By Benjamin Leatherman
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Troy Farah
By Roger Calamaio
By Mark Deming
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Brian Palmer
"The house was all issues and no [musical] chops," chortles Martin. "We kicked 'em all out and they found their way back to Detroit. We had no band, just agony."
A brief stint as a trio ensued with the arrival of guitarist Ashley. Lamb begrudgingly beat the drums and sang until drummer Doug Jackino signed on. "When I first heard Paul sing, I thought it was a white guy trying to sing like a black guy," chuckles Jackino. "Now I'm in this for the long haul." Through a series of fits and starts, the band found its horn section. Trombonist Burlon Anderson -- who graduated ASU magna cum laude on a euphonium (a tuba-like instrument) scholarship of all things -- came in bringing along his alto-sax-blowing sis, Brianna, and tenor saxophonist John E. Go.
The presence of the horn section immediately gave the songs more warmth and depth. Glory Revival's classic FM thud of bass/drums/guitar was now a memory. "The horns are addicting, the stage energy is ridiculous," raves Lamb. "But the drawbacks are many. Like keeping a three-piece band on the road is hell enough. Members exponentially add pressure, them and their girlfriends and their friends. Everybody's gotta get along with everybody else. It just grows into this monster family. But we're gonna keep this together."
After relentless gigging and small tours, Glory Revival landed a manager with the right amount of belief and chutzpah. They also started receiving a bit of promotional help from the Four Peaks Brewing Company in Tempe. A self-titled record soon followed on tiny Bag Daddy Records. The nine-song disc was recorded on a budget littered with such long-standing rock myths like good faith, favors and we'll-gladly-pay-you-Tuesday-for-roll-of-tape-today's.
Sonically, the band's essence was well-captured by producer Al Sutten of Kid Rock fame, an old friend from Lamb and Martin's Detroit days (a pair of Rock's band members also help out on the album). The disc is long on hooky horn lines, funked up riffs, B3 organ, and nods to everything from Exile on Main Street to Earth Wind and Fire to Joe Cocker. Lamb's voice mirrors his love of Tom Waits and the Temptations' Dennis Edwards.
"Just Wanna Sing" is a song Lenny Kravitz could snag; the blues charade of Bill Withers' "For My Friend" is soothing dive-bar juke fodder; "Everybody Get Up" is a hearty three-chord turn of Waits inspired storytelling with daily drudgery being the main theme; the Sly Stoneish "I Can't Stand," would be the record's best chance at airplay, if such things were possible for overlooked bands lost on puny indies. But at least they can tour, somewhat.
"We did the record partly in Detroit and partly here," Lamb says. "We would tour to Detroit, record, then come back. We overdubbed some of the tracks here in town." On tour, of course, the band's heady rock 'n' roll mythologizing rears its traditional head. At one show in St. Louis (played in the basement of an Ethiopian restaurant) Lamb claims to have been slipped a Mickey, this after many free rounds from a nubile waitress. After a long blackout, Lamb mysteriously awoke in somebody's front lawn.
Another gig saw the band stranded along with thousands of others at a rained-out festival in Minnesota. "It was hilarious. Old farmers with tractors making money hand over fist charging people five bucks to pull cars from the mud. Pissed-off hippies were yellin' at each other. I've never heard hippies say shit like that before."
"In Chicago at a place called the Beat Kitchen, we had our first incident of fans throwing chairs wanting to hear more songs," says Martin. "They were drunk and smashing beer bottles going, "Play sum moe fuckin' music.' We played for two-and-a-half straight hours. It was pure rock 'n' roll."
Both live and on record, Glory Revival is a dense wave of melody and groove. At its worst, it can lapse into that translucency common to bar bands. But, Glory Revival, by its own admission, is a bar band. And they sound so unbelievably out of date that it stands to reason they could be the next big thing, rock 'n' roll mythology and all. Glory Revival's horn section: From left, Burlon Anderson, John E. Go and Brianna Anderson."Blue collar Mick Ronson," guitarist Ben Ashley, foreground, and lead singer Paul Lamb.