Hawktail is a band.

But it’s also a genre.

When Brittany Hass (fiddle), Jordan Tice (guitar), Paul Kowert (bass) and Dominick Leslie (mandolin) walk on stage, they look like a bluegrass outfit. And given Hass, Tice and Kowert’s respective associations with Crooked Still, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway and the Punch Brothers, that might be a fair assumption.

But then they play …

The quartet launched in to the second night of its Place of Growth tour inside Bellefontaine’s Holland Theatre with “Annbjørg,” a vaguely Continental piece driven by Hass’ sawing. OK, so perhaps Hawktail flew in from Europe. 

Before long, the number dissolved into bowing bass and freestyle guitar and Hawktail sounded like a  jazz combo. But only briefly; in the several minutes of the opening number, the band moved from the late-night club to a symphony hall to the front porch of a cabin and up to Scotland in a sonic journey that had only just begun.

So the Holland, with its atmospheric ceiling and working windmills on its walls, seemed the perfect venue for an 80-minute, instrumental gig built around a front-to-back performance of the album that gave the tour its name and bookended by tracks from their previous Unless and Formations LPs and selections from Haas, Kowert and Tice’s pre-Leslie trio album, You Got This.

It was custom-made for the hard-listening crowd of 100 or so fans who waited for the final note of every song to fade before applauding so they didn’t miss a sound. The pin-drop atmosphere was important, as the theater’s exquisite acoustics allowed fans to home in an any one instrumentalist even as Hawktail played as an ensemble. And when players drifted in and out of the arrangements – as in the recurring “Wanderings” themes that bind Place of Growth together – they were as focused on their musical comrades as the folks who paid to get inside.

Speaking with their eyes and subtle nods of their headstocks, the four musicians make singular music and offer concerts only they would – or could – conjure. Although each stepped to the mic to introduce various pieces, Kowert seems the nominal bandleader, veering from impish grinning to getting lost in the music with his head back to being such a perfectionist that he used his shirttail to wipe down his bass strings only to tuck the shirt back into his jeans without missing a beat.

With a red flower on her fiddle-cum-violin’s headstock, Hass is the most emotive on stage, bouncing to the music and bending her body with the chords she plays. Tice remains mostly in deep concentration while Leslie, looking like a short-haired cousin of Kid Rock, bobs his head while firing off lightning-quick runs to add color and nuance to the proceedings. 

It all ended with “The Tobogganist,” a sprightly tune Leslie dedicated to “all the winter-sports enthusiasts out there,” and a subsequent standing ovation.

And it was a prescient call, given the venue is only a few miles from what passes for a ski resort in Ohio, which got walloped with six inches of snow just hours after Hawktail lit off for its next gig.