Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

Band of the Week: Thor Platter 

click to enlarge botw.jpg

MEET THE BAND: Thor Platter (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Paul Kovac (banjo, guitar, drums, vocals), Paul Lewis (bass, vocals)

BLUEGRASS AND BLUES: Born and raised in Buffalo, local singer-songwriter Thor Platter received a good dose of classic rock as a youth when his sister introduced him to her record collection. She had albums by guys such as Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. His mother's love of traditional Irish music and her Beach Boys obsession left a lasting impression too. Platter also dug into his father's collection of bluegrass and blues, giving him a fairly eclectic musical background, all of which he's channeled into his own music. 

A CLEVELAND TRANSPLANT: In Buffalo, Platter played with the Fatbacks, a group that regularly played the local circuit and hit up regional festivals. He left Buffalo and arrived in Cleveland a few years ago. In 2013, he issued Looking for Sunshine, an album of songs that he'd written over the course of the previous decade. He followed it up with 2015's Long Road Ahead, which he recorded locally at Blue Buddha Studio with Jim Wall, the guy who owns the place. Recorded and produced by local musician David Mayfield at his Tiger Spa studio in Akron, Platter's new album, Take Time, features the singer and songwriter and a trio of musicians. Platter met Lewis shortly after he moved from Nashville back to North Ridgeville and recruited him to play in his band. He then recruited Kovac, a local guy who's played in a number of different ensembles. "At the end of last year, the band finally came together, and we've been able to play out of town as a trio and get a great response," says Platter, adding that he doesn't consider him a bluegrass musician even though he plays some music that approximates bluegrass. "I consider myself Americana," he says. "I thought for a second I could be called 'new acoustic,' but I don't know how you would describe my music. We just approached the album as singer-songwriter stuff, and I've immersed myself in playing bluegrass leads on the guitar. Like anyone else, I hate genre stuff."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR HIM: When Platter and Mayfield spoke about what to put on the record, they sifted through Platter's back catalog of unrecorded tunes. Take Time opener "Destined" features a bit of banjo as Platter reflects on feeling a bit wanderlust one day on "a dark snow in Buffalo." The song certainly reflects his Midwestern mentality. "I remember sitting in my room at my home in Buffalo one day, and it was miserable out," he says. "It was dark and gloomy, and if you didn't get out to plow the driveway, you weren't getting out for the day." Platter wrote "Open Up Your Heart" when he was only 18. "I think the songs all go together, and they come from a place of growing up in another Midwest town. Buffalo and Cleveland are really similar, but they're also really different from each other. I can't imagine moving now. It's great here now." Since most of the songs on the record date back a few years, Platter and Mayfield plan to start recording another album in January with the songs that Platter has just written.


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Thor Platter performs with the Cave Twins at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Music Box Supper Club.

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation