WESTERLY — Songwriter Glenn Thomas Kendzia, has been making music since he was a first-grader.
“He’d come home from school and immediately start playing whatever instrument he was learning at the time,” said his mom, Mary Carol Kendzia. “Piano, drums, bass, guitar … it’s always been a passion for him.”
On Sunday, Kendzia, now 28, and the frontman of the popular rock band, Wild Sun, will become the second local musician to perform … and to be recorded and filmed … at “Live at Savoy,” a series that began last September at Savoy Bookshop and Café on Canal Street with Westerly’s Will Evans.
The series is the brainchild of Pawcatuck music producer Andrew Cruz, who has been working alongside Elissa Englund Sweet, Savoy’s event coordinator, on the organization and presentation of the unique live recording session.
“It’s intimate,” Cruz said about the concert. “It’s an intimate, up-close look at the artist.”
In addition to performing, he said, the musicians talk about their influences, why they wrote the songs they are singing and what it means.
Cruz said plans call for a live recording to be held every two months. The Carleans are on tap for the July session and Thor Jensen for November. With all the talent in the area, he added, the plan is to focus on local talent.
After the recording session, he explained, he goes into his studio to edit, mix and produce the final product. The plan is to then turn them into vinyl and sell the vinyl records at the bookshop.
Cruz said it was the beauty of the building the bookshop is housed in — the renovated Martin House — that impressed him when he was first scouting out venues for the live recording sessions.
“Musicians and artists are really storytellers,” said Cruz. “And, what better place [to have the event] than in a bookstore … surrounded by the inspiration of so many other authors and artists.”
Cruz, who produced the most recent Wild Sun recording, said he actually developed the series with Glenn in mind.
“More than anybody I know, he embodies what a real storyteller-songwriter is,” said Cruz. “Glen has a gift and a way of connecting with his audience which is unrivaled.”
“He’s the best songwriter I know,” he added. “He could be the Tom Petty of our generation.”
“We are so excited to have Glenn perform as the second musician in our Live at Savoy series,” said Englund Sweet. “He’s such an integral part of Westerly’s music scene … not to mention an incredibly skilled guitarist, singer and lyricist.”
Kendzia, who has shared the stage with such national acts as Eve6, Blitzen Trapper, The Barr Brothers and The Wombats, said he’s excited but a little unnerved about Sunday’s event.
“I’m used to hiding behind the drums,” said Kendzia. “This is very open.”
Kendzia said he plans to play songs from Wild Sun’s most recent album, “Closed Door Talks,” along with older songs, and will tell the stories behind each one”
Kendzia has a degree in entertainment marketing from Emerson College and works as the marketing director at the Knickerbocker Music Center and manager at the Knick’s Tap Room.
“We are all such fans of his and can’t wait for the concert and the live album to come out,” added Englund Sweet.
Tickets for Sunday’s event, which are limited to 80 people, are $25 and will include a code for downloading the album once it’s complete. “Live at Savoy with Glenn Kendzia” will take place on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m.