Howard Glazer “Stepchild of the Blues” – Not all good blues come out of Chicago. Texas is known for its guitar slingers. Howard Glazer could be mistaken for one of them. Plenty of slide and resonator guitar work a la Johnny Winter. This is a blues guitar lover’s type of album. This longtime Detroit blues guitar virtuoso performs a nice blend of blues and blues rock.
Two of the strongest songs on this recording feature longtime collaborator harp player Harmonica Shah. The harp sound on “Gas Pump Blues” and “Hurtful Feelings” add another layer of sound that makes these tunes sound fuller and richer.
Howard Glazers vocals are average. Several of the tunes feature backing female vocals. One song in particular that stands out partly because of the help of the backing vocals is “Somewhere”. It also features some real nice lead guitar and organ.
Some outstanding slide guitar can be found on “Cried All My Tears”, “Honey & Spice” and “Hurtful Feelings”.
He gets some wonderful sound out of his metal body resonator on “Gas Pump Blues”.
The rockers on this album are “Don’t Love You No More” and “Honey and Spice”
Some real down and dirty Detroit blues can be found on “Hurtful Feelings”, “Telephone Blues” and “Cried All My Tears”.
Scheduled release date is September 17, 2013.
Randy Scott – “Out of the Blue” – Randy Scott is another Detroit native, but unlike Howard Glazer, Randy took his talents to Hollywood, CA. to study at the Guitar Institute (G.I.T.). Frustrated with the music industry, Randy quit music and sold all his gear. He took a job at a software company. Nine years later while waiting for friends to go to dinner, he happened into a Guitar Center store and began playing a guitar. The manager was impressed and talked him into entering their King of the Blues competition. This was a nationwide competition to find the next great undiscovered blues guitarist. He entered the contest and beat out thousands of other guitarists to be named Guitar Center’s 4th Annual King of the Blues. The result is his debut album “Out of the Blue”.
“Out of the Blue” was scheduled for release in May of this year, but there are several listings saying it was released in July. It includes bass player Travis Carlton and drummer Gary Novak from Robben Ford’s band. Keyboardist Jeff Babko is from Larry Carlton’s band. Also featured on the album is guitar legend Albert Lee who said Scott is “one of the best blues guitarists I’ve heard come along in a long time”. Albert is featured on “Mean Hearted Woman” and “Hell to Pay”.
It’s a very smooth and polished blues/rock record with hints of jazz and country. Not surprisingly there are several songs that have that Robben Ford feel. The opening track “Ramblin’ Man” is one and so is “Whiskey from a Bottle”.
Other songs remind one of Eric Johnson, both his guitar tone and vocals. “Nothing But a Thang”, “Never Enough”, “Fire” and the title track all fall into this category.
The title track “Out of the Blue” is also the best guitar rocker. Many would consider it the best track of the lot. There’s even a little bit of a Dixie Dreg thing in it.
The blusiest number is “Can’t Quit On You”; a more contemporary song is “Mean Hearted Woman”.
“Hell to Pay” is an excellent rocking’ country blues number.
There are also a couple of instrumentals. “Talking My Baby Down” has that rolling down the river feel to it. “Tommy’s Tune” closes the record nicely with acoustic guitar.
Songs that sound like they were written for radio are “Kisses like Cherries” and “Don’t Call It Love”.
There is new good blues music being made all over the country. Check them out.