Band and Blues history

THE DUO
Rob on guitar accompanied by either upright or electric bass. The repertoire is primarily instrumental and includes jazz and blues. This duo plays at low volume, so it’s perfect for small venues such as restaurants, art galleries, and house parties.

THE TRIO
Rob backed by electric bass and drums. The current Miami lineup features Reed Roberts on Bass and vocals and Jimmie Harrell on drums and vocals. Chicago blues, 60’s R&B, soul, and jazz.

BAND WITH FEATURED VOCALIST
Perfect for festivals, top blues clubs, and special events. In South Florida Rob has recently been appearing with Sheba the Mississippi Queen, a soulful and charismatic vocalist and entertainer.

Throughout his career Rob has backed numerous vocalists and blues artists including Clifford Hawkins, Wild Child Butler, Little Bobby, John Lee Hooker, Jean and Karen Carroll, and Bill Warren.

The Blues: An American Art Form
video with Rob Moore and Sheba

The Blues: An American Art Form from Robin Foster on Vimeo.

A 2010 Black History Month production at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus.

Hosted by Robert Moore. – Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010

The Blues had its birth on the Southern plantations during slavery and sharecropping.

To learn more, visit www.overtroubledwater.org


Remembering Clifford Hawkins

In 1989, Hawkins met Chicago Blues guitarist Rob Moore. The two became close friends and for 11 years, they recorded together under the name “Rob ‘Wild Boar’ Moore featuring Clifford Hawkins.”
“I never heard him hit a bad note,” Moore said. “The tonality of his voice was just really special. He could emulate other artists, but he also had his own sound.”

READ MORE ABOUT CLIFFORD HAWKINS from a 2011 interview with Rob Moore.*

Clifford Hawkins was a man of many styles.
Sometimes he’d wear red velvet pants and a red velvet hat. On occasion he’d don a tuxedo and turban. Other times he’d put on athletic wear.

But whatever he wore on stage,  his soulful voice and lively spirit captured listeners across the country and Europe.

Hawkins,  a South Florida blues singer for 40 years,  died June 19 from a long illness in Miami. He was 81.

“He lived the song when he sang it, ” said bandmate Rob Moore. “If it was a song about getting hurt,  you would feel the pain in his voice,  and you’d see it in his face.”

Born Feb. 5,  1930,  in Macon,  Ga.,  Hawkins was exposed to music from an early age and became aware of a number of different styles.

He began playing in a small band and later joined saxophonist Piggy Teague as the replacement singer for Little Richard. The band then moved to Philadelphia and played shows in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“I liked the way he sang, ” Teague said. “He was very friendly. We became brothers right away – forever.”

After spending several winters in Miami,  Hawkins decided to move permanently into the sunshine in 1956 with Teague,  his former wife Katherine Mack and the four other band members. They all stayed in an apartment and looked for day jobs.

Teague said they started out washing cars,  and then Hawkins found a job as a truck driver for the Gro Chemical Company. In 1970,  he began working for Miami-Dade County as a truck driver for Solid Waste Management,  retiring in 1995.

Throughout the 1960s,  Hawkins performed all across South Florida,  opening for acts like Jackie Wilson,  Jimmy Reed and Johnnie Taylor. For five years,  he performed at the Embassy Club in Fort Lauderdale with artists including O.V. Wright,  Sam & Dave,  Solomon Burke,  Joe Tex and Little Esther Phillips.

Hawkins loved entertaining people,  and he would change costumes between acts,  said friend Reed Manson Roberts,  who played with him in the band.

“He was wild, ” Roberts said. “He’d come to work with a whole bunch of clothes. It looked like he was going on an airplane.”

He said Hawkins was very focused and worked quickly in the songwriting process,  but he never interrupted the creative flow of his band members. He said they’d start with a drumbeat and add one instrument at a time and then lyrics.

“He was very creative,  and he taught me so much, ” he said. “He was a good-hearted person. I can’t say anything negative about my brother.”

During the ’70s,  Hawkins joined a band called The Dog Catchers and released the single Nasty Dog. The song attained regional fame and became popular in Europe,  garnering him an invite to tour the continent. He declined,  however,  because his mother was ill.

Hawkins later formed his own band called Four Days in Hell,  which toured throughout Florida.

In 1989,  Hawkins met Chicago blues guitarist Rob Moore. The two became close friends and for 11 years,  they recorded together under the name “Rob ‘Wild Boar’ Moore featuring Clifford Hawkins.”

“I never heard him hit a bad note, ” Moore said. “The tonality of his voice was just really special. He could emulate other artists,  but he also had his own sound.”

Together with a drummer and bassist,  they performed in clubs and concerts from Key West to Daytona Beach and Marco Island to Tampa. Miami-Dade hot spots included Jazid,  Tobacco Road,  Satchmo Blues Bar & Grill and The Palms Hotel.

During this time,  Hawkins also met his longtime partner Shirley Coney.

Moore said Hawkins loved to change the lyrics to the songs as he was singing them. He drew inspiration from their location and from individual audience members,  stepping off the stage into the crowd and singing to people.

“Clifford really reminded me of the essence of blues – improvisation, ” he said

In 2000,  the band beat out 54 groups in Florida to represent Fort Lauderdale at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. During this time,  Hawkins also sang Wednesday nights with the house band at the Poorhouse in Fort Lauderdale.

“Some people always go back and talk about one thing they did in their past – he wasn’t like that, ” Moore said. “He was a lot about performing in the moment,  how he felt at the time. He was proud to be out doing it.”

Hawkins is survived by 11 children.

  • excerpted from article published in the Miami Herald in 2011 based on an interview with Rob Moore.

 

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