|Blues musician Howard Glazer celebrates the release of "Wired For Sound" by Howard Glazer and the EL 34s on Friday at the New Place Lounge in Dearborn.|
On “Wired for Sound,” his third recording with his group Howard Glazer and the EL 34s, Detroit blues guitarist-singer Howard Glazer expands his musical horizon, incorporating elements of rock, R&B and funk.
Glazer and the group, which includes bassist Bob Godwin and drummer Steve Kohn, recorded the CD at Kohn’s Natural Sound and Light studio in Hazel Park. Glazer also enlisted several guest artists to enhance the production.
Performing on the CD are 95-year-old blues legend David “Honeyboy” Edwards; singer-guitarist Emanuel Young; vocalists Lady T, Maggie McCabe and Stephanie Johnson; horn players Ralph Koziarski, Dave Kocbus and Mike Dziekan; and spoken word poet John Sinclair, who is featured on the track “Goodbye.”
“The song ‘Goodbye’ was one of the first ones we did at Steve Kohn’s studio,” Glazer said. “We turned on the machines and we were just doing a sound check and we started doing this jam. I started playing and Steve and Bob just fell in.
“I was listening to it in the control room. Steve thought it was just a sound check and didn’t even want to keep it. I said, ‘Let’s keep it, I think we can do something with this.’ In the back of my mind, I could hear John Sinclair doing poetry on this.
“A year later, I was talking to a friend and his mutual friend gave me (Sinclair’s) e-mail address. John used to manage a band I had in the ‘90s for a while. I didn’t know him real well, but I’ve known him for years. So, I sent him an e-mail and he e-mailed back that he would love to do it. The poem is called ‘Goodbye Hound Dog Taylor.’ That’s why the track is called ‘Goodbye.’ ”
Sinclair also has spoken work poetry on the extended version of the rollicking track “Detroit Blues Party.”
“We were playing him a couple other things, including ‘Detroit Blues Party’ with Honeyboy Edwards,” Glazer said. “(John) said, ‘I’ve gotta be on a track with Honeyboy.’ He said, ‘I’ve even got a poem about Honeyboy.’ So we recorded that.”
Also featured on “Detroit Blues Party” are Lady T and Emanuel Young, who each sing one of the three verses, along with Glazer. Another artist was supposed to sing one of the verses, but couldn’t get clearance from his record company. Kohn, who also drums with the group Detroit Women, which includes Lady T, called her and she filled in admirably.
Young, 72, delivers the most intense vocals on the song, belting it out about a “Detroit Party” that he no doubt has experienced at least few times during his career.
“He played with John Lee Hooker for two years in the late 1950s and he’s a really fine player and a good friend of mine,” Glazer said. “He’s been playing around Detroit all his life, mostly in inner city clubs. A lot of suburban people don’t know about him.”
Honeyboy Edwards, who Glazer met at the Dresden Blues Festival in Germany, plays acoustic guitar on the song. His track was recorded at his Chicago home.
“Honeyboy is a living legend, quite literally, I think he’s 95,” Glazer said. “He was friends with Robert Johnson. When Robert Johnson died, he stayed with Robert Johnson’s sister for a week to console her. That’s how good of friends he was with Robert Johnson. He has all these different stories about all these blues cats.”
Glazer has a few stories of his own. Here’s one about Honeyboy:
“What he would do is he would hobo from town to town. He would hop a train and get to a town. He played blues and made money, and then at night he would gamble and play poker. He would get everybody drunk and cheat and steal all their money and slip out the back and get on the train to the next town.
“He said, ‘I used to do that until I was about 40 or 45. Once I turned that age, I figured I couldn’t run fast enough.’ He said, ‘I never got caught, but I always wanted to be ready in case I did get caught.’ He said, ‘I decided I’d better change my ways.’ ”
The band will celebrate the release of “Wired For Sound” with a performance on Friday (Feb. 18) at The New Place Lounge, 22723 Michigan Ave., Dearborn. (313-277-3035).
To see a video of Howard Glazer talking about David “Honeyboy” Edwards, click here.
To see a video of Howard Glazer talking about “Wired For Sound,” click here.
To see a story in the Daily Tribune about “Wired For Sound,” click here.
For information on how to purchase “Wired For Sound,” click www.howardglazer.com.
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