Feast of the Mau Mau combines two Hawkins albums dating from 1969 and 1970. The first half comprises What that is, recorded live at a North Hollywood club with two different ensembles. Hawkins not only made his living performing live, but he also flourished on stage-as these recordings make quite abundantly clear. What that is finds Hawkins in the company of some stellar and sympathetic accompanists, including drummer Earl Palmer, bass player Lyle Ritz, guitarist Herb Ellis, and pianist Grahame Bond.
The second half of this set was originally released as a self-titled album in 1970. It's a bracing mix of swampy grooves, rockabilly carousing, soulful blues, and flat-out screaming. Hawkins' roots include doo-wop and jump blues, but he throws it all into a stew completely of his own making. A bold personality, Hawkins imbues his songs with complete and undeniable commitment.