Come party on Saturday night with The Nighthawks with Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin & Rev. Billy C. Wirtz on the Main Stage!
When Mark Stutso, master of the deep groove, joined The Nighthawks at the beginning of 2010, the 21st-century version of the legendary American roots band was complete. With Paul Bell and Johnny Castle in the band for nearly a decade, and founding father Mark Wenner the remaining original, this team outshines all previous incarnations.
The Nighthawks was an idea in Mark Wenner's brain long before he was able to implement it. The musical product of pre-1958 radio in Washington, D.C., he did not know there were rules against mixing blues, R&B, honky-tonk country, doo-wop, gospel and rockabilly into one delicious stew.
In 1972, Mark, then 23, returned to his hometown after a New York City band apprenticeship eager to start a real, work-every-night band based on American roots music. He found a receptive local scene. Washington has long been a musical melting-pot of the kind that made Memphis the source point for the evolution of American music in the second half of the 20th century. It just never had a Stax or Sun record label to tell the world. As the city exploded with an influx of people from all the surrounding states during the Great Depression and World War II, Washington became a hotbed of musical cross-fertilization. When Bill Haley first brought his wacky Pennsylvania mix of hillbilly music and rhythm and blues to D.C. in 1952, people got it. And white kids like Mark found the Howard Theater – now recently restored and part of the historic top tier of the Chitlin' Circuit that included Baltimore’s Royal, Chicago’s Regal and New York’s Apollo – just a 25-cent bus ride away from the suburbs.
Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin
BOB MARGOLIN’s self-titled album reveals the latest from the 2017 Blues Music Award winner for Best Male Traditional Blues Artist. Bob played and sang every note, produced, recorded and mixed this album. Six new original songs are his Blues for today’s world. He also interprets nine songs he learned “back in the day” from his legendary friends Muddy Waters, The Band, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Rogers, Snooky Pryor, Pinetop Perkins and James Cotton. Bob explains: “When I released “My Road” in 2016 I wrote some songs about current challenges. Those were good old days compared to now. As new songs came to me for this album, I have blues the feeling and Blues the music for today’s toxic tragedies and growing gaps.I believe the Blues legends I worked with would shake their heads and cry for us if they were alive to see. That spirit informs my new songs too, My album is self-titled because this album and I are my blessings, my challenges, my history and my future. I want to share them in harmony with you. We’re still ‘steady rollin’. “
Rev Billy C. Wirtz
Mixing comedy with the blues and occasionally rasslin' The good Rev. has delighted audiences for decades. From leading a band on WCW Nitro to touring the world he knows how to work a crowd.