Band of the Week: Cities & Coasts

Concert Preview

Meet the Band: Nathan Hedges (vocals, guitarist), Michael Gould (drums), Mike Drury (bass, vocals), Scott Griffin (saxophone), Stephanie Trivson (guitar), Anthony Zaro (vocals), Jon Bryant and Bri Bryant (vocals)

In the Beginning: Back in 2007, Hedges was signed to a small Virginia label and released a solo album. As he started to put a backing band together, he recruited Welshly Arms' drummer Michael Gould, who, in turn, helped him put a band together. Last year, they started recording as Cities & Coasts; the line-up continues to shift with each recording session. "I wanted it be a revolving cast," says Hedges, who cites old-school punk acts such as Bad Religion and Offspring as well as classic rock acts such as Beatles and the Who as influences. He's particularly happy with the current line-up, which includes many members of other local acts. "The whole point is to embrace the scene. We have friends in different bands, and it's great to get out there and support each other. It keeps us on our toes, and people in the crowd can see different influences working their way into the live show. Jon and Bri Bryant are always with us and they add a huge depth and dynamics, and the sax adds another texture. It's a really fun group that we're playing with right now."

Gaining Momentum: After releasing its debut last year, the band had a busy summer. "We played a lot of shows and did a good job of promoting ourselves and doing the shameless self-promotion," says Hedges. "We got asked to do a lot of summer festivals and that helped us. We kept getting invited to do more and that exposure helped us grow our fan base. We are a relatively new band, but the amount we played helped us define our sound, which has really expanded."

Why You Should Hear Them: "Finer than Gold" features husky vocals and a jangly guitar riff. The sax makes it sound like vintage Springsteen. "We kept a retro vibe, but I would say it's got more a Motown-vibe," explains Hedges. "There are Motown undertones on the first record. All of the influences that we define as our sound on the first record are still there. On the forthcoming full-length, each song will sound like us because of the harmonies and hooks; but the songs will have new elements that were not on the first record." The single will be available on iTunes and through purchasing download cards.

Where You Can Hear Them: or

Where You Can See Them: Cities & Coasts performs with Dan Miraldi & The Chaos Band and Uptight Sugar at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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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