Bob Margolin & The Nighthawks Salute Muddy Waters
Bob Margolin & The Nighthawks Salute Muddy Waters – December 11, 2016
A treat to get one of the world’s toughest blues bands at Iridium in Times Square earlier this month. The Nighthawks are led by Mark Wenner on vocals and harmonica who formed the original group in 1972 in Washington DC. Bob Margolin, who played in Muddy Waters’ band from ’73 to ’80, goes way back with these guys. They met at a show during the steady rollin’ one‘s tenure with Waters and became friends who play together when they can including a Margolin appearance on 1979’s Full House album. The Iridium show included some original material but was billed as a tribute to Muddy and it would be difficult to find artists more prepared for the job. The Nighthawks have recorded a generous handful of Waters’ songs atop stretching out on stage for decades with his material. Few are more intimate with the man and his music than Margolin who revealed some fun facts between songs including that he used to work ‘security’ during interviews. He would give reporters the boot when Waters lost patience with them!
Fortunately, Bob Margolin was able to put up with a few questions from me prior to the show. As a fan of his work as a band leader, especially the 90’s stuff on Alligator Records like My Blues & My Guitar and Up & In, I asked if he approached playing his own stuff differently than Muddy Waters’ songs. He said, “When I’m playing my own songs, I can’t help but think about whether Muddy would approve or disapprove.” Over the decades Margolin has incorporated a lot of flavors into his music apart from Chicago blues and his latest album is called My Road. Catch him as part of The Last Waltz 40 Tour this winter. He also shared a very cool flashback to the memorable 1976 event on his website.
Keep your eyes open for the new documentary film about The Nighthawks!