Tomás Doncker's Moanin’ at Midnight: The Howlin’ Wolf Project, has been given the deluxe treatment for its first issue on vinyl. Remastered, repackaged and expanded from the original 2016 CD, this definitive edition was produced, mixed and engineered by James Dellatacoma (Nine Inch Nails, Herbie Hancock) at Bill Laswell's Orange Music Sound Studios, mastered by multiple Grammy Award winning mastering engineer Michael Fossenkemper at TurtleTone Studio in New York City, and had it's lacquers mastered and cut by Geoff Pesche at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London. The result is a sonically stunning release that elevates an already acclaimed modern blues classic to a new level.
The seed for this album was germinated during a critically hailed run at NYC SummerStage during the summer of 2013 for which Doncker served as a featured artist, composer & musical director. Chester A. Burnett (aka: Howlin’ Wolf) is one of his long-standing musical idols. “We had been bouncing the idea of a blues record around for a while," he relates. "A ‘hard-core’ Modern Blues record. Every time we discussed it, The Wolf came up. Willie Dixon came up. “Smokestack Lightning,” “Spoonful,” “Evil”… on and on… the stories the songs tell are so vivid, even today! We wanted to be a part of that lineage, that history. We wanted to tell that “Same Ol’ Story” one more time...Our way! We felt the time was right.” The original edition was not only featured in such notable publications as diverse as Guitar World, Huffington Post and No Depression, but received the blessing of official Howlin’ Wolf biographers James Segrest & Mark Hoffman, as well as Wolf’s daughter Ms. Betty Kelly. The deluxe edition includes previously unheard live recordings, including the original composition “Shook Down,” written by Doncker and his songwriting partner Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa. “Yusef & I were so inspired by the raw, vivid lyricism of the great Willie Dixon, combined with Howlin’ Wolf’s dynamic persona, we thought it would be interesting if we could go down a similar path in the modern era.” Sonically speaking, Doncker is all about reinvention when it comes to the blues. "I feel at home in the blues, but not as a traditionalist. I want to be more a part of the ongoing story of the legacy of the blues. The blues is its a living tradition; from father to son, mother to daughter... it's an aural history of the human condition, and because we're all constantly evolving I don't want to play it like it's already been played." Doncker does just that on Moanin', putting his own definitive yet respectful stamp on a legendary body of work.