In 2001 Hawks released his first album, Fool’s Paradise, with YepRoc to local and national acclaim. Considered country rock or "alt country," this album of ten originals and two covers (including a version of Springsteen’s “Tougher Than the Rest”) delivers hard-edged, rocking originals in the spirit of the Bakersfield sound of Owens and Haggard and the classic sound of Gram Parsons and The Everly Brothers.
In a collaboration with Backslider Danny Kurtz, Greg could take some creative risks with arrangements. Danny shared Greg's same love of the Flying Burrito Brothers' country rock and rootsy pop music like Nick Lowe. Work till all hours in Danny's basement took the album where it needed to go. Drummer Nate Stalfa and former Trembler and lead guitarist Mike Krause joined to form a new version of the Tremblers.
The raw sound of the record can be attributed to the soul Greg says he invested. He adds, "It's 100% real because it came from a pretty pure place." Hawks pays tribute to the perils of the "sideshow" life in bars, mourns the betrayals of loves with pretty voices and hands who can "push you off a ledge," and celebrates the hectic ride that life and love can take you on, no matter how little you've got. Hawks dedicated the record to his son Henry who was born while many songs were being written—or lived.
The song "Where I'm Not" is featured in the 2001 teen horror flick, Jeepers Creepers, a particularly sweet twist of fate for Hawks. He's a horror nut who can quote you lines from old-school films.