Meet The Band

Blue Jay and the Hawks was founded in Henderson, Kentucky by brothers Jay, Brenan, and Richard Haskett , as well as drummer Tom Lehr (he penned the band’s name, a more approapriate title than their earlier 1967 venture, “The Flower Children of December”). Younger brother Tim, also an accomplished opera singer , occasionally added vocals. They soon developed a style of country jazz rock that they dubbed “bop hop” and toured the local taverns and college campus arena. The late 1980s brought Gary Stewart to some of the Hawks’ sessions, these sessions are featured Our Music page.

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Jay  with  his old 1955 Fender Telecaster that Gene Parsons, the drummer for the Byrds and originator of the B string bender modified for him as he did for Clarence White in 1968 when history was made and “country rock” began.

Jay began playing guitar in 1964 after the Beatles and Rolling Stones appeared on Ed Sullivan, but, due to his meeting Charles Whittington and  Charles’ enormous record collection and musical talent, turned his influence to Clarence White, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass, Bernard Herrmann, and John Barry. His syncopated pedal staccato style of lead guitar with a “B” bender is really complimented by the exceptional bass playing of his brother Brenan. Their brother Rich contributes with his songwriting ability, and multi-instrumental talent.
Tom Lehr began playing drums at an early age and has developed an accomplished style that lends itself to Blue Jay and the Hawks aura of aggressive country rock jazz that has carried the label “bop hop”.
They don’t take folk music and jazz it up-they take country, rock, and jazz music and “folk it up”. They are strictly raw, garage country jazz rock and successfully rely on improvisation .


 

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Brenan “Bushmonster” Haskett is pictured with some of “Blue Jay and the Hawks” guitars and bass guitars.

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Rich Haskett getting ready for a live recording with the Hawks, singing his original “In Private”