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Live On Maxwell Street 1964

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Album Review

Recorded by Norman Dayron live on the street (you can actually hear cars driving by!) in 1964 with just Robert Whitehead on drums and Johnny Young on rhythm guitar in support, Nighthawk's slide playing (and single string soloing, for that matter) are nothing short of elegant and explosive. Highlights include "The Maxwell Street Medley," which combines his two big hits "Anna Lee" and "Sweet Black Angel"; a mind-altering 12-bar solo on "The Time Have Come," which proves that Nighthawk's lead playing was just as well developed as his slide work; and a couple of wild instrumentals with Carey Bell sitting in on harmonica. Nighthawk sounds cool as a cucumber, presiding over everything with an almost genial charm while laying the toughest sounds imaginable. One of the top three greatest live blues albums of all time. The 2000 CD reissue on Bullseye Blues & Jazz adds five previously unreleased bonus tracks, although Nighthawk doesn't have a lead vocal on any of these. "The Real McCoy" is an instrumental, Young sings on "Big World Blues" and "All I Want for Breakfast/Them Kind of People," Bell sings "I Got News for You," and J.B. Lenoir takes a guest lead vocal on "Mama Talk to Your Daughter" (though Peter Gurlanick's liner notes express doubt that the singer is actually Lenoir).

Customer Reviews


This is the core. The real thing and what it is all about for Chicago blues. You cannot listen to anything else until you listen to him, Robert Nighthawk.


Born: November 30, 1909 in Helena, AR

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Of all the pivotal figures in blues history, certainly one of the most important was Robert Nighthawk. He bridged the gap between Delta and Chicago blues effortlessly, taking his slide cues from Tampa Red and stamping them with a Mississippi edge learned first hand from his cousin, Houston Stackhouse. Though he recorded from the '30s into the early '40s under a variety of names -- Robert Lee McCoy, Rambling Bob, Peetie's Boy -- he finally took his lasting sobriquet of Robert Nighthawk from the title...
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Live On Maxwell Street 1964, Robert Nighthawk
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