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444

The Nighthawks

EllerSoul Records 2014

Review by David Bowling

 

The Nighthawks have been playing their brand of roots music for over four decades. Todays incarnation of the band features original member Mark Wenner on harmonica and vocals, plus long term members Paul Bell (guitar), Johnny Castle (bass), and Mark Stutso (drums). All the members are capable vocalists. They have now combined their talents to release their latest album titled 444.

The Nighthawks, have and probably always will be one of the best Americana bands working today. Their rock, soul, and blues all coalesce into a fusion of energetic and passionate roots music.

As with most of their 25 plus albums, their newest release combines original compositions with some carefully selected covers. There is usually a Muddy Water track and here “Louisiana Blues” is a fine example of modernized electric Chicago blues. “Walk The Walk” travels a different road. There is a rock sound present but the voices combine to create a doo-wop style.

They crank up the party vibe with “Honky Tonk Queen” and “Crawfish.” The album ending “Roadside Cross” has a smoldering slower tempo as the band moves in a more serious direction.

The Nighthawks is one of those bands that has been creating good music for decades but has never found large commercial success. 444 is a fine addition to their legacy and is well worth a listen for any aficionado of basic American music.

 

Rating: ***1/2

 

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