Never mind their clear-as-country-water name. "The band name was a code, a question, a diffident invitation: If you see hawks, then maybe we should talk." Formed by Rob Waller and brothers Paul and Anthony Lacques, I See Hawks in L.A. was established on an Echo Park front porch in 2000, the last year of the Clinton administration, or as the band recalls, "mellow's last gasp." Now, four albums later -- each the source of radiant reviews in publications like Spin, USA Today, Village Voice, Uncut and the Los Angeles Times -- the band released Shoulda Been Gold, a 17-song greatest non-hits collection including five previously unheard songs (including the haunting title track "Shoulda Been Gold").
The Hawks imagined an America post-oil, fertilizer and gated communities, and an American folk music with tendrils cracking concrete to reach people aware of the ground they stand on.
With Shoulda Been Gold, the band has broken its every-other-year CD release spell, coming on the heels of last year's Hallowed Ground. The new collection contains only one song from the previous release, "Highway Down," but as they note, "it has the flavoring of all the songs -- a lonely road through the San Joaquin Valley, wounded land we love."_ Rob and Paul were driving around musing on a title for a greatest hits record that contains no hits, and the title song resulted. It was recorded at drummer Nourse's house along with two duets between Rob Waller and Textone/producer Carla Olson: "Laissez Les Bon Tempos Roulet," containing real deal Cajun fiddle from Lisa Haley, and David Allan Coe's minor '70s classic "Bossier City," featuring honky-tonk pedal steel from John McDuffie.Hemifran