The Nighthawks & The Billy Price Charm City Rhythm Band

The Nighthawks

For more than three decades, The Nighthawks have earned a reputation as one of the best and hardest-working bands around. Their live shows are legendary. Founded in the Washington, D.C. area in 1972, the 'Hawks' were a roots band before anyone had come up with the term. Their mix of blues, rock, rockabilly, soul and swing appeals to a widely diverse audience, built over years of touring throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.

The band's current lineup features founding member Mark Wenner on harp and vocals, Paul Bell on guitar and vocals, Johnny Castle on bass and vocals and, on drums and vocals, Mark Stutso, who replaced longtime member Pete Ragusa.

In the early '70s, when there were only a handful of blues societies and festivals, The Nighthawks set out to bring blues to a wider audience. In their birthplace of Washington, D.C., they invaded top-40 dance halls and intimate folk-rock clubs, playing high-energy, danceable versions of Elmore James and Muddy Waters that won them legions of fans and introduced a new generation to live blues. After establishing themselves as the local openers for luminaries such as Muddy, James Cotton and B.B. King, the band launched a series called "Blue Monday" at one of D.C.'s biggest dance clubs, the Bayou. They booked and backed up the likes of Otis Rush, Fenton Robinson, J.B. Hutto, Louis Myers, Carey Bell, and Jimmy Rogers with Kim Wilson and Big Walter Horton with Johnny Nicholas. And they introduced Washingtonians to Billy Price, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Powerhouse and Roomful of Blues.

2016 Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan's LPs, That's What I'm Here For and Live Stock. Since then, with the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend at an award ceremony.

Billy Price’s album This Time for Real, with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album. A live recording of the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released by Nola Blue/Vizztone Label Group in April 2017.

His latest album Reckoning, produced by Kid Andersen at Greaseland Studios, was released on June 15, 2018 by Vizztone Label Group.

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