Hawktail may be a new band name, but it’s certainly not a new band. Fiddler Brittany Haas, bassist Paul Kowert, and guitarist Jordan Tice have been recording and touring together for over four years as Haas-Kowert-Tice. With a desire to expand rhythmic dynamics, the band added mandolinist Dominick Leslie and created Hawktail. All of the music on Unlessis instrumental and written jointly by Haas, Kowert, and Tice.
Hawktail’s style is a bluegrass influenced fusion of fiddle-tune instrumentals, Jazz, Celtic, and classical chamber music. While all tracks display the outstanding musical capabilities of these musicians, various tracks appear to have been written to highlight certain identifiable characteristics of each musician. “Abbzug” and “El Camino Pt. 2” feature Haas’ wonderful old-time fiddle stylings. “In the Kitchen” shows off Kowert’s arco bass, and “Horpe’s Reel” demonstrates Tice’s adeptness at fiddle-tune stylings for the guitar. “Unless” treats the listener to a chamber music sound by featuring musical interplay with each of the four instrumentalists and includes Dominick Leslie on the octave mandolin.
All but one of the tracks were recorded live, but the recording quality is so good that the listener won’t realize it’s live until the audience is heard clapping. Unlessis a well written, performed, and produced collection of tunes from some of today’s most talented young professional musicians. (www.hawktailmusic.com)TK