8 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

Concert Preview


Buckwheat Zydeco

Zydeco is a style of music that emerged out of deep-south Louisiana bayous in the first half of the 20th century. Simply put, the genre blends Cajun heritage with upbeat rhythm and blues, with various accordion instruments driving the music. Buckwheat Zydeco is a pillar of the style. A good point of initiation may be the Best of/20th Century Masters collection, which boasts a number of peak singles from the Buckwheat canon. “Ma Tit Fille” showcases some of the best features of the zydeco sound - jumping percussion, funky bass, Cajun vocal stylings and, of course, jaunty accordion work. And don’t sleep on the zydeco send-up of Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti.” You’ll be dancing all night. (Eric Sandy), 9 p.m., $18 ADV, $20 DOS. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Gage Brothers

Folk isn’t just for the old boys anymore: Ben and Zach Gage, aka the Gage Brothers, are young bloods with the energy and charm to prove it. Born and bred deep in the countryside of Akron, their self-penned acoustic ditties range in style from Americana to blues, all suitable for a whoopin’ and hollerin’ hoedown. Their latest release, 2015's Take It Back, even takes hints from indie folk with doses of harmonica and handclaps on “Hear Me” and “Take It Back.” Joining them are two recently-adopted musical brothers, Brendan O’Malley on mandolin and Chris Volpe on banjo. They’ll play with Nate Jones, who’s back in Cleveland after a stint in San Francisco. Jones has a voice you’ll swear you recognize, and his band brings a powerful mix of soul, blues and country. (Bethany Kaufman), 9 p.m., $5. The Euclid Tavern.

Sonic Sessions: Casey Veggies

Rapper Casey Veggies began making songs for fun and posting them to his Myspace page. He soon started taking his talent more seriously and released the mixtape Greatly Customized Vol. 1. Veggies would go on to become one of the founding members of the popular hip-hop collective Odd Future, a group fronted by the popular Tyler, the Creator. Veggies had an amicable split with the group after he graduated high school, stating that he had a different vision for what he wanted to do with his career. As he's moved forward, Veggies has often found himself working alongside some of the bigger names in hip-hop, including Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar and Dom Kennedy to name a few. After his 2013 mixtape Life Changes, Veggies inked a deal with Vested In Culture and Epic Records. He released his first album, Live & Grow, in September of last year; it features appearances from the likes of Dom Kennedy, Dej Loaf, YG, BJ the Chicago Kid, Tyler, the Creator — and even Veggies' parents. 7 p.m., $5.50. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Doug Tuttle

Doug Tuttle is gaining confidence in the saddle as he blazes forward with his second solo release, It Calls on Me. Tuttle’s former band, neo-psychedelic outfit Mmoss, was one part Byrds and one part Chocolate Watchband (on account of their shared love of flute). In 2013, Tuttle’s music and personal life buckled following breakups in both, forcing him to take up the reigns himself. On 2014’s Doug Tuttle, he offers more of what made Mmoss enjoyable: double-tracked choral vocals over a swirling backdrop of guitar and organ punctuated by bomping bass lines. Those who enjoy the baroque pop of Tuttle’s Trouble in Mind labelmate Jacco Gardner will approve. For It Calls on Me, Tuttle begins to cut sonic ties to his past. He ventures in the tracks of early Neil Young without abandoning his passion for the psychedelic, even pulling a few guitar solos on “Painted Eye” and “It Calls on Me.” Tuttle’s Cleveland stop just happens to fall on the album’s release date, so let’s help him give it a warm welcome into the world. (Kaufman), 9 p.m., $8. Happy Dog.


Bronze Radio Return

Tapping into the open-landscape feel of today’s rootsy Americana rock ‘n’ roll, Bronze Radio Return has been slowly carving up the national festie circuit with uplifting instrumentation and soaring vocals. Take their last album, for instance: 2015’s Light Me Up. At times smoky in tone, elsewhere starry-eyed, the songs on that album come together to form a compelling road trip of an album. Bronze Radio Return’s nom de plume points to their desire to travel back into the past, to hit the great freeway of time and deliver unto listeners a sepia-tinged trip across America. “Build a Stage,” to use an example, deliberately constructs a multi-layered pop framework, supported fully by singer Chris Henderson’s delicate phrasings. If you’ve been swept up in the current crop of upper-bill indie hits (the Lord Hurons of the world, etc.), then scope out these guys along the way. (Sandy), 9 p.m., $12. Musica.

Hey Mavis

On last year's What I Did, local rockers Hey Mavis teamed-up with Yonder Mountain String Band guitarist Adam Aijala, Chuck Auerbach (co-writer of the Black Keys song "Hard Row"), singer-songwriter Brent Kirby and the aforementioned Dixon (REM, Smithereens, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Red Clay Ramblers). Kirby plays guitar on a couple of songs and co-wrote several of the tracks, and Auerbach has been supportive of Hey Mavis from the start. He showed up with a stack of lyrics and the band picked some they liked for the album's title track. The music draws from myriad musical genres, including jazz, bluegrass, old-timey, folk and rock. The band's new single, "Yes, the Gypsy Music," suggests the scope of is musical influences. It celebrates the release of the song at tonight's show at the Akron Civic where it will have a limited pressing of the songs for sale. (Niesel), 8 p.m. Akron Civic Theatre.

Ches Smith, Mat Maneri, Craig Taborn

New York's jazz scene has been going strong for years now and Ches Smith/Craig Taborn/Mat Maneri is the latest act to emerge. The trio features "three of the most notable musicians in New York’s vibrant creative music scene" in drummer Ches Smith (John Zorn, Tim Berne, Marc Ribot), pianist Craig Taborn (Chris Potter, Dave Douglas, Wadada Leo Smith) and violist Mat Maneri (Marilyn Crispell, Paul Motian). The group released its debut CD, The Bell, earlier this year. Songs such as the title track start slow with gentle strings before picking up steam. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $15. Bop Stop.


The Sydney Ellis Quintet

Until last year, singer Sydney Ellis, a former Clevelander who relocated to the West Coast, had never played a proper gig in town. But she now appears to be on the Music Box schedule, and that's a a good thing. Her latest album, 2011's Just Before Dawn features a mix of originals and covers, including a bluesy cover of the traditional tune "See Lyin' Woman." She's assembled a Cleveland group to back her for this show and says they'll play "comfortable blues" because she wants to "let the personality of the band come through." (Niesel), 7 p.m., $7. Music Box Supper Club.
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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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