Muhaw to open Acoustic All-Stars Showcase
From the outside, the old mining shack on King Road looks as if it’s a strong gust away from collapsing in on itself. Its wooden exterior has weathered decades of Park City’s abusive winters. There are still some touches of the past, such as the skeleton-key lock and miner’s lamp, but even those have been modernized: There’s a deadbolt above the original lock and a blue light bulb in the lamp’s socket. On some nights, there may be music coming from inside, but the shack’s current occupant, Glenn Muhaw, says he tries not to annoy the neighbors.
day, he works as a house painter, a job he’s been doing since his early 20s. Now 41, Muhaw says it’s not a glamorous job, but he doesn’t want to be doing it for the rest of his life anyway. With all the time he spends in the sun painting, it could account for his beach bum appearance: dirty blond curly hair, blue eyes, slight tan and an athletic build. But, he’s an East Coaster and life-long skier who moved to Park City in 2002. Muhaw shares his hometown of Montville, N.J. with the likes of musician Pete Yorn and Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd.
Growing up, music was a part of Glenn Muhaw’s family. He says his grandfather played the banjo in Belfast, Ireland, to make money to move to the United States. One of Glenn’s first concert memories was seeing America and James Taylor with his mother. "She used to take me to a lot of John Denver concerts," he says.
However, Glenn’s older brothers seem to have left the biggest impression on him. He remembers his oldest brother, who is six years older than Glenn, buying records he heard on college radio stations. The oldest brother was also the first to try learning guitar – on the mid-’70s Guild 12-string their father, Frank, bought. But he got frustrated after breaking the strings more than once, and Glenn’s middle brother, Neil, picked it up much more easily.
Neil was three years older than Glenn and the two had their battles. Glenn remembers getting pounded by his older brother for wanting to play Neil’s electric guitar and Pink Floyd album. But Glenn persisted and Neil relented. Learning from Neil how to play "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple is one of Glenn’s earliest memories of the guitar.
But when Neil was 16, he was hit by a car while crossing the street in Surf City, N.J. He died a week later. Glenn was 13. Glenn’s parents repurchased Neil’s guitar from another musician, gave it to Glenn and encouraged him to continue his interest in music.
He continues to work on his craft; writing, performing and recording unpublished songs. His sound is a mix of early influences of ’80s alternative and more recently, blues.
"I want MUHAW (his act) to be a new whirlwind of sound that stands out," he says, but it’s important to have purpose in the lyrics. Most of his lyrics are about struggle and a higher power, he says. Muhaw says he aims to carry a good, positive message and preach in a "cool" way through his music, like U2’s "Rejoice" or "40." In short: Muhaw says he realizes when people go to a bar they’re not looking to have religion shoved down their throats.
Muhaw will be the opening act for the Acoustic All-Stars show at the Star Bar tonight at 7 p.m. In an e-mail, he says "the reason for this Acoustic All-Stars Showcase is to promote original songwriters and their craft." He says it doesn’t make sense that bands can charge people to come to a show when all they play is cover songs. Muhaw compares it going into an art gallery on Main Street, copying the artwork and then trying to sell it as an original work.
"The problem now, is people don’t have a vision," he says. "They don’t have faith that it might work out. You just believe in yourself."
Acoustic All-Stars Showcase: http://www.myspace.com/pcacoustic
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