On a Thursday night at the end of February, Leigh Glass and The Hazards took the stage at MoDaddy’s. Attendance was sparse, which is a shame since the band put on a really solid show. It was comforting to watch a band put such genuine energy into their performance to a smaller crowd, a true sign of professionals.
Leigh Glass is a powerhouse of a singer who exudes Pat Benatar confidence with Joan Jett sensibilities. Her band, The Hazards, usually consists of Bryan White on bass, Patrick Wells on drums and relatively new addition Corey Bullman on lead guitar and vocals.
Before launching into her set, Glass gave a lengthy disclaimer about being sick and on shaky ground vocally. She warned the audience of the potential for some wild-pitch singing, and let everyone know her regular drummer was home with the flu, and that the stand-in — Jacob Baumann, of the Trainwreks — had never heard a note of her music.
None of this proved necessary, though. As they launched into the first song with Glass belting the line, “Started the day with my usual skepticism,” Baumann jumped right in, spot-on with the snare, and had no trouble keeping up a steady rock groove. The rest of the band turned around and beamed at him at the close of the song, and confirmed that they felt the same way.
Glass’ set was a mix of original songs and some well-chosen covers pulling from rock, folk and blues. She tended to introduce her original tunes and tell a bit about the plot line or inspiration behind them. One such story stood out as she talked about being “discovered” by a big-time, unnamed producer. She explained that he had won several Grammys, and listed some recognizable bands with which he had worked. When she went to Nashville to meet with him he said, “Your music is great, but if we’re going to work together, you’re going to have to lose 20 pounds.” Glass’s response was a mountain girl’s defiant, “Well you can kiss my fat ass.” And she launched into an original song, “Hometown Superstar,” which told the story in a cheeky, sassy way. The intro story, and the “thanks-but-no-thanks” chorus brought the audience right into Glass’ corner, despising the big-shot producer.
A little later into the set Glass stepped up to the mic and said, “If you don’t know what a nickel bag is, you need to ask somebody. They don’t exist anymore, but they used to… like my marriage. That’s why this song is called ‘A Nickel Bag of Love.’” Her devil-may-care attitude combined with the passion she and her band brought to the stage made for an exceptionally engaging show. The band swelled and ebbed at the perfect times behind her vocals, which oscillated between soaring and growly blues. As the show revved up and the night wore down, Glass jumped off the stage and danced with some women in the audience, leaving the band to tear up a funk jam instrumental interlude. With a recent CD, The Drone and a nice-looking regional calendar, Asheville will be hearing a lot more about Leigh Glass and the Hazards.
Learn more at leighglass.webs.com.