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J.B. Hutto & The New Hawks

 

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Hutto's New Hawks

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J.B. Hutto (vocal & guitar), and "The New Hawks" Steve Coveney (guitar), Bob Case (bass), and Leroy Pina (drums), appear on TV Boston in 1981.

J.B. Hutto started on drums, then tried the piano before settling on the guitar and playing on the streets with the percussionist Eddie 'Porkchop' Hines. After adding Joe Custom on second guitar, they started playing club gigs, and harmonica player George Mayweather joined after sitting in with the band. Hutto named his band The Hawks, after the wind that blows in Chicago. A recording session in 1954 resulted in the release of two singles on the Chance label and a second session later the same year, with the band supplemented by pianist Johnny Jones, produced a third.

Late in the 1950s Hutto gave up music after a woman broke his guitar over her husband's head one night in a club where he was performing. Over the next eleven years he worked as a janitor in a funeral home. He returned to the music industry in the mid-1960s, with another version of "The Hawks" featuring Herman Hassell on bass and Frank Kirkland on drums.

After Hound Dog Taylor died in 1975, Hutto took over his band the Houserockers for a time, and in the late 1970s he moved to Boston and recruited a new band which he dubbed "The New Hawks", with whom he recorded further studio albums for the Varrick label. His 1983 Varrick album "Slippin' & Slidin", the last of his career and later reissued on CD as Rock With Me Tonight, has been described as 'near-perfect'.

Hutto returned to Illinois in the early 1980s, where he was diagnosed with cancer. He died in 1983, at the age of 57, in Harvey. He was interred at Restvale Cemetery, in Alsip, Illinois.



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