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The blues train known as the Nighthawks come rolling into Cleveland for a Saturday night session. Not unlike the train, the Nighthawks have been forgotten, written off, called outmoded, and not just by people who have no love by contemporary blues. Surely a fan or two has scoffed when Jimmy Thackery left the band in the 80s. But keep in mind that the Nighthawks -- not unlike trains -- never went away. They toured with guys like the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Cray, Elvin Bishop, John Hammond, and many other bona fide cats. Sure, they’ve had their share of lineup changes, but remaining original member Mark Wenner has insured that the current Nighthawks lineup boasts some of the best bluesmen in the DC/Virginia area. This band’s so hot that they won a Blues Foundation award in 2011, and bent the ear of David Earl (of Severn Records), who helped The Nighthawks produce their most recent album, Damn Good Time. Expect not just blues tonight, but top-notch musicianship paying tribute to R&B and the early days of rock n’ roll. Local guys Balls of Fire open with a finely-aged and finely tuned sound that hearkens back to the 50s and early 60s.


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