Jimmy Hawk And The Endless Party : Liberty Sunset Blue
Back in 1975, with the California hit parade producing hit records faster than Jimmy Carter could strangle his vowels, and the cocaine as plentiful as Richard Nixon’s paranoia, there did seem to be an endless party going on. From Fleetwood Mac to The Band, from David Crosby to Robert Evans, life looked pretty damn good – if only the drugs would keep working.
Jimmy Hawk And The Endless Party capture the spirit of that time, mainly for better, and occasionally for worse. The marriage of soft and sexy guitar licks, solid polyester flared bass lines and upper pitch vocals that make up A Heavy Feeling is pure Californian hedonism, writ large. Waking In The Morning Light lays down in the back seat of a Lincoln convertible and heads down Highway 1 for some good West Coast rock lovin’; She Likes Her Make Up is more Walkmen than ‘Mac, and a helluva lot more sassy and spicy. Sunset Boulevard is a little bit dirty, a lot Lindsay Buckingham and just a vague hint of funk, and Taking A Ride Downtown could almost convince you that downtown LA isn’t one of the world’s most atrocious urban monstrosities. Crushing Waves is love in the shallows, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr style.
It’s arguable some of the material – Live Together, Meet Me At The Party, Love And Affection – is too buffed to make a strong impression in a world yearning for meaning and enlightenment. But nobody ever said mainstream California was a place of genuine philosophical depth. There is an end to Jimmy Hawk’s party, but it’s fun while it lasts.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: A Heavy Feeling
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In A Word: Sausalito