Jemez Mountain Hawkz
By Jensen Rufe
The Jemez Mountain Hawkz (much like the New Mexico mountain range) are looming out there on the Western frontier–the frontier of independent country and western. We’re not talking innocent, Nashville-leaning, cowboy hat-wearin’ country here. This is seasoned, tasteful, experienced, well-traveled country–with punk roots in New Mexico and very obvious influences from 1970s L.A. country rock.
Dameon Waggoner (Scared of Chaka, The Letdown) penned all five tracks (borrowing a few from his Lowlights venture) on this impressive, self-titled debut EP. The uber-talented group of musicians including Dave Hernandez (The Shins), Drew Church and Steven Barci assembled in guitarist/engineer Ian Moore’s home studio to lay down these tasty, meticulously-recorded, big-sounding, fantastically-performed dandies.
The opening harmonica-laden track “CA-2” has a triumphant vocal climax and could be the accidental crossover indie hit.
Much time and care has been put into bringing this EP to fruition and the end result is stellar! – (8/10)
Jensen Rufe also contributes to Northern California’s Savage Henry Magazine.