Bluesprint formed at Kent State University around 1980 when Warren natives Tim Gartland and Pete Broberg were roommates.
Tim Powell joined them on bass, and the group recorded a six-song EP in 1981 with producer Mike Talanca in Newton Falls. They pressed 300 vinyl copies, and the disc even generated some airplay on WKSU-FM's Friday night "Blues with Fitz" show.
Gartland stuck with blues, playing and teaching harmonica in the Boston area, where he was a member of the band The Porch Rockers. In 2011, he released a well-reviewed solo album, "Looking into the Sun," and he also is the author of the instructional book "The Talking Harmonica." Powell has played classical and jazz while backing up many national acts and playing bass in the pit orchestra for the touring Broadway musicals that come to Cleveland's Playhouse Square. Broberg played guitar in various bands but had gotten away from performing in the last decade.
None of them had listened to that Bluesprint EP for decades until Broberg and Gartland reconnected, and Broberg sent him mp3 versions of the original recordings converted from the vinyl. Hearing those songs again made Gartland want to try a reprint of Blueprint.
"Pete and Tim Powell are dear old friends, and I just wanted to reconnect with them and make music with them again because they're so talented," Gartland said. "Wouldn't it be fun to revisit the original songs again, to see how time has changed our interpretation of those songs. With the maturation of our playing and our life experiences, I thought it would be interesting, and it was."
The trio, joined by drummer J.R. Richley, reunited in the studio with Talanca to re-record those six songs. The musicians will celebrate the release of the new record, dubbed "32 Years" for the time that has passed between the sessions, with a show Saturday at Little Wing Cafe.
WHAT: "32 Years" CD release show with Tim Gartland, Tim Powell, Pete Broberg and J.R. Richley
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Little Wing Cafe, Jamestown
Village Plaza, 2750 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren
HOW MUCH: No cover charge
"I was surprised at how good it sounded, the old stuff, after all those years," Powell said. "Wow, that stuff didn't sound too bad."
Gartland took the lead in the sessions and reworked the original arrangements.
"The tempos were slower and my voice was lower," Gartland said. "I think we replaced some of the youthful enthusiasm and adrenaline to more of a seasoned, nuanced veteran approach to the tunes."
Broberg said he initially was hesitant just because he hadn't played as much as the other guys in the last decade. And he admitted he had trouble nailing his guitar parts that morning in the studio.
"We went to lunch and I had a couple beers, a good lunch and then came back and just nailed it," he said. "Oh, that's what it takes."
"32 Years" will be available at Saturday's show, and Talanca also has remastered the original analog recordings. Broberg said he wants to make the original recordings available somewhere online so people will be able to hear them.
In addition to playing the "32 Years" songs, they've invited some of their other musician friends to join them at the Little Wing for a jam session.
Gartland said his mother still lives in the area and he comes back to visit several times a year. He doesn't think it will be another 32 years before Bluesprint plays again.
"I'd like to make it at least an annual event or even more frequent," he said. "I'd like to do some more recording with some new material with the guys."