Episode 36 of Local Spins on WYCE brought an in-studio chat with harmonica player and singer Hank Mowery who talked about his new album, with two new tracks spotlighted on the air.
Grand Rapids blues harmonica ace Hank Mowery didn’t waste much time jumping into the follow-up to his award-winning “Account to Me” album which paid tribute to late harp icon Gary Primich.
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The day after the CD-release show for that 2013 record, he was back in the studio at Goon Lagoon with notable players such as drummer Pete Curry and bassist Larry Taylor cutting tracks for “Excuses Plenty,” an album that features more of Mowery’s originals.
Officially set for national release on Blue Bella Records on May 12, that new 10-track album — featured in a pre-CD-release show featuring Mowery & The Hawktones on Friday night at Billy’s Lounge — also boasts guest appearances by major national blues stars, including harmonica player Dennis Gruenling, and guitarists Mike Morgan, Doug Deming and Jimmie Stagger.
“It wasn’t planned to be a lot of guests but that’s just how it worked out,” says Mowery, noting that he landed some of the players during open days on their schedules.
For Mowery, who shared best self-produced album honors with Tommy Schichtel for “Account to Me,” it’s the latest chapter in what’s become an impressive journey toward finding the national spotlight. Indeed, his tour behind the new album will include stops in Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and Bloomington later this month.
It all really started when Mowery served as manager of the former Rhythm Kitchen many years ago in downtown Grand Rapids, with guitarist Junior Valentine booking a host of prominent national acts in the cozy venue, from Primich to William Clark to The Iguanas.
“I couldn’t have written a better situation,” concedes Mowery, noting that he was mentored on his blues harp chops by some of the best in the business. “It really was a special moment in time and it helped me immensely to see these guys and see them up close.”
THE PODCAST: LOCAL SPINS ON WYCE #36
Listen to the entire interview with Mowery here, along with the debut of two tracks from the new album: “Excuses Plenty” and “Anna Lee.”
The Local Spins on WYCE show also featured tracks from JOE, Dante Cope, The B-Sides, The Rockit King, The Accidentals, Organissimo, Plain Jane Glory and Hannah Rose Graves & Justin Wierenga.
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