Now & Again

FD musician releases newest album

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Dave Hearn, of Fort Dodge, holds up a copy of his latest album, "Now & Again" that was recently released. The album, which features several The HAWKS songs, also features plenty of new material and a guest appearance by singer Shelly Bottorff, of Fort Dodge.

For those who attended the annual Shellabration concert this year — where besides headliner Huey Lewis and the News — the Fort Dodge based group The HAWKS played a set together for the first time in a gig situation since 1982.

Providing backup vocals and playing keyboard was Fort Dodge musician Dave Hearn, who in the early 1980s, had moved back to the area specifically to be in The HAWKS.

Fellow band member Frank Wiewel had submitted some of their songs to a major label and they wanted to hear the band.

“I thought long and hard for about 1/3 of a second,” Hearn said.

While The HAWKS went on to record and release several albums and eventually called it quits, their members, including Hearn, went on to continue playing and recording music up until the present day.

For Hearn, that’s meant recording and releasing a total of eight solo albums including his most recent, “Now & Again” which was released a few months ago.

For fans of Hearn and for fans of The HAWKS, the album contains several original HAWKS songs that Hearn recorded with his own take on how the songs should sound.

“The song “American Girls” is probably the best example,” he said. “It’s a lot different than what was on the album.”

Hearn recorded and engineered the album himself.

He learned from a master, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys.

“Brian Wilson came to the recording studio, it was Westminist’r Sound then, after he played a gig at Iowa Central,” Hearn said. “He said can we go record right now, I was the only one with a key and ability to turn the equipment on.”

Once there, Hearn soaked up some serious information.

“He gave me a lesson in how to record,” he said. “It changed everything. He’s a stone cold genius. I still record today influenced by the way he approached things.”

In addition to the reworked HAWKS songs, the rest of the songs are Dave Hearn originals.

“They’re all new in the last year,” he said. “They’re my first songs following the breakup of Hipknosis.”

Hearn was a member of Hipknosis with Heather Kelly, Kirk Kaufman, Jon Passow and Melvin James. They recorded several albums.

Work with that band strongly influenced his last two albums, “Forget the Road” and “Mystery Train.”

“Virtually all the songs were written for Heather Kelly to sing,” he said. “This is the first since 2010 that was made for me to sing.”

On “Now & Again” Fort Dodge singer Shelly Bottorff does the vocals for the song “Hollywood.”

His wife, Linda Hearn, didn’t like the song initially.

“She came upstairs and said what is that, I don’t like that.” he said.

Hearn likes the song.

“I think it’s one of the top tracks on the album,” he said. “We cut the vocals for it in about 10 minutes. That’s how talented Shelly is.”

Hearn is working on writing an album where the songs are tailored just for Bottorff.

“Shelly and I are in the process of making an album for her to sing,” he said.

Hearn is proud of “Now & Again.”

“In my mind this is my best album so far,” he said. “The HAWKS songs are really strong, it was written for me to sing, I love the way the project came out.”

While the album is Hearn’s, he’s quick to credit those who helped him make it a reality.

“I have to give a shoutout to my wife for her incredible patience,” he said. “For two weeks you hear these over and over, it’s pretty amazing.”

He also has several other local musicians on the album. Erick Hovey plays guitar on the song “Hollywood” and “Dangerous Days” Jeff Foreman plays drums on “Hollywood.”

The cover photo is an image by Pomeroy photographer Roger Feldhans that Hearn worked on in Photoshop.

“This is the third cover he’s worked on with me,” Hearn said. “I’m the designer, he’s the photographer. It was his idea.”