Joe Walsh (left) jamming with Glenn Schwartz in Nashville.
Guitar hero Glenn Schwartz has been one of Cleveland’s best-kept secrets for years. Schwartz, whose band the Schwartz Brothers regularly plays at the Beachland Ballroom
(and once held down a Thursday night gig for years at Hoopples
, where he still plays on occasion), was the guitarist for the James Gang before guitarist Joe Walsh entered the band. Schwartz left the group in 1967 and then joined the Los Angeles-based blues rock act Pacific Gas & Electric.
Earlier this year, Schwartz went to Nashville to work with Black Keys/the Arcs singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and Eagles/James Gang singer-guitarist Joe Walsh. Schwartz even played a surprise show with Walsh and Auerbach at Robert’s Western World, a honky tonk club in Nashville, alongside Auerbach’s side project, the Arcs. The group played a five-song set that lasted about 40 minutes and included Schwartz tunes such as "Fear & Doom" and "Wagon Wheel." A devote Christian, Schwartz preached a bit between tunes as well, talking about how Jesus represents salvation and how he had been saved by Jesus.
“Dan [Auerbach's] manager called in December and asked if Glenn would go to Nashville” says bassist Gene Schwartz, who plays with Schwartz in the Schwartz Brothers. “Joe [Walsh] was going to be Nashville then. They recorded all the songs that me and Glenn do at our gigs. I don’t know what their plans are or if they intend to put out a CD. I do know Glenn will be do some stuff with them again, maybe live.”
Schwartz says the four days of recording proved to be productive.
“Everything went great," he says. "Everyone had a great time. They were all smiling and hugging. They went into the club at 11 p.m., and they played for about 40 minutes and did all of Glenn’s material. The people were going nuts. I was in the balcony watching. The three of them sounded fantastic."
Local blues fan Bobby Southall recorded the set and will have CDs and DVDs from the session on sale when the Schwartz Brothers play at the Beachland Tavern tomorrow night at 8:30.