Vote Now in the Finalist Round of the 2018 Best of Cleveland!



With the Bell Rays and Backyard Tire Fire. Sunday, May 13, at the House of Blues.

Neil Fallon's beardo connections to Jerry Garcia and ZZ Top run deeper than just sharing a contempt for shaving. Immortalized in the Headbanger's Ball classic, "Burning Beard," the singer and guitarist's facial hair makes his band Clutch a logical successor to the beard-rock throne. Like Garcia and the Dead, Clutch is a road dog who's developed a rabid live following through onstage jamming, perpetual touring, and a pro-tape-trading policy. But unlike the Dead, Clutch doesn't put sober audiences to sleep.

Unlike ZZ Top, Clutch easily reproduces the grit and soul of the blues, a music Billy Gibbons and company have only diluted over the years. Clutch, in fact, gets even bluesier on its latest album, From Beale Street to Oblivion. Recorded analog-style, Fallon and guitarist Tim Sult brandish an impressive cache of wicked riffs and, in the process, have created an early candidate for hard-rock album of the year.

But the biggest advantage Clutch has over both bands is Fallon's lyrics, and Beale Street features some of his best. Whether he's ridiculing hypocritical self-righteousness in "When Vegans Attack" or the arrogance of the rich in "Power Player," the man is ridiculously on point.

Speaking of Show Preview

Latest in Livewire

More by Matt Gorey


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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


Staff Pick Events

  • Classical Café Series @ Cleveland Museum of Art

    • Tue., March 27
  • Jon Huck @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Wed., March 21
  • Romantic Rachmaninoff @ Severance Hall

    • Thu., March 22