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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Monday, May 4, 2015

Eller Soul Records artist: The Nighthawks - Back Porch Party - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Back Porch Party, from The Nighthawks and I really like it. Recorded live at Montrose Studio in Richmond Virginia, this release keeps the volume nice and easy but the enthusiasm is high. Opening with Rock This House, Mark Wenner has got the harp cooking and, Wenner, Paul Bell (guitar), Johnny Castle (bass) and Mark Stutso (drums) harmonize nicely on vocals. Bell tosses in his own jazz filled riffs on guitar for a nice topper. Hot start! On Walkin' After Midnight, The Nighthawks get a easy pace, Wenner taking center stage on vocal and harp. Down In The Hole has a Latin rhythm with Bell emphasizing the tempo. The band breaks into a smooth shuffle and Wenner carries a nice harp solo throughout. Ike Turner's Matchbox is up next with a R&B swing. I really like Wenner's harp solo on this track which almost takes off. Bell gets a cool swing going on guitar as well with some dynamic chords. Super! Willie Dixon's Tiger In Your Tank is up next with it's fast paced rock beat. Bell takes one of his nicest solos on the release on this track blending picking and slide for a hot run. Bassist Johnny Castle's Jana Lee is a real rock and roller with a solid driving beat. The Nighthawks preserved a lot of Muddy Waters Rollin' Stone track with it's honest original feel. Swing rocker, Guard Your Heart, has Wenner back center stage with a real nice harp roll. Certainly one of my favorite tracks on the release. Down To My Last Million Tears is an old school blues rockers. Stutso's drum work does a lot to emphasize the pace and both Wenner and Bell take nice leads on the track. Fast paced rock a billy track Hey Miss Hey really lets Wenner cook on harp. A fast paced blues run by Bell and Castles driving bass runs pushed by Stutso gives this track a tight feel. Otis Hicks' Rooster Blues is a great rocker with Bell taking guitar solos and Wenner punctuating his phrases and then Wenner dishing out his own heat. Very nice! Wrapping the release is Back to The City, a smoking rocker with Wenner leading the way. This is a really nice jam with a great pace set by Bell and Wenner going over the top on harp and even a cool bass solo by Castle. Hot!

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