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01/19/12: Severn Signs The Nighthawks
Seminal American roots music band The Nighthawks have already recorded their first album for the label, and the two Washington, DC-area based entities unite at a very special time in their history. Severn Records was recently announced as the recipient of the 2012 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Record Label from the Blues Foundation; and The Nighthawks are coming off their first-ever Blues Music Award (also from the Blues Foundation) - Acoustic Blues Album of the Year - for their Last Train to Bluesville CD, presented in Memphis this past May. The Nighthawks are: Mark Wenner - vocals, harmonica; Johnny Castle - vocals, bass; Paul Bell – guitar; and Mark Stutso - drums, vocals, and have been known since their early days as one of the hardest working bands in the business. The Nighthawks’ debut release for Severn was recorded at the label’s studios and features quite a bit of original material. Bassist Johnny Castle contributes a new tune and also sings on a version of Jimmy McCracklin’s “Georgia Slop;” while most-recent band member, drummer Mark Stutso, does four originals, demonstrating the added talent he brings to the band as a songwriter and additional singer. Other tracks reportedly cut include one Billy Price original, plus the classic “Smack Dab in the Middle” and Nat King Cole’s “Send for Me.” In addition to the band’s stellar catalogue of acclaimed albums released since 1974, The Nighthawks have long enjoyed wonderful touring and recording relationships with some of the best and brightest names in roots and blues music. On their 1978 release, Jacks and Kings, they backed up such blues all-stars as Pinetop Perkins, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Calvin Jones and Bob Margolin; and backed up John Hammond on his Hot Tracks album. The Nighthawks have toured with John Hammond, as well as John Lee Hooker, Elvin Bishop, Tracy Nelson and Eddie Hinton; and also played with such national treasures as Muddy Waters and Carl Perkins. Over the years, several other star artists have literally become de-facto “members” of the band at various times, including Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes and Bob Margolin. Recorded live at the Washington studios of Sirius XM Satellite Radio, the band’s last CD, Last Train to Bluesville, was a departure of sorts from their previous efforts. Stripped down and acoustic, Last Train to Bluesville resonated with music fans and the media alike with its honesty, passion and soul. The album features down-home versions of 10 blues classics from such artists as Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Slim Harpo, Chuck Berry, Sonny Boy Williamson and James Brown, among others. Recorded with the intimate feeling of a back-porch setting, Last Train to Bluesville bristles with all the energy of a live gig and the world-class performances Nighthawks fans from around the world have come to expect. In its review of the CD, The Washington Post declared, “If there were ever a question about how the Nighthawks keep their blues-rock sound fresh after nearly 40 years together, Last Train to Bluesville gives the answer…the new acoustic setting really suits the group. The crisp recording draws the group’s instrumentation into the spotlight…a recording that stands out in the band’s lengthy discography.” International blues magazine Blues Revue said, “While these songs have been staples of The Nighthawks set list for decades, the sparkling acoustic arrangements provide them, and the band, with a new lease on life…accurately captures the dynamics of one of roots music’s long lasting, dependable and often unsung outfits. Long may they fly.” For more information on the band, visit www.thenighthawks.com.
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01/19/12: Severn Records Signs Mud Morganfield

01/19/12: Severn Signs The Nighthawks

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08/18/11: Severn Records to open a new facility in Annapolis, MD!

08/17/11: Severn Release "Evening" by Sugar Ray & the Bluetones on October 18th!

01/07/11: SEVERN RECORDS 2011 Blues Music Awards Nominees