Five-Question Interview: Musician Christopher Hawley A Venice, California-based musician tells us about bringing beach music to the mountains, and why L.A. is just like Taos. By Caroline Gleich email print share related tags: Ski Culture, Parties, Fondue Party Enlarge Photo
Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Christopher Hawley lives in Venice, California, surfs, and plays rock and roll blues music with his band, The Rollers. This winter, he’s planning a tour of ski towns. Hawley frequents the types of places where you can come as you are—whether you’re wearing ski pants or your surf trunks. Caroline Gleich caught up with him and his band at a beach-bum bar steps from the sand in Venice, California, to ask about his plans for the winter.
What ski towns will you hit up on tour this winter? Confirmed dates are January 22, 23, and 28 at the Spur in Park City and the Wasatch Brewpub on the 24th for Sundance. Then I’m heading up to Idaho, playing at Whiskey Jaques in Sun Valley on February 6. I’m hoping to get to Montana and Wyoming this year too. I’ve also played Taos Ski Valley—had an epic day there. All these locals took me under their wing and showed me the mountain.
It sounds like your tour is just an excuse to go to the mountains, ski, and get free passes… That’s kind of an added bonus, but I feel like the folks up there relate to my music. There’s just a consistent vibe with all these places where people are skiing.
And that vibe is? Kind of an independent, open mindset. It’s people who love nature, who are inspired by it. And that’s definitely where I’m coming from with my music.
So far, where’s your favorite place to ski? Well, I love Snowmass but I think I’d have to say Alta. Zermatt is also cool—it’s very different but at the same time, it’s a sick mountain.
You’ve played Alta’s spring festival and Hinano in Venice Beach. How do you compare the ski audience to the L.A. audience? The west side of L.A. is kind of like one big ski town, except it’s on the ocean. The surf vibe definitely permeates this area and parallels the ski town atmosphere. I moved here from a ski town, and I meet people all the time who have done the same thing. So I guess the audiences in both places are similar in the way they respond.
To find out more and to keep updated on the tour schedule, go to www.christopherhawley.net.
http://www.musictap.net/Reviews/2009/March/ChristopherHawleyTheRootsOfTheTree.html Christopher Hawley Rollers The Roots of the Tree Release Date: January 06, 2009 Produced by: N/A Format: CD 03/04/2009 by Douglas Bice They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and yet I am guilty of doing just that. One look at the photo on the cover showing a pretty boy (Christopher Hawley) dressed in an ‘old west’ cowboy shirt and leaning up against a tree strumming his acoustic guitar and I immediately prepared myself for the worst. If my ears had a voice they would have cried mutiny had this turned out to be a watered-down twangfest. Thankfully, this is not the first time I have been proven wrong.
The Roots Of The Tree is the second release by this Southern Californian band. The first three songs on this album are drizzled with the flavor of Eric Clapton's early solo work. The song "Show Your Love" reminds one of Clapton's softer side with some nice slide work. Songs four through eight were recorded live at a bar, turning this set into a fun whiskey-soaked sing-along. You can practically smell the Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap and imagine the waitresses getting their asses slapped by good ole boys.
You can tell these musicians are no strangers to the road. They play together well, in a tightly cohesive style while kicking up the boogie factor significantly on the live tracks. There is a small touch of country rock/gospel on the "When Jesus Fed the Multitude" showing the band can mix things up a little.
For the last two songs, the album ventures back into the studio. "Flag Girl" pays homage to an older country sound reminiscent of Willie Nelson, while the final track, "See You Again" highlights some tasty dual guitar work. The sound quality on this disc is very good overall with the guitars and vocals coming through nicely. The CD also features a music video of the CD's first song, "Just What To Do" as an added bonus.
In conclusion, this is a fun listen from start to finish, featuring some excellent guitar work with a laid back vibe. These are competent performances that can only come from a hard-working band that sound like they are having a good time. If this sounds like your cup of tea (or can of Schlitz), check out their Myspace page to hear a few samples and judge for yourself.