8 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

Fri., Dec. 12

John Brown’s Body

Elsewhere in this humble rag, we referred to John Brown’s Body and their 20-year career arc as “magnetic,” and that’s a huge part of their reputation. On one hand, they’re like a roots reggae farm team. They breed fine New England musicians, who then go into the world and create other, similarly awesome bands. On the other hand, the sort of music John Brown’s Body puts out there — “future roots music,” as it were — is an enticing blend of dub, dubstep, electronic and hip-hop. Plus plenty of reggae, of course. It could be argued that the band’s seminal peak rests in 2003’s Spirits All Around Us, which captures frontman Elliot Martin’s vision in each of its 14 cuts. If you’re into roots reggae, this is a mandatory album. Still, 2013’s Kings and Queens keeps the pedal on the floor, if only perhaps with more pressure from the electronic sides of the band. 9 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. (Eric Sandy)

Charles Hill Jr. & the Cleveland Country Band

An ardent fan of old-school country, local singer-songwriter Charles Hill Jr. counts country icon George Jones as one of his biggest influences: His grandfather used to play Jones’ tunes on an old guitar. That love of a bygone era permeates Hill’s new album, Shootin’ Man, a terrific collection of tunes that sound like they came out of a different decade. “This is Where I’ve Ended Up” is a tender ballad that benefits from a touch of slide guitar. Hill shows off his smooth vocals on the mid-tempo “Achin’ Breakin’ Heart” and the twangy “Like They All Let Me Down.” Hill adopts a baritone for the somber “The Best Efforts” and lets his band really jam on the careening “Mouse Island.” The songs here sound so familiar, they suggest singing and songwriting comes naturally to Hill. 10 p.m., $5. The Euclid Tavern. (Jeff Niesel)

Nate Jones Band

For singer-songwriter Nate Jones, a Cleveland native who recently moved to San Francisco, the time spent playing and recording in Northeast Ohio was essential to his development as a musician. His new album, The Nate Jones Band EP, is a fine collection of diverse songs that shows off his incredible range. He alternately evokes smooth operators such as James Taylor and more contemporary neo-soul guys like Amos Lee. Jones grew up listening to classic singer-songwriters such as Paul Simon and James Taylor. Those musical influences come across on the EP, a nice showcase for his naturally soulful voice. On the album’s first single, “Another Night, Another Town,” he sings with a bit of drawl, giving it an alt-country feel. The organ riffs in the song also give it a roots rock vibe. But he doesn’t necessarily think his music fits into the alt-country mold. 8:30 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Tavern. (Niesel)

About The Author

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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