High Hawk and Palliard

I first saw High Hawk about a year ago, when the group opened for the Waco Brothers at Schubas. High Hawk impressed me then as a noteworthy outfit playing music somewhere in the realm of Americana. I remember thinking I wanted to hear them again. And so it was alarming to find out in this week’s Chicago Reader that High Hawk is disbanding, just after finishing a debut album. The Reader’s Miles Raymer praised the CD and noted that the band would be giving away copies at its final gig, Saturday night at the Hideout.And indeed, High Hawk put on an excellent show, followed by another strong set by a likeminded band, Palliard. Both groups played music that would generally be categorized as roots rock or Americana, I guess, though they clearly don’t feel constrained by the boundaries (real or imagined) of any genre. The emphasis is on good songwriting and musicianship. I’m just listening to the final, unreleased High Hawk CD now (“Amor Fati”), and it sounds marvelous. The new CD by Palliard, “Won’t Heal Alone,” also sounds quite good on first listen. I hear bits of Crazy Horse, Shearwater and Wilco in their sounds. As Hideout owner Tim Tuten remarked to me last night, don’t wait for bands like this to get “big” before you see them. You never know how long they’re going to last. Check out Palliard at www.palliardmusic.com.
By the way, that column in the Reader by Raymer was the debut of his new weekly feature, Sharp Darts, which replaces the column by the recently departed Bob Mehr (departed from Chicago, not from life, that is). Highlighting High Hawk was a nice column to begin with, except that Raymer kicks it off with an incredibly sour comment: “When I agreed to take over this column, the list of local bands I wanted to profile was pretty short.” Jeez, nice attitude. Chicago has tons of good and great musicians, many of whom haven’t received that much publicity. I’d think that someone writing a local music column would have plenty of bands to write about.
See my photos of High Hawk.
See my photos of Palliard.