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The Nighthawks

A hard-driving DC-based bar band with strong Chicago blues roots. Formed in 1972 by harpist and vocalist Mark Wenner and guitarist Jimmy Thackery, the band earned a reputation as a solid outfit through more than a decade of touring and recording projects with John Hammond and former members of Muddy Waters' band. Thackery left in 1986, but Wenner regrouped around longtime members Jan Zukowski on bass and Pete Ragusa on drums. Trouble, their 1991 release on Powerhouse, is a blend of blues, R&B, and rock influences, with a typically energetic sound born in thousands of one-night stands across the country. Subsequent efforts include 1993's live Rock This House, 1996's Pain & Paradise, and 1999's Still Wild. A collection of live performances in 2001 saw release in the spring of 2002 as Live Tonight. ~ Bill Dahl
full bio

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rdelatorre20 1 2
They're badass
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aknnra
Saw them several times in ATL, at the Agora, Great SE Music Hall, they also opened for Santana at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, < Jimmy stole the show from Carlos> Thackery is incredible!
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:) fun
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Many happy memories of Nighthawk shows in D.C. Thackery/Wen n e r Pinetop was the best blues I have ever heard live or otherwise.
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Saw them many times at the Blue Bird in Bloomington In. Back in the Jimmy Thacker days.
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ronaldschrad e r
I had hired The Nighthawks once again last month for another charity event in Richmond, IL. These guys had played their hearts out and were a huge help in making both events a success!
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Just heard "Up in class" f**kin awesome blues tune!!!
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I used to hang at the Bayou just around the corner from Good Guys in DC, these guys used to rock the place in the 80s... it is aazing how many artists passed through that joint! Saw Dave Matthews there also, Wow i sure do miss those days. they tore down the Bayou in the late 90s, the end of a magnificent era.

OBTW WHFS is now a country station.
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kcpeacenik
They used to play the Brick House in Pasadena MD in the 80's... OMG we partied back then! I remember WHFS too, they are no more I think... they were the ONLY radio station. :) I had this WHFS shirt with a pic of a fat cat sitting at a table with headphones on and a fork and knife and it said feast your ears. Indeed. I live in Kansas now, we have a lot of good music here, but those were the good old days!
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diffrun1
I was working with Billy Gorden and the Blue Rockers in 76 when we played at the psychadelli and Marks 1st album (stacks of them) was in the foyer. Root Boy used to come to the bands house when we had our party's on Carl st. In Twinbrook, Rockville Md
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Yes I too grew up in WHFS radio land! And Root Boy tooo! !!!!!! I love these guys and got me started playing harp an still do.
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WHFS, 102.3 rocked D.C. so hard in the 60's, and 70's... Nighthawks, Root Boy Slim, Roslyn Mt. Boys, Grin, if I could remember any of it I'd have to say any night there was always somewhere to go. What was the name of that club next to Good Guys on Wisc.Ave, where the Cherry People jamed? Keg? (friend of mine stole a jug of 714's so, duh?)
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dusobox
Worked at Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the day, tossed pies at Gino's at night, hung out at the Psyche Delly after that. Met Greg Alman and shared a pitcher of beer, sang Blue Suede Shoes with Carl Perkins, GOOD TIMES! Bethesda Surf Shop for all my tees. Pandora you need Nighthawks Live at the Psyche Delly. That's the album cover, and the front of the Psyche Delly and the band in the pic
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grew up with these guys in bethesda md...churchi l l hs... WHFS....& the famous Surf!!....19 7 0 s . . . g r e a t blues band....just missed their show in dc...must have rocked!
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ljw4591
Just saw Mark Wenner and the Nighthawks with Billy Price in Maryland! It was a great show!!
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jjs_type
I used to see them in the Phila. area a lot in the 80's. They are great!!
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Played in Bethesda MD in the mid 70's at The Psycadeli which is where Live at The Psycadeli was recorded. it was a deli and club across the street from the famous radio station WHFS. They were a favorite of the Bethesda Chevy Chase High School students and one of the Alman brothers popped up on stage one night since he was staying in town with one of the band members. They rocked and still do.
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Anyone have any recordings when Jimmy Hall was in the band?
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There is nothing here about the Nighthawks in the bio. Come on ,they have a great history! What's up with that?
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Saw them at Middlebury Col. in Vermont @ 79. Best band at that time. Saw Eddy Money the next day at UVM what a weekend
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tigernside
I've known these guys since the Bayou and Desperados days in the late 70's. The only original member left is Mark. Heard through the grapevine that Pete and Jan, both original Nighthawk members, have formed a new band with Billy Price. Price's former band, Billy Price and the Keystone Rhythm Band, were also around during the Desperados days. Man those were the best times. Blues at the Bayou and Desperados, punk at the Cellar door across the street and don't forget the eats at the Little Green Ta
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steveafton0
Me and my wife were at Thackery's live recording in Detroit in 1994 or so. We saw the Nighthawks that year too--awesome band!
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they are from washington dc and as far as i know they`re still playing except for thackery who althoough a great guitarist had a reputation as a real a**hole..the rest of them are all very down to earth nice guys brilliant musicians
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piwo53
They used to play at Wilbert's in cleveland, Ohio. Mark was a trip and always requested a visit to the alley for the ole illegal smile, I always obliged. One hell of a harp player, Charlie Mussslewhite also played Wilber't. Feel fortunate, got to bs with em all, they did like to party, but then, they were a bar band. I believe their home port was in PA.
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Csught them at the Bijou Cafe in Philly in'78. John Hammond opend and George Thourogood sat in on their set. Quite a show! Great Band.
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usedkarguy
These are the Nighthawks: Pete Ragusa,Jim Thackery,Mar k Wenner, and Jan Zukowski (I have their autographs). Big fan since I saw them in Atlanta at the Fox back in 1979. What a ROCKIN' F**KIN' SHOW!!!! Caught their shows at Shades in WheelingIL summer'93 (conception of my first born in the 68 Oldsmobile), Summerfest, many other places.Truly the best boogie-woogi e blues band ever to hit the road. Jacks and Kings,and JacksandKing s F u l l House were also great pieces. First album out of print.
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Are these guys Vampires, frm the 20's ? ha would make a good movie. I do like this band.
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Pandora, the bio is not right and please add Pain and Paradise at least!
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They are awesome!
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obeyzag
Mark and co. played for my 50th birthday party in 2007 in Greenville, SC. Happy bday to me and the rockinest great time. You can't beat the Hawks!
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thanks chris I thought so I am from virginia and have heard them.
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chris-smith3
Pandora, get it together and write a bio on THE Nighthawks. Based in DC and still doing shows after 40+ years, they remain anchored by Mark Wenner, who plays the meanest harp around. Used to compete with the Thunderbirds for being the best boogie band around.
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I got these got to autograph my Flying V after a show in Athens, GA. while Thackery tried to buy it off me! He was wireless and played while walking the length of the bar at the 40 Watt Club.
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While I like both American Landscape and Ten Years Live they are not fully representati o n a l of the depth and breadth of this band. And their latest cd received a Blues Music Award--that should be here. Pandora--I can help you!
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panheadpete
I saw them at the Warner theater in '76 or '77. We were waiting for them to come on stage and I told my girlfriend that I hear a Harley and sure enough Mark rides his Panhead to center stage and the band put on one of the shows I ever seen and heard
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I've seen these guys at Blind Willies in Atlanta a few times. Really great to see live.
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dawn1916
Wow! These guys played at my prom - thousands of years ago in McLean VA. I haven't heard them in decades. Excellent.
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Seen these guys in Fairfax, VA a while ago...they were fantastic! Ronnie Earl was also around.
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john89852
love this band
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going to see the Nighthawks tonight in Frederick, MD...
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some of the best shows were New Year's Eve at the Bayou
and don't forget Desperado's!
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bl_jets12
Been waiting years for them to make it back to the west coast...Fina l l y ! October 2010 in Los Angeles; counting the weeks
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this band is from kensington, maryland not hartford. I doubt any of the band members in this band were born before 1950
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Haven't seen the 'Hawks since the old days, but am sure the current incarnation is as good as ever. I will never forget the Cellar Door shows with Muddy Waters in '75 and '76. The best live shows I've ever seen.
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It's actually this one: http://allmu s i c . c o m / c g / a m g . d l l ? p = a m g & s q l = 1 1 : 3 i f e x q r 5 l d 6 e (not the 20s one).
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TTHHACKERY? MAJIC!
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One of the best bar bands ever. Saw them live in Tampa at Skippers with Rev. Bill Wuertz. What a njght!
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jdeliduka
"the messiah will come" by j. thackery will blow your mind.on par with hendrix clapton, etc.
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dont underestimat e Jimmy Thackery, he is a dabmn good guitar player and musician, as is everybody in this band
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I first heard this band in Charlotte, NC at the Cellar. I believe it was 1977. Mark Wenner, in my mind, was the best thing about the band. His aggressive harmonica playing could bring the house down.
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