A REAL ROLLIN’ STONE…Robert Nighthawk: The Robert Nighthawk Collection 1937-52

Known under various monickers ranging from Robert Lee McCoy (his real name), Ramblin’ Bob and  Peetie’s Boy, Robert Nighthawk was a major link between the earthy Delta Blues and the electric Chicago Blues. He was mentioned in the same breath as Tampa Red and Muddy Waters, and this 2 cd set covers the waterfront of the impressive and highly influential recordings he made during his ascent and later years. He’s teamed on vocals and his signature slide guitar ( a style that he arguably pioneered) with legends such as Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon and Pinetop Smith among others in this illuminating set that will hit your viscera.

The album opens with the quintessential tale of the bluesman’s lifestyle with “Prowling Nighthawk” and leads into “Every Day and Night.” Williamson’s harp howls on “Mamie Lee” and adds vocals to “Next Door Neighbor” with “Ramblin’ Rob” hitting the ivories on a sepia “Every Day and Night.” Stride in its earliest form, leading almost to ragtime, take place on “Ol’ Mose” with some hip vocals by Nighthawk that include a dash of jazz.

Nighthawk’s electric work with Roosevelt Sykes on piano are rough and ready for “Kansas City Blues” and “Take It Easy Baby” with some searing slide guitar work on “Crying Won’t Help You” and “Feel So Bad.” Some hip tom toms by Clifton James create an avalanche on “Maggie Campbell” and sweaty southern moods are created with Curtis Jones at the piano on “You Missed A Good Man” and  “Bricks In My Pillow.” The enclosed booklet gives you a healthy history of this man that lived the life of the Rolling Stone, making this a delight for fans of moods indigo.


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