The Nighthawks - Back Porch Party

By Lady K
November 2015

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Soooooooooo, the Nighthawks are from the Washington, D.C. area (AKA Lady K’s former stomping- drinking- and dancing-ground).

The band seems to enjoy the down-and-dirty party atmosphere - acoustic rockin’ blues played to a receptive, partying audience. Even if you didn’t deduce that from the liner artwork, and the band’s liner notes, it’s all evident in the spirit with which the music is played --- it’s a party-time vibe!

Unfortunately, live means there’s not much that a band can do to remedy mistakes, there’s no ‘big’ music to cover them up, and no do-overs. Also, what Lady K discovered is that while she loves an acoustic blues show, what she loves is a SOLO acoustic blues show. When there’s a band, Lady K wants there to be ‘big’ music. Still, the tunes are happy, beer-guzzling blues, and should make for good keg-party music.

The players are Mark Wenner (vocals, harps); Paul Bell (guitars, vocals); Johnny Castle (bass, vocals); Mark Stutso (drums, vocals)

Back Porch Party is a blend of original tracks contributed by members of the band, and seven covers, including: “Rock This House” by James Lane; “Walkin’ After Midnight” by Alan Block and Don Hecht – mid-tempo, with vocals a little off-key in one spot – ouchy. From Jaima Music, with some nice harp by Mark Wenner, “Down in the Hole”; a really catchy version of “Matchbox” (Ike Turner); Willie Dixon’s “Tiger in Your Tank” which here is way up-tempo, and not a dancing tune; along with a slow, sexy version of Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ Stone”; and Otis Hicks’ “Rooster Blues”.

The original tracks include: “Guard My Heart” (by Mark Wenner), a light, up-tempo tune with rockin’ guitars; the up-tempo “Jana Lea” (Johnny Castle); the swingin’ and sexy “Down to My Last Million Tears” (Norm Nardni, Mark Stutso); “Hey Miss Hey” (Johnny Castle, Skye Castle), an up-tempo, rollickin’ tune; and the track that signals the end of the album - the end of the Back Porch Party itself, “Back to the City” (credited to all of The Nighthawks).

Have a party with The Nighthawks!

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