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Made up of three of the most exciting instrumentalists in the roots music scene today, fiddler Brittany Haas (Crooked Still), bassist Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers), and guitarist Jordan Tice (Tony Trischka), have come together for their debut album, You Got This, using their string-band roots to engage in close dialogue. Entirely instrumental, this is wordless communication heard from three distinct voices working for unity. “There is so much we don’t have to say to each other,” explains Kowert. “We got together because we wanted a project in which we could explore our ideas—we wanted to see what we could find. We each contributed writing and were each able to tinker with each other’s ideas. I think in this album you hear discovery.”
That joy of discovery is key to this collaboration of master instrumentalists. It is also the fuel that has powered their careers so far: Haas explored fiddle traditions with Bruce Molsky, Darol Anger, and Alasdair Fraser; Kowert did groundbreaking work with the Punch Brothers and now Dave Rawlings Machine, as well as studies with Edgar Meyer; and Tice performed in ensembles and recordings with like-minded artists such as Noam Pikelny and Casey Driessen. The thread that ties this all together is a driving passion to share great music with friends.
All three artists in Hawktail have built their careers on their ability to move on the razor’s edge of tradition and innovation. They have a nearly unlimited arsenal of tools gathered from years in top-flight ensembles, but they are not interested in flashy displays. This young trio would rather move their audiences with unique melodies, powerful arrangements, searingly beautiful playing on the fiddle and guitar, and stomach-rumbling chords and eloquent passages on the upright bass. They see each tune as a journey that they take with their listeners, but also as a path that they can travel together, discovering new ideas and new passions around every corner.
A collection of agile instrumentals, it veers from back-porch string and swing to a facile classical conceit.