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Maple Grove's Chris Hawkey Returns Home to Town Green

Aug 13, 2017 06:40AM ● Published by Doug Erlien

Photo Courtesy: ChrisHawkey.com - Kix Photography

Update Sept. 5
In the final performance of the 2017 Sounds of Summer series, Chris Hawkey is scheduled to perform 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6 at Town Green, according to the Town Green Facebook page.

Town Green is located at 7991 Main Street, in Maple Grove. 

Contact the weather line at 763-494-5959 for further information, if applicable.

Update Aug. 16
According to the city of Maple Grove Facebook page, "Chris Hawkey's performance tonight at Town Green has been rescheduled to Wednesday, September 6, at 7 p.m. Mark your calendars for three weeks from today." 

The concert was rescheduled due to the potential for 'bad weather' on Aug. 16.

Contact the rainout announcements line at 763-494-5959 for further information.

Original post - Aug. 13
- Maple Grove resident Chris Hawkey is living the life. For most of the last 10 years, the country music performer has been chasing his musical dream.

He’s caught it and is now living it.

On Wednesday, Aug. 16, Hawkey returns to 
Town Green to perform for the first time in two years. A lot has changed in those 24 months. He has toured the Midwest and beyond, and whether his run with Rocket Club or his now solo career, the music he touches is finding the Billboard charts.

“I love to be able to do this show again,” Hawkey said. “My neighbors and friends are able to come out and it’s fun for my daughter and wife. It’s just a great facility. It’s a perfect place to play a concert.”

Hawkey and his band have taken to the road this year more than in previous summers. Stops in Colorado, California, Indiana, and North Carolina have given more visibility.

“We had a plan in mind. One of my biggest fears is when it came to playing in the band and finally having a little success was that we were going to be playing in the metro area and even the region too much,” Hawkey said. “Hopefully they hear me in the morning on the radio show and then if they hear me in a concert - it can be too much.”

Not too much, though, to make a stop in Maple Grove.

The Dream
Growing up in Union City, Indiana, 
Hawkey spent his youth listening to John Mellencamp and Bob Seeger and dreamed growing up of being a rock-and-roll star.

“I was a rock-and-roll kid,” he said. “My mom has been telling me since I was a little boy that I should be singing country music.”

His mom was right, but it didn’t take too much, if any, adjustment.

“The music that I loved - the Bob Seeger, the Eagles, the John Mellencamp - if they were to come out today, they would be classified as country bands,” Hawkey said. “I like to tell people that the music that I write, the music that I enjoy, became country music.”

In 2010, his break came as he joined Rocket Club. The group churned out three songs that spent time on the Billboard Charts which propelled Hawkey and the group onto the national scene.

“I’ll never forget it. I was sitting in the back of a van on our way to play a show when our manager, Sarah, got a call from Billboard Magazine asking for information on Rocket Club because you guys are going to be on the Billboard Country Charts tomorrow,” Hawkey recalled. “Until that moment, we didn’t know we were a country band.”

He hasn’t looked back.

In 2014 Hawkey began his solo career and has used the momentum from Rocket Club and his recognition as a key member of the top rated morning show in the Minneapolis market, KFAN’s 
‘Powertrip Morning Show’ to continue his climb.

Little Dance
Finding balance between his radio career, which in addition to the morning show includes producing Minnesota Vikings radio broadcasts, along with touring the country and making time to be a husband and dad doesn’t leave much spare time.

Between his current songs, the music he performed with Rocket Club, and the songs he wrote and performed prior to going country - every concert he performs now is different. However, there is one song that sticks out as his favorite.

“There’s a song off my second album, way back before I even joined Rocket Club. I wrote a song called ‘Little Dance’ and even though it is much more of a rock song than a country song, that is one of the songs that I can tell you that I got absolutely right,” Hawkey said. “It is about my little girl Abigail, who back then was just a tiny toddler of a girl, and I remember watching her dance one day and these lyrics came pouring out of me.”

Abigail, now 15, works the merchandise stand and even joins on stage for his favorite song, creating amazing moments for what Chris calls ‘The Hawkey Family’.

“She has her own room on the tour bus,” Hawkey said. “We call her a road dog, she loves it.”

Photo Courtesy: ChrisHawkey.com - Kix Photography

The Show
According to Hawkey, the band meshes and that passion for music create a high level of energy. The music is described as north country, which is also the hit song that he along with Rocket Club took to number 52 on the 
Billboard Country Charts in 2011.

“We would tour and people would tell us, 'there aren’t any country bands from Minnesota' and instead of arguing with them, we said ‘you know you’re right’ and we came up with North Country. It’s a blend of rock-and-roll and of country that I think is palatable to people who like both genres of music," he said. 

Whatever the genre, the rock-and-roll loving kid from Indiana who moved to Minnesota and found country continues to live his dream.

“When I’m looking out at the crowd and they are singing back to me a song that I wrote the lyrics to in my basement in Maple Grove, if you could feel what that’s like,” Hawkey paused. “If I could share anything with you it would be that. It is so wonderful.”

Find Chris Hawkey online here

Chris Hawkey at Town Green
Wednesday, August 16
Town Green 
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Free! 

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