One of the oldest touring blues bands in the country, The Nighthawks have been to 49 states, a dozen countries, performed with nearly all the living blues legends. The original “Bad Boys of Bethesda” have been making it happen since 1972, and when Mark Stutso, master of the deep groove, joined at the beginning of 2010, the 21st-century version of this 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.
Coming to us from State College, Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats specialize in all aspects of the blues, as well as performing roots, soul and New Orleans infused grooves. Melanie Zeigler’s powerful and sultry voice can whip a barroom dance floor into a frenzy or turn them quiet enough to hear a pin drop. Combine her exquisite talent with guitarist Mark Ross’ straight from the gut, honest, tone-filled guitar playing and the innovative, soulful stylings of organist Rev. James Harton and drummer Jordan Thompson, and you’re gonna watch their chemistry sizzle.
A feel-good, fire-breathin’ freight train of the blues, Gabe Stillman & The Billtown Giants is a musical force to be reckoned with. Their dynamic performances showcase the band’s musical prowess, depth of artistic passion, and pure joy of playing ‘The Blues.’ While the electrifying trio’s sound is unmistakably rooted in American Blues, the band draws deeply from influences of Soul, R&B, Funk, and New Orleans jazz & blues music, performing both original compositions and well-chosen ‘cover songs’ that pay respectful homage to the true giants of the blues in the band’s own inimitable way. But these giants always leave their own mighty big footprints wherever they roam.