Featured Musician Mary Ann Hawkins
4 minutes

Featured Musician Mary Ann Hawkins

- edited by: Michael Kaufmann

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It’s been said to me that I live my life as if I’m in a movie and I can honestly say that’s because I’m constantly taking my experiences and turning them into a song. Any kind of drama or world events I always feel the need to write my way out to understand and it’s so exhausting and time consuming that I can’t tell if it’s a blessing or a curse and I can’t help but wonder if I’ve left my mark on life through my songs. Everyone has a passion about their work but some lose sight of it as they grow older. I’m here to tell you it only gets better with age so please keep your mind healthy and your body will be good to you and it doesn’t matter if you make it or not because as far as I’m concerned everytime my songwriting attitude kicks in then I’ve already made it.

What part of First Coast do you reside now and how long have you lived there?

I’ve lived on the First Coast for over 60 years and 5 of those years was in Ponte Vedra Beach. As of now I have 2 homes one in East Arlington and the other in Keystone Heights. Between 1990-1995 I lived in Antioch, Tennessee just outside of Nashville.

When did you know you had an interest in music?

When I was 4 years old my parents would have late night BBQ’S playing poker with all of their Canadian friends who moved to Jacksonville after my Dad left his tour in The Korean War. They would wake me up late in the night to play my guitar for them while they passed a hat for a tip jar.

Did you start with any specific instrument and migrate to other instruments?

My Acoustic guitars were always my weapons of choice however they led me to teach myself how to play the piano mainly because after a 4hr gig on steel strings the piano was a welcome change to bloody fingertips.

Are you currently in a band (or bands)?

I have currently been playing solo gigs bringing guest artists on board to showcase their talents.

My bands are NIGHTFALL….QUIET STORM….BLUE FLAME which is all original music. I will be showcasing my bands and mostly recording in the studio until I feel the time is right to start booking us again.

Who is your favorite musician or what musician influenced you the most?

As far as the locale scene goes I’d have to say Will Hurley and David Gum on Piano. Patrick A Rose,Brian McElrath,Barry Lee Harwood and Dustin Monk on acoustic and electric guitar.

Are there any specific memories or highlights of your career that you would like to tell us about?!

I was asked to showcase my songs at The Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville so A&R Rep. Mama Price could pitch my songs to Lori Morgan and Reba McEntire for their upcoming albums but unfortunately Mama Price died of a sudden heart attack the week after I showcased my songs. She gave so many famous songwriters a foot in the door and her loss was felt far and wide.

What area bands or musicians are at the top of your list to go out to hear?

Dustin Monk And The Hustle.

Do you have a favorite venue that you enjoy playing locally?

Hurricane Grille and Wings Neptune Beach. Florida Cracker Kitchen Beach Blvd. Whiskey Jax. Beaches and Baymeadows.

Do you have any gigs coming up to tell our readers about?

Hurricane Grille and Wings Neptune Bch 11/5 7:30–10;30. Florida Cracker Kitchen Beach blvd. 11/21 10am-1pm

What is the best way for musicians to network?

By sharing their shows on a social media network or magazine write up. Also by supporting their shows by bringing friends and family along.

Are there any local venue owners/managers that you would like to rave about?!

My boss ARVIN at Hurricanes is the bomb!!!! He’s very easy to communicate with and he’s as kind and as generous as it gets!!!

If you had a question you would like to ask another musician what would it be?

Can you tell just by looking out at your audience what song to play next or do you just run down a list of songs while you read the lyrics off a music sheet or a mini Ipad?

Is there anything else that you want to tell everyone?

Never bring your problems to work with you and always be humble and kind.

Comments / Questions

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts and passion for songwriting cause it’s not everyday I get to do that but i sure give it my best shot when I can!!!

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