REVIEW: Hawks & Doves’ “From a White Hotel” is Kasey Anderson’s Laying Down Some Truth

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Hawks and Doves’ new release From a White Hotel (Julian Records) is a powerful album. Kasey Anderson has one of those reassuring, confident, gravelly voices that compels you to follow his lead, like he’s the Pied Piper.   With his new orientation in this pseudonymous band Hawks and Doves – with Ben Landsverk, Jesse Moffat, and the album produced by Jordan Richter — fans will find his unmistakable musical signature.

The opening track “The Dangerous Ones” is a catchy, inspirational number that’ll have you thinking about accessing your inner power during these most trying of political times. With Jordan Richter on guitar, Kasey’s authoritative tones lay down some truth: “let the television burn, babe, there’s a riot in the street…” and then “they’re gonna stack up the dead ‘til they block out the sun, these white boys with money make the whole thing run… you and me, baby, we’re the dangerous ones,” and Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo)’s vocals blending over the top this song is nothing short of sensational.

“Chasing the Sky” carries the message forward, but this time with a ray of hope and some Eric Ambel on dirty toned guitar: “headed out west just trying to keep the sun in my eye, chasing the sky.”   “Get Low” is a return to the slower, darker side, via “big Lou Wallace said to Billy the Kid” and the music and the lyrics both bring us low down with a super boost from the recently passed Ralph Carney (Tom Waits) on sax, and Kurt Bloch on guitar. “Lithium Blues” again sends shivers down your spine with “tonight the wind’s sharp as a razor, I’m stranded … trembling with the lithium blues.”   But the album balances out with “Clothes Off My Back”’s declaration of commitment to love “walking every dark and dusty mile just to get to where you are” over a slower more steady beat. “Every Once in Awhile” heralds “another motel sunrise… I stopped keeping track of all the pain, but every once in awhile you put your heart back on your sleeve” and features Dave Jorgenson on horns, and then “From a White Hotel” is a little bit autobiographical this time with Andrew McKeag blending on guitar. Bonus tracks are included on the album, to complete the project: “I’m the Ocean” with its lyrics:“I’m an accident,” and then the anthemic “Wiseblood.”

Almost 40 years after Neil Young’s Hawks & Doves, this outfit carries a great tradition of Americana forward. Get your copy, right here.   http://kaseyandersonmusic.com/fawh

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