Local Musician Making His Way In Nashville

This appeared in the Cadillac News - February 14, 2006

It's a long way from the Northern District Fair to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, but country singer Brian Glenn made the journey.

A third generation singer from Cadillac, Glenn played and sang locally with his family band The Nolfs for many years.

Now a member of country music legend Marty Stuart's band, The Fabulous Superlatives, Glenn recalled through e-mail and phone interviews the long journey to Nashville notoriety.

He said his first realization that he might make it in music happened one night in 1990 at the Lakeside Pavilion in Cadillac. The Nolfs were playing to a large crowd and as Glenn looked out a feeling of promise washed over him.

“Many friends from high school came,” he remembered. “We were starting to get really popular in the area and on radio. It was the first indication to me that I was starting to get somewhere in the business.”

Later that year The Nolfs moved to Nashville and found work in the Opryland Hotel. During the next five years they toured, recorded a tune by Larry Gatlin and worked with more than 50 major artists including Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire.

When The Nolfs “disbanded” in 1995, Glenn stayed in Nashville and built a reputation as a vocalist and instrumentalist.

In 1998 his singing and bass guitar playing landed him at The Grand Ole Opry where he appeared hundreds of times, including some 20 appearances on the nationally televised portion.

“I'm primarily known as a vocalist,” Glenn explained. “I do 150 to 200 demos a year in Nashville as a singer. My bass playing is good but not what I'm most known for.”

In March 2002, Glenn received an invitation from Marty Stuart to join his new band The Fabulous Superlatives.

Stuart, with six Top 10 hits and four Grammies, is a Nashville legend and heavyweight.

Glenn said the call “floored” him.

“It was a great honor and I was very surprised,” he said. “My name circulated around to Marty through acquaintances of mine. ... He assembled a band of tremendously accomplished musicians and I'm grateful to be a part of it.”

In 2005 The Fabulous Superlatives released Souls' Chapel, a collection that Stuart described as “Mississippi Gospel.”

Called the “bluesiest gospel album you may ever hear” by USA Today, The Associated Press said, “it ranks with the best 2005 albums in any genre.”

“We thought we would get a Grammy nomination for Marty's last gospel album but we did not,” Glenn said with disappointment, noting that they would not attend the Grammy ceremonies. However, the group just finished recording a follow-up gospel album yet unnamed.

Now Glenn is working on his own first album of original music.

By Mardi Suhs

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