After 18 Years, Musical 'Marriage' Produces First Offspring Van Dyke And Glaser Revitalized Annapolis' Live Music Circuit

November 16, 1990|By Michael R. Driscoll | Michael R. Driscoll,Staff writer

Anne Arundel County's John Van Dyke and Dave Glaser seem to have one of the more successful "marriages" around, musically speaking.

Many give the duo credit for revitalizing the Annapolis entertainment scene. Now, Van Dyke and Glaser hope to expand that foothold for themselves and other local groups.

The partners of 18 years recently released their first compact disc album of acoustic folk-rock, "Live at Middleton's Tavern" ($14), on their own Newsu Records label.

"We're going to try and solicit other local bands to record on our label, just so they can get their music out," Van Dyke said. "We're just kind of tired of trying to deal with the major record companies."

Glaser said that the independent route isn't easy, but can be more rewarding. "Nobody's going to give you anything in this world, that's a given. Also, people in the industry seem to have a lot more respect for people that are willing to go out and do it for themselves, to take a hands-on approach.' And that's what Glaser and his partner did with their debut album.

"It's like we eliminated all the variables from the equation," Glaser said, "because we were in total control of everything ourselves. Granted, the profits aren't as big, and we're not going to be as noticed, possibly, but at least we're out there doing something that we love, and doing it well. People are eventually going to notice that."

Van Dyke added, "We've got a lot of things on cassette, a lot of stuff that we've done over the years, but this is the first major work we've published. We're pretty excited about it."

So they celebrated the disc's release -- at Middleton's, of course -- with 60 to 80 of their closest friends, including Middleton's manager and longtime friend Bob Harrison.

"They first played for me at a small saloon, the Happy Buzzard (now defunct), in 1977," Harrison said, "so I've known them for a long time.

Their music crosses all barriers.

"They're more responsible than any group or person in Annapolis for bringing live acoustic music into the city," Harrison said. "They've legitimized live music for a lot of places that were best known for their food."

Including Middleton's, for the past two years. "On Tuesday nights we have lines (outside the door to get in), even in November," Harrison said.

Melissa Warner, of Annapolis, explained why she's a confirmed fan: "They do Jimmy Buffett, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and other music you don't hear much any more, but would like to hear again. I've heard the music of other groups that they've played, and then I've gone out and bought those guys after I first heard them played by Van Dyke and Glaser."

Middleton's marked the event with a buffet at the upstairs dining room and had the proceedings broadcast throughout the rest of the building by closed-circuit TV.

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