When Akron guitarist Dave Hammer and Cleveland-area bassist Matt DeRubertis met in the University of Akron jazz program, they bonded over their common non-jazz musical interests.
"We didn't fall into the jazz idiom, so we were always jamming with each other," says DeRubertis. "I don't want to sound like a jazz badmouther though, because it's totally influenced our lives and made us the unique product we are."
That product is progressive rock/blues/jazz trio Dave Hammer's Power Supply. Since debuting about two years ago, it released last summer's album, Words, and will launch an EP, Aht Uh Yo Hed, Friday at 9 p.m. at the Northside Bar & Grille (111 North Main St., Akron). Cleveland's Herzog opens. Admission is $10, which includes a copy of the five-track CD or a download card.
While the band members, who also include drummer Chris Baker, are all full-time musicians with a variety of projects, DeRubertis says they plan to do more regional touring (they've already gigged around Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois) and release two more EPs in the next year.
"We have a ton more material to record," he says. "We've arranged the songs in categories that flow together well. One will be a dirty, nasty Delta blues-type thing. The other is more psychedelic, spacier, a little more energetic. We're working to destroy the stigma that a lot of rockers don't like jazz and don't like jazz musicians. We're hoping to erase that a bit more. Fryer Farewell
From 2005 to 2007, the Town Fryer at East 39th & Superior was a hub for wildly indulgent fried & New Orleans-style food and Cleveland's Americana/roots music scene. Now owner Susie Porter is moving to Ithaca, N.Y. to study at Cornell University. Hence the Town Fryer Reunion and Susie Sendoff Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m. at the Screaming Rooster (15527 Madison Ave., in Lakewood), organized by musician and former Fryer mainstay Brent Kirby.
"We always kept in touch," says Kirby. "She called me and said, 'What would you think about organizing something to get everyone back together, since I won't be around very much?'"
Kirby has enlisted the old gang, including his own band the Jack Fords, Woodshed Mercy, G.S. Harper, and Clint Holley, who used to host the club's Sunday musician's night.
"A lot of guys are coming into town for this," hints Kirby. "On those Sunday nights which we're trying to recreate, there were some bands, but a lot of it was loose. That was the beauty of that whole scene: You could go up and play with some great musicians. The vibe at that first Town Fryer was really an amazing thing.
Porter will be preparing some of her signature dishes like gumbo and red beans with rice. There's no cover charge, so you can save your money for the food.
Many of the area's free outdoor summer concert series offer multiple chances to hear the same old tribute bands. But some feature a gamut of the area's best players — and even some original acts. University Circle's long-running Wade Oval Wednesdays are underway, with music ranging from soul to Celtic to Latin to blues to indie rock every week from 6-9 p.m. through August 29. The Akron Art Museum's Downtown @ Dusk series kicks off Thursday with blues/soul singer Wanda Hunt. It continues Thursdays through August 9 with outstanding area artists in a range of genres: singer-songwriter Anne E. DeChant, blues-swing ensemble Blue Lunch, rootsy rockers Lost State of Franklin, jazzy vocalist Robin Stone, young rockers the Speedbumps, the angular jazz/blues/rock of Kent's Numbers Band, and the swamp-flavored Zydeco Kings.
Now that Market Square Park, across from the West Side Market, has reopened following renovations, its weekly Saturday performances have resumed; they'll run through September 22, starting at 10:30 a.m. most weeks. Although there are a few summertime staples, the booking is adventurous and diverse, with lots of indie-style rock bands, plus some top roots-rockers and blues players, and even a few jazz artists, and dance and theater ensembles. Find the full schedule at Ohiocity.org.
Finally, the Viaduct Lounge, overlooking the West Bank of the Flats, kicks off a free concert series with Carlos Jones & the PLUS Band from 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday. The series resumes July 12 and runs through August 16 with live music from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays.
Jukin' for Cancer Patients
When Peabody's' operation manager Jason Shelton's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, he was so impressed with the care she got at the Cleveland Clinic, he wanted to do something in return. He drew on his passion for blues and the friendships he'd formed following the blues scene to put together the Juke Joint Chicken and Waffles Cancer Blowout at 11 a.m. this Sunday at Peabody's (2045 East 21st St.). Admission is $20 to chow down on chicken and waffles while enjoying the music, or $15 for the show only. The money will go to the Barbara A. Leslie Patient Care Fund at the Clinic, which helps patients with expenses not covered by insurance.
"I just loved the blues and wanted to do something different than what you normally see in Cleveland," says Shelton. "I'm Irish so I'm calling it Celtic Warriors Productions. This is every woman's battle with the grace of God on her shoulders."
The lineup includes harmonica player Wallace Coleman, guitarist D.C. Carnes, and the Mike Weber Show featuring 14-year-old Akron blues guitar phenom Weber in his first Cleveland appearance.
Let a Tesla Coil
Spark Your Song
Ingenuity Fest-goers may remember the first stumbling steps taken by the Tesla Orchestra in 2009, when their attempts to create music with electrical currents produced by Tesla coils embedded in a robot met with mixed success. The group was not deterred and has moved on to other things: a less glitch-ridden 2011 Ingenuity appearance and last year's Open Spark project, where they played submitted tunes on two giant Tesla coils from a location in Brooklyn. This year's event, which will be broadcast on the Internet, takes place July 7 at the Masonic Temple in Ohio City. But the Case Western Reserve University-based project has invited anyone, anywhere to submit original music to be played on the coils by June 30. Go to http://www.opensparkproject.com/submit_composition for details..
Another New Release
Little Bighorn will celebrate the release of their vinyl LP Chaperones at the Happy Dog (5801 Detroit Ave.) at 9 p.m. Saturday. The band features Tony Cross, ex of Coffinberry. Village Bicycle and Founding Fathers open. Cover is $5.