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American Landscape
     

American Landscape

by The Nighthawks
 
The Nighthawks probably find their music classed in the blues section of the record store most of the time, which makes a certain kind of sense -- if your lead singer plays harmonica and your lead guitarist plays a lot of slide, you have to expect that. But in fact, things aren't as simple as that; what this band shows is an admirable

Overview

The Nighthawks probably find their music classed in the blues section of the record store most of the time, which makes a certain kind of sense -- if your lead singer plays harmonica and your lead guitarist plays a lot of slide, you have to expect that. But in fact, things aren't as simple as that; what this band shows is an admirable breadth of tonal and stylistic range within the broad constraints of the blues-rock idiom. American Landscape presents a nice mixture of covers and originals, and in this case the originals are sometimes better -- bassist Johnny Castle's rollicking "Jana Lea" is easily one of the high points on this disc. But their jazzy take on the Tom Waits composition "Down in the Hole" (from the Franks Wild Years stage show) is brilliant, as is their nicely chugging arrangement of Ike Turner's "Matchbox." The Nighthawks can rock out like nobody's business, as they demonstrate on barnburners like "Big Boy" (listen to Mark Wenner singing through his overdriven harp mike) and the classic meat-and-potatoes R&B of Dan Penn's "Standing in the Way," but they also demonstrate their range and subtlety on the funky swagger of "Where Do You Go" and a startlingly gentle but insistent rendition of "Try It Baby." The closest thing to a misstep on this album is a puzzling one -- a loving but ultimately rather wooden version of Steve Cropper's funky "Don't Turn Your Heater Down," a song that seems like it would be a can't-miss proposition for a band with this particular set of skills.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/03/2009
Label:
Powerhouse Records
UPC:
0711574652020
catalogNumber:
126

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nighthawks   Primary Artist
Mark Wenner   Harmonica,Vocals,Group Member
Paul Bell   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Pete Ragusa   Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Group Member
Johnny Castle   Bass,Percussion,Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Steve Cropper   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Nighthawks   Audio Production
Tom Waits   Composer
Dan Penn   Composer
Berry Gordy   Composer
J.J. Holiday   Composer
Ike Turner   Composer
John West   Composer
Jimmie Wood   Composer
Johnny Castle   Composer
Earle H. Hagen   Composer
Chris Murphy   Engineer
Donald Wilcock   Liner Notes
Herbert W. Spencer   Composer
John Roy   Cover Art
J. Alveris   Composer

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