Washington DC’s Nighthawks celebrate their 50th Anniversary

Article Contributed by Brat Girl Media | Published on Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Nighthawks, Washington DC’s legendary road warriors of blues and roots music, celebrate their 50th Anniversary with a brand new album via the VizzTone label group – THE NIGHTHAWKS – ESTABLISHED 1972, hitting the streets April 15, 2022.

In March 2020, with a brand-new recording to promote, The Nighthawks did something previously unthinkable: They stopped in the middle of a Florida tour and drove home. Like so many other people, the band members found themselves out of work as the coronavirus swept the country. TRYIN’ TO GET TO YOU was the first recording with Paul Pisciotta on bass and Dan Hovey on guitar, and the band knew it was good – later borne out by a year’s worth of great press and three months on the Living Blues chart while everything remained shut down.

Itching to play, The Nighthawks found a couple of spaces large enough to stay apart while woodshedding new material. Previously, the process had been a streamlined one: The band would rough out a dozen new tunes in an afternoon and perform them every night for a year or two before recording. But now there was time – tons of it. Weeks turned into months. Dan Hovey wrote a very relevant rocker, “You Seem Distant.” Mark Stutso followed with a full blast “Coming and Going.” Florida friend Colin Kenny, a.k.a. Raiford Starke, wrote the soulful “West Memphis” and the band stylistically took it to Memphis. Stutso came up with “Gas Station Chicken” and everyone contributed to bringing in the funk.  Hovey added three more: “Houseband,” “Fuss and Fight,” and the acoustic delight “Driving.” In between are British pub rock monster Gariant Watkins’ “Nobody”; Jimmy Reed’s “Take it Easy,” featuring producer David Earl contributing the Eddie Taylor licks on guitar; Eddie Hinton’s version of Sam Cook’s “I’ll Come Running Back”; John Hammond’s version of Mose Allison’s “Ask Me Nice”; a wild  version of the reggae classic “Johnny Too Bad”; an outtake rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Ain’t That Lovin’ You”; a Hillbilly interpretation of the Coasters’ “Run Red Run”;  and half a dozen others that fell by the wayside. They’d play, record, rearrange, and re-record til they got them just right.

Then they sought the sympathetic ear of David Earl, who co-produced and recorded TRYIN TO GET TO YOU and the earlier DAMN GOOD TIME. Moving the operation into David’s Severn Studios in Annapolis, Maryland, the band started laying down tracks for real, with the gift of time making the process unusually relaxed.

In the tradition The Nighthawks set forth on ROCK AND ROLL, their debut 1974 recording and mission statement, the material is not bound by genre other than the widest range of American Roots Music.

Decades of gigs and countless rabid fans have earned then the name “The Best Bar Band In The World”. This anniversary album celebrates the legendary Nighthawks, still going strong. This disc represents 50 years of THE NIGHTHAWKS, ESTABLISHED IN 1972.