The Man in Black

Terry Lee Goffee has taken his Johnny Cash tribute all over the country this summer. The singer, who counts Cash contemporary Marty Stuart as a fan, has been to upstate New York, out to Bakersfield, California, and back to his home in central Ohio. Yeah, you could say he's "been everywhere." "This time of year it picks up between now and the end of October," say Goffee, who started his Cash tribute 10 years ago. He plays the Thirsty Cowboy in Medina for the first time on Friday at 8 p.m.

Goffee's typical set includes almost 30 Cash classics per night. "Right now, we have enough to draw from, so we don't need to learn any new ones," he says. "As they continue to posthumously release his material, if something comes out that catches my attention, then I may take it to the band."

Though most of Cash's current fans are more indie rockers than cowboys, Goffee says the late legend's music is timeless. "I think people still appreciate and love to hold onto that rebellious side of Johnny," he says. "But they respect not only his longevity, but also the fact that he was a champion of the underdog and spoke to social issues and people's everyday situations. The older fans who grew up in that era, and had similar life experiences coming from humble beginnings, can relate to him. He never forgot that. Younger people might not relate to growing up picking cotton, but they do relate to the rebellious side, and that reaches down inside of people." Tickets to the Thirsty Cowboy show are $10.

Painesville Punks

Painesville punks the Bassics just released "Driving Me Mad," a noisy angst-ridden single that sounds a bit like the Suicidal Tendencies classic "Institutionalized." The band plays a release show at 9 p.m. Thursday at Now That's Class. The Medicine Cabinet and Sunny Muffins open. Tickets are $5.

Strings and Things

It'll be a homecoming of sorts when rockers Red Oblivion stop to play the Foundry on August 1 on their way to Chicago, where they will perform at Lollapalooza this Sunday. While still a teenager living in Northeast Ohio, cellist Eden Rayz played with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra (she was part of the group that recorded a live album with Styx). She then moved to Boston after receiving a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music. In addition to playing with rockers Red Oblivion, Rayz writes music for chamber ensembles and recently penned some material for the Cleveland-based Almeda Trio.

Great Scott

In 1997, Slam Bamboo frontman Scott Hanson entered a self-imposed retirement from the music industry. He returned to recording just over a year ago and has already released three albums, including the recent From Where We Started. Hanson and his backing band the Champagnes will play the East Shore Park Club at 7 p.m. on Thursday. "I do that show every year," he says. "It's outside at the lake [with] all my restaurant friends and family and everyone I know. It's a good time." Admission is free. Bring your own chairs, blankets, and beer.

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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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