Hawktail is the instrumental acoustic quartet of fiddler Brittany Haas, bassist Paul Kowert, guitarist Jordan Tice, and mandolinist Dominick Leslie. Hawktail’s Del Mar debut performance celebrates the release of Hawktail’s new studio album, Formations (available on compact disc, vinyl, and online January 10, 2020). Each member of Hawktail brings a strong individuality to the project. Brittany Haas, whose 2004 self-titled release instantly became the touchstone for a generation of old-time fiddlers, has since lent her sound to Crooked Still, Chris Thile’s “Live From Here” public radio show, Steve Martin, and David Rawlings, where she played alongside Paul Kowert, well known as the Grammy-winning Punch Brothers’ virtuosic bass player. Jordan Tice is a rare guitar player whose music showcases his unique identity and a particular knack for song and tune-writing, and Dominick Leslie is a versatile mandolinist whose rhythmic sensibility has made him ubiquitous on the acoustic music scene for over a decade. However, despite each of their ability to contribute to many musical situations, something special happens when they unite as Hawktail. Their all-original music is cohesive and unique, flush with orchestral sweeps and sparse vigils, with strains of the American South and the North Atlantic, this cosmopolitan sound is not what you’d expect from a string band. Together, they have fostered a reputation as a rare ensemble of composers and instrumentalists able to take the listener on a journey, without the use of words.