The end of Victoria's lockdown came at the perfect moment for musician Erica Hawkey who will release her debut EP this weekend.
The Erica Hawkey Band will celebrate the launch with a gig at Handle bar on Saturday night.
Hawkey, 42, has been playing piano since she was five and singing since age 10. She said some of the songs on the Ep were written 20 years ago.
"We were nearly stopped twice but it's actually happening now, so I'm stoked," Hawkey said. "I've done recordings before with people in past but I've never released anything myself.
"It was never front and centre for me, I have a day job as well as running my own business, so I was balancing a few different plates in the air.
"(During my career) I have written hundreds of songs. We really picked ones that, when we perform them, were the most fun and got good a crowd response."
Putting the EP together was a stop-start process for Hawkey who began preparing to record in 2019.
"We started recording it prior to lockdown and it was going to be released last year, so it feels like ages ago," she said.
"We were all geared up for the release and to get ready for the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival fest last year, which obviously didn't happen.
"It's finally getting out, which is really good because it's been so stop-start."
Ms Hawkey, who grew up in Bendigo, said the region was brimming with musical talent if you knew where to look.
"Bendigo is interesting, if not part of (the music scene) you don't necessarily know it's there, except for the blues festival, but there is so much music in Bendigo. It's unbelievable," she said. "You just need to know where to find it."
The Erica Hawkey Band launches its debut EP at Handle Bar on Saturday, February 20, from 6pm. They will be supported singer-songwriter Nathan Schifferle.
The EP is also available on Spotify and iTunes.
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