Christopher Hawley returns to play three nights in Park City
Christopher Hawley has been performing in Park City since 2003.
Throughout the years, the Venice, California-based singer and songwriter has made some close friends in town after playing during the summer and during the Sundance Film Festival.
So he’s looking forward to his return this week when he’ll play at Bistro 412 on April 2, Rock and Reilly’s on April 3 and Flanagan’s on April 4.
"When I come to Park City during Sundance, it’s easy for the locals to go into hiding because of all the crowds of people that converge onto the town," Hawley told The Park Record. "It’s like where I live in Venice. We get crowds of people every weekend. So, I’m looking forward to coming to Park City at this time of the year because I get to see all the locals out and reconnect with them.
"I also consider a lot of people out there some of my good friends," he said. "Some of those friendships have come about through meeting someone in another part of Utah and then meeting them again in Park City. A lot of people have signed up to the email list and have been responsive to when I come through."
Hawley remembers the first time he played in Park City.
"We played at Mother Urbans, and things started off well because we got to town and asked around where a good place to eat that had reasonable prices," he said. "Someone turned us on to Davanza’s, which has wonderful food.
"After we played the show, the owner of Mother Urbans offered to let us stay in his condo, because we didn’t have anywhere to stay," Hawley said. "The same hospitality has been extended to me ever since. I mean, the people in Park City and Utah in general take care of each other and that’s what I’ve experienced."
Hawley enjoys Park City because he gets to perform with a local named Greg Friedman.
"Greg sings beautiful harmonies on all of my songs and is a great addition to the performance," Hawley said. "He knows a ton of tunes and I try to stick with those tunes and he adds so much. We have toured a bit together through Idaho one year after Sundance, and I wish he could tour with me all the time."
When Hawley prepares for a show, even in a town he’s played numerous times, he relies on his instincts.
"Usually, it’s what the crowd is vibing with and the feel of the night and how it opens up," he said. "That’s what inspires me a lot."
Most of the music he plans to play falls under the roots-music category.
"To me, that’s music which incorporates early styles from around the world including everything from classical, world and rock ‘n’ roll," he said.
In fact, one of the albums Hawley will sell at his performances illustrates his love for those different styles.
"The album is called ‘Rise and Shine’ and features my acoustic sound because the arrangements are sparse and there are no drums," Hawley said. "It’s got a mix of a couple of reggae tunes, a bluegrass tune and an instrumental classical piece. That’s important to me because it helps me avoid getting into a rut.
"I can explore different styles in this endless journey," he said. "I love to write and play in different styles. I don’t know if I could be in a band that played just one sound all the time."
Playing different styles during the live show is also fun for audiences, Hawley said.
"I remember enjoying bands like Little Feat and the Grateful Dead when they change things from one song to the next," he said. "It’s rich."
The album’s title track was licensed by the NFL Network for one of their morning shows called ‘NFL A.M.’
"That happened after I played in Santa Monica one night," Hawley said. "A producer of the show came up to me and asked if he could use it for the show."
Hawley is currently working on his sixth album.
"It’s totally different than anything we’ve done before," he said. "It’s a collaboration with a guy names Randy Wooten, and he and I have written songs for five years and we decided to do an album with some of these songs."
Wooten is also producing the album.
"Randy has a great musical vision and deals with the arrangements and I just show up and play," Hawley said. "That takes a lot of the responsibility off of my shoulders."
The album will hopefully be released before the summer, according to Hawley.
Singer and songwriter Christopher Hawley will perform at Bistro 412 on April 2, Rock and Reilly’s on April 3 and Flanagan’s on April 4. For more information, visit Christopherhawley.net or Faceboook.com/chrollers.
With the wrap-up of the 2023 Sundance and Slamdance film festivals, it’s up to Park City Film to carry the art-house torch with its weekend screenings.
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