Hawktail is a quartet that could be defined as a supergroup, considering the high caliber of musicianship. Consisting of fiddler Brittany Haas, bassist Paul Kowert, mandolinist Dominick Leslie, and guitarist Jordan Tice, the group has released their third project Place Of Growth. Hawktail considers it their “most conceptual” recording to date. These instrumental pieces prove how indisputable that claim is.
Seven of the eight tracks on this release were composed by members of the band. The Wanderings which appear between some tunes were written by Haas, Kowert, and Tice; however Wanderings: Where was a collaborative effort with all four members of Hawktail involved. The idea for these interludes first sprouted up in late 2016.
This was also the case with Updraft, an up-tempo piece written by the entire group. Dominick Leslie and Brittany Haas really shine on this particular track as well as on Antilopen, written by Lena Jonsson. Both of these pieces are great examples of the chemistry these four musicians have together. They play off of each other very well.
Pomegranate in the Oak Tree and Shallows are both tunes written specifically for this project. While both are slow pieces, they each take on different moods. The former has a melancholy feel to its melody, while the latter reflects feelings of peace and contentment.
The final track, Big Sun was written by all the members of Hawktail as well as Lena Jonsson. The tune which first originated in late 2017 can be somewhat of a tedious listen from a melodic stand point, but nonetheless it’s a fitting way to close this project.
Place Of Growth feels like an audible adventure. You don’t know exactly where you’re being transported to, but you’re excited about what lies ahead. Hawktail has captured that so well with all eight of these compositions. It’s a great ride from start to finish.