Easy Street Shuffle

A popular Springsteen cover band reunites for a set of originals

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Formed in 1976 as an all-purpose cover band, Easy Street eventually became known for their dead-on renditions of Bruce Springsteen songs. "We always had a saxophonist, and our singer sounds like him," says bassist Bob Martin. "In fact, Southside Johnny named our singer Westside Steve [Simmons] one night when we were opening for him at the Painesville Agora. It was like God had named him." Easy Street got so popular, they even released an EP of original material in 1982 and managed to get some airplay. "We had this appointment with [WMMS DJ Kid Leo], and he was a busy man reviewing other bands," recalls Martin. "We had to sit there as he listened to our record. It was very tense, but he said he liked it and he'd play it." The band broke up in 1984, but reunited five years ago. Since then, they get together for an annual concert. This year's show takes place at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Tangier in Akron. There'll be two different Easy Street lineups onstage: an "early years" version and an "album band" one. They're even bringing in a horn section for the night. The opening set will consist of songs people know, like "Born to Run," which will kick off the night. The group will then play some original material. "That was our style," says Martin. "We play straight-ahead Northeast Ohio rock & roll." Tickets are $25.

After a nine-and-a-half-year break, goth rockers Lestat (lestatmusic.com) are getting back together to play Peabody's at 7 p.m. Friday. It's your last chance to see them before they head into the studio to record a new album they hope to release next year. The band will also be selling the remaining copies of its 1994 album, Vision of Sorrows, which it recently dug out of the vaults. Filament 38, Mercury Project, and the Azoic open. Tickets are $10.

Akron-based Americana band Lo-Watt Radio (myspace.com/lowattradio) is recording its new album with producer Ben Vehorn (Love as Laughter, Drummer, Royal Bangs) at his Tangerine Sound Studios in Akron. They expect the record to be out in early 2011. You can catch the group at the Barking Spider on Friday, at the Kent State Folk Festival on November 19, and at Prosperity Social Club on November 27 and December 18.

Ohio-based No Clue Records (myspace.com/nocluerecords) — which is home to rappers the No Clue Crew, the Gemini Projekt, King Nasty, and Suitcase — hosts a showcase at 8 p.m. Friday at Rockstar, the club located inside of Peabody's. Free tickets are available at peabodys.com.

Hip-hop group Vice Verses (myspace.com/viceverses) presents a release party for its new CD, Native Blood, at 8 p.m. Saturday at Legation. You can hear several of the new tracks on MySpace. Tickets are $5.

The Nerve DJs Industry Showcase — which is part of Big Heff's Ohio Industry Tour — comes to Earth Nightclub at 3 p.m. Sunday. The after-party takes place at View Nightclub at 9 p.m. For more information, hit up Big Heff at [email protected].Send feedback to [email protected].

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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