Singer Corey Glover didn’t have to do too much homework to prepare for his upcoming tour celebrating soul singer Bill Withers’ 1973 album “Live at Carnegie Hall.”
“It was the soundtrack to my life,” says Glover, 51. “My parents, whenever there was a road trip, that was the music that was playing.”
Glover will pay tribute to Withers during a seven-show run with a newly assembled band, The New Stew. Led by drummer Jared Stone, The New Stew is an ever-evolving project that will re-create iconic albums and recordings in a live setting. The band also includes lap- and pedal-steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier (The Lee Boys), percussionist Yonrico Scott (Derek Trucks Band), guitarist Dave Yoke (Susan Tedeschi Band) and pianist Matt Slocum (Aquarium Rescue Unit).
For this first run of dates, The New Stew will re-create “Live at Carnegie Hall” — which includes such classics as “Use Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me” — in sequence. (Withers, 77, left the music business in the ’80s and hasn’t performed a concert since).
“I think it’s a seminal album,” Glover says. “I think it has a lot of weight to it. Who doesn’t know ‘Use Me’ and can’t sing along with it? But [do you] understand how heavy that song is and how intricate that song is to play as well as emote?”
Glover, the lead singer of hard rock band Living Colour, has covered Withers in the past (“He informs how I do what I do,” he says) but not with this group. Until this week, The New Stew hadn’t even played together as a unit, Glover says. That spontaneity is part of what excites him.
“This is a jam band experience so you never know who may show up and what may occur in the midst of doing this,” says Glover, who has jammed with Collier in the past.
For Glover, the toughest part isn’t channeling Withers’ voice — he hopes to make the songs his own — but trying to recapture the magic of the live recording.
“Carnegie Hall is not Madison Square Garden but it’s not some coffeehouse in Greenwich Village,” Glover says. “Yet it’s just as intimate and heart-wrenching as if it were. He made this huge place feel really intimate, like he was only speaking to me. That’s going to be the difficult thing: How do I make this as intimate as he did?”
Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis; Sat., 1 p.m., $25.
Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW; Tue., 7:30 p.m., $17.25-$20.75.
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