7 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

Friday, Jan. 9

That 1 Guy

Early last year, That 1 Guy released Poseidon Deep Water Adventure Friends, an ocean-themed album that explores new territory for the versatile musician. It’s the first in a four-part cycle of albums that will cover the alchemical seasons (the rest including outer space, fire and Earth) and it’s a deeper exploration of the style Silverman has built for years. The album opens with “The Great Navigator,” which calls to mind perfectly the rollicking tilt of a ship at sea. Silverman draws on melodies in strange sounds, using “the magic pipe,” a unique instrument he built himself. Like any good magician, he controls multiple variables at once. That much is evident onstage. In a broader sense, he’s working on the outer space album, which is nearly done, but he’s also found himself diving into a series of other compositions. He expects the latter will show up on a quick EP sometime early this year — the “result of working really hard on something else, when other ideas just pop out,” he says. The alchemical season cycle remains his overarching narrative.8:30 p.m., $15. Beachland Tavern. (Eric Sandy)

2015 Tri-C High School Rock Off Semifinals

As a way of nurturing and supporting the talent native to Northeast Ohio, the folks at the concert promotions behemoth Live Nation devote what is traditionally a slow time of the year for concerts to this annual event, a battle of the bands that pits high-school bands against one another in a competition to crown one final winner the best high-school band in the land. Held for the past few years at House of Blues, the event returns to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where a handful of bands will battle it out each weekend before one winner is crowned in the Final Exam that takes place on Feb.7. 5:30 tonight and tomorrow night, $10. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. (Jeff Niesel)


Featuring veteran local singer-songwriters Jen Maurer (Mo’ Mojo) and Paul Kovac (Hillbilly IDOL), this local duo calls itself an Americana power duo. The band formed in 2011 because Maurer and Kovac wanted to write music different from their other bands. Maurer takes her influence from blues, zydeco and old-time music, and Kovac draws from bluegrass, traditional country and fiddle tunes. Their credentials are impressive: an Ohio Arts Council Master Artist, Kovac has toured Japan under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution and Maurer is a current Musical Ambassador through the State Department (American Musicians Abroad) who tours internationally. Their debut album kicks off with the twangy “Blue Modal,” a terrific tune that sounds like it could have come from the O Brother Where Are Thou soundtrack. Gary Naherny, the drummer/percussionist from the CD, will join the band for this special concert. 7 p.m. GAR Hall, $5. (Niesel)

Saturday, Jan. 10

Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers

Heartland singer-guitarist Joe Grushecky hails from Pittsburgh, but he owes a debt to Cleveland. He started playing here in the ’70s and has plenty of fond memories. “The first time I played in Cleveland, I played at the Agora with Ian Hunter,” Grushecky said earlier this year; he also regularly performs with his friend Bruce Springsteen every time the Boss comes to Pittsburgh. “I did some really good shows in Cleveland, and we were signed to Cleveland International. We came out of the bar scene in Pittsburgh, but we played quite a bit at the Agora. If it wasn’t for Cleveland International, my life would have been much different.” Grushecky and bassist Art Nardini have been together since 1976. The rest of the band members arrived during different eras, but Grushecky says the group is more cohesive than ever. With last year’s Somewhere East of Eden, Grushecky delivers a terrific collection of tunes that showcase his tough, gruff vocals and gritty guitar playing. 8 p.m., $15. Beachland Ballroom. (Niesel)

Mo’ Mojo

The band’s tagline, “eternal zydeco house party,” couldn’t be more welcoming. Keeping Northeast Ohio in a Cajun-infused dancing mood for nearly 20 years now, Mo’ Mojo blends various strains of North American musical traditions — blues, reggae, funk, zydeco (of course) — with Latin American and African rhythms. In short, they’re an energetic band that makes it impossible to resist joining the growing crowd on the dance floor. You can hear their music online, including the fantastic Together in Love We Drown from 2012. “Mo’ Mojo Zydeco” is something of an anthem from that album, so do be sure to fire that one up to get a sense of the band. Sometime in early 2015, the band will release their next album, We All Got the Same. 8 p.m., $12. BLU Jazz+. (Eric Sandy)

Blue Moon Soup

“Newgrass,” this budding subgenre of string pickers who don’t mind taking their instruments out now and then for an improvisatory walk, certainly has a home in Ohio. Blue Moon Soup, which is definitively not a weird new beer cocktail, does the music justice from their hometown in Yellow Springs. The band’s latest offering, LIVE! in the Beachland Ballroom & Tavern, gives listeners a solid sense of what this band is up to. The album showcases the quartet’s ability to navigate dynamics and circuitous rhythms with aplomb. Check out “Down the Line” for a full-bodied jam journey or “Annie Up > Why My Lady?” for an example of their segue abilities. Look out for a new studio outing sometime in 2015. In the meantime, Blue Moon Soup returns to the scene of the crime tonight for another party at the Beachland. 9 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern. (Sandy)

Sunday, Jan. 11

Stooges Brass Band

The band might operate in the shadow of other, more well-known New Orleans brass bands, but the group has created a significant legacy in its 18-year run. The band mixes hip-hop and New Orleans jazz into a style it calls “street music.” In 2012, the U.S. State Department even selected the group to tour Pakistan, and it became the first American band to play in Hyderabad. Percussion-driven songs such as “Wind It Up” mix in hip-hop beats and have the kind of infectious beats that will inevitably get an audience up off its feet. 8 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. (Niesel)
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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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