an evening of sheer brilliance.
Ryan Corrigan better known by his stage name Hawksley Workman, is a Canadian rock singer-songwriter who has garnered critical acclaim for his blend of cabaret pop and glam rock.
Workman is a prolific artist whose phenomenal musical performances are peppered with some quirky comedy.
His music is described as alternative pop rock, but what sets it apart is his poetry combined with his most impressive instrument — his massive voice, which can only be described as brilliant.
His 12-year career has produced many records, all ambitiously creative and defying categories.
The six times nominated and two time Juno award winner has enjoyed radio success in Europe and Canada and has written songs for celebrated artists the world over. Workman’s production work (18 albums) has been attached to many successful artists including Tegan and Sara, Serena Ryder, Great Big Sea, Sarah Slean, and Jeremy Fisher.
He is a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, drums, bass, keyboards and singing and when Workman sings his voice soars.
He hits high notes that only a few male artists can do.
Workman commanded the stage along with his keyboard accompanist Todd Lumley aka Mr. Lonely whose piano prowess was equally impressive.
Together the duo was brilliant particularly when they did a duet on the same piano.
What was unique about last Friday’s concert was how his performance fused the energy of a rock concert with the intimacy of theatrical story-telling.
He connected with the audience with interesting anecdotes about how many of his songs were inspired including some real break-up stories.
Watching him perform on stage the audience not only got to hear poetic songs, but enjoyed a stand up comedy act as well.
Chit-chatting in a casual way his humorous recollections made for a most entertaining evening that provided a glimpse into Workman’s crazy world.
His story about missing a post Grammy award party being hosted by pop icon Prince because he ate some bad sushi was hilarious.
Workman described how he was heckled by drivers as he walked along the streets of Hollywood throwing up while wearing a pair of $300 jeans he bought for the party even though he could not afford them.
Workman has recorded a lot of music and many of his songs are simple studies in the physical, poetic expressions of sexuality pure and raw including: Jealous of Your Cigarette, We Still Need a Song and Your Beauty Must be Rubbing Off.
The Canadian musician has no performance limits and as he continues to evolve it is easy to see why his fan base continues to grow and why Workman will be remembered by those who were at the Port Theatre as a good time.