Originally created 02/12/99

Rocker has to tone it down on the road

Chuck Gladfelter sacrificed his social life (or social vices) for rock 'n' roll.

Under the advice of a vocal coach, Mr. Gladfelter, lead singer and guitarist for the Chicago rock band Dovetail Joint, curtailed his smoking and drinking as the band prepared its most extensive tour to date. "You know the night life entails drinking and smoking. I smoke, and I drink. So I had to cut down on that," Mr. Gladfelter said in a recent telephone interview from Chicago.

Dovetail Joint, which hit the rock airwaves with the single Level on the Inside from its Columbia Records debut album, 001, will perform Tuesday at Red Lion Pub, 1936 Walton Way.

"We're spending the next three-to-four-to-six months on the road trying to hit the radio markets that have been playing us," said Mr. Gladfelter.

But Dovetail Joint (Mr. Gladfelter, drummer Joe Dapier, guitarist Robert Byrne and touring bassist Jon Kooker) resists niche labeling in this age of sub-categorization. "We're just rock. We love to rock. It's just pop-influenced rock."

Level on the Inside, musically reminiscent of fellow hook-laden rockers Collective Soul, wasn't Mr. Gladfelter's first choice for a single. But the decision was taken out of his hands when a Chicago radio station played a demo copy and it became one of the station's most requested tracks. "To me it doesn't say `radio song,"' he said. "But when it gained an audience, I said, `Well, this must be the single."'

Asked which of the album's 10 tracks he thought would be a more obvious single, the musician said he doesn't think of the band's work in those terms. A child of '70s album rock, he wants 001 to be a total listening experience.

"I'm all about the album," he said. "I'm the kind of guy that likes to listen to side two of (Led Zeppelin's) Physical Graffiti. I guess I'm a '70s dude."

Also harkening back to album-rock traditions is 001's volume-style title.

"I enjoyed Led Zeppelin I, II, III and IV," he said. "I like that, but the other guys didn't want to self-title it or just have the number 1 or Roman numeral, so we came up with 001. Hopefully, we'll be able to make a 002, 003 and so on."

There is no hidden meaning or inside joke in the name Dovetail Joint, he said.

"It's a band name. It's obtuse. There's no significance. I guess we could have called ourselves Kleenex or toothpaste," he said.

Kent Kimes covers entertainment and arts for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3626 or feature@augustachronicle.com.

On stage


Dovetail Joint with Five Way Friday


10 p.m. Tuesday


Red Lion Pub, 1936 Walton Way

How much:

$1.96 for 21 and up, $3.96 ages 18-21



Sound biteTo hear part of Level on the Inside by Dovetail Joint from the CD 001, call Infoline at 442-4444 and dial 8100.


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