earlier this year
, when he began working on his upcoming album. After writing a song about seeing First Light play in Cleveland 24 years ago, he ended up getting most of that band to perform on the record – the culmination of a neat musical narrative.
Rich is also the guy behind LoveMuffinPalooza, an annual music festival that supports the work of The Gathering Place, a programming and service center for those whose lives have been touched by cancer. LoveMuffinPalooza takes place this weekend.
As a bassist for the past 20 years, Rich has maintained a close connection to Cleveland’s music scene. (He’s switched back to guitar lately). This year, in fact, he’s assembled his own band to perform at the fest (featuring drummer Kurt Bernardo, vocalist and bassist Jerry Principe and vocalist and guitarist James Daymond Carter); they’ll be throwing down some songs from Rich’s impending album, Sunshine & Puppies
. Beyond that, he’s gathered a nice variety of local bands to fill out the bill and dish out some weekend entertainment.
“I try not to have the same band play two years in a row,” Rich says. “This year, most of the lineup are all bands I've never had on before. Only one is a repeat from last year. Some were recommended to me that I've never heard of but sounded great. The first night shaped up to be a Barking Spider-type night because that's where it was going to be before they closed. The second night ended up being a reggae night, and the last night ended up being an indie rock night.”
Here’s the LoveMuffinPalooza schedule:
7 p.m. Oct. 20
at Bottlehouse Brewing Co., 2050 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights. Bands and performers: Cary & Chris The Dissidents, Marina Strah, June Sladek, Theresa Rose, City Limits.
8 p.m. Oct. 21
at Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern, 11625 Euclid Ave. Bands and performers: XLT 1000, Dave Smeltz, Jah Messengers, Outlaws I & I.
9 p.m. Oct. 22
at Happy Dog, 5801 Detroit Ave. Bands and performers: -Flowers In Flames, Brave Bones, Ottawa.
Rich tells Scene
that admission will most likely be $5 each night, and 100 percent of ticket and raffle proceeds will benefit The Gathering Place.
“I've been into First Light since I was 18 and got to know the guys personally over the years,” Rich says. “To get Outlaws I & I, which include four former First Light members, on the same bill with longtime bands Jah Messengers and ‘Papa’ Dave Smeltz of I-Tal along with my one-off band is something I've wanted for a long time.”
We caught up with local musician Adam Rich