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Girl with a Hawk fill the spaces that separate us on the haunting ‘Same Stars’
Boston band led by Linda Viens releases new music video on February 22
‘Same Stars’ now streaming on all platforms via Red on Red Records
Photo Credit: Kelly Davidson
BOSTON, Mass. [February 22, 2023] -- The best way to feel connected to somebody both physically and emotionally far away is to look skyward at night and gaze at the same stars positioned overhead. The second best, perhaps, is to pen a song about them that fills in all the lonely spaces in between. Linda Viens took both approaches, and the result is “Same Stars,” the hauntingly gorgeous new single from Boston rock band Girl with a Hawk. Now playing across all streaming platforms via Red on Red Records, the Joan Hathaway-directed video for “Same Stars” debuts on Wednesday, February 22.
Under its lush sheen and lullaby guitar-rock demeanor, there’s a painstaking beauty at the core of “Same Stars,” which Viens wrote about her brother Carter Price. A heroin addict, Price was incarcerated in state prison after being arrested for a 1988 armed robbery in Connecticut, where he used a toy gun to hold up a convenience store. Sentenced to 11 years in state prison, a punishment many felt was unjust, he left behind a wife and two young children before finally being released in 2010. But in the time of his incarceration, Viens would drive down from Boston monthly to visit him at the Cheshire Correctional Institution in Cheshire, and watched with heartache as Price’s young family, and her own, was slowly torn apart.
“There are times, lucky times, when songs come through the ether to the writer fully formed,” Viens admits. “‘Same Stars’ is one of those songs. In the middle of the night as I tossed and turned, feeling my brother’s body and mind and spirit simultaneously tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable on a jail cot, in a metal cell, where the lights never went dark, and the cries and complaints of men could be heard all night long, I got up and picked up the guitar and the song emerged. Songs that come like this are not difficult, they are a gift, a release, and a relief.”
With an undertow allure that glistens off moonlight and takes musical cues from the likes of The Pretenders and Velvet Underground to Wilco and Modest Mouse, “Same Stars” exists in several spaces; those as tight and claustrophobic as Price’s prison cell, and those as expansive and seemingly endless as the galaxy above. Through Viens’ ache, she relied on the spaces above to provide a two-way emotional arch of connection, one that towered high over prison walls and out several unforgiving miles across state lines.
The track was written not only from Price’s point of view, but from Viens’ vantage point of empathy and sorrow in identifying his daily suffering, shame, regret and grief. In the end of the song, as in the end of the story, Price is released into the world, a debt to society paid, and he must find his family again and begin the long journey of reconciliation and healing. Hathaway’s evocative and enchanting video then extends this sentiment even further down a personal journey, with family photos of Carter’s wife and children through the long years without him interspersed with Viens’ presence around a local Massachusetts correctional facility, proving that the walls that separate families like hers are mental, emotional, and physical all at once. It showcases a universal representation of the “outside looking in” versus “inside looking out” reality of prison life and civilian life.
“The video is an evocation of my monthly drive from Boston to Cheshire,” Viens shares. “Driving for me has always been a time of reverie and reflection, and when I was driving to see Carter, I would be obsessively thinking of his wife Debbie and their kids, Jesse and Blake, now living without him and wanting to know how they were holding up. Joan did a beautiful job of weaving in the family photos in an unsentimental way; lives that must, by necessity, continue on, carry on, without the father present, as it is with so many families sadly. Joan made Carter’s family a ghostly presence, figures you can dream of, but not touch.”
And though she wrote the song a while back, its emotive growth manifested itself into its current arrangement with Girl with a Hawk, which Viens attributes in part to the amazing mixing and production skills of her co-producer and multi-instrumentalist Richard Lamphear as well as its passionate interpretation by the rest of the group: Guitarist Daniel Coughlin; drummer Nancy Delaney; and bassist Lee Harrington. For a band that formed just 16 months ago – but with a family tree in the Boston music scene that stretches back decades – “Same Stars” showcases a collective that’s both familiar and fresh to a growing and engaged audience.
Girl with a Hawk will be taking their music directly to those audiences this year, with announced live gigs Sunday, February 19 at Worthen Attic in Lowell; March 10 at The Bull Run in Shirley with Robin Lane; March 16 at The Square Root in Roslindale; April 14 at Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville; and an appearance at The Town and The City Festival in Lowell on April 28. A new single will surface around the festival gig, with a seven-song EP set for release in the summer via Red on Red.
“Linda’s songs are beautiful, and the band’s live performances are pure magic,” says Red on Red label owner Justine Covault. “Great players, great vibe, great band!”
For Girl with a Hawk, the feeling is mutual, and Viens and the band are excited to take their storytelling and joyful live performances to the masses via Covault’s fast-growing indie label.
“We feel seen, and supported as artists, in ways I never even imagined in my wildest dreams were possible,” Viens says. “Justine Covault is a true leader and an incredibly generous steward of the music and artists she believes in. She works very hard, on behalf of all of the bands and artists on her label, and leads with love, everytime. Being on Red on Red is like being home. We can relax emotionally, and work on our art, knowing that certain promotional aspects, booking aspects, etc. are continuously in the works, and happening.”
It’s the type of support system, of true family and chosen family, that Viens can appreciate.
‘Same Stars’ single artwork:
Design Credit: Adam Sherman
Girl with a Hawk is:
Linda Viens: Vocals, acoustic guitar
Richard Lamphear: Guitar, backing vocals
Daniel Coughlin: Guitars, backing vocals
Nancy Delaney: Drums
Former member Lee Harrington provides bass and backing vocals
‘Same Stars’ production credits:
Written by Linda Viens
Performed by Girl with a Hawk
Produced by Richard Lamphear and Linda Viens
Engineered by Richard Lamphear and Tamora Gooding
Mastered by Pete Weiss, Jade Cow Music Services
Original artwork by Adam Sherman
Video directed and produced by Joan Hathaway
Thank you: Carter, Debbie, Jesse, and Blake Price; Worthen House Cafe; Jesse Mayer; Matthew Goodwin; Black Crow Productions; MCI-Concord
(c) 2022 and 2023 Girl with a Hawk. All Rights Reserved.
Girl with a Hawk bio:
Linda Viens began playing music with the gift of a classical Mexican guitar from her Dad for her 12th birthday. In college she got into punk rock. She played drums and sang in the punk band, Children of Paradise, went on to lead local roots rockers, Witch Doctor, sang cabaret with collaborator Catherine Coleman in Les Chanteuse Sorcieres, and formed the notorious funk orchestra Crown Electric Company with her former husband Wayne Viens in the mid-nineties. Linda was a founding member of Boston Rock Opera and has performed in many musical theater productions, including Sgt. Pepper, Jesus Christ Superstar, Abbey Road, Preservation, and Billion Dollar Babies vs. Aqualung. Linda has produced and recorded with some of Boston's finest including Mark Sandman (Morphine), Richie Parsons (Unnatural Axe), Asa Brebner (Modern Lovers), Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses), Jon Macey (Fox Pass), Adam Sherman (Private Lightening, Nervous Eaters) and released the album Powdered Pearls with Emily Grogan and their band together, Angeline in 2006. Linda went on to form Kingdom of Love, a studio project with producer and musical partner Richard Lamphear and released their EP Ghosts in 2017. Linda continues to work with Richard in her new band, Girl with a Hawk, formed during the Pandemic in 2021.
Richard Lamphear is a songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. His former bands include alt- punk band Amoebas in Chaos and Kingdom of Love. Daniel Coughlin is a guitar player and arranger. His former bands include Children of Paradise, Witch Doctor, Lazy Susan, and The Illyrians. Nancy Delaney plays drums. Her former bands include Willard Grant Conspiracy, Boston Rock Opera and Cold Expectations.
Recent media praise for Girl with a Hawk:
“Songs filled with muscle and melody!” _Boston Groupie News
“‘Same Stars’ is a heart-and-soul touching story, a longing ballad, a bittersweet siblings love-inspired reverie with Linda Viens’s moving voice sending shivers down your spine. Stirring.” _Turn Up The Volume
“Music connects us and we connect to it. There are certain times when music becomes a part of us, this is the case with ‘Same Stars’ the song by Boston’s Girl with a Hawk. When I first heard it, it took hold of my heart. I immediately listened to it again, while reading both Linda Viens’ inspiration behind it and her lyrics with increasingly ‘blurred vision.’ It was at that point, Same Stars became one with my soul. I could relate to it on a personal level having battled the demons of alcoholism and drug addiction and have been clean and sober now for over three decades. The flickering of light from those same stars in the darkness become a guiding light to peace and reconciliation. More than a song to me, it’s become an anthem of hope. Hope through the turbulent times and seemingly insurmountable odds we may face in our lives. A reminder to “never give up the day before a miracle happens. When I reach the end of my days, those who truly know me, know of three songs that I want played in my memory. I think my list just got longer.” _“Boris” Boden, The Secret Weapon on Woody Radio
Press Contact: Michael Marotta at firstname.lastname@example.org
Band Contact: Linda Viens at email@example.com