Christopher Hawley Rollers
The Roots of the Tree

Release Date: January 06, 2009
Produced by: N/A
Format: CD



Douglas Bice


They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and yet I am guilty of doing just that. One look at the photo on the cover showing a pretty boy (Christopher  Hawley) dressed in an ‘old west’ cowboy shirt and leaning up against a tree strumming his acoustic guitar and I immediately prepared myself for the worst. If my ears had a voice they would have cried mutiny had  this turned out to be a watered-down twangfest. Thankfully, this is not the first time I have been proven wrong.

The Roots Of The Tree is the second release by this Southern Californian band. The first three songs on this album are drizzled with the flavor of Eric Clapton's early solo work.  The song "Show Your Love" reminds one of Clapton's softer side with some nice slide work.  Songs four through eight were recorded live at a bar, turning this set into a fun whiskey-soaked sing-along.  You can practically smell the Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap and imagine the waitresses getting their asses slapped by
good ole boys.

You can tell these musicians are no strangers to the road.  They play together well, in a tightly cohesive style while kicking up the boogie factor significantly on the live tracks. There is a small touch of country rock/gospel on the "When Jesus Fed the Multitude" showing the band can mix things up a little.

For the last two songs, the album ventures back into the studio.  "Flag Girl" pays homage to an older country sound reminiscent of Willie Nelson, while the final track,  "See You Again" highlights some tasty dual guitar work. The sound quality on this disc is very good overall with the guitars and vocals coming through nicely. The CD also features a music video of the CD's first song,  "Just What To Do" as an added bonus.

In conclusion, this is a fun listen from start to finish, featuring some excellent guitar work with a laid back vibe. These are competent performances that can only come from a hard-working band that sound like they are having a good time. If this sounds like your cup of tea (or can of Schlitz), check out their Myspace page to hear a few samples and judge for yourself.  










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212 Frech

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