Monday, August 14, 2006

I See Hawks in L.A. | Bill's Barn | Jul 15th

This post is about a month old. I think that makes it a record. The longest period after a show until I finally got around to posting about it. Oh well, I'm sure I'll break it someday.

One of the many cool things about living in Vermont is that it doesn't look like the rest of the country. While the rest of the US has lost a lot of it regional uniquities with homogenous development, Vermont has made a large effort in preserving it's older buildings. And not preserving them as museum pieces with a showy National Historic Landmark plaque but as active buildings with daily uses.

One example is the barn that belongs to my friend, Bill. The barn was built in 1888 and is still standing strong. For a large part of the 20th century, the barn was used for barn dances within the community. When Bill bought the place, it still had a stage, concessions area, built-in benches along the walls and a solid floor for dancing. So, he decided to bring back the community barn dances of yesteryear.

The latest barn dance (or "concert" in 2006 lingo) was a month ago. The band I See Hawks in L.A. had an open date on their tour and through a connection with a friend of Bill's, they were booked for Bill's barn in East Montpelier. There are a lot of cool concert venues in the world but how often does a band get to rattle the rafters of a 130 year old barn. Plus, their alt-country sound fit in perfectly with the surroundings.

The only album I have from I See Hawks is their 2006 release, California Country, which I wasn't crazy about. I love alt-country but found that California Country's highly polished production had pushed their alt-country sound over into 70's Eagles-esque soft rock with a country flair. However, when they fired up their amps in Bill's barn the antique timbers provided a nice warm rattle that gave them a great country tone. Perfect setting for them. Coupled with the cooling summer night, lots of good friends and cold beers, it was a choice show and evening.

One amusing aspect of the stage in the barn is the drum riser. It's the highest one I've ever seen that didn't involve Tommy Lee spinning in a cage 50 feet in the air. When you looked at the band from the floor, you could see the drummer's face a full head above the lead singer. But it didn't affect the sound one way or the other.

Thanks to Carter for the photos.

I See Hawks in L.A. | Raised By Hippies | Buy
I See Hawks in L.A. | Midnight in Orlando | Buy

3 comments:

Satisfied '75 said...

a friend gave me this cd. music was not bad but i hated the sophmoric lyrics about pot/getting high, whatever. seemed juvenile, ya know?

Flatlander said...

And the song about Slash would fall into that category as well. However, in that barn, they sounded great.

Wildtrout4ever said...

Hawks are the best! There are 3 CD's. At least give them all a listen before you go sniffing about "somphomoric".