I See Hawks in LA Residency Night 2 w/ Sarah Kramer, Harrison Whitford
Sarah Kramer, Harrison Whitford
5043 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90042
This event is 21 and over
I See Hawks in LA
Formed in 2000 by Rob Waller and brothers Paul and Anthony Lacques during a philosophical discussion and rock throwing session on an East Mojave desert trek, I See Hawks In L.A. wrote their first batch of songs and then sought advice from local country rock guru David Jackson, sideman with John Denver, Dillard and Clark, and Emmylou Harris.
Jackson set up a few mics and recorded Rob and Paul, playing along on bass. This demo turned into featured songs on the Hawks eponymous debut on now-defunct Ethic Records, featuring legendary fiddler Brantley Kearns (Dwight Yoakam, Dave Alvin, Hazel Dickens). The CD established the Hawks signature sound: high lonesome three part harmonies, twang guitar and unadorned acoustic arrangements, with lyrics musing on mortality, whales, and the geography of pre-apocalyptic L.A. I See Hawks In L.A. received rave reviews, made the F.A.R. Alternative Country Chart, and continues to get regular airplay. With its experimental spirit and wide ranging musical influences, the record tweaks some traditionalists. But most agree that the Hawks have broken new ground.
The Hawks hadn't planned on much more than back porch songwriting and beer drinking, but the buzz prompted them into live performing, and they quickly rose to the top of heap in the brand new Los Angeles alternative country scene. Bassist Paul Marshall (Strawberry Alarm Clock, Hank Thompson, Rose Maddox) threw in with the Hawks after sitting in at Ronnie Mack's Barndance in Burbank, and after brother Anthony left to pursue documentary film making fulltime, drummer Shawn Nourse (Dwight Yoakum, James Intveld) signed on for a trip to Texas and SXSW and never left. Kickass electric shows all over SoCal, from House of Blues to the Cinema Bar, garnered the Hawks two L.A. Weekly Best Country Artist awards in 2002 and 2003.
The Hawks second CD, "Grapevine," was released on the summer solstice 2004, and immediately went to #1 on the F.A.R. Chart, lingered in the Americana Chart's top 100 for months, and hit #2 on XM Radio's X Country station in January '05. Rave reviews and a national audience followed the Hawks 28 city Summer '04 tour, from a state prison in Vermont to a Mississippi roadhouse to the Cactus Cafe and KUT's Eklektikos in Austin, to Hempfest in Seattle. Summer of '05 West Coast and Rockies tours brought the Hawks to the woods, and the woods to the Hawks.
The Hawks' third CD, "California Country," with guest spots from Chris Hillman, Rick Shea, Cody Bryant, Danny McGough, Tommy Funderburk, and other SoCal roots brethren, is a leap forward and backwards, both more progressive and aggressive on the electric/psychedelic front, and more stripped down on the acoustic numbers. Tackling subjects like despair in Disney World, blackjack in Jackpot, hippie parenting, donkeys, and Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia, "California Country" brings more bluegrass, Phase 90 country psychedelia, and steel driven honky tonk to the Hawks sonic empire.
Summer 2006 brought the Hawks to 30 states, England, and Scotland, performing 57 shows to intimate living room audiences, honky tonks, and big outdoor festivals. Co-billed with some of their favorite artists--Lucinda Williams, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Dave Alvin, The Blasters, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Chris Hillman, Bernie Leadon, everybodyfields, Tony Gilkyson, Randy Weeks, The Meat Puppets, and Mike Stinson--the Hawks feel a strong sense of community with the roots country tribe.
In May 2008 the Hawks released "Hallowed Ground," with guest spots from fiddlers Dave Markowitz and Gabe Witcher, pedal steeler Dave Zirbel, and forays into Celtic music, Tex Mex, and more of the Hawks psychedelic country rock and folk textures and harmonies. "Hallowed Ground" hit #1 on the FAR Chart, #4 on the Euro Chart, and got lots o' great reviews.
In Summer 2008 the Hawks did a brief but memorable tour of Northern Ireland and the Down On The Farm festival in Norway.
Rob Waller and Paul Lacques had two songs on the Grammy nominated CD from Texas roots supergroup Polka Freakout. Hallowed Ground was featured in the HBO series True Blood, as two yuppies drained the blood from an aging vampire. This inspiring brush with big media has left the band with a warm fuzzy glow.
Look for the acoustic version of the band in February 2009 at the Folk Alliance national conference in Memphis. As always, the band is working on songs for a new CD. They're trying to shake their eco apocalyptic vision and lyrics theme, but it's no use. At least the reality of the times is catching up with the songs.
The Hawks have been featured performers in concert series including: The Ash Grove 50th Anniversary at UCLA, Sunset Junction (Silverlake), downtown L.A.'s California Plaza series, Seattle Hempfest, the Skirball Center, Old Town School of Folk Music Chicago, Joe's Pub in Manhattan, McCabes, The Folk Music Center, and the Getty Museum.
In 2003 The Hawks scored a "Modern Marvels" for the History Channel, a documentary on American cattle ranching from its roots in 19th century Texas to modern mega-factory-farms. The Hawks made soundscapes with old time fiddle, dobro, and jawharp, and brought the music to modern times with some Merle Haggard's Strangers-type country stomp and some space age (al la "Jetsons") guitar and human beat box.
Raised in West Orange, New Jersey, Sarah Kramer began playing trumpet at the tender age of nine. At sixteen Kramer picked up the guitar and started writing her own songs. Soon she was taking the train to New York City to busk in Washington Square Park. While an undergrad at Bard on a Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz scholarship awarded by trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith, she frequently crossed the mighty Hudson River to play Woodstock’s renowned Tinker St. Cafe.
After college Kramer spent a few years performing in Taos, New Mexico, then headed south to New Orleans, where she spent eight years exploring and honing her craft within a wide variety of musical styles: Blues, Jazz, Latin, Brass Band, Reggae, Klezmer, Alternative Rock, etc. While sitting in with legends like Levon Helm, Eddie Bo, Cyril Neville, Snooks Eaglin, Walter “Wolfman” Washington (and many more) she also developed her own sound while performing original songs with her band, The Sarah Kramer Project.
In 2003 Kramer brought her horns to Los Angeles. She performed live with a myriad of bands at various venues all over town—The Roxy, The Troubadour, The Viper Room, etc—while also working as a session player. She played trumpet on the title track of Leonard Cohen’s Dear Heather (see discography for full list).
Sarah returned to her east coast roots in 2007, spending a stint in New York City performing weekly with a Cuban band at Sting’s club, Socialista. However, come winter, Kramer was lured back to Los Angeles for the sunshine.
In 2013, Sarah Kramer’s long awaited debut album Home, featuring nine originals and one cover (Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready”) was released. This deeply personal collection of songs is a soulful meditation on love, loss, and redemption.
Currently, a new album of songs is about to be released before the year’s end (2016). It includes some of the world’s most sought after musicians (you will be blown away by the credits). Watch for it, it’s absolutely Sarah‘s best work yet.
Sarah Kramer continues to perform her own material and to work as a studio musician. She can also be heard regularly sitting in with Jacksh*t at McCabe’s Guitar Shop and The Baked Potato. She currently resides in Hollywood, CA.
harrison writes songs and resides in nashville, tennessee. one can find a plethora of his hazed musings on soundcloud and band camp. he doesn't know how to write his own bio. check here for updates.