Paul Kowert was about to get in the van to start another leg of the Dave Rawlings/Gillian Welch tour. He kindly gave me a few minutes of time to fill us in on the making of “Unless”, their latest release under the new moniker; Hawktail. The trio of Brittany Haas on fiddle, Jordan Tice on guitar and Paul Kowert on double bass has added mandolinist Dominick Leslie. Fellow Dave Rawlings mate, Willie Watson, coined the bands new name from the initial letters of their last names; Hawtail,they’ve become.
Paul Kowert is one of the most in-demand bass players in the acoustic music scene. He shares time with Hawktail, The Punch Brothers as well as part of the house band for Chris Thile’s post-Prairie Home Companion show. He studied bass at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia with Edgar Meyers among others. He joined the Punch Brothers as they established themselves as the premier string band in music today.
Our conversation covers the addition of Dominick Leslie’s mandolin to the band’s sound as well as the making (and remaking) of the songs on “Unless”. The audio includes tunes from the trio’s 2014 release “You Got This” as well as two tunes from the new release and even a tune from the Punch Brothers as well. I hope you enjoy it.