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Back Porch Party

The Nighthawks

Eller Soul Records 2015

Review by David Bowling


The Nighthawks come across as the ultimate party band. A club late at night, friends, your favorite beverage, and the Nighthawks wailing away; life would not get much better than that.

Harpist Mark Wenner, guitarist Paul Bell, bassist Johnny Castle, and drummer Mark Stutso have always depended on energy and enthusiasm when presenting their music. They have managed to keep that energy and enthusiasm intact with their new acoustic release Back Porch Party.

They also took the simple route. They rented a recording studio in Richmond, Virginia, gathered together an audience, and recorded an albums worth of music in one take with no over dubs or technological tweaks.

The album is a combination of originals and covers and if I have my blues history correct, it include songs by Lightnin’ Hopkins, Ike Turner, BB King, and Ike Turner. They are on solid ground with traditional blues presentations of “Rollin’ Stone” and “Million Tears.” They provide some needed variation with a swinging version of Ike Turner’s “Matchbox” and add some Latin elements to “Down In The Hole.”

Back Porch Party is just that so turn the music up loud and enjoy!


Rating: ***1/2