Update: Members of Cleveland’s All Saved Freak Band to Appear at Tonight’s Tribute to Glenn Schwartz

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Update: Seven former members of the All Saved Freak Band gathered at Lava Room Recording in Beachwood this morning to film videos that will accompany the reissues due out later this year in honor of the now-defunct rock/folk/blues/psychedelic band’s 50th anniversary.

While some of the musicians still live in Cleveland, others came in from Arizona, Tennessee and Georgia for the occasion.

“In the videos, we talk about each of the albums and what it was like in the beginning to play contemporary Christian music,” says band leader Joe Markko, who adds a short video will accompany each of the four forthcoming reissues. “This band existed five years before the term contemporary Christian music was coined, so we talk about that, and we talk about being on the road and our studio experiences.”

The ASFB members will also be in attendance at the tonight’s concert at the Beachland to celebrate the music of the late singer-guitarist Glenn Schwartz, a member of the group.

Markko’s band, Home Before Midnight, will perform as well.

Markko first met Schwartz decades ago at the now-shuttered Faragher’s Back Room on Taylor Rd. in Cleveland Heights.

“I brought my guitar with me, and we played a few times," says Markko when asked about how he recruited Schwartz to join the All Saved Freak Band. "The next time I went back, I had written a song for him. It was called 'Ode to Glenn Schwartz.' It’s now called ‘Promises, Promises,’ which the Schwartz Brothers played in their sets.”

Glenn Schwartz also cut the tune with Black Keys' guitarist Dan Auerbach at a session that took place in Nashville three years ago.

Gene Schwartz with Danny McFadden and the Elm Street Band will headline tonight's concert. The show begins at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $10.

Original Post: For years, the late guitarist Glenn Schwartz held down a regular Thursday night at Major Hoopples. A former member of the James Gang, the talented Schwartz also played in the All Saved Freak Band.

In the fall of 1968, a small radio station in Ashtabula aired the band’s first recorded songs.

The 12 members played rock, folk, blues, psychedelic and classical music. ASFB blended those genres and sounds together to deliver “straight, unvarnished, lyrical truth which countered the hedonism purveyed by much of rock 'n' roll.”

Old Bear Records recently announced that it’ll reissue multiple records from ASFB, starting with the 1976 LP Brainwashed, which will come out on 180-gram vinyl. The reissue will be distributed to more than 2,000 brick-and-mortar stores around the world.

The street date is April 12. Preorders are currently being taken. 

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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