The Nighthawks

Event Details

  • Date:

Free, Rock, Summer Concerts | Saturday, Jul 8, 2017 | 7:00 PM | $Free

The Nighthawks

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“The Nighthawks show no sign of slowing down as they enter their fifth decade as a viable force on the contemporary blues scene.” ~Nashville Blues Society

BlackRock and DC-favorite, The Nighthawks, are an American blues and roots music band based in Washington, DC with a history that spans more than 40 years.

When Mark Stutso (drums, vocals), 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 (guitar) and Johnny Castle (vocals, bass) in the band for nearly a decade, and founding father Mark Wenner (vocals, harmonica), this team outshines all previous incarnations. The current members bring decades of varied experience to the stage and studio.

Paul Bell has played in many influential bands around the Nation’s Capital and is the consummate DC guitarist, capable of soul scratching or country picking. He spent 10 years working with legendary blue-eyed soul man and keyboardist Tommy Lepson, who subbed for Mark Wenner on a number of dates this year while Mark recovered from open-heart surgery.

In 1984, Mark Wenner developed a repertoire of material with Switchblade and together they recorded Mark’s Fugitive – a project that mixed hard rocking country classics with electric blues instrumentation (think Kentucky Headhunters). Live versions of some of those tunes can be heard on Mark’s compilation, Runs Good, Needs Paint.

Johnny Castle started his DC career with Crank, popular early hard-rockers who opened for Jimi Hendrix. He spent journeyman time with Eddie and Martha Adcock in the heyday of DC Bluegrass, and before joining the Nighthawks, spent a decade recording and touring with diesel-billy legend Bill Kirchen.

Mark Stutso spent nearly two decades with former Nighthawk Jimmy Thackery. Before that he played in a number of big and small-time rock bands, including Ruffryder – a spin-off of Black Oak Arkansas – and Virginia Beach-based Trix. His vocals are a force to be reckoned with.


Our summer concerts are free, but BlackRock incurs expenses to keep the beloved concert series going, including artist fees, overhead, and technical costs. Any donation you can give is welcome and super helpful in putting on these amazing outdoor shows. Donate to our Give on the Green campaign and help us keep our summer concerts free!

Help Keep Summer Concerts Free!

All Summer Concerts will be performed on the BlackRock front lawn, weather permitting. Low-back lawn chairs and blankets are permitted along with food and non-alcoholic beverages. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will move inside to the BlackRock Mainstage. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the up-to-date performance information. Tickets are not required, but RSVPs are recommended to be the in-the-know about updates and weather decisions.


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