Saturday, September 16, 2006

ROBERT NIGHT HAWK "And This Is Maxwell Street" (1964)

Recorded At Maxwell Street, Chicago
Producer : Norman Dayron

Robert Night Hawk : Vocals, Guitar
Johnny Young : Vocals, Guitar
John Lee Granderson : Guitar
Jimmy Collins : Drums
Mike Bloomfield : Guitar & Interviewer"

01. "Exerpts From Interview/Kansas City" (2.31)
02."Bloomfield Interviews Night Hawk" (43.40)
03."The Sun Is Shining" (4.01)
04."Dust My Broom" (4.50)
05."Peter Gun Jam" (3.18)
06."All I Want For My Breakfast" (5.23)
07."Back Off Jam" (3.18)
08."Love You Tonight" (4.19)

(01)LP "Live On Maxwell Street - 1964" (1980 & 1991-Rounder Rec.)
(01-08)CD "And This Is Maxwell Street" (1999-P-Vine/2000-Rooster Records)

Samplers :

Interviews and music recorded for the documentary “And This Is Free” by Mike Shea. A 45-minute interview with Bloomfield interviewing Nighthawk was found in 1999.

These recordings show clearly that MB’s playing and singing owes a lot to Robert Nighthawk. Nighthawk took his name from his biggest success from 1937.

Michael Bloomfield was involved in the documentary “And This Is Free”. He does not appear in it, but he did do some over-dubbed playing on the background soundtrack. In the booklet to the Rooster Record release Bloomfield is credited with some background guitar on tracks with Johnny Young. It is not possible to say for certain as in most cases it’s the third guitar on the track.

The triple Rooster CD set is an amazing collection of Chicago blues as it was heard in the street — acoustic and electric. A highly recommended set. Robert Nighthawk is heavily featured in the set, and he plays some mean slide guitar on most tracks. Elmore James may have been the uncrowned “King of Slide Guitar”, but Nighthawk certainly comes close.

It appears that the Bloomfield/Nighthawk interview was filmed as well as most of the music, but in the ’70s the footage not used in the documentary was thrown out. It is said that director Mike Shea was more or less angry that his film did not get much attention, and he just didn’t think anybody would care for those old reels of footage. Luckily, all the tapes of the music were stored in another place and survived.


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