I See Hawks in L.A. are perennial roots-rock favorites in Southern California. Their Shoulda Been Gold 2001-2009 compilation on new Collector’s Choice Americana imprint American Beat Records drops today and covers some of their most well known work like “Humboldt,” one of the best odes to the sweet leaf ever written. Five of the 17 tracks are from 2004’s hard-to-find Grapevine, the album that put the Hawks firmly on the alt-country map.
Shoulda Been Gold contains new material as good as anything the Hawks have ever done. The band has been playing “Sexy Vacation” for years, and this one just builds and builds with that rare-air psychedelic country power that has always been a Hawks trademark. “Shoulda Been Gold” was written specifically for the album, and it has the Hawks’ trademark end-is-near late-night feel.
Another fresh track, and a true highlight, is a cover of David Allan Coe’s minor classic “Bossier City,” which features a soulful duet with former Austinite Carla Olson (Textones). This one has been in regular rotation in Lonesome Onry and Mean’s truck the past month, which is always our supreme test.
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