As far as guitarists go, legendary power trio the James Gang are most associated with Joe Walsh, the iconic six-stringer who would go on to find international fame with the Eagles. Before Walsh, though, James Gang's electric guitar slot was occupied by Glenn Schwartz.
Schwartz's story is a fascinating one – after he left the James Gang in 1967, he eventually joined a religious commune, and would only surface again on the music scene decades later, playing a uniquely raw and singular strain of blues that never caught on commercially, but proved to be significantly influential, particularly to a young Dan Auerbach.
Shortly before his passing in 2018, Schwartz began collaborating with Auerbach, with whom he would go on to record a number of songs.
One of those tunes, Daughter of Zion, also features Walsh, and appears on a new compilation from Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound label titled Tell Everybody! (21st Century Juke Joint Blues From Easy Eye Sound).
Dating back to Schwartz's days playing religious music, Daughter of Zion certainly makes his influence on the Black Keys clear. Outfitted with a monster groove, the song features hypnotic, Stones-like interplay between the three guitarists, who look to compliment one another with their licks, rather than compete for attention.
Auerbach himself isn't coy about the musical debt he owes to Schwartz, calling him his “biggest rock 'n' roll inspiration.“
“There would be no Black Keys without Glenn Schwartz, that's for sure,“ Auerbach said in a statement. “I really miss him. He was a sweet man who loved the lord and loved music so much. I really respected his conviction.“
Set for an August 11 release, Tell Everybody! also features tunes from other underrated guitar legends like RL Boyce, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, and Robert Finley, alongside younger players such as Nat Myers and Auerbach himself.
To preorder the album, visit Easy Eye Sound's website.