Eastlawn Records

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Eastlawn Records is an independent blues and jazz record label. Co-founded in 1990 by RJ Spangler and Frank Traum, major artists include Alberta Adams, Planet D Nonet, RJ Spangler's Blue Four, and Gino Parks.



Eastlawn Records was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1990, when drummer and bandleader RJ Spangler teamed up with an old friend from high school, Frank Traum. The name Eastlawn Records came from the Detroit street where Traum's father was raised, as a tribute to him. Spangler had also lived on Eastlawn Street in the late 1970s. Traum, a local pharmacist, felt that friends of his, members of the Sun Sounds Orchestra, needed to be heard. The SSO were the first artist signed to the label, with members consisting primarily of current and past members of the Sun Messengers, another Detroit band co-founded by Spangler. Both groups shared an affection for jazz musician Sun Ra and African music.


The label's first release was a CD by the Sun Sounds Orchestra, the Afro-jazz group that Spangler was still then co-leading. The label has since released jazz, blues, soul, and some rock recordings with a focus on Detroit musicians. Among those artists are Detroit jump-blues band The Blues Disciples, who released their debut album in early 1993 on the label. Led by guitarist Paul Carey, the band also features musicians such as bassist Bob Conner on acoustic bass and RJ Spangler on drums. The label later signed Alberta Adams, a Detroit blues singer whose album Detroit is my Home was released exclusively on Eastlawn in 2008. Spangler's band the Blue Four had a well-received album released in 2009,[ titled You Know I Can't Refuse: The Bill Heid Sessions. According to Allmusic, "Bill Heid spent some 15 years living in Metro Detroit. Drummer RJ Spangler corralled Heid on a trip back to Detroit for this recording, showcasing the songs that Heid has performed regularly as a pianist and blues vocalist." Allmusic gave the album 4/5 stars. In 2012 the album This Is What We Do was released on the label by the RJ Spangler Trio, Spangler's organ trio. The EP received radio airplay throughout the Midwest. In 2015 they released on digital CD and 45 RPM vinyl "A Li'l More". Spangler is also the band leader of Planet D Nonet, a band signed to the label. Two of the band's numerous albums were Sun Ra tribute music.


  • The Blues Disciples
  • Geno Parks
  • Odessa Harris
  • Sun Sounds Orchestra


ELD-001 The Sun Sounds Orchestra Open Up the Doors 1991
ELD-003 The Blues Disciples ft. Camille Price and Terry Thunder The Blues Disciples 1993
ELD-011 Alberta Adams Live AA 2001
ELD-012 Odessa Harris Group The Easy Life 2003
ELD-014 Alberta Adams I'm on the Move 2002
ELD-013 Geno Parks Live - On the Air 2003
ELD-015 Bill Heid / Johnnie Bassett The Heid/Bassett Blues Insurgents 2003
ELD-016 Alberta Adams Detroit's Queen of the Blues 2005
ELD-017 Alberta Adams Detroit Is My Home 2008
ELD-018 Planet D Nonet The Little Big Band 2009
ELD-019 RJ Spangler's Blue Four You Know You Can't Refuse: The Bill Heid Sessions 2009
ELD-020 Planet D Nonet Blowin' Away the Blues EP 2009
ELD-021 Planet D Nonet Blues, Ballads and Beyond 2010
ELD-022 Planet D Nonet We Travel The Space-ways: The Music of Sun Ra 2010
ELD-023 Planet D Nonet Blowin' Away The Blues, Volume 2 2010
ELD-024 Planet D Nonet Old School 2012
ELD-025 RJ Spangler Trio This Is What We Do 2012<
ELD-026 Planet D Nonet Rays of the Sun 2013
ELD-028 RJ Spangler Trio A Li'l More 2015

External links