Bio

Max Schang's blues have been with him 'all these years' - his first recorded blues album. A devout student of the guitar at the age 8, learning music notation as well as ear playing, beginning a testament to his ability with blues and other styles. The blues is spiritual, sensual and represents the place where the soul and body converge and document the journey. This path has taken him through many musical transformations including classical guitar, jazz, funk, gypsy-jazz as well as various styles of American blues.

Hearing the sounds of the 'British Invasion' groups he spent his adolescence glued to the record player absorbing the licks of Magic Sam, BB King, Freddie King, and Howlin' Wolf, as well as the rockers of the day. After seeing Paul Butterfield and Jimi Hendrix, his interest in the blues was cemented. An increasing awareness of the various playing styles of the guitar led him to Spain for classes with Jose Luis Rodrigo, an assistant to Maestro Andres Segovia. Upon returning to the U.S., he experimented with the jazz-fusion of the early 70's highlighted by opening a show for Larry Coryell's 'Eleventh House'. Though he was enamored with classical guitar, his playing was increasingly influenced by a blues sense. He steadily moved towards a style more in keeping of the blues masters he revered.

During the late 70's he began a side career as a guitar instructor and a sought after sideman for various regional groups, playing in show, country, rock and society bands.

By 1984, after a brief period playing casinos in Atlantic City, he formed the Beached Whales, with Tim Graziano, John Burgh and Randy Roth. A local following developed, drawn by their championing of blues music, playing gigs from Cleveland to New York City.

After the Whales disbanded in late 1990, Max began performing under his own name in a more streamlined approach, changing the name to Blue Max & The Electric Eels, further expanding his notoriety in the region.

As a booking agent/promoter of 16 years, while working with the original Quaker Steak & Lube's 'Hot Rod Cafe', he made the club a required stop for blues acts on the circuit such as Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Chris Cain, Greg Piccolo, Carey Bell, The Iguanas, Louisiana Red, Bobby Radcliffe, and Darrel Nulisch and Texas Heat. As a result he was sitting in with legends like Eddie Shaw and The Wolf Gang, Lefty Dizz, Jimmy Thackery and Kenny Neal. These connections introduced Max to the Chicago blues scene, leading to gigs with Eddie Shaw's Wolf Gang at the '94, '95 and '96 Chicago Blues Festival as well as two European tours in 1998 and 2000 with stops in France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Slovenia.

In 2002, Max ventured to Paris for inspirational reconnection for his love of Django Reinhardt, and the contemporary Gypsy Jazz scene, spending afternoons listening and watching musicians at La Chope Des Pouces Cafe, headquarters for Gypsy Jazz. Upon returning home, he created 'Time Away' a Gypsy Jazz CD with several original compositions with the help of Terry McDonald (upright bass) and Tom Sailor, mixing and mastering.

After 40 years of performing experience, including 5 years of study with Dick Lurie (Dick Lurie Guitar Studios, Cleveland, OH), and seminars with Joe Pass, Howard Roberts, Herb Ellis, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Pat Martino, Max’s longevity, passion and desire keeps him playing up to 200 shows a year. He continues to teach guitar, as well as composing music for new recordings.

In the fall 2012, Max released his 3rd independent album -"Back Up Again". Getting local airplay & support in the Youngstown OH/Western PA market.

Schang's album, "Back Up Again" has debuted on Roots Music Report NATIONAL Charts at #28 (reporting week Dec. 14, 2012) and is climbing at #22 (Jan. 4th, 2013).

Schang is also reporting on the STATE charts (Pennsylvania) at #1.