Hawkeye Herman
  • 69, Male
  • Ashland, OR
  • United States
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About Me:
Blues Foundation's 1998 "Keeping The Blues Alive" Award recipient for achievement in blues education.

Iowa Blues Hall of Fame 2004 inductee.

"Herman plays with a sensitive, reflective touch that continually draws attention to his vocals, which are effectively understated and free of affectation... Herman can rock with the best of them. A solid choice for fans of traditional acoustic blues." - Living Blues Magazine

"One of America's finest acoustic guitarists and blues educators." - Cascade Blues Association

" uncanny grasp of so many different Blues styles." - Holler, Colorado Blues Society

"Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Muddy Waters were giants of the genre he grew up listening to and who live on through the evocative, haunting acoustic slide-guitar style he plays." - The Reporter, San Diego, CA

"...plays haunting music on a mournful guitar." - Los Angeles Times

"...plays a powerful variety of hard-driving acoustic blues, a crowd pleaser." - Mississippi Valley Blues News

"...a mean, clean guitar picker." - San Francisco Examiner

"The only thing better than hearing this live album is seeing Hawkeye Herman in the flesh. Whether adding his own spin to blues classics or offering his own songs, Herman is a one-man history of blues, noteworthy guitar player and inimitable communicator. Miss him at your peril." - Blues Access

"Each song is presented with a heartfelt depth rarely witnessed these days amongst all the amplifiers and studio embellishments... Throughout "Blues Alive!," Herman proves to be a seasoned storyteller above all, as well as an accomplished guitarist." - Blues Revue Magazine

"Playing both fingerpick and slide guitar, Herman's licks are clean, yet spare..., his vocals are direct and straightforward, but full of emotion... he has immersed himself in the sound and feeling and has emerged as one of the most widely respected acoustic blues musicians around... Blues Alive! ain't electric, doesn't have drums and such, wasn't produced in a high-tech studio, but it's about as real as the blues gets." - Sing Out!
Favorite Blues Artists and Bands (Please list at least a few...we use this question to weed out spammers)
I'm a longtime blues lover/musician/educator ... I enjoy good blues ... from early Delta blues to contemporary urban blues.
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Hawkeye at blues festival in Colombia/South America

Howdy Blues Friends,

I hope this message finds you well and happy and looking forward to a most enjoyable summer.

I was in the city of Cali, Colombia, South America for about 8 days performing and teaching at their III International Blues Festival in the lovely and friendly city of 2 million people. It's called/considered "The Salsa Capitol of the World," and the city hosts the biggest salsa music festival on the planet in August each year ... but they love the blues, too.… Continue

Posted on June 13, 2009 at 4:23pm

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At 3:25pm on December 25, 2010, SharBaby said…

Hey Haweye Herman,




At 11:01am on December 25, 2010, Darrell Wilkerson said…


Just got your DVD "Live in Concert" and your CD "It's All Blues to Me'. I wanted to convey my appreciation for your music and especially for the "Hero's Blues" that you wrote. Great tunes.


MERRY CHRISTMAS and hope 2011 treats you and your family right!



At 4:34pm on November 17, 2010, Darrell Wilkerson said…
Hawkeye.... I'm still enjoying your music. I'm looking at getting another one of your albums. Are you working on some new stuff?
At 4:24pm on June 13, 2009, Hawkeye Herman said…
Howdy Blues Friends,

I hope this message finds you well and happy and looking forward to a most enjoyable summer.

I was in the city of Cali, Colombia, South America for about 8 days performing and teaching at their III International Blues Festival in the lovely and friendly city of 2 million people. It's called/considered "The Salsa Capitol of the World," and the city hosts the biggest salsa music festival on the planet in August each year ... but they love the blues, too. The food, accommodations, scenery, and the people were all wonderful.

(Contrary to what the US State Dept. might put out as 'alerts' ... the Colombian government crushed the oppressive control of the cities/suburbs by the big drug cartels in a bloody war in 1999. The drug cartels still exist in the remote mountain regions of the country, but the cities and suburbs are safe and secure and the people are well back to living normal happy lives without the fear of violent control by the drug cartels).

There were five bands from South America, one solo blues performer from Spain, representing Europe, and I was (somehow) chosen as the sole blues musician/representative from the USA. Jay Seilman, exec. director of the Blues Foundation, in Memphis, and his wife Priscilla, were also guests of the event. Jay and I participated in a forum on blues history, and Jay also gave a forum/presentation on the Blues Fondation and the Blues 'industry.'

I gave a two educational presentations to teen/students on the history/impact of blues music, as well as a guitar workshop that was supposed to be only 1 hour long, but I was held 'hostage' for another 1 1/2 hours by questions, photos, autographs ... until the director of the festival explained to those present that they must 'release' me so that I could prepare for my evening concert performance …

My evening solo concert was held at the huge and luxurious Teatro Municipal, the second largest venue in the city, and the most impressive theatre I've ever performed in … sold out … 1,500 people … with a huge main floor and four floors of white and gold loge boxes rising above the main floor on three sides of the main floor … gilded statues and hand-painted ceiling ala the Sistine Chapel (no flash photos allowed in the building due to the light sensitive art/architecture … this theatre is very much like Carnegie Hall or La Scala in Milan.

The audience response … three standing ovations and two encores … left me breathless.

Here's what the theatre looks like. Please check it out:
and outside;

... Arthur Rubinstein, Marcel Marceau, Yehudi Menuhin, Jean Pierre Rampal, Paul Taylor, etc., have played the room ... but jeez, I reckon I'm the first blues guy to play the 'joint.'

On Sunday all seven 'acts' did a closing performance at an outdoor amphitheater for 2,000 enthusiastic fans ... I was supposed to close the show by doing two songs solo ... but each of the other six bands who preceded me insisted that the gringo/Americano bluesman perform at least one song with each of them ... my two songs to close the show ended up being two songs, and standing ovation and the crowd shouting, "Otra! Otra! Otra! in unison until I managed to 'crawl' back on the stage ... and then back to back standing ovations for each of the two encores ... great fun, but in a tropical climate, this old blues guy almost needed oxygen by the time it was over.

I've only been home for less than 24 hours … and here are just a few of the messages I've received from my 'new blues amigos' in Colombia.

All performances were broadcast on TV, and I did about four or five interviews on television programs. One of the most 'difficult' aspects of this experience for me was 'allowing' everyone, young and old alike, the general publisc, press/media/TV interviewers, and the event production people to call me "Maestro Hawkeye," or just "Maestro" ... they never called me just Hawkeye, Michael, or Mr./Señor Herman ... always formally addressing me as "Maestro" or "Maestro Hawkeye." I tried to discourage this formality on the first day I was there, but the festival executive explained to me that I must put my 'humility' aside and allow the public to address me in this 'formal' manner of respect and appreciation. I told them that, "I would NEVER consider or call myself a maestro/master of ANYTHING ... learning is "A long and winding road that has no end" ... and if you think you're a master in your own mind, you think you know it all and stop learning and progressing ... I will always be thirsting after more musical knowledge." The response to this from the festival producer was, "What you just said is the sign of a true maestro/master ... to teach others that there is no end to learning, for even the most accomplished." Ooops, Catch-22 in my face, what could I say in response to that? ... I shut up and relented.

Yes, I speak Spanish quite well … I have a huge vocabulary, but always bad grammar … I apologized frequently for my 'destruction' of their beautiful language ... no matter to them … they appreciate and enjoy the effort … and I gave my song introductions in Spanish, told my blues stories in Spanish, and even spontaneously sang some lyrics to a number of 'classic' blues songs in Spanish … the stories contained in blues music document all aspects of the human experience … language should not be a barrier to the understanding and appreciation of the blues, what I refer to as 'the watershed of American popular music. Blues is universal.

I've been home for less than 24 hours, and already have received many messages from my new blues friends in South America. Here's a sampling:
I really enjoyed your concert in Cali Colombia, in the 3rd international blues festival. It was really special. As a young metal and blues (it seems paradoxical, but it's not) guitar player, it was a great inspiration for me and you were so warm and deep.
Thanks for sharing a piece of your life with us. You're a true blues man.
I really really loved your performance in Cali, Colombia this past Saturday. It was special for me Maestro Hawkeye. As a young blues and metal player, you were a huge inspiration for me. It was touching ... and my girlfriend thought you were so damn cool! I hope you'll come soon to Colombia!
Hello Maestro Hawkeye ... Jubiloso de verlo por aqui y de haber presenciado su espíritu y virtuosismo en Cali, Colombia ... Gracias por esas palabras y por su pedagogía ... Un abrazo y larga vida al blues ... La madre de los sonidos contemporáneos
Hello Maestro Hawkeye,
It was joyful to see it (the blues) here and to have witnessed its spirit and virtuosity in Cali, Colombia. ... Thank you for those words and by your teaching it to us. ... A hug and long life to the blues. ... The mother of the contemporary sounds.
It was a very nice weekend in Cali, Colombia, watching and feeling your performance, I hope you have enjoyed the city and you can return for a tour around here again, with your friend "the guitar" of course.
Hey there Maestro Hawkeye, my name is Ismael, I'm 16 years old, I watched your show in Cali, Colombia in the municipal theatre, it was awesome, beyond awesome. Since that performance I became a blues fan and I just wanted to thank you for showing me this marvelous music that I didn't pay attention to before, you really inspired me and you are a great musician. Cheers!!
Your performance at the III International Blues Festival here in Cali, Colombia and the songs you played were awesome... Man, when will you come back?
AgerthanW ha realizado un comentario sobre Hawkeye Herman
Thanks for being in cali mr Herman!...undoubtely, was a honor for us looking you at scene, indeed you are a great great musician...but you have that charisma, that special treatment to the public that makes us feel part of the great world of make the flame of blues burn deep in our hearts with every tune, every taste of the blues guitar, every word and every jump (i didn't knew you were so spontaneus in scene..that was great!!!) you make...all that i can say is COME BACK SOON FRIEND.

A tangential surprise gig request happened while I was in South America … I checked my email daily on the hotel computer … and I received an invitation to perform and teach blues music to students in local schools and to give an all-day seminar for blues musicians/and teachers in September at the brand new multimillion dollar B.B. King Blues Museum/Mississippi Heritage Center, in B.B.King's hometown of Indianola, MS. Never in my life did I ever expect to be invited to "The Land Where The Blues Was Born" … to teach blues music. Uhhh, needless to say, I accepted the gig ;-)

Other upcoming highlights for the year ahead:
*The 25th Mississippi Valley Blues Fest in Davenport, IA July 2nd-4th
*The American River Acoustic Music Camp, 8/10-14, Coloma, CA
*Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show performances w/Sarah Jane Nelson, 8/5 and 8/18, Ashand, OR (
*Tumbleweed Music Festival, Sept. 5th & 6th - Richland, WA
*Blues sur Seine Festival, November, Mantes la Jolie, France

For more complete information on upcoming performances:

Thanks so much for reading this message and for supporting the music we love.

Peace, Cheers, Blessings, and Best Wishes,

Hawkeye (don't call me "Maestro"!!!) Herman
At 4:11pm on June 13, 2009, Migue de Oca,Havana,Cuba said…
Ojo de Halcon: If you want to, try to send me some music to: Miguel de Oca, Apartado 113, CP: 10100, Ciudad Habana, Cuba, also you could contact sergio rodriguez at: and he will send the music to me, thanks!
At 9:53pm on June 10, 2009, Migue de Oca,Havana,Cuba said…
You could try to send me some cds to: Miguel de Oca, Apartado 113, CP 10100, Ciudad Habana, Cuba, also you could send the cds to Sergio Rodriguez in Miami, he will arrenge to bring them back to me, his email is:, contact him in my name and he will give you the address. THANKS!
At 7:08pm on June 10, 2009, Migue de Oca,Havana,Cuba said…
Hello Ojo de Halcon, is Miguel de Oca, this is an invitation, I host a blues radio show here, also I lead a blues band, hope you could listen to my show someday, also I would like to have some of your music so I could play it on my show, the links to my radio show:
At 12:45pm on May 15, 2009, Too Slim said…
Safe Travels Hawkeye! Too Slim
At 8:39am on January 25, 2009, Harpdog Brown said…
Nice stuff Hawk
At 4:47pm on January 22, 2009, Innes Sibun said…
That would be cool, you sound great !!!

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