Local Bands Locals Love

January 18, 2015
Local Bands Locals Love

Check Out A Local CLE Band

By: Lexi Hotchkiss

If you're the city where DJ Alan Freed coined the term "rock and roll" and home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, it makes a lot of sense that you have a pretty wicked local music scene.  Such is the case with Cleveland.

But, if you're a newbie to Cleveland, the local music options seem limitless. What bands to listen to while in town? What shows to catch?

So, we went straight to the experts: our locals.

Social media was abuzz when posed with the question: What local bands would you recommend to visitors?

One particular CLE band, Welshly Arms, was a winner among many commenters.

Welshly Arms, which has an impressive local following, is self-described as a mixture of blues, rhythm & soul and rock that creates a "fresh throwback sound that represents their Midwestern roots." The sound is gritty and authentic. Frankly, we think it just screams "CLEVELAND!" And, for that reason, we chose their music to be the soundtrack to our Cleveland Anthem. Check it out here.

Another CLE band that kept coming up on our radar: Wesley Brite & The Hi-Lites.

Samantha Fryberger, editor of Whopperjaw, a locally based entertainment blog that covers music, film and craft beer, agrees that Wesley Brite & The Hi-Lites simply rocks.

"This Akron group evokes the Northern Soul sound that was so popular in the UK in the ‘60s," said Fryberger. "Equipped with a horn section and a sharply dressed front man who has charisma to spare, the band's high-energy retro original tunes get the crowd moving without fail."

Both Facebook and @TheCle's twitter account came back with the recommendation to check out the band Cloud Nothings, which has recorded three successful albums of energetic indie rock with a vibe that feels slightly punk.

And, Fryberger recommends them, too. "Singer-songwriter Dylan Baldi records and tours under the Cloud Nothings moniker," she said. "He's even garnered a national following with his lo-fi recordings."

Fryberger, as well as social media followers, also recommended Maura Rogers & The Bellows, a group that brings tremendous heart to their music.

"Backed by her terrific band, the Bellows, this alt folk chanteuse lays bare her life stories in her music," Fryberger said. "After enduring kidney failure that resulted in a transplant (donated by her accordion player), Rogers wrote an album about her ability to overcome adversity."

Comment after comment, it also became clear that the band The Modern Electric was a local crowd pleaser.

The alternative pop band considers themselves a "cinematic band," with music they describe as "a soundtrack to a coming-of-age film about chasing crushes, surviving loneliness and finding close friends." Fittingly, their music videos are set up like real movies tied to music that ranges from upbeat rock tunes to poignant ballads.

For those visitors jonesing for some songs they know and love, our locals were bursting with recommendations for local cover bands. And, without question, the winner in that category was The Sunrise Jones.

This hilariously fun local band covers everything from Elvis Presley and Led Zeppelin to The Allman Brothers and Lady Gaga. They perform in large and small venues including the Cleveland Hard Rock Rocksino and Stampers Bar & Grill in Fairview Park.

Another highly recommended local cover band was Six String Cowboy. It's country music with a clear rock and roll vibe, as they cover hits like Luke Bryan's "Country Girl" and Green Day's "American Idiot."

Social media gave us tons of recommendations, so according to our locals, you should be inclined to give some of these other bands consideration, as well:

  • Abbey Rodeo
  • Austin Walkin' Cane
  • Chris Allen
  • Cities & Coasts
  • Herzog
  • Midnight Passenger
  • Mr. Gnome
  • Ray Flanagan & The Authorities
  • Seafair
  • Signals Midwest
  • The Floorwalkers
  • The Ohio City Singers
  • These Knees

"With great concert venues like Grog Shop, Beachland Ballroom, Barking Spider, Agora, Brother's Lounge, Happy Dog, Mahall's, Music Box and Now That's Class regularly showing live local music, there's always something going on," says Fryberger. "There's definitely something to suit any taste."

CLE-Up Your Playlist

If you're looking to amp-up your playlist with plenty of Cleveland musicians, consider some of these big-name acts who once called Northeast Ohio home:

  • Bone Thugs N Harmony
  • Devo
  • Eric Carmen
  • James Gang
  • Kid Cudi
  • Machine Gun Kelly
  • Macy Gray
  • Michael Stanley
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Pere Ubu
  • Raspberries
  • Robert Lockwood, Jr.
  • The Black Keys
  • The O'Jays (Eddie Levert & Walter Williams)
  • The Pretenders
  • Tracy Chapman

Who's your favorite CLE band or musician? Share, share, share!

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