Like fans in his home town, Earl Klugh is somewhat surprised to realize it's been six years since he played in Detroit.
"Somebody must've forgotten to book me," Klugh, 52, says with a sly laugh by phone. But the jazz guitarist, a Chet Atkins protege who made his first recording with Yusef Lateef when he was just 15 years old and a student at Detroit's Mumford High School, acknowledges that he does feel like it's been a minute since he's played in the metro area.
"It really does," Klugh says. "We've been doing quite a bit of overseas shows, so we've been busy, terribly busy. It's really great to have that going on, 'cause you never know when things might dry up, right?"
After 47 years, Klugh probably doesn't have to worry about that. His began recording on his own in 1976, earning five Grammy Award nominations for his work. And since that last Detroit show he's released two well-received albums, 2008's "The Spice of Life" and 2013's "Handpicked," which combines solo performances with duets with Vince Gill, Bill Frisell and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro.
"I had no doubt about it," Klugh says of his durability in the music world. "There was nothing else I was going to do). I knew I was gonna take this road, music, and there's so many people who are great musicians but don't give it that extra push for their careers. It's a hard thing to do that."
Klugh plans to keep it going for the foreseeable future, too. He plans to start working on his next album later this year, with several songs already in his pocket but no definite timetable yet.
"I'm kind of behind the eight ball with that," Klugh notes. "I've got three or four new songs, and I figure after the tour I'll continue to make some more. For so many years I did so many albums, 30-something albums, but I love it. That's what I enjoy, and I hope that I can continue."
"But I'll tell ya," he adds, "in Detroit it's going to be really a lot of fun 'cause a lot of people I grew up with, people I went to school with are still there, so I'm looking forward to that. I'm as excited as I can be for any show, really."
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25.
SoundBoard in the Motor City Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $38 and $33.
Call 866-752-9622 or visit motorcitycasino.com.
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