The transition from the last version of the Nighthawks to the current line up went smoothly over the summer of 2018, as Paul Bell and Johnny Castle chose to stay off the road but stay active locally. As often as possible Dan Hovey and Paul Bell played together that summer. Dan had always been the guest guitarist for the traditional pre-Thanksgiving event in Kensington, Maryland and had subbed for Paul several times. By the Fall, Dan was holding down the core of the tunes and Paul was free to add the spice.
As Johnny brought his focus to his own band, the Thrillbillys, Paul Pisciotta took over holding down the big bottom. Paul P was no stranger to the band, having just missed joining in 1974 after auditioning the same day as Jan Zukowski. Mark remembered listening to him in the early ‘60s when Paul was playing with Robert Gordon in the Confidentials. He and Mark Stutso, now with a decade under his belt, quickly became a rock solid and swinging rhythm section virtually overnight. Both his own vocal harmony and Dan’s relaxed yet powerful baritone has taken the three and four part harmony to new heights.