DETROIT, MI. (Top40 Charts/ Mindsweep Entertainment & Promotions) - Everyone who knows anything at all about American music knows that Detroit, the "Motor City," has been home to and had claim to some of the finest musical talent there has ever been.
For as long as I can remember anyway, there was Jackie Wilson, John Lee Hooker, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, ARETHA, MARVIN, MARTHA and the Vandellas, SMOKEY, TheTemptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, and then as time and music progressed, Detroit gave us such greats as Bob Seger, and the Silver Bullet Band, Alice Cooper, Grand Funk Railroad, Rare Earth, Ted Nugent… and then all of a sudden, the Motor City's mighty musical engine seemed to be suffering from more than just a fouled plug, and stalled when it came to bringing forth profoundly great artists as it once did.
Other American cities started to rev up their musical 'hot rods', like Seattle, San Fran, Philly, Macon, Atlanta, and even Jacksonville, Florida, which became one of the rising meccas of the music industry; launching such legends as The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Synyrd, and about as many musical acts as there are genres. But as great as these cities and their artists are, when it comes to music, there was no town like Mo-town.
Meanwhile, while working steady way down South in Jacksonville, Florida, at the offices of Mindsweep Entertainment & Promotions we listen to a whole lot of music! In fact we eat, sleep, walk, talk and breathe music, as we is specialize in providing quality PR, press and media relations services and artist promotion, finding TV and radio exposure opportunities for great artists, and as you know, write articles and sending them out to THE BEST PRESS peeps and organizations. In short, we specialize in making and/or keeping people famous. (And we only promote the best, as of course, our reputation depends on it, and because also, we are so busy, we just don't have time for anything less.)
The company's motto is "Connecting People in the Music Industry, WITH PEOPLE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY", and that's exactly what we do. Incidentally, the owner of the company, (that would be me, Laura Jenney), also works as a booking agent, (and PR specialist), for one of the top management & booking agencies in the nation, T&T Management & Booking Agency; so you can imagine how much music is heard around this office! …LOTS! You get the point.
(Enough said about Mindsweep, as this article is not about us, but two outstanding bands from the Motor City.)
This past week there were two CD that stopped us dead in our tracks as we were very busy working. (Which is no easy feat to stand out that predominantly amongst all the many great artists we have the pleasure to hear and/or encounters on a daily basis). Both of the artists/bands happen to be from the Motor City. Both of them nothing less than amazing!
We, even as Southerners and being very proud of the music coming from our own fair city, have to salute and give due credit and respect to the Motor City, and these two great artists/bands coming from there. Equally, we cannot wait to turn the rest of the world on to these extraordinarily great CD's from these two exceptional artists/bands from the Motor City. Yes, the Motor City has finally had a major overhaul on it's musical engine and is revving it up and ready to roll once again!
The first to arrive at the office was the a blazing hot new blues/rock CD of Howard Glazer and the EL 34s on Random Chance Records, titled "Liquor Store Legend." To say "Liquor Store Legend" is so hot, you about need welder's gloves just to handle it is only a mild exaggeration and PR hype, as this CD is in fact, quite hot!
I could tell that it wasn't just my bias for "Motor City Music" when critiquing this CD, as everyone was clearly in agreement with me signified by heads bobbin', feet tappin', fingers snapping, bodies moving to that low down, primal, funky, 'true blues' experience captured by Howard Glazer & the EL 34s, in the mastery and world class, professional musicianship of this CD.
Howard Glazer's name should take it's place amongst the legendary axmen of blues from his work on this CD, as his purposefully and masterfully gritty guitar works, paints the picture of what 'true blues' is all about, as surely as though he originated it himself.
Though totally original content, and Howard's guitar performance style is truly very distinct and signature, if I had to compare it to other artists' work, I would say it was kind of like a combination of mixing legendary greats, Stevie Ray Vaughan meets Albert Collins, with some Hendrix and Credence Clearwater Revival, mixed with some heavy-duty 'Johnny Neel style' Hammond B3 action blending in perfectly with those famous Howard Glazer signature gritty guitar licks. I'm talking nothing less than blues perfection here!
Combining Howard's guitar master mechanics and wizardry with precise alchemy of leadfooted skilled drummer Charles Stuart, complete with his incorporation of voodooesque hand drums for that extra funky feel and effect, (sounding just like he was born on the bayou). Added with the classic (Hammond), B3 brilliance of Larry Marek, and thumping bass guitar genius of Bob Godwin, this CD has all the elements of becoming a blues classic! To give "Liquor Store Legend" even more classic appeal, is the notable work of some great back up vocal performances.
Blues connoisseurs can purchase this excellent CD, "Liquor Store Legend" at Borders Books and Music, Tower Records, and through Howard Glazer and the EL 34s' own official website at: www.howardglazer.com or directly through Random Chance Records website at: www.randomchancerecords.com/, and many other places on the internet Including MY Space, at: http://myspace.com/howardglazer.
Howard Glazer was just nominated for a Detroit Music Award - Outstanding Instrumentalist in the Blues/R& B Category. Also in the past month has received endorsements from GHS Strings and Rocktron.
One can also catch Howard Glazer and the EL 34s performing live throughout the US in the upcoming months, as they are touring to promote this CD, and just finished touring in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, where they performed an astounding 65 to 70 gigs in 42 days, playing schools during the day, and performing at better clubs and concert venues at night.
To book Howard Glazer and the EL 34s, contact their Agent, Laura Jenney, at Laura@tntbooking.com, or at VPofMindsweep@aol.com .
The second of these two great artists/bands from the Motor City, is certainly second to none, when it comes to delivering to listeners absolute musical satisfaction in a variety of genres ranging from classic style Soul, funky R&B, Jazz, 'Grown Folks Music', blues and more! This artist, (and band), is none other than Sweet Claudette (Harrell), and The Friends Band.
When I received their latest CD, "Live and Kickin", I was certainly delighted, as for the past several years, Sweet Claudette and The Friends Band have ranked as one of my all time favorite bands ever, but in all seriousness, I doubted the fact that their new CD could possibly be as great or let alone top some of their outstanding earlier releases, such as:
"Linament & Collard Greens", 1999,
"Aint Gonna Wash Your Dirty Clothes", 2001,
"Sending You To Man School", 2004,
But I don't mind telling you one bit, I was wrong, as this absolutely smokin' CD is every bit as great, if not even better, than their previous releases, which would be a challenge for any artists of even the highest caliber to top, but once again, Sweet Claudette and The Friends Band, have outdone even themselves with this great CD!
From the first minute of listening to this CD, even on your worst day, (trust me on this one), you will find yourself smiling, and with your groove motor running, as Sweet Claudette and The Friends Band take you on a classy and fun musical joy ride with a mixture of their sizzling renditions of great classics from Herbie Mann, Jimmy Smith, Tyrone Davis, Sam Cooke, T-bone Walker, BB King, Muddy Waters, Jr. Walker and the Allstars, Ike Turner, Hank Williams Sr., Johnnie Taylor, Rufus Thomas, and even some of Sweet Claudette's best originals.
Recorded live at Max Dugan Saloon, in Hazel Park, Michigan on September 14th, 2006, one can clearly understand why this stellar act has been a festival, concert and club favorite for years, in their genres, as on this CD, you can experience the precision tight performances of this great band with blazing sax and vocal performances by Marty Montgomery, and Mickey Coleman on drums; combined with incredible work on keyboards by Paul Cervenak, smooth guitar work by "Guitar" Gary Nager, Dan Dekuyper and Greg Ganz on guitar. Keeping the groove moving on bass is Lucius Wilson, and Todd Macintosh, and on track two, there is a special appearance by incredible 12 year old guitarist Ari Teitel, performing on the band's rendition of Jimmy Smith's classic hit, Chicken Shack.
The thousands in attendance at the Willie King's Freedom Creek Festival, May 25 & 26, over the Memorial Day Weekend, in Old Memphis, Pickens County, Alabama can attest to the superb musical quality and tight performances of Sweet Claudette, as she performed there with The Alabama Women of the Blues amongst the legendary greats performing at this year's event, along with; Willie King & the Liberators, Paul Oscher, T-Model Ford and many more. (Yes, Sweet Claudette is originally from Alabama). Sweet Claudette, reports that "CD sales were brisk" while she was there.
Sweet Claudette and The Friends Band, has twice been nominated for awards at the esteemed Detroit Music Awards, Sweet Claudette Harrell is a BMI Songwriter; and a member of Detroit Blues Society, (www.detroitblues.com); & former member of Black Swamp Blues Society firstname.lastname@example.org in Toledo, Ohio.
Lovers of great music can purchase Sweet Claudette (and The Friends Band's) outstanding new CD "Live and Kickin" at: CD Baby, I Sound.com, and on My Space at; www.myspace.com/sweetclaudette, and other places on the web.
To book this great act, contact Agent Laura Jenney at Laura@tnt.booking.com or at VPofMindsweep@aol.com .
Mindsweep Entertainment & Promotions salutes these two great acts from the Motor City, as these two outstanding CD's, which can be added to Detroit's lengthy and impressive list of musical accolades, and we at Mindsweep Entertainment recommend to music lovers everywhere to treat yourself to these two red hot CD's, as they will truly take you where you want to go, in a fast, smooth and classy musical ride!
The End. ..
Executive Vice President / PR and Media Relations Specialist
Mindsweep Entertainment & Promotions