Hawks & Highways
Native American folk meets rock in espanol; eclectic, melodic, well-written music embraced by ethnic flavors.
Freddy Trujillo was born in 1969 in Simi Valley, California. His paternal grandfather was of full-blooded Comancheand Osage descent. Through out his life Freddy Trujillo became more and more intrigued by his one-quarter Native-American heritage, an interest, which blossomed after meeting and befriending many inter-tribal families in the Pacific Northwest. Getting involved with pow wows and native causes led Freddy to meeting the Trimble-Robideau family. He eventually married Monika Robideau, second cousin of freedom-fighter Leonard Peltier. Trujillo's dream of creating a conceptual rock and roll/pop record about the modern American Indian experience has finally been realized with the birth of Hawks and Highways. Not since the classic days of Jesse Ed Davis, Redbone and Robbie Robertson of the Band has music come along that is at once rootsy and melodic as it is uniquely Native-American.
Freddy Trujillo began his musical career in 1988 playing bass with Pat Smear from the legendary L.A. punk band the Germs, later of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. He was then with Geffen recording artists I Love You for a brief spell before joining forces with his sister, Amy Trujillo, who as Am'e Lorain had a top ten hit called "Whole Wide World." Along with drummer Victor Indrizzo (Beck, Macy Gray, Willie Nelson) they formed Family Affair, a multi-ethnic funk group that made a critically acclaimed album for BMG in 1990.
In 1993, after Family Affair disbanded, Freddy moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon to pursue an education at Portland State University. His focus was classical bass and Chicano/Latino studies. This led to playing in the school symphony and getting heavily involved in M.E.Ch.A., a student movement dedicated to the awareness of Mexican-American culture. Still, Freddy had always wanted to play his own music, which took over as his main goal after years of the college grind.
In 1998, Freddy started to drift into the local Portland music scene, which led to forming the short-lived group Federale with Luther Russell (Freewheelers), Jimi Bott (Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Marc Ford (Black Crowes). Federale managed to sign with Geffen, but disbanded prior to delivering a record. Nonetheless, this change in fortune provided the genesis for Freddy Trujillo's solo debut Hawks and Highways, after he was persuaded by old friend Luther Russell to give his own music a whirl. Luther, who has produced countless independent roots-rock and rock en español albums in the Northwest, helmed the recording of Hawks and Highways along with engineer Mike Coykendall of SanFrancisco's own Old Joe Clarks.
Hawks and Highways emerges as the first true Native-American-themed rock and roll record of the millennium, with echoes of Freddy's Chicano background and musical influences as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Los Lobos and the Beatles. Songs like "Red Bones" (which has already been covered twice) and "Hawks and Highways" address Trujillo's feelings about his heritage, while "Sides" and "Owl Dance" reflect his Mexican influences. Hawks and Highways is not without it's rambunctious humor, where Luther Russell's "Art of Hangin' Loose (In An Uptight World)" and the Latin Brothers'"Buscándote" get fevered readings. The sound of the album is homespun and colorful, Inglés y Spanish, Red and Brown, Pop and Soul and something different for a new generation of music listeners and rock and roll fans.