7 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

click to enlarge 7 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend
C. Taylor Crothers

Keller Williams

There’s no one in the jam business like Keller Williams. The guitarist is a powerhouse mainstay of festival bills and a frequent collaborator with a broad spectrum of rock, funk, soul and bluegrass bands and artists. Blending humor with irrepressible rhythm and lead skills, Williams forged a path early on with his penchant for looping acoustic melodies on top of one another. He built a story as a man who could do it all. These days, he moves kaleidoscopically from project to project, and along the way he’s picked up more than a few neat tricks to add to his sleeve. As 2018 unfolds, Williams is on the road as a solo guy once again. He released Raw, an all-solo album, last year, so expect to hear songs from it at tonight's show. (Eric Sandy) 9 p.m., $23 ADV, $25 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Sarah Arafat Album Release/Liz Kelly/Willow Hanks/Yes Lisa

A familiar face on the Mahall's 20 Lanes stage, local singer-songwriter Sarah Arafat is back tonight with a brand new album in tow. Switching between guitar and keyboard, Arafat writes soulful tunes that speak to the imperfection of human nature — its highs and its lows. Take, for instance, her single "Good Enough," released last May, in which she emotionally questions an ex-lover's decisions. Recorded over the fall, the new record is sure to show off Arafat's distinctly piercing vocals. Keeping the show fresh (and timely) with an all-female acoustic lineup, openers include Liz Kelly of the Village Bicycle and Willow Hawks of the Sonder Bombs. (Laura Morrison), 8 p.m., $8. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Capricorn Party featuring Terry Lee Goffee - The Ultimate Johnny Cash Tribute

Local singer Terry Lee Goffee, who headlines this annual Capricorn party at House of Blues, took his Johnny Cash tribute all over the country this summer. The singer, who counts Cash contemporary Marty Stuart as a fan, went to upstate New York, out to Bakersfield, California, and back to his home in central Ohio. Yeah, you could say he's "been everywhere." Goffee's typical set includes almost 30 Cash classics per night, including his interpretation of Cash’s take on the Nine Inch Nails tune “Hurt.” Even if you’re not a fan of Cash (and how could you not be?) or don’t give a crap about Capricorns (now that we understand), this party is a blast and a half. (Jeff Niesel), $10 ADV, $12 DOS. House of Blues.


Travis Haddix Blues Band (in the Supper Club)

A staple in the Cleveland blues scene — and in the American music circuit writ large — Travis “Moonchild” Haddix has always brought the heat to the stage. He also surround himself with great musicians — like a tight, tight brass section. What he has always done so well has been his steady merger of classic blues structures with smooth R&B-style singing. He makes the blues accessible to anyone willing to listen and, inevitably, dance. And having been playing guitar since he was 7, the dude can tear it up quite nicely. He once told a music writer, “I am the best that I can be, and since no one else can be me, there’s none better.” Right on. (Sandy) 7 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

ProgNation Two Year Anniversary Show/Jim Volk

The local tribute act ProgNation formed in response to what members perceive as the exclusion of prog acts from the Rock Hall. The group features locals Tony and Chris Cuda, the bassist and guitarist from the local prog/jazz group, CuDa, KrishNa & CuDa. In addition, it also includes singer Steve Kolesar (Rockin Ravers, ex-Champion), drummer Marty Zlocki (Time Traveler, ex-Fayerweather) and keyboardist Dan Maier (ex-Phillip Glass). To celebrate its two-year anniversary, ProgNation will play the music of Yes, King Crimson, ELP, the Moody Blues, Genesis and a handful of other prog acts from the late ’60s/early ’70s. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Beachland Tavern.


The Devil Makes Three

The bluegrass-y trio the Devil Makes Three has slowly picked up steam ever since forming in Santa Cruz in 2002. Singer-guitarist Pete Bernhard says that Santa Cruz, the birthplace of indie rock heroes Camper Van Beethoven, proved to be a good spot to start a band because the local community was so supportive. Over time, the band's built up a loyal following despite playing music that doesn't squarely fit into any one genre. With its latest release, Redemption & Ruin, the group pays tribute to the band's biggest influences with new interpretations of songs originally recorded by people like Tom Waits, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt. (Niesel) 7 p.m., $20-$30. House of Blues.


We’ve been anticipating a Spafford show in Cleveland for years now, and we’re sure this one will be a real scorcher at the Grog Shop. The Arizona jam band has been blazing up audiences out West for a while now, and the live audio bespeaks a heavy-hitting band that’s honed its chops on arena-sized rock ‘n’ roll and the sort of fan-interaction sensibilities that have supported the liked of Aqueous and Twiddle here on the East Coast. Check out the recent A Taste of Fall 2017 on Spotify for a glimpse into their live action: “Funkadelic” moves through several different phases, with bassist Jordan Fairless leading the charge throughout. “In the Eyes of Thieves” is an uptempo disco freakout jam, complete with rapid-fire percussion from Cameron Laforest. (Sandy), 8:30 p.m., $17 ADV, $20 DOS. Grog Shop.
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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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