Friday, May 18, 7 p.m.
Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel, 304 East Third Street, Davenport IA
Appearing locally in support of their latest album, an 11-track LP released on April 28, the 10-piece soul and R&B ensemble The Nightowls headline a Moeller Nights concert on May 18, their recent We Are the Nightowls demonstrating why Punchland.com described their “big band music and old-school swing” as a “unique flavor of pure musical enjoyment.”
Based in Austin, Texas, The Nightowls were formed in 2011 by lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Harkrider, who, two years earlier, found his song “Nobody Ever Wants to Leave” commissioned by the Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau as Austin's official theme song. Harkrider assembled a group of area musicians with a shared interest in the big-band style, and as The Nightowls, the ensemble played the Texas club scene and numerous wedding receptions, eventually becoming so well-known and widely adored that Mayor Lee Leffingwell proclaimed November 21, 2013 “Nightowls Day.” Just over a year later, the group released its debut album Good as Gold, which inspired Indie Music to rave, “The Nightowls sound like a band straight out of the glorious R&B past, paying homage to all artists of that era while adding a modern spin.” The Austin Chronicle awarded it a citation as a “Top 10 Album of the Year” at the newspaper's Austin Music Awards, and Good as Gold's success led to the first of the band's numeous performances as SXSW Music Festival showcase artists.
Since then, The Nightowls have released a pair of EPs (Good as Gold B-Sides and Royal Sessions) and a pair of albums (Fame Sessions and last month's We Are the Nightowls), and have enjoyed national touring recognition for their lineup of 10 exquisite musicians: vocalists Harkrider, Sara Stein, and Kamilla Lamar; bassist Rob Alton; saxophone player Andrew McLemore; guitarist Rydog Johnson; keyboardist Vince Wiley; trumpet player Luke Scallan; trombone player Zol Waterhouse; and drummer Justin Hights. Critics have consequently been unanimous in their praise, with Vents magazine praising The Nightowls' “unique and cohesive sound that is infectious in its effervescent energy,” and Elmore magazine writing, “They have that powerful groove exemplified by Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and the Staple Singers, just with a little more youthful spring in the step.”
Tickets to The Nightowls' 7 p.m. concert at the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel are $8-12, and more information on the May 18 engagement is available by visiting MoellerNights.com.