Hank Mowery

Hank Mowery

Friday, Sept 19, 2014
9:00 to 10:30 pm
South Stage

The Hawktones weave together a show laced with old school sensibilities and modern day energy–covering Chicago standards, Texas shuffles, West Coast swing, originals and much more.

In 2013 they released the CD “Account to Me” — in part a tribute to Gary Primich and a collaboration with Primich’s family on two previously unreleased Primich pieces. The CD garnered wide acclaim for its different musical textures and strong musicianship, and launched an amazing 2014. In January the Hawktones were honored by The Blues Foundation at The International Blues Challenge with the prestigious award for 2014 Best Self-Produced CD. In May they were invited by the Blues Foundation to play the annual Blues Hall of Fame fundraiser at the Hard Rock Cafe Memphis during the Blues Music Awards. They were also nominated for four Jammy Awards: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Blues-Soul Album, and best production. And the year’s not even over!

Where did it all begin? Hank Mowery, an Ohio native with a “pretty musical” extended family in Kentucky, was inspired by his banjo-playing great uncle, and picked up the “blues harp” in his early 20s. He raced onto the local and regional blues scene in the mid 90’s with his band The Hawktones. As General Manager of Grand Rapids’ blues hotspot, the Rhythm Kitchen Cafe, from 1995 until it closed in 2000, Mowery honed his skills, jamming nightly with the local and national blues acts that happened through there — a who’s who of blues greats, including the legendary Primich. Mowery also picked up harmonica tips from the likes of William Clarke, Peter “Madcat” Ruth, Little Walter, Lynwood Slim and, Kim Wilson.

THE REST OF THE BAND –  Mowery has said: “My goal is to always be the least talented guy in the band!” That is not an easy thing to do, given his considerable talent, and when the others in his band seem to have the same modesty and collaborative spirit. They are:

  • Patrick Recob (Bass/Vocals) Best known for his work with Lee McBee & the Confessors, and the Gary Primich Band, Patrick is well respected around the country for his playing and comic relief.
  • Troy Amaro (Guitar) – Variously described as wild, tasty and sophisticated, he more than holds his own on solos and is superb at supporting everyone else on the bandstand.
  • John Large (Drums/Vocals ) With a career spanning some 40 years, John’s versatility is noteworthy — straight blues, rock, swing, jazz, funk and anything in between.
  • Chris Corey (Piano/keyboards) A “musical encyclopedia” who has played internationally and enhances any band he is playing with.


In 1996 & 1998 Mowery had the opportunity to tour with Blacktop recording artist Mike Morgan & The Crawl, and Mike offered this assessment: “I was amazed that Hank could step in on a national level like he did.  He is a cool harmonica player and singer with old school feel, like Little Walter and Big Walter Horton… two minutes into our first show we knew he wasn’t a replacement, he was part of the band!” With respect like that, it’s not surprising that Morgan and Mowery continued to cross musical paths.

A Dallas native, Morgan co-founded The Crawl in the late 1980’s, and his searing guitar playing, their fiery, unforgettable live performances, and a series of successful albums for Black Top Records, earned rave reviews from critics and a devoted audience worldwide. Their reputation as one of the best contemporary blues bands in Texas grew, with Morgan writing original songs that were on a par with the classics they chose to cover. They continued to delight their fans with  new albums throughout the 1990s.  In 2000, Mike released his own CD, and Texas Man was well received; followed in 2004 by Live in Dallas, and Stronger Every Day in 2007. Since then, although still playing local gigs, touring has taken a back seat to other business ventures, so this is a rare treat to hear Morgan in our own backyard, and back sharing a stage with Hank Mowery!