Thursday, December 19, 2013

Howard Glazer celebrates release of ‘Stepchild of the Blues’

Guitarist-singer Howard Glazer’s new CD, “Stepchild of the Blues,” is the result of a successful mix of the old and the new.
On the CD, Glazer performs with several old friends. On the production end, it is his first recording completed at his home studio.
“It is the first one I’ve done all by myself,” said Glazer, who admitted to quite a learning curve as he experimented with his new software. “I engineered it and mixed and produced it myself.”
Because he had complete control of the recording and mixing process, Glazer was able to get the exact sounds he wanted.
A couple of his previous recordings – “Brown Paper Bag” and “Liquor Store Legend”  -- were done quickly.
“Especially ‘Liquor Store Legend,’” he said. “That was done in a couple of sessions because we needed to get it done on time before I went on a Scandinavian tour.
“On this one, I had a little more time to think about how I wanted the songs to be presented.”
On “Stepchild of the Blues” (which debuts at a CD release party on Saturday, Dec. 21 at the New Place Lounge in Dearborn), Glazer chose to redo three songs from his prior CDs. The first track, “Don’t Love You No More,” was on “Brown Paper Bag,” and he redid the title track and “Gas Pump Blues” from the CD “Liquor Store Legend.”
“Gas Pump Blues,” which features Glazer on resonator guitar, is one of two songs on the new CD recorded with Harmonica Shah. Shah, who was honored by the Detroit Blues Society as a Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2000, is one of several of Glazer’s former musical partners who appear on the CD. Glazer played guitar in Shah’s band for five years before they parted ways.
Harmonica Shah
According to Glazer, both of the songs with Harmonica Shah were recorded in one take. It was their first recording together in 10 years.
“We’re closer friends now than we used to be,” said Glazer, who will be performing with Shah as a duo at Cliff Bell’s in Detroit on Dec. 29. “Everything is good with us.
“It’s fun to play with him. He is really into Delta blues, which I love.”
Glazer’s current band members, bassist Chris Brown and drummer Charles David Stuart, perform on the new CD, as do several special guests.
Chuck Bartels, bassist with R&B singer Bettye LaVette’s band, plays on three tracks. Glazer asked if he was interested in participating, but Bartels was going on tour. Glazer waited for him to return.
“He’s a good friend,” Glazer said. “We played together in the mid to early ‘90s. He’s a really nice guy and a great friend. I think the world of him as a person and a player.”
Organist Larry Marek, who lives in Hawaii, was another major contributor to “Stepchild of the Blues.”
“I’ve been playing with him off and on since we were going to Wayne State University and played in the jazz band in the late ‘70s,” Glazer said. “It’s the first CD we’ve done together, although we have played a lot together over the years.”
Vocalists Maggie McCabe and Stephanie Johnson, who both performed on Glazer’s last CD, “Wired For Sound," return and sound fantastic.
The cover art was done by another longtime friend, photographer Dennis Matea.
“It was a lot of fun,” Glazer said. “Everyone who contributed to the record was a pleasure to work with. Every last one of them had great vibes and great performances.
“Even when we took the band photo for inside the CD (cover) at Maggie’s house, we had a really fun time.”
The camaraderie translates on “Stepchild of the Blues,” Glazer’s fourth recording. He has also been featured on two Harmonica Shah recordings, several by singer Sweet Claudette, and Emanuel Young’s “Live In Detroit with Howard Glazer And The EL 34s.”
Glazer recently dropped “The EL 34s” from the band’s name, due to media and fan confusion. An EL 34 is a vacuum power tube used in amplifiers, but non-musicians didn’t understand the reference.
“I am happiest about this record of all of them I have done so far,” Glazer said. “I was able to do it the way I wanted, as far as production, guitar and vocal tones and drum sounds.
“I’m happy with the end result.”

A CD release party for “Stepchild of the Blues” (Lazy Brothers Records) will be held at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 at the New Place Lounge, 22723 Michigan Ave, Dearborn. (313-277-3035). There’s no cover charge. For more information on Howard Glazer, click

Peter Green tribute
Rattlesnake Shake, a side project of The Muggs and guitarist Brett Lucas (Bettye LaVette), performs a tribute to Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac on Friday, Dec. 20 at Cadieux Café in Detroit.
Admission is $5.
Rattlesnake Shake will be one of five bands performing at a party at Captain Jack’s Lakefront Bar and Grill in St. Clair Shores on New Year’s Eve. Also on the bill are the Jody Raffoul Band, The Detroit Daggers, The Muggs, and the Billy Raffoul Band.
Rattlesnake Shake is also on the bill at the two-day Anti-Freeze Blues Festival at the Magic Bag on Jan. 3, 2014.

To send info to JB Blues, please email

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