Archive for the ‘In Concert’ Category

The guys in Red Wanting Blue had announced on Friday, February 3rd, that their February 4th concert at the House of Blues here in Cleveland was already sold out. So when Saturday Night came and people started standing in line for the band’s concert, they knew they were in for a treat. Red Wanting Blue is known for their live concerts, and this one promised to be one of the best.

Being in the audience for that concert, you immediately sensed how truly devoted the Cleveland fans for Red Wanting Blue are: The band’s latest release, From the Vanishing Point had only been available for a little over three weeks, and yet the crowd was singing along with the songs as if the band had been playing them in concert for years.

Saturday Night’s concert began with one of the singles off of From the Vanishing Point,“White Snow”. It was hard to tell who was louder-singer Scott Terry or the audience. Either way, the energy produced by the band and the audience was hard to ignore.

Hard as it was to believe, the energy level from that first song was overtaken by the excitement of the crowd when the first few chords of “The World is Over” were played. The song-turned-anthem had people pumping their fists as Red Wanting Blue played the song from the band’s last release of These Magnificent Miles.

While it would have been a rare occurrence at previous concerts here in Cleveland, for this concert singer Scott Terry strapped on his guitars for several songs during the ninety minutes the band was on stage for their concert. The first of these songs was “Walking Shoes,” another track from the new album.

Having seen Red Wanting Blue many times before, it seemed a little premature to see bassist Mark McCullough strap on the Chapman Stick after only three songs. That particular instrument is a sure sign of what song the band will be playing next. And when McCullough played the opening measures to “Spies and Lovers” from the Pride: The Cold Lover release, the audience went crazy with cheers, as the song is a definite favorite of Red Wanting Blue fans. Myself included.

With Cleveland having as large a following for the band as it does, Saturday’s show at the House of Blues was like playing to the “hometown crowd” for Red Wanting Blue. You could hear that “hometown affection” in Scott Terry’s voice as he spoke to the audience during the concert, especially on the intro to “Where You Wanna Go” when he said: “This is a song for a night like tonight.” That particular song features the line- “It’s the same old thing every Saturday Night,” which was very apropos given the day of the week.

Speaking to that hometown connection, Red Wanting Blue later played another new track off of From the Vanishing Point called “Pour It Out,” a song that features the lyrics “But our land ain’t OZ, it’s O-HI-O”. When that line came up, the audience chimed in with a loud sing-along.

While the audience sang along with only a line or two on “Pour It Out,” audience and singer seemed to be one for the entire song of “You Are My Las Vegas”. The audience favorite gave the people in the audience a chance to stretch their vocal chords, and once again, it was hard to tell who was louder, the audience or Scott Terry.
Instead of singing along with the band, there was a little audience participation on another song from These Magnificent Miles. The audience dutifully raised on particular digit during the song “Finger in the Air”. Needless to say, this is another favorite of Red Wanting Blue fans.

The Saturday Night concert for Red Wanting Blue ended with the song “Red Ryder”. This was one song in which lead guitarist Eric Hall, Jr took a solo during the concert. The slower pace of the song made for the perfect end to the concert.

After a short interlude, the band came back on stage for their encore. The three-song finale included “My Name Is Death,” “Your Alibi,” and “Venus 55”. The encore was as good as the concert itself, making you wish the night didn’t have to end. Red Wanting Blue always puts on a great show, and the sold-out crowd definitely got their money’s worth from the band on Saturday Night.

Columbus band The Floorwalkers opened the concert for Red Wanting Blue as the only other band on the bill for the Saturday Night show. The band played music from their 2010 release The Natural Road. The band’s rock music contains influences from different genres like soul, blues and reggae that make their sound full and very listener-friendly. The band performed a very energetic set of music throughout their fifty minutes on stage. With the eclectic feel to the band’s music, they made for a good match to Red Wanting Blue’s music and made for the perfect opener for the night. You can check out the music of The Floorwalkers by going to their facebook page.

(B/W Picture of Red Wanting Blue at House of Blues Cleveland  © Greg Murray)

(Picture of crowd at HOB ©2012 Steve Ziegelmeyer)

Read my review of Red Wanting Blue’s From the Vanishing Point HERE.

The summer months in Cleveland present the opportunity to take in a concert or two in an outdoor setting. That was the plan for Sunday Night, June 27, 2010, when Cleveland folk-rock singer-songwriter Cletus Black was to take to the stage for a concert on the Mill Creek Falls gazebo stage in Cleveland……….but Mother Nature didn’t cooperate. So to keep the audience (and the band) dry, the concert was moved one hundred feet indoors inside the Slavic Village Neighborhood History Center. Although the outdoor gazebo was designed and built to accommodate the use of electricity, the “History Center” is too small for music amplifiers. The band changed instruments and downsized from a five-piece band with electric guitar and bass to a quartet with Cletus Black on vocals and acoustic guitar, Kevin McCarthy on background vocals and (for this situation) percussion, Dave Morrison on harmonica and background vocals, and Rod Reisman on drums.

Cletus Black is known in the city of Cleveland for his mix of folk, rock and blues in his musical blend. In fact, he is currently promoting his newly released CD entitled One More Card to Play.

One More Card To Play follows in line with Black’s previous releases in that many of the songs on the new album are actually stories set to music. It’s the little moments in life that most of us take for granted that Black seems to put into song: falling in love (“Baby Hi”), falling out of love (“I Find You Gone”), being pushed too far (“One More Card To Play”). One of the songs included on this release (“Straight to Baton Rouge”) is actually the continuation of another one of Black’s songs,  “Creole Witch,” which appeared on his Black Ice CD from 2001. It was even during the performance that Cletus Black and the rest of The Revue did something they had not done until that particular performance- they played “Creole Witch” and “Straight to Baton Rouge” back-to-back in order to tell both parts of the story at one time.

For the concert, the new release of One More Card to Play happened to be a large part of the playlist. Along with “Straight to Baton Rouge,” some of the other album tracks that were played included: “Baby Hi,” “Hold on Tight,” “Love Is On the Fade,” “Behind the Ritual,” the album’s title track of “One More Card to Play,” and a song that turned out to be very apropos to the evening’s setting- “Don’t Push the River,” as we happened to be only a few hundred feet away from the tallest waterfall in the entire area of Cuyahoga County.

While the band The Cletus Black Revue is named after Black, the other musicians involved with the outfit are all fine musicians in their own rights. That’s why after leading the group for over an hour, Cletus stepped aside to allow Kevin McCarthy (usually the lead guitarist) and harmonica player Dave Morrison to have their own time in the spotlight.

With the special circumstances that the audience was under, the concert ended up being very heavy on the original material that night. However, there were times when the band chose to stray from the original material and went with a cover tune or two. During the show, the band played a Robert Johnson song; and for one of the last songs of the night, the band launched into a version of the Johnny Cash song “Ring of Fire”. “Ring of Fire” was the one chance for the evening when the audience was able to sing along with the music, especially since the majority of the songs were unknown to the intimate crowd that was there to enjoy the night of music.

While it would have been nice to hear the electrified folk-rock that the band is used to playing in concert, the change of venues from the outdoor gazebo to the “History Center” made the makeshift acoustic concert that much more enjoyable. Plus, the situation gave several concertgoers even more incentive to purchase music from the band so they could hear what the band would have sounded like had the weather been more cooperative. Sometimes, however, bad weather can be a blessing in disguise.

Cletus Black is currently promoting his 2010 release One More Card to Play. Along with this new CD, the singer-songwriter has a whole library of music to choose from, including his 1999 self-titled disc, possibly the strongest disc in the collection.

To learn more about Cletus Black and his music, check out his website at www.cletusblack.com. You can also find him on MySpace at www.myspace.com/cletusblack.