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The Nighthawks Tryin' To Get To You (CD)

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(2020 Eller Soul) 13 tracks - Now in their fifth decade of recording and live performing, the... more

The Nighthawks: Tryin' To Get To You (CD)

(2020 Eller Soul) 13 tracks - Now in their fifth decade of recording and live performing, the 21st century Nighthawks are a tight, cohesive unit - the kind that comes only from years and miles. Guitarist Paul Bell and bassist Johnny Castle have been in the band for more than a decade; drummer Mark Stutso, the "new kid," is starting his fifth year; and founding member singer / harmonica player Mark Wenner is counting 40 plus. The nightly consensus from fans is that this version of The Nighthawks is the best ever. The concept that was mapped out in the liner notes of their 1974 debut recording, Rock and Roll, has grown into a powerful expression of the American musical tradition.

Almost every Nighthawks recording has featured at least one Muddy Waters tune, and 444 is no exception. This time the band showcases its acoustic version of Muddy's "Louisiana Blues" (staying close to the country blues of Muddy's original version), recalling their Blues Music Award-winning acoustic release, Last Train to Bluesville, and Muddy's live introduction on the band's Open All Night album. As the legend said that night way back when, "They have a beautiful name. They are THE NIGHTHAWKS."

Article properties: The Nighthawks: Tryin' To Get To You (CD)

Nighthawks, The - Tryin' To Get To You (CD) CD 1
01 Come Love The Nighthawks
02 I Know Your Wig Is Gone The Nighthawks
03 Tell Me What I did Wrong The Nighthawks
04 Tryin' To Get To You The Nighthawks
05 Baby It's Time The Nighthawks
06 I Hate A Nickel The Nighthawks
07 Rain Down Tears The Nighthawks
08 Something's Cookin' The Nighthawks
09 Searchin' For My Baby The Nighthawks
10 Don't Worry Baby The Nighthawks
11 Luscious The Nighthawks
12 The Cheap Stuff The Nighthawks
13 Chairman Of The Board The Nighthawks
The Nighthawks (Robert Nighthawk) Until his disciple Earl Hooker came to prominence, it's... more
"The Nighthawks"

The Nighthawks (Robert Nighthawk)

Until his disciple Earl Hooker came to prominence, it's unlikely any blues slide guitarist developed a cleaner, lighter, more melodic touch than Robert Nighthawk. He started out recording in the pre-war era as Robert Lee McCoy, but that wasn't his real name either. He was born Robert Lee McCollum (or McCullum) in Helena, Arkansas on November 30, 1909.

Robert got started playing guitar late, at approximately 21. His first instrument was harmonica before his cousin, Houston Stackhouse, tutored him on guitar. But he was a fast learner. Bluebird signed him in 1937; he made his recording debut in Aurora, Illinois, on the same May day as Sonny Boy Williamson. By then, he'd changed his handle to McCoy after fleeing the south following a murky shooting incident that compelled him to take up residence in St. Louis.

One of McCoy's songs that day was called Prowling Night-Hawk, the inspiration for his most enduring alias. There were a couple more Bluebird dates and a 1940 Decca session as Peetie's Boy before the war upended recording activities. Nomadic Robert ended up back in Helena for a time, broadcasting his pungent blues over KFFA for Bright Star Flour in direct competition with the second Sonny Boy Williamson's 'King Biscuit Time' program.

Muddy Waters recommended his old friend Robert, who had by this time gone electric, to Leonard Chess. Nighthawk cut for him in late 1948 and again on July 12, 1949, when the day's itinerary included the chilling Black Angel Blues, pianist Ernest Lane and bassist Willie Dixon providing splendidly sparse accompaniment. The song harked back to 1930 and rough-edged classic blues singer Lucille Bogan (though Nighthawk was probably more familiar with fellow slide master Tampa Red’s 1934 version), and in 1956 B.B. King would score a solid R&B hit with it as Sweet Little Angel. Aristocrat—the label Leonard Chess was associated with prior to his own self-named firm—issued it as by The Nighthawks. The other side, Annie Lee Blues, made a chart dent—Robert's only fleeting moment in the national spotlight.

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois

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Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!

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Tracklist
Nighthawks, The - Tryin' To Get To You (CD) CD 1
01 Come Love
02 I Know Your Wig Is Gone
03 Tell Me What I did Wrong
04 Tryin' To Get To You
05 Baby It's Time
06 I Hate A Nickel
07 Rain Down Tears
08 Something's Cookin'
09 Searchin' For My Baby
10 Don't Worry Baby
11 Luscious
12 The Cheap Stuff
13 Chairman Of The Board