A few months ago, I received a nice surprise in my email – a promo copy of the new Heyward Howkins album, about a year after the debut. An unexpectedly quick follow-up, it quickly became one of my favorite records of the year. I reviewed it right around the release date here, and still have it in my regular rotation. I recently had the chance to catch up with Heyward and we had the chance to talk about music, Philadelphia, and you guessed it…coffee.
Can one ever truly leave home? Sure, The Ramones left home in 1977 but I’m talking about in the truest sense of the term. I left Pennsylvania in 2002, wide-eyed and optimistic about what waited for me in Washington State (it turns out – my ancestors – but that is a story for another time). I have to say though, as much as I love the Seattle area – Pennsylvania calls to me in unexpected ways as the years pass. On a recent trip to Montana I found myself creating a mental checklist of ways in which Montana reminded me of Pennsylvania. We can leave where we grew up but home is always where the heart is. The debut album by Heyward Howkins is a stunning exploration of his Pennsylvania roots spun in what is quickly becoming the trademark Philadelphia sound – country-ish Appalachian inspired folk (not to be confused with fellow Pennsylvania natives The Bacon Brothers style of Forosco aka folk-rock-soul-country)