Grainbelt: Roger Noyes, Jimmy Kaufman, Howard Glassman, Chris Blackwell and Jason Hughes
Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Al Goldberg
What do Bob Dylan, Skip James, Emmylou Harris, Nick Brignola and Grainbelt have in common? As of March 10, 2012, they all have played to appreciative audiences with good taste in music at Caffe Lena.
Grainbelt’s debut was a long time coming, but it was sure worth the wait. Playing two sets before a sold-out crowd to promote their excellent new CD (or “SP”), “A Distant Sound” (Kranepool Records), the quintet led by singer-raconteur Howard Glassman, Delmar’s own “song and dance man,” was in top form.
Drawing inspiration from Buck Owens and Gram Parsons to Merle Haggard and Jason & the Scorchers, Grainbelt plays music for those who never think twice about rolling up their sleeves in good times or bad. Restlessness pervaded the first few songs – “Darlene” featured a plaintive vocal from Glassman about a romance spanning coast to coast; “Dunedin”, a guitar-driven track from the new release, depicted the longing to pull up one’s stakes.