Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

THE NIGHTHAWKS

TRYIN' TO GET TO YOU

2020-04-14

On their 31st disc, the Nighthawks introduce new guitarist Dan Hovey and bass player Paul Pisciotta to a line-up that has included Mark Wenner on harmonica and vocals since the band’s founding in 1972 and drummer Mark Stutso who is completing a decade with the band. As has been the case over the nearly 50 years of its existence, Wenner leads the band with his gruff vocals and masterful harmonica grooves but leaves plenty of room for the other members, all of whom sing, to contribute mightily to the finished product. In fact, Hovey and Stutso each pitch in two original tracks to the set which otherwise consists of covers by the likes of T-Bone Walker, Henry Glover, Los Lobos and James Brown. As is evident from the song credits this disc includes not only blues but early rock, roots rock and funky soul. A quick tour of highlights includes Wenner and Hovey exchanging hot licks on the Los Lobos/T-Bone Walker rocker,"Don’t Worry Baby", the four-part harmonies on the upbeat "Luscious", the hard-hitting Dozier/Holland classic "Chairman of the Board", the R & B groove of Winfred “Blue” Lovett’s "Searchin’ For My Baby" and the dirty funk of James Brown’s "Tell Me What I Did Wrong" featuring not only impassioned vocals but some great harmonica from Wenner on the bridge. The originals by Hovey and Stutso stand strong as well. Hovey’s "Baby It’s Time" slyly notes its time for his baby “to put her old man down” and “throw away the trash” over a mysterious-sounding groove that forecasts an unhappy ending to her current man. For his part, Stutso’s upbeat "Somethin’ Cookin’" finds him locating some fine, umm, cooking without even looking.! Despite its multiple line-ups over the years, the Nighthawks have continued to hit the mark with one fine release after another. This one keeps that tradition alive. SMITTY

review by Mark

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.