The High Hawks Mother Nature’s Show

By Brian Rock

The High Hawks soar on their sophomore album, Mother Nature’s Show. Composed of members from Leftover Salmon, Hard Working Americans, and Great American Taxi, The High Hawks create an eclectic, backwoods country/rock that defies easy genre labels, but feels instantly recognizable.

The title track recalls the southern Funk of Little Feat. rock and roll guitar and organ are offset by bluegrass fiddle as the band seeks to, “Jump off the pavement and into the river flow,” just to get a, “Front row to Mother Nature’s show.” The funky groove is perfect for putting the top down and enjoying the first warm days of spring as you drive out of the city and into the arms of Mother Nature.

For those not willing to wait for spring to enjoy nature’s bounty, the band suggests heading “Somewhere South.” Another playful, fiddle-infused tribute to fun in the sun, the song makes you want to reach for your swimsuit and head for the nearest (warm weather) beach. “Diamond Sky,” is a more subdued salute to the glory of nature. Waxing poetic, the band marvels how, “The night sky can rain down a memory.” A tender ballad, the song notes the power of the night sky to inspire. “Backwater Voodoo,” celebrates the mystical ways that nature affects us. Part Oak Ridge Boys and part James Gang, the music is as hard to categorize as the subject matter.

With four lead singer/songwriters in the band, they’re never at a loss for words – or grooves. Combining elements as diverse as Guy Clark, Little Feat, The Grateful Dead, The Meat Puppets, and Dr. John, the band still manages to create a coherent sonic texture. The ubiquitous and mesmerizing fiddle strains run like a thread connecting all the disparate musical influences. Like legendary indie country band, The Bottle Rockets, The High Hawks march to the syncopated beat of their own drum.

“Fox River Blues,” incorporates Cosmic Cowboy rhythms to tell the story of a thief on the run. “Temperature Is Rising,” recalls the jangly minor chords of Tom Petty’s, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” to lament the current divisive cultural atmosphere created by social media vultures and network news propagandists. On the other end of the spectrum, “Top Shelf, Rock Bottom,” captures the spritely Texas Swing of Guy Clark’s, “Texas Cookin’,” to sing the praises of the luckiest hobo alive. “This Is What Love Feels Like,” is an uncharacteristically optimistic Country ballad. “Somewhere In The Middle,” channels the deep cut, album rock of the 70’s as the band urges us to avoid the extremes and find our peace somewhere, “Between heart and mind.” Wrapping up the set is, “Shine Your Blues.” The spirit of New Orleans permeates the song as joyful Dixieland rhythms blow away the blues like a strong March breeze blowing away the clouds. High Flying, funky, and fun, The High Hawks serve up the perfect kick off to spring with, Mother Nature’s Show.

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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