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Prowling With The Nighthawk

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (28 ratings)
Prowling With The Nighthawk album cover
Tough Luck
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Six Three O
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Take It Easy Baby
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Lonesome World
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Friar's Point Blues
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Ol Mose
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Sweet Pepper Mama
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Return Mail Blues
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My Friend Has Forsaken Me
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Every Day And Night
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The Moon Is Rising
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Kansas City Blues
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Crying Won't Help You
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Black Angel Blues
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My Sweet Lovin' Woman
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Don't Mistreat Your Woman
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Maggie Campbell - 1
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Prowling Nighthawk
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Jackson Town Girl
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Feel So Bad
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Mamie Lee
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Freight Train Blues
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Take It Easy Baby
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Annie Lee Blues
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 26   Total Length: 77:16

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Wondering Sound

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John Morthland


John Morthland has been writing about music since the days of electronically rechanneled stereo and duophonic sound. His name has darkened the mastheads of Roll...more »

Robert Nighthawk, Prowling With The Nighthawk
2005 | Label: Document Records / The Orchard

This one is different from most of the rest of the Document catalogue. Instead of collecting Nighthawk's entire output in chronological order, it amounts to a “greatest hits” package covering 15 years and several labels; it features plaintive acoustic work (accompanied only by harmonica) like the title song, his first record, as well as bristling electric band sides featuring the sweetest slide in blues, such as the definitive “Black Angel Blues,” better known today as… read more »

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Great slide player!


This gentleman is the one Muddy Waters admired and strived to emmulate on slide guitar!He was one of the great bluesmen who defined the Chicago electric blues style.Allthough he was from the same area of the Mississippi delta as Muddy Waters,Howlin`Wolf,Ike Turner and many others he migrated north to the rust belt to escape the poverty and prejudice of southern life.Chicago had many blues clubs to support a seasoned bluesman.A place to interact with other bluesmen and forge the distinctive Chicago blues sound.This is a great career spanning album.Wish they would get more of this bluesmans recorded works.

user avatar

An essential blues CD!


This is an excellent collection of Nighthawk's work from the late 30s to the early 50s. Nighthawk was the bridge from Delta blues to Chicago style blues and this CD exhibits this, showcasing both acoustic and electric tracks. Robert Nighthawk was sparsely recorded and this may be the best attempt to chronicle one of the blues' most important, and almost forgotten, pioneers.

They Say All Music Guide

Robert Nighthawk’s restless, itinerant spirit led to great gaps in his recording career, and as a result, he’s not nearly as well known as he should be. He learned guitar from Houston Stackhouse, knew Peetie Wheatstraw, was playing with Sonny Boy Williamson and Big Joe Williams in the ’30s, and has even been credited with teaching Muddy Waters how to play slide, yet his name is probably unknown to most casual blues fans. Another problem is that previous Nighthawk recordings tended to focus on a specific recording session or label affiliation, so mainly only blues scholars and fanatics understood what a pivotal personality Robert Nighthawk was to the development of electric blues from the acoustic Delta sounds. Prowling With the Nighthawk is the first major overview of Nighthawk and his various performing aliases, covering a 15-year time span and recordings on several different labels. Chronologically, these recordings start out in the Mississippi Delta (though they were all recorded in Illinois) with acoustic guitars and harmonica, then start to move into modern blues territory when Nighthawk electrified his guitar in the early ’40s and began to develop his signature style of slide playing. The most recent recordings, dating to the early ’50s, add a full rhythm section and even approach the sound of rock & roll on a couple cuts. Rather than present it chronologically, however, the folks at Document made the decision to program this as an album rather than a scholarly review of singles. So while the sound quality jumps around a bit (and this is the best most of this material has ever sounded), the variety of material from different times ultimately makes for a better listen than presenting each session in order. Once you’ve heard Nighthawk’s mature slide style, there’s no mistaking it for anyone else, and it’s quite interesting to trace his development as a player over time, from the acoustic forays of the ’30s to the fantastic electrified solo on “Return Mail Blues” in the late ’40s. Despite his lack of name recognition, Robert Nighthawk was one of the greats, and Prowling With the Nighthawk is a great collection of some truly vital material. – Sean Westergaard

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