The Nighthawks are an American blues and roots music band, based in Washington, D.C. The Nighthawks currently are Mark Wenner (vocals and harmonica), Paul Bell (lead guitar), Johnny Castle (bass guitar), and Mark Stutso (drums). Beginning with dates in February 2010, Stutso replaced longtime drummer Pete Ragusa who announced his departure earlier in the year.
Formed in 1972, the Nighthawks underwent several personnel changes before stabilizing as the lineup of Mark Wenner (vocals and harmonica), Jimmy Thackery (lead guitar), Jan Zukowski (bass guitar), and Pete Ragusa (drums). Their 1979 album, Full House, issued on Adelphi Records, includes guest appearances from Pinetop Perkins and Bob Margolin.
Keyboard player Greg Wetzel joined the band in 1983, was a full-time member until 1986, and has continued to play at special performances. The membership of the band remained stable until 1986. At that time, tired of the band's extensive touring schedule, Thackery departed to front the Drivers and other groups and to record for Blind Pig Records and Telarc Records. Following his departure, several players filled the lead guitar spot. These included Jimmy Nalls, Warren Haynes, James Solberg, Danny Morris, Pete Kanaras, with Kanaras becoming the longest lasting member.
In 2003, the band featured in the first episode of the second season of The Wire.
Kanaras and Zukowski departed the band in 2004. They were replaced by Paul Bell (lead guitar) and Johnny Castle (bass guitar). The Nighthawks won the Traditional Blues/R&B Duo/Group Award at the 2009 Washington Area Music Awards. In 2011, their album, "Last Train to Bluesville" won the Acoustic Album of the Year at the 32nd Blues Music Awards, sponsored by the Blues Foundation.
In 2011, they signed with Severn Records.
- Rock ’n’ Roll - Released 1974, 1983, and 1992
- Open All Nite - 1976 and 1995
- Live at the PsycheDelly - 1976 and 1995
- Side Pocket Shot - 1977 and 1997
- Jacks & Kings - 1978
- Full House - Jacks & Kings Vol I & II - 1978
- The Nighthawks - 1980 (Mercury Records - vinyl only)
- Ten Years Live - 1982 (Chesapeake CR LP 101)
- Hot Spot - 1986
- Hard Living - 1986 and 1991
- Backtrack - Live - 1986
- Live in Europe - 1987 and 1992
- Best of The Blues - 1988
- Best of The Rock - 1988
- Best of The Nighthawks - 1990
- Trouble - 1991
- Rock This House - 1993
- Pain & Paradise - 1996 and 2002
- Times Four - 1997
- Still Wild - 1999
- Live Tonite! - 2002
- Live at the State Theater with Special Guest Hubert Sumlin (2004)
- Blue Moon in Your Eye (Live at the Barns at Wolf Trap) (2006)
- American Landscape - 2009
- Last Train to Bluesville - 2010
- Damn Good Time - 2012
Other releases featuring the Nighthawks
- Hot Tracks - John Hammond and The Nighthawks
- Toru Oki and The Nighthawks - 1984
Mark Wenner solo albums
- Fugitive - w/Switchblade
- Nothin' But
- Mama Tried
- Runs Good Needs Paint
- Blues music