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Risin' Up

Despite the title of his latest album, guitarist Adam Hawley's star has been rising well before unleashing his newest project.  To recap the successes of the relatively newcomer to the scene, Hawley's first two albums, Double Vision and Just The Beginning, garnered six #1 hits and to his credit, so far he has collected 9 #1 smooth hits in what has been an unprecedented start to his career. Add in his third album, Escape, which included the 2020 Billboard Song Of The Year, "To the Top", giving Hawley the distinction of being the the most radio-played artist for that year. 

Now with the release of album #4, Risin' Up, Hawley shows us again why he is destined for even greater heights. The guitarist and composer again is brilliant on this ten song continuation of his highly noteworthy career, weaving more of the irresistible, funky RnB grooves and licks into his repertoire for a sound that is rich, lush and infused with style. Joining on the album are several key contributors, including a trifecta of sax greats, Vincent Ingala, Steve Cole, and Riley Richard, and a superb jam track with bassist, Julian Vaughn. While tempo and rhythm are key ingredients to Hawley's magnificence on Risin Up, it's important to note the work of drummer, Ramon Yslas, of the legendary brass rock and pop band, Chicago, as he also engineered the percussion tracks for the album.

The title song burst onto the charts with Hawley's ultra happy hand-clapping rhythm, infectious chords and finely tuned, ultra tight horn arrangement. Saxophonist, Steve Cole, pairs perfectly on the bluesy leaning "Keep It There", with more horn section energy and accompaniment to add even more lustre. Hawley's sophisticated guitar style plays along perfectly with another fellow groover on "Let's Get Down Tonight" - saxophonist, Vincent Ingala, who has built a rep with his penchant and talent for funky urban jazz fare.  And not missing a beat or step, Hawley and Riley Richard are an unstoppable tandem on "Keep On Dancin'", guaranteed to keep your feet moving or head bopping, whichever comes more easily. "Right On, Right On" brings on the esteemed talents of bassist, Julian Vaughn, to perfectly sync his style with an infusion of more of Hawley's delectable smooth and addictive licks. Marcus Anderson makes a surprise guest appearance on flute on this yet another hip groove.

Risin' Up combines all the right elements that a music fan savours with delightfully written, performed and arranged songs that showcase a style that Hawley has perfected for his own. If his entry into the smooth music arena was a steady ascent, Risin' Up pushes his altitude to even greater heights.

Reviewed By
Stu Berketo
On-air Host

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