Rather than slumping, Hawktail soar on their sophomore release.
The appropriately titled Place of Growth finds the nominally bluegrass quartet – Crooked Still fiddler Brittany Haas, Punch Brothers bassist Paul Kowert, guitarist Jordan Tice and mandolinist Dominick Leslie – making instrumental music that’s as at home in the concert hall, the jazz club and the coffee house as it is on the back porch.
Tied together with three short “Wanderings” interludes – subtitled “Begin,” “Look” and “Where?” – the 28-minute album expands on 2020’s Formations, adding a touch of percussion on “Where?” and reinventing call-and-response on “Antilopen,” as bowed bass, mandolin and guitar take turns answering, not parroting, their partners in melody.
Bluegrass? Yes. But it’s the elements of classical, jazz and folk music that make Hawktail’s Place of Growth such a lovely destination for spending a half-hour getting lost.