Glenn Hughes - Choice Chops From The Voice Of Rock
By Martin Popoff
The man has reach, put it that way. Trapeze, four records with Deep Purple, solo albums spanning four decades, Phenomena, Hughes Thrall, Black Sabbath, Steve Salas . . . Glenn Hughes has appeared, shone and lit out, ever the enigma, due to his insistence on following his musical muse be it into hard rock, funk, the blues, even jazz and one day (soon) he hopes, full orchestra classical.
It's something that has kept his audience on edge, small, devoted, at times impatient and at odds. But Hughes must go where he must. Glenn begins with an overview of the fairly pounding, effortlessly enjoyable new album Return Of Crystal Karma. "Well, first of all let me say, for the fan of Glenn Hughes or anybody who knows my musical history, I like to cross a hybrid of styles in rock, pop, soul, jazz, funk. And maybe a lot of the albums from me in the last few years have been very diverse in that respect. I think this particular project has more of a hard rock-sounding edge, while it still incorporates those things that I mentioned. But I think this is the most cohesive rock record that I've done as a solo artist. I think this is a very strong album, for the rock fans at least."
There seems to be a lot of Hammond B3 sound on this. "Correct. When I made this album, I wanted a retro-ish sound. You know, I've got to be honest with you, although I've worked with Jon Lord in Deep Purple and I now work with Keith Emerson, I mean, I'm working with the two masters of the Hammond, and my keyboard player Hans Zermuehlen is definitely up there with those guys. I wasn't really a big Hammond fan until recently, maybe two or three years ago. I'm into Jimmy Smith from the '60s and stuff like that, but you know, in the rock format, Hammond has to be played appropriately. And I thought this album needed a Hammond, and I'm now a big, big supporter of the Hammond organ."
It is of note that Hughes sang the lone vocal track on the last Niacin record, itself, a big B3 showcase. "Yes, I'm on one of those songs, and once again, John Novello, a new hero of mine, he's great, man."
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