Album Review: Ron Pope & The Nighthawkes

ron-pope-the-nighthawksThis is the debut album by Ron Pope and The Nighthawks – although Mr Pope himself could be classed as a veteran solo artist, having racked up a good number of records as a solo singer/songwriter. He has built up a loyal following in the UK, however if this is maybe the first time you have heard of this artist – a bit of background.
His name has been made in the US as a well established Country/Americana/Rock and Roll singer, who has got to this position through sheer hard work, determination, and a desire to succeed as an artist with no record company or big PR juggernaut behind him – only briefly signing to a major label in 2009. He has seen his music featured in TV shows, films and covered by a number of artists, especially the song ‘A Drop in the Ocean’
Oh – did I forget to mention he’s had about 500 million streams of his material. Somewhat inspirational really.
This new offering brings together a group of fine musicians to back Pope – and it could be said that this record has a bigger sound than previous offerings – it’s certainly polished.
‘Ain’t No Angel’, ‘Hell or High Water’ and ‘Take Me Home’ have a swagger about them you’d expect from the best Southern US rock bands of the 70’s, and that is a real high point here. The guitars are blistering at times and vocals spot on. The influences these songs have pulled from is evident, but they are played with a new energy – like it is a brand new band having fun – difficult to recreate, however achieved here.
There is variety here though, and Pope showcases what a brilliant songwriter he is in the superbly chilled ‘Leave You Behind’, with a haunting blend of vocals.
This album has picked up some very good reviews, both in the US and UK – and this can be no bad thing when trying to establish a new act. However, with Ron Pope’s name attached to it, quality is assured.

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Review by Phil Daniels

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