The Nighthawks, Rosslyn Mountain Boysat at The State Theatre

The Nighthawks
Rosslyn Mountain Boys

Genre: Country Rock / Electric Blues

Washington’s favorite bad boys, the Nighthawks are masters of electric Chicago Blues and the kings of sh*t kicking roadhouse rock. They’re not called America’s Best Bar Band for nothing…

The Nighthawks history is extensive, beginning in the ’70s when the band criss-crossed the country playing clubs and colleges then dominated by the sounds of country rock and disco. The band spread their version of roots rock, soul, rockabilly, and blues that was hardly the standard fare. In addition, the Nighthawks were considered touring pioneers, since only a handful of Chicago blues stars were touring nationally, and the west coast blues bands stayed on their side of the Great Divide.

In the 60’s Joe Tripplet was in the DC band The Hangmen and became a member of the counterculture band Claude Jones with Happy Acosta and Jay Sprague. That band shared a farm out in Warrenton with Grin and I’m sure that there are many tales of life on the farm from that amalgalm. Joe and Happy began performing as an acoustic duet calling themselves The Rosslyn Mt. Boys (RMB from here out) around 1971. In 1972 Peter Bonta joined the Nighthawks as their keyboard player. The Hawks have always been a roots oriented band not limiting themselves to straight blues and Peter was able to do some countryish numbers ala Charlie Rich with that band. In 1973 the RMB made a decision to go electric and invited Peter to come on board as bass player along with Bob Berberich on drums from Grin. When Jay Sprague also came aboard from Claude Jones, Peter was able to move over to keyboards and guitar. Add Tommy Hannum on pedal steel who had been working with Emmy Lou Harris in her days around DC and the RMB were set. The RMB predated the Flying Burrito Brothers and both followed the trail blazed by the Byrds. If the RMB had been west coast based like the Burritos, they may have broken through to a universal recognition. Even though they only toured on a mid-Atlantic circuit, their first album “The Rosslyn Mt. Boys” released in 1977 on Gene Rosenthal’s Adelphi label sold over 50,000 copies. They opened for and backed up stars like Tammy Wynette, Jerry Lee Lewis, Loretta Lynn and Buck Owens. One of Peter’s favorite memories is backing up Doug Sahm for a three day gig at DC’s famed Cellar Door. The RMB called it quits in 1979 and the members went in various directions. Peter was a member of Artful Dodger before opening his Wally Cleaver Studios in Fredericksburg, Tommy Hannum relocated to Nashville and has been working with Ricky van Shelton for a good while and Rico Petrocelli went on to work with Mary Chapin Carpenter. (Right On Rhythm)

Friday December 30
Doors: 7 PM
Showtime: 9 PM (Rosslyn Mt. Boys play first)
Tickets: $13 advance / $16 day of show

An Evening with the Deanna Bogart Band at Jammin’ Java

Friday December 30 $15 7PM! blues/jazz/pop/rock
An Evening with the Deanna Bogart Band
Down Beat magazine describes Deanna Bogart as “an extravagant entertainer”– and entertain is what Bogart does best. The Maryland-based blues and boogie pianist / saxophonist combines the energy of 1930’s style boogie piano blues with contemporary blues sounds emanating from places like New Orleans, Chicago and Memphis. “The goal when we play live,” says Bogart, “is to create a fusion of all these different musical styles with the blues and boogie genuinely at the core.”

Beyond all the superlatives, The Washington Post may have best described Deanna Bogart with three words: Luster, Sophistication, and Soul. This is a one-of-a-kind artist, whose music veers from the depths of the blues to the playful heights of swing, from the subtleties of jazz to the hard-won grit of soul. She brings to her music everything it means to be a womanÔø?everything it means to be humanÔø?and delivers it to every line of music played, every phrase of lyrics written and sung, until the pure truth of her sound and message pierces the heart of her audience. Once you hear herÔø?once you feel herÔø?you will never be quite the same.

The Deanna Bogart Band since 1995 includes Mike Aubin on drums, Kajun Kelley on guitar and Eric Scott on bass

This Week in Music… New Year’s Eve

This week is pretty dead. Except for New Year’s Eve, that is. Instead of a full week’s picks, we’re gonna highlight four options for you to ring in the new year with. You can compile your own list from our venue listings page. Me, I’ll be mixing drinks for rich people all night. So have some fun for me.

Saturday 12/31 — New Years Eve>>

Robert Randolph
Robert Randolph

Robert Randolph brings his unique take on the pedal steel to the 9:30 Club. A recent favorite on the hippie jamband scene, Randolph brings a funky flavor to the instrument reminiscent of Sly or Stevie. Massachussets-based State Radio open the show, which is unfortunately sold out. Don’t forget that hippie crowd out front though…

The Seldom Scene
The Seldom Scene

The Birchmere is putting on a classier act with newgrass powerhouse The Seldom Scene. These boys have been building momentum since the early 70s to reach their current status as the best-known progressive bluegrass band on the scene. The Good Deale from Annapolis, MD are opening up the show.

Peaches O'Dell
Peaches O’Dell

The Black Cat is hosting an uncharacteristic night of swing music, rhumbas & tangos, and other mod-hipster Hollywood fare, with Peaches O’Dell and her Orchestra. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Peaches and her 11-piece band, and I can say that they put on a swell show. The New Year’s Ball at The Black Cat also includes DJ Mark Zimin (Mousetrap, Wag) spinning all night on the Backstage. Tony Anthony & his Malvivants keep things alive in-between Peaches’ sets with their retro-lounge jazz.

The Washington Social Club
The Washington Social Club

Finally, for the indiest of offerings on this New Year’s Eve, we have The Washington Social Club playing at DC9. These DC mainstays have built up quite a buzz in the last year with their frantically energetic live show and debut album. After the show, WSC drummer Randy and Liberation Dance Party DJ Bill Spieler will keep the party going.