Greg Hawks

Greg Hawks

BandAmericanaBluegrass

If you like classic, hard-driving bluegrass with a contemporary edge, Greg Hawks delivers. With soulful singing and thoughtful songwriting, Hawks’ vocal harmonies blend seamlessly with banjo, fiddle, guitar, pedal steel, and mandolin to tell stories of love, loss, and redemption.

Biography

Greg Hawks pays homage to his Blue Ridge Mountain roots in his new album, Coming Home, with 14 songs of hard-driving bluegrass, soulful country singing, and thoughtful songwriting. Hawks’ versatile harmonies blend seamlessly with banjo, fiddle, guitar, pedal steel, and mandolin to tell stories of love, loss, faith, and redemption. While Coming Home has a distinctly modern sound, it’s firmly rooted in Brothers-style mountain harmony (think Louvins, Osbornes, Stanleys, and Jim and Jesse); straight-ahead bluegrass (think Jimmy Martin, Stanley Brothers, and J.D. Crowe); and real country (think Merle, Hank, Lefty, and Jones). Along with 11 originals, Hawks offers a lively version of the fiddle tune “Temperance Reel” and completes the record with a vocal quartet of the gospel “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me” and an original instrumental, “There You Go.”
Born in Mount Airy, N.C., Hawks hails from a long line of Scots-Irish who settled the foothills of the Blue Ridge in the 1700s. “To this day, when I hear that pure mountain harmony,” Hawks says, “it cuts all the way through me. I never knew other music existed until my family moved. I remember people outside Mount Airy laughing because I said Buck Owens was better than The Beatles.”
After several years of rock and roll and country bands, Hawks released his first CD, Fool’s Paradise, to local and national acclaim. This album of ten originals and two covers (including a version of Springsteen’s “Tougher Than the Rest”) delivers hard-edged, rocking country in the spirit of the Bakersfield sound of Owens and Haggard and the classic country rock sound of Gram Parsons and The Everly Brothers. Hawks then pursued a new album devoted to the two and three-part harmonies of string and bluegrass music. Several life changes – the birth of his son, the death of his father, and a return to faith -- inspired original songs such as “Simple Pleasures,” “What’s Your Hurry,” and the title track, “Coming Home.” Backed by his own bass, guitar, mandolin, and banjo, Hawks balances traditional sounds with modern themes. He also calls on the talents of local musicians such as Rick LaFleur, Daniel Aldridge (Constant Change), Steve Watson, and Steve Fraleigh (2005 Galax winner).
Coming Home brings Hawks full circle, a return to tradition that he says feels right and real. “It’s my journey back to my roots,” Hawks says. “I read once that Ralph Stanley said he never called his music anything other than mountain music or good ol’ country music. That’s where I belong.”

Lyrics

Coming Home

Written By: Greg Hawks

Coming Home

By Greg Hawks

Well, I’ve seen a lot of places and I know a lot of faces
In this country that I’m proud to call my home
So much more I’d like to see if the opportunity
Comes my way before my time on earth is gone

So much beauty to behold on the pathways new and old
From bright cities to the rolling countryside
But if you really want to know, if I had one place I could go
There’s no doubt where I would turn my wheels to ride

CHORUS:
On my way home (going home)
Coming home (back to my home)
It’s where my heart is at, it’s where I can hang my hat
There’s no place I’d rather be, going home

Now the road I want to travel’s a little driveway made of gravel
On a shady Piedmont hill in Caroline
Where the trees sway in the breeze whispering sweet melodies
It’s the closest thing to heaven in my mind

CHORUS

What's Your Hurry

Written By: Greg Hawks

What’s Your Hurry
By Greg Hawks

This modern world just keeps you running
Ever closer to the edge
High on fear and desperation
To find a way to get ahead

CHORUS: What’s your hurry? Where’re you going?
Is it worth your worried mind?
When it’s over, it won’t matter
Tell me, are you satisfied?

In this age of great invention
They say our time is being saved
But no one ever seems to mention
What’s been lost along the way

CHORUS

There’s nothing wrong with moving forward
Or keeping up with the changing times
But when it takes more than it’s giving
It might be time to change my mind

CHORUS

Just Because You Can (That Don't Mean You Should)

Written By: Greg Hawks

Just Because You Can (That Don’t Mean You Should)
by Greg Hawks

Good people tried to tell me and they tried to tell her, too
But we were living in a fairy tale and couldn’t see the cold hard truth
You know for her I made some changes, I tried to walk the line
Well, each day she’s slipping farther away and I’m about to lose my mind

Just because you can, that don’t mean you should
If you’re leaving now, you better go for good
So write it down so it’s understood
Just because you can, that don’t mean you should

I won’t be that sad to see her gone, she’s worried me to death
A’making up the rules as she went along, my words a waste of breath
You know I treated her like royalty, beats all I ever saw
This kind of mental cruelty ought to be against the law

Just because you can, that don’t mean you should
If you’re leaving now, you better go for good
So write it down so it’s understood
Just because you can, that don’t mean you should

Well, I watched her walking out the door, making all the noise she could
These kind of threats she’s made before but her promise ain’t no good
You see, no one’s ever told her no, she knows how to use her charm
Deep down I know, truth be told, she’s in another’s arms

Just because you can, well, that don’t mean you should
If you’re leaving now, you better go for good
So write it down so it’s understood
Just because you can, that don’t mean you should

Some Things Are Better Left Alone

Written By: Greg Hawks

Some Things Are Better Left Alone
By Greg Hawks

Some things are better left alone
Some things are better left alone
When the harder you try, the worse it gets
It may be time to let it rest
Some things are better left alone

In my time I’ve learned a lot of lessons
Still, the more I’ve learn, the less I seem to know
But I have no doubt that in certain situations
Some things are better left alone

Some things are better left alone
Some things are better left alone
Like sleeping dogs, poison oak
Power lines and creosote
Some things are better left alone

Well, I’m not the kind to avoid communication
I won’t hesitate to say what I believe
But you can reach a point in stubborn situations
When the best thing you can do is turn and leave

Sometimes you’re better off alone
Sometimes it’s better to move on
From people who love to fuss and fight
And anyone who’s always right
Sometimes you’re better off alone

On the other side the grass is always greener
But you never know a good thing till it’s gone
Just because something is new don’t make it better
Sometimes it’s better to leave well enough alone

Some things are better left alone
Some things are better left alone
You can’t beat a hot corn pone
And the lonesome sound of ol’ George Jones
Some things are better left alone

Simple Pleasures

Written By: Greg Hawks

Simple Pleasures
By Greg Hawks

So many years I’ve done things my way
Running blind and wild, Lord, I’ve wandered astray
Searching for light on a dark highway
I spent many a night just dreading the day

CHORUS:
Thank you, God, for the love of my mother
For my home and Your guiding light
For the morning sun in the Carolina sky
Lord, I finally see simple pleasures of life

Well, I had so much given to me
All that any man could want in this world for free
Well, I thought I knew it all, but I didn’t know a thing
For I could not believe what I could not see

CHORUS

Well, I turned my back on the ones that I loved
And I did some things that I’m not proud of
But the truth I wanted was there all along
And it feels so good to know where I belong

Thank you, God, for the love of my mother
For my home, Your guiding light
For the morning sun in the Carolina sky
Yes, I finally see simple pleasures of life

Since You've Been Gone

Written By: Greg Hawks

Since you’ve been gone and took your love away from me
It’s all that I can do to get up and face the day
And without you in my life
I can’t get used to anything and
I don’t want to anyway

And each time I look at someone new
I find my mind goes back to you

If I could change the past or break the spell
That you have cast on me
I would have done it long ago
Does your new life
Give you all you want and need?
Since you wrote me off, I’ve been down so low

And each time I look at someone new
I find my mind goes back to you
And there’s nothing I can do
As long as I’m hung up on you

I think about our dreams and all the plans we made
And it kills my soul to say that it’s all been thrown away

It was in your smile, was in your kiss
Your walk I can’t resist
I miss you more than you will ever know
And without you in my life
I can’t get used to anything
But I will have to anyway

And each time I look at someone new
I find my mind goes back to you

There’s nothing I can do as long as I’m hung up on you

Discography

Fool's Paradise (LP) 2001
Coming Home (LP) 2008

Set List

I typically perform two forty-five minute sets, about half original and half covers, depending on what's appropriate to the audience.

SET ONE

1) What’s Your Hurry

2) Coming Home

3) I Hope You’ve Learned

4) Sweetheart You’ve Done Me Wrong

5) Just Because You Can…

6) Some Things Are Better Left Alone

7) Train Of Love

8) I Belong To You

9) Think of What You’ve Done

10) You Can’t Take It With You

11) Beaumont Rag