The Swallows

The Swallows might sound like the name of a band but in truth, the Swallows is simply a labor of love from one man, Glenn Milchem. At least that's how it started out. Milchem put out his original material under the name of the Swallows while he was still drumming for Blue Rodeo, a country-rock outfit out of Canada. While he's proud of his work in Blue Rodeo and it's a gig that has helped him pay the bills since 1991 while he raises two children, the music he records as the Swallows is the music of his heart. Guitar playing and singing were longtime goals for Milchem, but they weren't things he felt totally confident doing, especially in light of a less-than-successful solo release, Acting Natural, which he put out on cassette in 1986. At the time, he was working with the bands Whitenoise and Vital Sines. In the following years, the dream of singing, playing guitar, and performing his own songs never left him. It took 11 years, but Milchem worked up his nerve and took the first tentative steps toward his dream of making his own music when he started another project, Turning Blue, in 1997 and releasing it two years later. It was Milchem's project all the way and showcased his talent on a variety of instruments. Lending a hand were Anne Bourne, who sings and plays the cello, and Ian Blurton, who plays guitar. By the time of the Swallows' eponymous second release in 2000, Milchem had pulled together a band to record and play live gigs under the Swallows' name. In addition to leader Milchem, the band consists of guitarist Clive MacNutt, bassist John Borra, and drummer Randy Curnew. Milchem, while continuing his duties with Blue Rodeo, also performs with John Milchem, his twin, in a group called Starvin' Hungry. In the past, he has worked with such bands as Blurtonia and Big Sugar, among others. The '80s were spent in Toronto outfits such as Plasterscene Replicas, Groovy Religion, and the Garbagemen. Milchem was eight years old when he first picked up a set of drum sticks, and he owned a drum kit within two years. He was invited to try out for Blue Rodeo late in 1991, when he took over for Cleave Anderson. ~ Linda Seida

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