There’s a big show coming Monday night to Slates in Hallowell. Seems the South is making its way north mid-January this new year with a performance by Glen David Andrews and his band.

Born in the historic Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Andrews has been an important artist on the scene for not only his trombone skills but also his powerful singer-songwriter chops, so when I was told he would be coming our way, I was eager to chat with the man about his life and music.

I was given a number to call, and when I did, I began by complimenting him on his latest album, “Redemption,” which was released in 2014.

“Well, we worked real hard on it. It’s just a reflection of where my life was at the time,” said Andrews.

Q: It speaks volumes and is very heartfelt.

Andrews: Well, I just wanted to be honest with it, and I wanted to put where I was at that point in time in my life without having to always tell a story of recovery, (of) how do you move on from where you were at. I think, in a nutshell, that God gives us all a different opportunity in life to get ourselves and move on, and I took my opportunity.

Q: And you did very well with it, too, sir.

Andrews: Thank you.

Q: Now, have you ever performed in Maine before?

Andrews: Several different places over the years in different bands but only once with my own band.

Q: Have you ever done Slates before?

Andrews: No, but I’m looking forward to it. For me, I’ve grown pretty big in some markets. New York, Boston, Philadelphia — I’ve grown really big in those markets, but now that I’m trying to get bigger, I have to go to several smaller markets and make my name known in Maine before we can move on. This is a great opportunity for me, so I’m taking the initiative to really make this work.

Q: Well, at Slates you don’t have to compete with people at a bar. Folks go there to pay attention and listen to what you have to say with your music.

Andrews: That’s what I’m looking forward to. Everybody keeps telling me that this is the place for me to play. “This is the place we’ve been working hard to get you in there, so that now we got you in there you gotta do your thing and you’ll come back!” Well, I’ve been to Bangor, and places like that, but this particular venue I’m going to pull out all the stops to make this work.

Q: Now, you said something earlier about having a band. Are the musicians you had on “Redemption” going to be with you up here?

Andrews: Only two of them. In the two years since this record, three of them have moved on to bigger and better things and mainly to bands that can pay them more money than I can. That’s the problem in New Orleans. It’s very hard to keep five full-time people all the time.

Q: Now, you have quite a few records out. Is it hard to know what to put into a set list?

Andrews: No, right now I’m not even playing that much music off “Redemption.” I’m playing a lot of new stuff.

Q: Oh!

Andrews: I’ve noticed that a lot of my crowd have been with me for a long time, and you can play all of the (old) songs so many times before people kind of get tired of it, so you’ve got to always come out of left field.

Q: Does songwriting come easy to you?

Andrews: Well, right now on the set of “NCIS” I’ve got my friend Paul Sanchez with me — if you can remember he’s from Cowboy Mouth — and my cousin, who just won a Grammy with Rebirth (Brass Band), so I surround myself with great songwriters for one, and I’m not the type of person to sit back and think that everything that I write and sing is good.

I’ve always been open to new ideas and new people. If you don’t stay open in the music business, then you’re not going to stay relevant.

What I will tell you is that the songs that I do play off “Redemption” … will be tight, the music will be together and you will see a band of six people that’s up there having fun.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folk reading this article?

Andrews: To keep an open mind but to understand that we are very authentic New Orleans. And be sure that you print that I would like for nobody to cook gumbo or jambalaya or red beans and bring it to me. I really hate that!

Q: OK, I’ll be sure to mention that.

Andrews: We don’t want nobody to bring us New Orleans food. Let us bring the New Orleans, and you all have a good time.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.


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