Nighthawks review…05-18-12

THE NIGHTHAWKS

DAMN GOOD TIME

SEVERN RECORDS  0056

TOO MUCH–WHO YOU’RE WORKIN’ FOR–DAMN GOOD TIME–BRING YOUR SISTER–SEND FOR ME–MINIMUM WAGE–GEORGIA SLOP–NIGHT WORK–LET’S WORK TOGETHER–SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE–DOWN TO MY LAST MILLION TEARS–HEARTBREAK SHAKE

 

The last time we saw the Nighthawks, we were shaking hands with them in Memphis during the 2011 Blues Awards, where their “Last Train To Bluesville” CD took home the honors for Best Traditional CD.  Severn Records has just released the follow-up to that set, entitled “Damn Good Time.”  This one features the venerable Mark Wenner on harp and vocals, (kicking off his 41st year as a Nighthawk!), Paul Bell on guitar, Johnny Castle on bass, and Mark Stutso on drums.  Mark and Johnny also add vocals on several cuts, making this one a true whole-band effort.

 

Things get started with Mark taking the vocal over a loping backbeat on Presley’s “Too Much.”  Drummer Mark Stutso takes the lead on the album’s jazzy title cut, showing a mellow side to the band.  Johnny Castle brings a rockin’ vocal to the roadhouse boogie of “Bring Your Sister” and “Georgia Slop.”  Mark turns Nat King Cole’s “Send For Me” into a sweet, bluesy, stop-time shout-out to all the lovers in the house, then rocks the joint on a cut that could easily serve as his autobiography, “Night Work.”

 

We had two favorites, too.  There is some cool two-part harmony on the fellows’ cover of Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Work Together,” featuring a dazzling slide solo from Paul at the bridge.  And, Mark reaches back into the band’s deep catalog for a song we never get tired of, the Fifties’-inspired call-and-response of “Smack Dab In The Middle.”

 

It just doesn’t seem like it has been forty years since The Nighthawks first took flight.  And, the band may have undergone some personnel changes, but Mark Wenner remains a constant.  And, with “Damn Good Time,” the band’s legacy just grows stronger!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: