Blue Floyd


Thaddeus Rutkowski 7 p.m. Thursday, February 24

Mac's Backs Paperbacks, 1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights

216-321-BOOK 8 p.m. Friday, February 25

Brady's Café, 436 East Main Street in Kent


Blue Floyd
February 18

Northeast Ohio has always been a sucker for cover bands. Check out the packed house any time the Odeon features cover acts such as Seconds Out (Genesis) or Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd). While those bands normally play precise versions of the classics, the prospect of seeing something old turned into something new by a group called Blue Floyd (composed of members of the Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule, the Black Crowes, and the Robbie Krieger Band) was too good to pass up. But in the end, Blue Floyd was just another cover band hauling out the classic rock hits.

The theme of the evening may have been Pink Floyd, but the band's delivery was anything but linear. Featuring a veritable who's who from three decades of Southern jam rock (bassist Allen Woody, drummer Matt Abts, keyboardist Johnny Neel, guitarist Marc Ford, and singer-bassist Berry Oakley Jr.), Blue Floyd cast the blues-based material of Pink Floyd in a new light. This was exactly what the jean jacket/rock-concert-T-shirt-wearing crowd came to hear. A few zealous members even taped the show on DAT (no doubt, some dude in California already has an MP3 copy).

With so much improvisation, it was often difficult to discern exactly what Pink Floyd tune was being covered. A heavy Allman Brothers organ groove kicked off one track with non-Floyd lyrics that eventually blossomed into a rough version of "Money," which chugged along with its addictive, familiar bass-line hook. Another reworked classic was "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)," with a completely different Southern-fried shuffling beat. Organ and bass melded the groove for what seemed like an eternal jam. Adding to the confusion, the vocals were delivered in a raspy, swamp blues style that completed the transformation. In the end, Blue Floyd's performance, while entertaining, was inconsequential. Without any original members of Floyd to offer legitimacy to the project, their show was nothing more than a forgettable cover band milking someone else's cash cow. -- Benson

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