All You Gotta Do By The Nighthawks

December 26, 2017

The Nighthawks are an ultimate bar band who made good. Now five decades into their career, they continue to play their unique and gritty brand of blues, rock, and roots music. The have now issued their latest album All You Gotta Do.

They keep it straightforward and simple on their latest release. They are no guests; just the members of the band. There also keep overdubs to a minimum. Basically what they record in the studio is what you get.

While many of their albums contain almost all original tunes, here except for three songs, they move outward to cover material from a number of very different artists.

The blues have always provided the band’s foundation. Muddy Waters “Baby I Want To Be Loved” is a grade school primer of the blues, Chicago style. They move Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Ninety Nine” close to rock and roll with Mark Wenner’s harmonica filling in the gaps. “Snake Drive” has a driving beat that would fit the smoky club scene late at night.

The three original songs travel different paths. “Another Day” is a folk-like protest piece clothed in a blues framework. “Blues For Brother John” is a hybrid song that focus’ on Wenner’s harmonica. Mark Stutso’s “Voo Doo Doll” is the requisite love song.

Harmonies have always been a part of the Nighthawks appeal. Jesse Winchester’s “Isn’t That So” is a gentle harmonic romp though one of a song masters creations. The Standells “Dirty Water” is an ultimate garage song Thousands of wanna-be bans have covered this song. They change it up a bit but it is a fine salute to a uniquely American style.

All You Gotta Do finds the Nighthawks in fine form. An album of solid blues and rock and roll from a veteran band who have honed their craft for decades.


444 By The Nighthawks

November 10, 2014

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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.