Thursday, January 04, 2007

Yes Maybelle, There Is Bluegrass in Northeast Ohio

Just this morning I glanced over my sitemeter and found that someone had found this blog by Googling "bluegrass northeast ohio"--!!! Well, whoever you are, fear not, because while there is something of a dry spell now, there are some good shows coming up at The Beachland Ballroom and The Kent Stage, albeit not today, or even, this weekend.

AND, there are a few of us who really are dedicated to bringing the best bluegrass acts locally and nationally to Greater Cleveland. I'm as tired as anyone of having to drive two or three hours in any direction just to get a little (bluegrass, that is).

In the last couple days I've been trying to get with a few like minded crazies who believe as I do that Cleveland does not in fact have to be the barren wasteland that it is when it comes to Bluegrass. If it's such a big deal city for American music, then it deserves an event of its own dedicated to bluegrass and traditional music.

There are the venues mentioned above, and the House of Blues does bring in some acts occasionally resembling bluegrass, and truth be told HOB is a supporter of local raw talent in all its cities. I've just personally found HOB here to attract a rude, talk-through-the-show, get-me-another-drink crowd, which can be a hassle for those of us who pay to listen. Shawn Colvin literally had to tell a Cleveland crowd to shut up at her gig last year opening for John Hiatt. So, how bad does it have to be for a pregnant Shawn Colving to tell a roomful of drunk people to shut up? But, maybe it's gotten better.

Anway, here's a quick rundown of what's happening at the Beachland and the Kent:

Beachland Ballroom (or Tavern--great beverages, great burgers)
January 19 -- Iris Dement (see archives; I hope she does Mama's Opry)
Feb. 7 -- Asylum Street Spankers
Feb. 16 Robin and Linda Williams (Of Rollin' and Ramblin fame, see last month)
March 11 -- April Verch (quite a fiddler, from the north, eh)

The Kent Stage (A total gem, worth going for any reason)

Feb. 3 -- Livingston Taylor
Feb. 9/10 -- Up From The River fest -- All Kent musicians, all original music, all for eight bucks a night
March 17 -- Big Leg Emma
March 24 -- Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell (ok, not bluegrass, but I really like them both so I'm telling you)
April 13 -- Former Flying Burrito Brothers Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen (howwwww awesome is that!)

This doesn't list all the fine bluegrass groups in the area or all the happenings, like Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver in nearby Wadsworth on April 21. But it's a start, and we'll keep you posted on Northeast Ohio's Bluegrass Revolution.

Have a great weekend and get out to hear some live music, whatever it is and wherever you are!

--MandoMama

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