I See Hawks In L.A. were founded in 1999 by Rob Waller and brothers Paul and Anthony Lacques. The band has been named “the city’s premier roots band” by the Los Angeles Times and “trance-inducing, the stories transfixing, the vibe completely Californian” by alt country bible No Depression.
Mystery Drug, the band's 7th release, cuts a wide swath of post-Gram Parsons California country music, with surreal musings on commerce as love (My Local Merchants), desert marriage rituals (One Drop Of Human Blood), and the vanishing of spirits and aquifers of the American West (Sky Island). Musical guests include pedal steelers Rick Shea (Dave Alvin, Wanda Jackson) and Pete Grant (Grateful Dead, The Dillards, Rodney Crowell) and accordionist and "Fifth Hawk" Richie Lawrence. Honky tonk and cowpunk grooves, a Celtic musing on death and ancestry, three memorable love ballad, the signature Hawks harmonies, and lots of cosmic acousticism make Mystery Drug a complex and varied voyage, full of wit and surprises.
Hawks records have always mixed traditional bar room musings with tales rooted in geography; mating dances of whales; the life of Senator Byrd from West Virginia; a Humboldt pot grower’s flight to Tibet; boom and bust in guitarist Lacques’s Mojave desert homeland; wandering hippie caravans; the imminent collapse of suburban Houston. In 2002 the Hawks were decidedly ahead of the country rock curve in condemning the Bush administration’s drums of war.
Despite this out on a limb perch, I See Hawks In L.A. have been embraced by legends of contemporary country, requested as an opener by Lucinda Williams and Chris Hillman (who plays on ‘06’s California Country), and won loyal independent DJ support across multiple genres. They’ve toured the U.S. and Europe many times, playing stages both large and small. You might catch the Hawks at outdoor Hempfest and Belladrum Fest, Scotland, Joe’s Pub in NYC, Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago, House Of Blues and McCabes in L.A., or on the main stage at the Folk Alliance in Memphis. From acoustic folk to raging big stage country rock psychedelia, the Hawks cover it all.