Hellbound Glory New Year 2014 (Updated)

City Winery, January 2014, photo by Grayson Dantzic
City Winery, January 2014, photo by Grayson Dantzic

In the best beginning of a year I could hope for, I got to watch the artists’ process for a week. Hellbound Glory played a bunch of shows booked near here, and I was happy to host them. I attended two performances and heard Leroy singing this and that off and on. Heaven.

On Monday, December 30th, I met up with Leory and Adam Kowalski (bass) at Hank’s Saloon. Tuesday we kept it quiet and I got to take Adam around the city and show him the sights. Let me tell you about Adam. Tall, dark and handsome. What a nice guy. He’s helpful, organized, and an overall joy to be around. His smile could disarm Chechnya. The best part is he knows how to play bass.

The first gig I went to was on New Year’s Day at the Strand Smokehouse in Astoria. I have to give a shout out to Strand; perfect for good bbq and Leroy singing Hank songs. The Strand has really come into its own since opening. I’m psyched to have a cool place to go with great music booked by JD Patch.

The sold-out show at City Winery opening for Leon Russell was magnificent. Playing keys was Jeff Kazee, and he took the set to another level. It was also so nice to be surrounded by hundreds of people enraptured by this music. Leon Russell is a legend and tremendous source of pride to share the stage with. It was a goosebumpy evening and hanging out talking shop with their hotshot Manager (who started at Elektra!). He made an interesting point to me that’s still warbling around my mind. There is no such thing as underground anymore. We have iphones and the internet, etc etc…

All in all the week was great. Leroy is a thinker and a planner. He’s always writing or composing. He is a true artist, and understands the baby-kissing-politician side of the business. His strength comes from his family; when he talks about them he lights up.

One perfect moment was Adam figuring out the logistics to the next gig, as I read a Jac Holzman biography, and Leroy was chilling on the couch practicing a Doors song. I could listen to him sing the phonebook, but a Doors song? Mercy.

So if you see the Hellbound Compound come through your town (on tour now!), open your home and cook them a nice meal. You’ll be glad you did.

(Update) Ermahgerd! They made a highlight reel and thanked me in the credits. Love them.

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