Personnel: Ronnie Hawkins (vocals); Duane Allman, Eddie Hinton, Jimmy Johnson (guitar); King Biscuit Boy (harmonica); Scott Cushnie, Barry Beckett (keyboards); Roger Hawkins (drums).
Liner Note Author: Ritchie Yorke.
On the heels of the Band's breakthrough, Ronnie Hawkins seized his tangential spotlight, signing to Cotillion Records in 1970 and recording this eponymous album. Produced by Tom Dowd and Jerry Wexler, Ronnie Hawkins is pitched halfway between rockabilly and the early dawn of progressive folk-country, with the Hawk singing two songs apiece from Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot. Hawkins acquits himself well on this folkier material, particularly when it's pitched to a soft AM pop crossover audience as it is on the closing Lightfoot number "Home from the Forest," but that's more of a testament to Dowd and Wexler than it is to Ronnie. The singer really sounds best when he's tearing into '50s rock & roll classics -- "Matchbox," a truly gutsy "Down in the Alley," revivals of "Forty Days" and "Who Do You Love" -- and that leaves Ronnie Hawkins a bit off-kilter: oddly, the material that was meant to sound contemporary is what sounds dated and the tunes that were oldies in 1970 now sound liveliest. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine