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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, June 16, 2014

Eller Soul Records artist: The Nighthawks - 444 - New Release review

I just received the newest release (June 17, 2014), 444, from the Nighthawks and it's a lot of fun. Opening with the Du Droppers' Walk That Walk, the Nighthawks are really swinging with really nicely blended vocal harmonies and super harp work from Mark Wenner. On Livin' the Blues, a traditional 12 bar with a casual lope to it, vocal harmonies are again a key part of the track. Wenner again lays down some nice harp riffs joined by Paul Bell on vocal and guitar, Johnny Castle on bass and vocal and Mark Stutso on drums and vocal. Title track 444 A.M. is a real rocker with flaming guitar riffs from Bell pulling out some really cool rockin solos. You're gone has a twist of country and a radio style arrangement. Honky Tonk Queen continues along with a country flavor and an even stronger radio presence. Got A Lot of Livin' has strong Rockabilly roots with cooking bass work by Castle and crisp riffs from Bell. Authentic roots style vocals punctuate the track. Crawfish has a swampy feel with a repetitive guitar chime and tom tom work. Wenner echo's the vocals nicely on harp. Price Of Love has a stomp to it with nice over driven slide work. The most straight forward blues rocker so far, gives Bell a lot of room to slide and Wenner plays back a nice compliment for each hot riff from Bell. High Snakes is possibly the coolest track on the release with a slow tex/mex rhythm and creative writing. Bell plays subtle but sensuous guitar riffs on this track and Wenner compliments him well. Very nice. Nothin' But The Blues gets into a solid blues groove. The lead vocals are really super on this track and Bell takes a really nice guitar ride on this track. Wenner also steps up with icing for a nice cake. No Secrets is a more prominent blues rocker with Stutso leading the way on drums. Bell cuts it loose again on slide and this track simmers on white hot sliding action. Wenner knows how to work the harp and does a really nice job on this track. On Morganfield's Louisiana Blues, the band is just a few steps from stripped down with fairly raw acoustic guitar and harp. Wrapping the release with Roadside Cross the band is joined by Akira Otsuka on mandolin. A quiet acoustic ballad this is a nice close to a nicely done release.  

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Could not find a clip from this release but this is the Nighthawks:

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