New Soft Shoe to Kick Off a New Residency at Forest City Brewery in January

click to enlarge New Soft Shoe to Kick Off a New Residency at Forest City Brewery in January
Courtesy of New Soft Shoe
Nine years ago on what local singer-songwriter Brent Kirby calls a drunken dare, a group of Cleveland friends and musicians showed up at the Happy Dog to play a couple sets of tunes by the late, great Gram Parsons. Dubbed the New Soft Shoe, the group has been at it ever since, spreading the gospel of what it refers to “Gram's Cosmic American Music.”

Anything that Parsons played, the New Soft Shoe covers. As a result, the group plays tunes from the International Submarine Band, the Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers. It also plays songs from Parsons solo records GP and Grievous Angel. The band has performed at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull in Waycross, GA, and at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame here in Cleveland.

For the last couple years, the group has performed monthly gigs at different venues around town.

At 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, it celebrates its nine-year anniversary with a special show in the Waldorf Hall at Forest City Brewery. That show will also kick off a residency at the Tremont brewery, and the band will perform at the venue on the second Thursday of every month.

“Everyone in the band and our audience is excited about the monthly residency at Forest City Brewery,” Kirby says in a press release. “The Waldorf Hall is an amazing old wood hall with a really crisp big sound. The first time I played there, I felt it would be a great place for us to perform these songs.”

The current lineup includes some of Cleveland's best musicians and features Al Moss (pedal steel, vocals), Andy Leach (guitar, vocals), Kirby (acoustic guitar, vocals), Chris Hanna (keys), Jon Niefeld (drums) and Tom Prebish (bass, vocals).
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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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