Soul Survivor

The Hesitations get their groove back

Back in 2006, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Terry Stewart asked the Hesitations to reunite for a gig at the museum. "After that show, we thought maybe we could do something, because the bug hit us again," says George Hendricks, a singer for the vintage doo-wop band. And they've been playing steadily ever since.

The Hesitations' roots go back to the mid-'60s, when they recorded R&B hits like "Soul Superman," "Born Free," and "Climb Every Mountain."

"We were mixing up R&B, gospel, and soul," says singer Art Blakey. "I saw bands like [doo-wop pioneers] the Flamingos and was taken aback. I knew that that was what I wanted to do."

The group almost broke up after singer George "King" Scott died in an accident in 1968, but carried on into the '70s before taking a break in the '80s and '90s. Then the Rock Hall called.

Blakey — the only original member still performing with the group — recruited former members of the Sahibs, another old Cleveland soul combo, to round out the reunited lineup. In the past four years, the Hesitations have performed throughout the region and even played a show in Wales last March. "With the reception we got there, I thought I was Michael Jackson for a minute," says Hendricks. "Things are really going well." The Hesitations play the Beachland Ballroom at 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10.

Akron indie rockers Zobapago return to the Akron Civic Theatre for a special family-themed matinee show at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10, $8 in advance. Kids under the age of 18 get in free. You can find more info at

After a five-year run, Years of Fire will play their farewell concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at Peabody's. Bless the Child and Law of Destruction open the metal show. Tickets are $6, but you can grab a free pass at

The Zydeco Kings, who play both zydeco music and old-school R&B, celebrate the release of their new five-song EP at 8 p.m. Friday at Fat Fish Blue. Tickets are $6. Go to for more information.

Cleveland native Danielle Filipkowski put together a fundraising concert for Remember Nhu, which helps keep at-risk kids from being sold into the sex-slave industry. The show takes place at 9 p.m. Friday at the Winchester. Prog-rockers Call Me Constant and Christian rockers Sunrise are on the bill. You can learn more about the show at

Akron's classic-rock station WONE 97.5 FM kicks off its Winter Rocks Series with a performance by the Kiss tribute band Mr. Speed. Alice Cooper devotees the Nightmare are also on the bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday at the Akron Civic Theatre. Tickets are $9.75; find out more at

Hard rockers the Suede Brothers host their West Side CD-release show at 9 p.m. Friday at the Happy Dog. Baltimore's Flying Eyes will also perform. has more info.

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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