Ernie Hawkins (born Ernest Leroy Hawkins, 1947, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American acoustic blues guitar player, singer, recording artist, and educator, who has a Ph.D. in phenomenological psychology.
Hawkins, like Stefan Grossman and Roy Bookbinder, studied with blues legend Reverend Gary Davis in New York City in 1965 and 1966. Over the years, Hawkins learned a variety of styles, including Piedmont blues, Delta blues, country blues, ragtime, and gospel. In 1969, Hawkins moved back to his hometown of Pittsburgh, and enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, achieving a degree in philosophy. In 1973, Hawkins moved to Dallas for graduate school and earned a Ph.D. in phenomenological psychology at the University of Dallas, however, he remained active in music, and was able to perform with Mance Lipscomb, Robert Pete Williams, Fred McDowell, and Robert "Nyles" Jones. In 1978, Hawkins decided to put aside his psychology career and become a full-time musician. In the mid 1980s, Hawkins returned to Pittsburgh, and for the next ten years played lead guitar with the local R&B act Gary Belloma and the Blue Bombers. Over the years, Hawkins played with blues musicians such as Son House, Mance Lipscomb, Fred McDowell, Jim Brewer, Reverend Gary Davis and others, and has been featured in Sing Out!, Fingerstyle Guitar, Dirty Linen, Acoustic Guitar, Blues Revue and Vintage Guitar magazines. He has appeared on "A Prairie Home Companion", "Mountain Stage", "WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour" and XM Satellite Radio.
Hawkins appeared on Maria Muldaur's Grammy and Blues Music Award nominated album Richland Woman Blues (2001), and was the guitarist for the national support tour. He lives in Pittsburgh, and continues to perform, record, teach, and advocate blues music.
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