The Nighthawks would just like to take a moment to say THANK YOU for all YOU did to make the Blues Music Award happen for us.

To all of you who joined and voted, and all of you who were already members and may have even nominated us, thank you. It is most gratifying after so many years to be back on the national blues radar screen. There were so many incredible musicians who were nominated. It was an honor (and a major party) to hang with them, hear them play, and play for them for three amazing days. And a big thanks to so many behind-the-scenes movers and shakers: the agents, journalists, DJs, promoters and club owners and blues society members for whom a true love of the music is the motivation, who make it all happen.

On the eve of celebrating our 40th year playing the music we love for you, we thank you for making us know you like it.

-Mark Wenner


Mark Pucci Media
May 12, 2011
Contact: Mark Pucci (770) 804-9555 /



WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the 32 years since the inception of the Blues Music Awards (formerly known as the W.C. Handy Awards), legendary Washington, D.C., band The Nighthawks had never even been nominated before in any category. That all changed when the 2011 nominations were announced late last year, as the group’s Last Train to Bluesville album, released in February 2010, was nominated for “Acoustic Album of the Year.” And on May 5 in Memphis at the annual Blues Foundation awards presentation, The Nighthawks heard their name read as the winner. Amid whoops and hollers from the packed audience at the Cook Convention Center, Mark Wenner, Paul Bell, Johnny Castle and Mark Stutso proudly bounded to the stage to accept their first-ever Blues Music Award. Later that night, The Nighthawks performed two songs from the album to the Convention Center audience and to listeners of the live broadcast on Sirius XM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville channel.  

The band and its members have beenshowcasing at a number of area shows this spring. Nighthawks’ founder and lead singer/harmonica player Mark Wenner performed on two days of the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival on May 21st and 22nd. Mark sat in with legendary band Little Feat for a few of their favorite tunes including a powerful version of Apolitical Blues.

Recorded live at the Washington studios of Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Last Train to Bluesville was a departure of sorts from the band’s 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.”

Blues Blast Magazine called it “Ten tracks of incredible acoustic blues, all the more impressive given that it was recorded as a live session in the studio rather than pieced together of tracks and parts. The crystal clear recording would showcase any flaws – instead what comes through is a tight, professional acoustic set that truly showcases The Nighthawks’ musicianship.”

And the Blog Critics website summed up its review by stating, “…this is a superb document of the intuitive interplay between seasoned veterans who still find sheer, unbridled joy in making music together. It simply doesn’t get much better than this!”

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