Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Nighthawking

The name the nighthawk comes from a book called Across The Great Divide, which is a biography of The Band written by Barney Hoskyns, the second chapter of the book is called The Nighthawking. The name itself really stood out to me, the chapter was about when The Band were known as the Hawks a backing band for rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins which most of the members joined when they were in their teens. The chapter talks about how the band criss crossed the U.S and Canada playing clubs, lounges, dancehalls and how tough the circuit was especially in the south. It also detailed their experiences of life on the road and meeting some of the greats of the blues like Sonny Boy Williamson. I liked the name because in that context of life on the road playing the blues the name lends itself to something a little dark and dangerous. I did a graveyard radio program on a local community radio station and the called the program The Nighthawking which was a great thrill and something I would like to repeat some day. The Nighthawking also conjures up a visual connotation, like a cadillac on a dark highway travelling at fast clip carrying a band to another gig in some southern town.

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