It is day three of our journey. We have traded our tradition of thoughtful and descriptive blogging for the instantaneous tom foolery of the facebook era. Rob W and Susan James’s gleaming iPhones are passed around among the less tech-current members of the band. Paul L hogs an iPhone like a two year old with a new toy truck. We are nothing if not suckers for the digital moment. We are turning into machines, my friends. And it’s not so bad. Maybe it’s even better. Maybe we’re all better people, but how can we even know? Oops, almost got in an accident! Blindside is 20/20.
What we do know is that it feels good to be back on the road where life’s responsibilities narrow to guitars, espresso, and directions. Wake up late. Eat a leisurely breakfast. Drink coffee. Load the van. Head to a radio show. Head to a club. Sound check. Dinner. Gig. Whiskey. Sleep. Repeat.
Well, let’s try to recount what the last few days have held. Santa Barbara was rainy and cool. The gig passed quickly. Zola and Henry W danced it up then slept on the couch behind the drum set on stage during the gig. These kids have certainly grown up on the road. Bars and clubs will never feel foreign to them. The smell of stale beer will likely always trigger memories of Daddy. And I think they’ll be good ones.
Then it was up the 101 along on the golden coast draped in low winter clouds, smelling of salt and rain. Paul Lacques will one day retire from the country rock circuit and start his forward-thinking hemp farm in northern California, Gray Water Farms: Where the Water is Wetter and the Weed is Better. Hawks reunion shows will be hosted at the farm among the towering green plants as the sun sets behind the ancient California hills.
Studio E in Sebastopol-adjacent, down a circuituitous series of rural roads through orchards and sprawling mini-farms with home made architecture, is a fantastic place to play. The venue doubles as a recording studio and the sound is excellent. The room’s history as a Grateful Dead party house lingers in the deep comfy couches and purple painted walls. Laurie Schaeffer, the hostess and booker, welcomes us in. She’s prepared brown rice, baked chicken, and lightly steamed asparagus with fresh aoli. I think we’re gonna love this place. We already do.
Susan James opens the show backed up with Hawks. Her songs and voice sound great and the appreciative audience is pulled right in. RW joins for a duet of Conway and Lorreta’s “You’re the Reason or Kids are Ugly” which transitions nicely into the Hawks set. Rob’s folks are in attendance as well as some old and new Hawks friends. Can’t wait to return to this place!