There are good bands and there are great bands but there are not many great roadhouse blues bands that have produced THIRTY ONE solid and engaging albums over the years. With the release of TRYIN’ TO GET TO YOU, The Nighthawks, based out of Washington, DC, continue to mesh the sounds of rock ‘n’ roll and the upbeat electric blues into a incredible musical menagerie. And they are worthy of consideration as one of the very best bands in the storied history of the electric blues.
The band is led by Mark Wenner, a first class harmonica player and a singer with the perfect type of voice for the uplifting style of music that they play. The steady beat is provided by drummer Mark Stutso who also adds vocals. And two new group members, Dan Hovey (guitars) and Paul Pisciotta (bass) both contribute vocals for some fabulous harmonies on a number of the new tunes.
The new album has that upbeat rhythm and sound that just transports you to a good place. I loved the driving bass and harmonica on Baby, It’s Time. And Chairman of the Board is some damn fine sultry blues with an insistent hip movin’ beat that cries out to be released as a single. The title cut, Tryin’ to Get to You, is a sweet fusion of doo wap and the electric blues with a tone on Dan’s guitar that is entrancing. Don’t Worry Baby is the kind of rockin’ blues song that has been a signature staple of the band over the years. And Somethin’ Cookin is a delicious blues shuffle…..mhmm…my kinda tune.
This is easily one of the best roadhouse blues releases of 2020. It will wanna make ya call out to your Baby and get them close for some social spacing hip shakin’ in the living room….yeah it is that good! Go On….right now….download this jewel of a recording…I promise you that you won’t regret it!! It will make ya smile, dance, and have a damn fine time while ya listen….and that is the very definition of the roadhouse blues for the weekend!
The Nighthawks – Tryin’ To Get To You (2020 Ellersoul Records)
Ben Vee is an internet DJ and writer from New Orleans that now lives in Connecticut with his wife Annette. He started spinning records back in the 1970’s and has been writing about the roadhouse blues since 2011. He does two roadhouse blues shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and he writes about the blues when the urge strikes on http://www.benveeblues.com.