I had the pleasure to catch Doug Hawk's somewhat new trio The Three Monks this Sunday evening at Allentown's Stooges Bar & Grille (www.stoogesbarandgrille.com) Doug is an incredible well-trained vocalist who became well-known in the Lehigh Valley a few years ago with the jazz fusion group Rhino Campground, where I got to know him personally. Now he and classically trained pianist Dan DeChellis and talented drummer Rian Carr are a trio that must be seen--Doug's lyrics are penned to Dan's dreamscape jazz meanderings that challenge the listener and invite them to expand their music appreciation. The trio uses Dan's big Yamaha electic stage piano to provide the sole musical accompaniment, with Carr's persussion enhancing the mood DeChellis creates. Hawk sometimes scat-sings, raps proficiently, and soars his tenor voice with deft precision--wanna be a singer?--check out this young man!(he also gives private lessons). Though Hawk would prefer doing originals all evening, he and the trio sprinkle a choice amount of great cover songs from Steely Dan's "My Old School" to Stevie Wonder to a hauntingly slowed-down interpretation of the Beatles "A Day In the Life" interspersed with a digression into "Eleanor Rigby". The trio puts their unique stamp on these cover songs which only makes them more appealing to listen to. I invite you ALL to check out their site at www.threemonks.net and go see them soon--they play dates in the Lehigh Valley and Philly/Manayunk venues so there should be a place in comfortable travelling distance to see these guys.