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Newmarket's Glenn Marais & The Mojo Train to release new album

Glenn Marais & The Mojo Train will be playing an album release show for Red, Hot and Blue on March 8 at Old Town Hall in Newmarket
Glenn Marais & the Mojo Train. Greg King for NewmarketToday

It took several years, with a pandemic and a trip to Memphis in between, but Newmarket’s famed Glenn Marais & The Mojo Train are set to release its new album later this month.

The band — made up of Glenn Marais, Jeff Saulnier, Manny DeGrandis, and Jesse Karwat — named the record, Red, Hot, and Blue, taking inspiration from the old radio show hosted by Dewey Phillips in Memphis. 

Marais said the band didn’t have a title for the record at first but upon winning the chance to play at the International Blues Challenge on Beale Street in Memphis, inspiration struck.

“In researching that, I learned about (the radio program) Red, Hot and Blue, where Elvis’ first radio hit debuted,” said Marais. “I was captivated by the whole story and I wrote this song about that whole time period and we just loved the name Red, Hot and Blue so much that we named the album after it.”

Marais said it all tied together perfectly with the sound the band was going for and the trip to Memphis being such a great experience after the band had struggled with setbacks when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The band had initially started recording the album in 2019, but the pandemic forced them to take almost two years off from recording the record because there was no way to do it safely.

The break from being able to play together caused the band to lose some momentum initially, with the foursome not playing as tightly or writing as cleanly as they had when they first began working on the album.

It was a real struggle at first, said Marais, and then for the last year and a half the band began writing and recording again, but found that the songs they’d worked on in 2019 didn’t quite match up with the direction the album started to go as the band returned to it.

“It’s been a real journey to get this done,” Marais said. 

Marais said the band is almost in awe that the record is finally going to come out in a few weeks and they’re very happy with it.

“I’m very picky so I don’t usually like the things in every song, but overall I have to say it’s probably the best thing we’ve done,” he said.

As the record gets closer to being released, the band’s excitement is growing about playing the new tracks to their fans. The band recently began playing one of the new tracks at shows and the reception was incredible, said Marais.

“People were kind of singing the song by the time we finished,” he said. “The reaction to the song 'Red, Hot and Blue' has been overwhelming, too. It’s really stood out, which is weird because it was the last song we wrote for the record, but it’s potentially the best.”

Overall, Marais says the band tried to follow in the footsteps of the albums they grew up with, where there’s a common theme on the record, but a variety of musical styles. He says even though they’re a blues rock band, they don’t always want to write that way.

“Albums never used to be formulated, and I think that’s what we wanted with the record, to take the listener on a journey,” he said.

The official record release for Red, Hot and Blue is March 8 at Old Town Hall in Newmarket. You can purchase tickets online here.

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Rob Paul

About the Author: Rob Paul

Rob Paul is a journalist with NewmarketToday. He has a passion for sports and community feature stories
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