California-based I See Hawks in L.A. pursue a kind of cerebral, witty, and at times refreshingly silly alt-country path along the lines of earlier California country-rock bands like the Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, and the Byrds, following the template of what Gram Parsons once called "cosmic American music." Formed in 1999 by Robert Rex Waller, Jr. and brothers Paul Lacques and Anthony Lacques, at first I See Hawks in L.A. were strictly a loose recording outfit, but after their self-titled debut album was released on the now defunct Ethic Records imprint in 2001, the positive critical reaction convinced them to start doing shows. A second album, Grapevine, appeared in 2004 from Western Seeds Records, followed by California Country, also on Western Seeds, in 2006, and both releases received well-deserved praise for the band's clever, fun, and often politically and environmentally charged songs (most of them written by Waller and Paul Lacques) and impressive three-part harmonies (sung by Waller, Lacques, and bassist Paul Marshall). The band's lineup has been an ever evolving thing, but has generally included Rob Waller on lead vocals, guitar, and Dobro, Paul Lacques on vocals, guitar, and Dobro, Paul Marshall on bass and vocals, Dave Zirbel on steel guitar, Cody Bryant on banjo, Rick Shea on mandolin, Brantley Kearns on fiddle, and Shawn Nourse on drums, with numerous names from California's alt-country scene contributing frequent guest spots. A fourth album, Hallowed Ground, was released early in 2008. by Steve Leggett All Music Guide
Born in Victoria, British Columbia and raised on a little island on the very west coast of Canada, Stagger spent most of his youth with his grandparents who exposed him to the world of country music. Developing his musical drive early on, Stagger formed his first punk rock band at age 18. Songwriting came shortly after with themes revolving around his childhood, traveling, relationships, substance abuse and the tribulations of life. Having collaborated with one of his icons, Danny Michel, Stagger found commercial success in the song, “Just in Case”, which was featured twice on the television hit, Grey’s Anatomy.
The life of being on the road and touring at a fast pace did not wear easily on Stagger, who at age 26, realized he had an alcohol problem that was affecting his ability to perform with the commitment and heart his songs demanded. Clean and sober since, Stagger has a strong desire to inspire young musicians that they do not have to succumb to the pitfalls of substance abuse, which can be prevalent in a musician’s touring lifestyle.