September 2004

Summer Tour 2004

September 15, 2004

“It’s funny that the left coast figures the group I See Hawks In L.A. as part of the city’s growing underground scene. Listen to them, especially their latest, Grapevine, and I swear I’d put the group from somewhere in the South. Sure it plays tricked-out traditional country that has that polished sheen that screams Nashville. But its combination of pedal steel, fiddle, soaring harmonies and rough-hewn Roger Miller baritone gives Grapevine enough cred to make any traditional country fan smile. But I See Hawks In L.A. comes at it from a different tack. Grapevine doles out tunes about lost love, muscle cars, the Book of Revelation, marijuana and idyllic Western scenes that read like poetry.”
— Jeri Rowe, Go Triad (North Carolina)

“A fantastic fusion of twang and pop sense.”
— Dave Menconi, News Observer (Raleigh/Durham/Cary/Chapel Hill)

“A country-rock band from southern Cali that play a Neil Youngish country-folk mixed with a Springsteen-leaning lyrical take. The key word is California here as the laid-back style overrides the ever-present Nashville infestation of country music. The new record Grapevine is filled with a moody vibe and bits of psychedelic flourishes, cryin’ fiddles and acoustic and slide guitars. Hell, there’s even some rip-roaring bluegrass, replete with soaring harmonies, thrown into the mix.”
— Shukla, Creative Loafing (Charlotte, NC)

“Seemingly from out of nowhere, I See Hawks In L.A. have roared out of the scrubby Western terrain to claima stake on the Americana scene. Poetic, introspective, and superbly talented, they’re just what the nation needs.”
— Andria Lisle, The Memphis Flyer

“Occasionally a band manages to make sense of the moniker alt-country, and I See Hawks In L.A. fits the bill. Harking back to the early sound of the seminal country-rock thing, on Grapevine, I See Hawks captures the magic that flowed from the Byrds’ Sweethearts Of The Rodeo and the two Gram Parsons solo albums. It’s not ‘pure’ country, but rather a unique yet indentifiable style filtered through the casual easy living mentality of Southern California.

“Anchored by longtime veterans of the L.A. music community, the band features rich harmonies led by Robert Rex Waller Jr., whose voice bears an uncanny resemblance to the Monkees’ Mike Nesmith, an often overlooked alt-country pioneer. With Paul Lacques’ fine steel playing and Brantley Kearns’ smooth fiddle, the band would be right at homoe on the Opry stage. But there’s a sly undercurrent that indicates a different perspective. In the edgy ‘Humboldt,’ the band sings of a pot deal that takes a strange twist, and the swet, loping ‘Hitchhiker’ recalls the ’60s free spirits. An afternoon with Grapevine is like a pleasant road trip through the desert, with a flask of wine, a bag of gold and a pretty girl. Life was good then.”
— James Kelly, Creative Loafing (Atlanta)

“This California-based country-rock outfit skews harder toward the rock end of the equation on its second CD, ‘Grapevine.’ Wry, cheeky lyrics (including ‘Humboldt,’ an amusing ode to marijuana), gratifying unpolished delivery, and a sound that updates the languid template of the Flying Burrito Brothers with a lean, melodic sensibility helps these Hawks stand apart in a crowded field.”
— 99X Sound Menu, 99.7 FM Atlanta

“The mission of I See Hawks–chock-full of some of the most in-demand roots music session cats in L.A.–is to underline the ‘Southern’ in Southern California. Orange groves, check. Dusty highways, yep. Beating hot sun, uh-huh. Sounds like country music to me–and hold the ‘alt,’ thank you very much. Sure, flashes of modern life pop up in the lyrics, but the sound is pure classic twang, and all the sweeter for it.
— JR, Willamette Week

“Members of a Los Angeles band called I See Hawks In L.A. apparently have true country-rock blood pulsing through their veins. Someting of an all-star band in the Southern California country scene, the Hawks revolve around the songwriting of Robert Rex Waller Jr. and Paul Lacques. On their album Grapevine, they do harmonic meditations on the state of the city and the state of themselves, and come up nothing but golden.”
— Rob Kelley, The Oregonian

“These cowboys make it clear that their focus is cosmic, but from a very L.A. viewpoint. From the languourous strains of ‘The Beautiful Narcotic Place I Reside’ to their debut album’s eponymous title, ‘I See Hawks In L.A.’ (a call for California to fall back in the ocean and let the snakes take over), this Burrito Brothers update run by a group of self-proclaimed eco-radicals rattles the cage of country with psychedelic overtones and Byrds-like harmonies.”
— Grant Britt, Independent Weekly (Raleigh, NC)

“Along with Beachwood Sparks, I See Hawks In L.A. are credited with reviving the Southern California cosmic cowboy sound. Their freewheeling, poetic style is in direct contrast to the one-dimensional Americana artists that currently can be found on every L.A. street corner.”
— Nashville Scene

“This LA band caught my ear straight out with their tight, eerie sound that plays into songs sounding straight ahead country, LA rockin’ and bluegrassy. This is west coast rock with a distinctive Southern California feel to it with space between the layers of sound that allow you to move along at your own pace. Fine guitar work with pedal steel, dobro, & electric from Paul Lacques, strong satisfying vocals form Robert Rex Waller and with the talented Brantley Kearns on fiddle and Paul Marshal on bass, this is a band of serious talent.”
–Kay Clements, Freight Train Boogie