It’s A Vintage Weekend: Roy Loney (from the Flamin’ Groovies); The Hesitations

18 01 2011

Roy Loney, former Flamin' Groovies frontman, this Friday

Hello, Cleveland and Parts Beyond!  It’s been a while since we’ve utilized our Beachland blog, as we’ve shifted the heavy online PR lifting to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.  We’re saving this blog space – and your precious time and attention – to shows we feel are truly special and worth more than a quick post or tweet.  This Friday and Saturday are filled to the brim with great musical acts – Roy Loney, from legendary 70s rockers The Flamin’ Groovies, and Cleveland soul group The Hesitations – that you couldn’t really see anywhere else.  So we’ve taken the time to get you hip to the sounds that are going down this weekend!

In many circles, Mr. Roy Loney needs no introduction. But to many others, he seems like a footnote in the annals of rock and roll.  Fortunately for Loney neophytes, we’ve got some Cleveland friends helping us tell the story of Loney and his band, The Flamin’ Groovies.  Former Mirrors drummer and CLE alum Michael J. Weldon shares his insights into Loney via the site for his shop, Psychotronic and Mia’s Bead Shop, which sells a wide variety of far-out rock and roll collectibles.  Please note that this is a thorough interview with Loney , so make sure to settle in a comfy chair!

Loney as new waver

For those of you readers pressed for time, here’s a quote from the Flamin’ Groovies’ bio, provided by the ever-essential Trouser Press, that sheds light on these San Francisco forerunners of punk, roots rock, and DIY record labels:

Starting out in San Francisco as early as 1965 (actually predating the Grateful Dead!), the Flamin Groovies were always out of step with the rock world. Ten years before bands routinely released their own independent records, the Groovies issued a 10-inch mini-album, Sneakers; in the ’70s, when that same do-it-yourself spirit was inspiring countless innovative bands to try and challenge the old boundaries, the Groovies retreated to make albums of beat group nostalgia, wearing period clothes and refusing to acknowledge that times had indeed changed.

Always more cult-popular and influential than commercially successful, the Groovies, led by irascible but talented guitarist/singer Cyril Jordan and (until 1971) singer/guitarist Roy A. Loney, always embodied the rebellious, youthful spirit that fueled punk, but held tenuously to their musical roots — ’50s American rock’n’roll and ’60s British pop. In effect, they provided inspiration for countless bands (how many covers of “Slow Death” can you name?) and are legendary for good reason.

So you’ve got your Groovies lesson, then. Let’s fast-forward to 1979, whereupon Mr. Loney solo career boasted a blasting sound akin to punk rock (warning: cute kid alert at the end):

Here’s a 2010 updating of a classic Loney tune, served up for the madwomen and madmen of Madrid, Spain:

Loney plays this Friday, January 21st, backed by former CLE surfoholics The Purple Knifs (Waitresses and Walkin’ Clampetts guys who’ll be playing a set of their own).  Also on the bill are Living Stereo, most recenly remembered for a powerhouse Halloween set covering the Sonics.

The Hesitations in their heyday. Performing 1 / 22.

Saturday night, we’ll have a homecoming of sorts for Cleveland’s very own Hestiations.  This 60s soul group’s brief career got them not only airplay in the States, but in Europe and especially in Great Britain.  That nation’s Northern Soul fans gobbled up singles like “Soul Superman”, “The Impossible Dream”,  “Who Will Answer”, and “You Can’t Bypass Love”:

“….the Hesitations are ready to work again; reunited in 2006 for a show at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the four singers and five musicians discovered last March that they can indeed draw a crowd, headlining the Northern and Modern Soul Weekender in Prestatyn, North Wales and pulling 3,000 to 4,000.

The Hesitations will perform at the Beachland Ballroom on January 22, helping Beachland manager Mark Leddy celebrate his 51st birthday. A long-time fan of Northern Soul, Leddy says: ‘I generally use my birthday as an excuse to book some kind of show. Often, it’s a soul-oriented show, so it seemed like the thing to do.'” Carlo Wolff’s great, four-page article on The Hesitations on

John Benson, writing for, has also penned a profile of The Hesitations that’s brief and concise.  However, for the purposes of you, The Blog Reader, we’ll go back to YouTube vids that show the Hesitations in front of an enthusiastic UK crowd, having a good bit of cheeky fun with their hit, “Soul Superman”:

The Hesitations will perform on Saturday, January 22nd, with help from DJ Charles McGaw, and DJ Racecard, aka Lawrence Daniel Caswell, one of the voices on local NPR affiliate WCPN, bassist for the bands This Moment In Black History, Vernacular, and National Suicide Day, and all-around polymath.  It’s also the birthday party of Mark Leddy, one of the Beachland’s co-owners. Expect nothing but good tunes and good times.

Tickets are available at



Got Funk If You Want It – Trombone Shorty, this Friday

1 04 2010

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, this Friday

Hailing from New Orleans’ 6th Ward Tremé district comes Trombone Shorty aka Troy Andrews and a hornful of funk.  And what says summertime more than some hot, wave-your-hands-in-the-air-like-you-just-don’t-care grooves?

Let’s drop back a bit time-wise, 2001, where we can see a very young Andrews choppin’ it up on an Armstrong number alongside Cleveland native Dominick Farinacci.  Andrews kills this one on trumpet:

Fast forward many years, where Shorty is sharing the spotlight with one of his NOLA musical kinsmen, Wynton Marsalis:

And here’s Mr. Shorty and his totally dope group, Orleans Avenue. Don’t bump this too loud at work–or maybe you should, depending on who really needs a pick-me-up: 

Who Dat? Trombone Shorty. This Friday, at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern.


Beachland Weekend, Cleveland-style

13 01 2010


In this ish of the Beachland blog, we keep up with the compliments, following from our New Year’s series of posts regarding the upcoming 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Submitted by you, the public:  

As some of the others who have posted about their experiences, it’s very difficult to pick the best musical moment from my many visits to the Beachland.   I have never been truly disappointed with any show; I’ve always heard (or seen) something that made the trip worthwhile; sometimes it was an opening band that I had never heard, other times it was some of the, well, interesting people in the audience.  

One such moment does stand out- several of us went to the Tavern to see Rosie Flores and Katy Moffatt.  It was one of the rare two shows in one night bills.  Rosie and Katy were great (the shots of tequila we did with Rosie didn’t hurt that impression).   The second show was Chuck Prophet.  I was vaguely aware of Chuck from Green on Red, but was not familiar with any of his solo work.  Our original intent was to leave after the first show, since I believe it was a weekday, and we also thought we might have to pay for the second show.  When it became apparent that we were not going to get kicked out before Chuck came on, and seeing that he had a full band, along with a funky microphone from what looked like the 1940’s in addition to the more typical gear, we decided to stay.
What a revelation.  There is nothing like seeing a live act for the first time that is able to rise above the listeners’ unfamiliarity with his songs, and yet immediately get them over in a memorable way.  The band was tight, Chuck was engaging, and the songs were fantastic.  We stumbled out at the end of the night commenting about how it was just another example of the Beachland magic.  

I’ve been a believer in the redemptive power of live music since seeing Eli Radish in the front of a Chesterland shopping plaza at the age of 12.   I’ve never stopped going to shows, but there was a bleak period of time in Cleveland for roots music after the original Wilbert’s closed and the Beachland’s opening.  It is without question my favorite place to see live music, and I’ve been fortunate enough to go to plenty, both here in Cleveland and in other cities across the country.  

Since you are reading this, you are probably already a fan of the Beachland.  Make it your New Year’s resolution to drag some friends out to see some live music-you know who I’m referring to, the people who were once into music, but just can’t find the time or energy to get out to shows anymore.  I guarantee they will thank you later.   The Beachland and the other live venues in town are as worthy of our support as the other cultural institutions in our city- the museums, orchestra and theaters, all of which get more attention and public funding.  And, I would argue, the support of venues like the Beachland is more important to the 20 to 35 year-olds that this region desperately needs to retain, and to attract.
So, step out with your buds, and feel the redemptive body and soul experience of live music.  Music Saves, indeed.  God bless Cindy and Mark-here’s to another 10 years!  

Vince Slusarz, Gotta Groove Records 


There are SO many musicians who deliver an absolutely transformative experience on your stage, but hands-down, my personal favorite was:
Nick Lowe (acoustic)–It was in the ballroom, but it felt so intimate…like he was in a living room, singing to you, only.  And he has such an ease with a guitar in his hands…he is truly a master of his craft.
Runner up is Greg Cartwright.  No matter what he’s belting out, he really makes you feel it, too 

Karen Downie

Railroad Earth just sounds so wonderful in the Beachland Ballroom. I just love the venue. Great acoustics and all. But then of course I would love Railroad Earth if they were playing under a bridge. 

Mary Lynn Pirtz


Tonight, we’ve got one of our favorites, Alejandro Escovedo, who you might’ve read about on this very blog.   This Thursday, we’ve got the feisty pop of Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles, written about in Scene Magazine, and who’ve been in steady rotation on new Cleveland radio station 107.3 The Boom.  

Saturday’s a soul session, celebrating the birthday of Beachland co-owner Mark Leddy, with noisy blues breakers The Bassholes and northern soul colossus Melvin Davis.  Don’t be afraid of the dance floor, friends.  

 Pro-Cleveland blogger Cleveland Bachelor has helped us push this Sunday’s upcoming Rural Alberta Advantage / Buried Wires / The Octagon show, which you can read about HERE.  

As Bryan Ferry once crooned, “Don’t stop the dance”: even the coiffed and laquered Mr. Ferry might have to cut a rug at this Sunday’s Beachland Polka Brunch!  Co –sponsored by The Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame, the price of admission also includes a delicious brunch and a free polka dance lesson by world dance champion Valerie Salstrom from Get Hep Swing.  Polka’s a family affair, so grab the crew for a twirl and a tipple:  


Soul Legend Melvin Davis @ Mark Leddy’s Birthday Bash January 16th

5 01 2010

Soul Man Melvin Davis @ Beachland January 16

Looking for some hot tunes on a crummily cold Cleveland day? LOOK NO FURTHER, we say.  Ditch the shovel and grab your headphones, True Believers. Dilligent Beachland archivists, fresh from their rejuvenating Christmas vacation, have brought you tunes perfect for an Epiphany: we present to you soul singer Mr. Melvin Davis.  Listen up!

The story of this lanky soul survivor is told by writer Michael Hurtt for, Detroit:

The song, pressed on the local Wheel City label, is one of the most obscure in the history of recorded Detroit soul music. Yet when the band breaks into its intro, the packed house of testifying dancers erupts, and when Melvin Davis sings that first line, they’re right there with him. They know every word. It’s uplifting. It’s soulful. It’s downright spiritual.

Thirty-seven years after its 500-copy run sank without a trace in 1965, 5,000 — yes, 5,000 — Melvin Davis fans are flipping Wales’ Prestatyn Soul Weekender on its collective ear. To this throng of music fanatics, DJs and record collectors, the song in question, “Find a Quiet Place (and be Lonely),” is an anthem, and its rarity has only amplified its legend. 

As Hurtt notes, Davis is regarded as a legend in the vaunted UK Northern Soul scene.  Periodically, the small but proud and lovely beach city of Cleethorpes hosts soul music festivals; festival-goers were treated to songs by none other than Mr. Davis himself:

Melvin Davis will perform on Saturday, January 16th, headlining an annual Beachland tradition: co-owner Mark Leddy’s Birthday Bash.  We’ll not only have Davis (backed by Detroit band The Party Stompers), but a rare set by groundbreaking soul-punk duo, The Bassholes.  Unlike rock duos that sport White and Black in their name, Don Howland (now residing in Asheville, NC) and Bim Thomas (from This Moment In Black History) offer face-slapping, cranky blues for binging:

Order your tickets now from the Beachland website, or call 216-383-1124.  Don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list, if you’ve been too frozen and snowblind to do so already.


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Brazilian Wonderband Os Mutantes this Wednesday

28 09 2009

This Wednesday, a myth comes to life on the Beachland stage.  The storied but elusive Os Mutantes, the Brazilian equivalent of the Beatles, comes to Cleveland on a very rare tour in support of their latest album–one several decades in the making–Haih or Amortecedor, now out on Anti Records.

Much has been made of this group’s incomparable influence in their home country of Brazil, and of their beloved stature with such musical notables as David Byrne, Beck, and even Kurt Cobain.  Much has also been made of their 60s output, an indescrible mash-up of sounds ranging from Summer-of-Drugs garage-rock mixed with ethnic rhythms, confundingly melodic arrangements, and a buyant sense of humor.

Which means all the music nerds, writers, and other weirdos (we mean that in a good way) like Os Mutantes based on their estimable legacy.  But what are people saying now? And what does the band have to say in 2009?

Here’s a review of Os Mutantes’ recent gig in Los Angeles, a scintillating art rock dance party:

On a sweltering Friday night at the Echoplex, Sergio Dias led his band mates, Os Mutantes, on multiple musical excursions through rock & roll, samba, and bossa nova, with a bit of Kurt Weill thrown in for good measure. ….Playing to an audience that tilted towards the band’s younger fans (or so it appeared when they would stop dancing long enough to get a look), Dias and his fellow players wove disparate musical threads into seemingly real musical entities that were propelled against each other creating the wildest musical collisions that made absolutely perfect musical sense.

Read more about this remarkable performance gives their perspective on Mutantes and their new record.  Seattle-based Three Imaginary Girls gives us a preview of their Bumbershoot performance.

Some great live shots of Os Mutantes and a gushing live review from their Portland, OR appearance are at  And we’ll take it back to Los Angeles, where we find out about Os Mutantes’ remarkable show at that city’s famed Amoeba superstore.

To top it all off, the Beachland Blog Staff is very pleased to offer you a few Os Mutantes tracks from their new release.  These songs offer beaty gusto a la Gogol Bordello or Cyro Baptiste’s Beat the Donkey (more Brazilians!); musical melting pot wizardry reminscent of Beck or Andrew Bird, and a sweetly crazed rock sound that brings to mind Jefferson Airplane or Love.  Neither of those bands truly sounds anything like Os Mutantes; the reverse also applies.  Check ’em out for yourselves:

Opening this very special show are JDub recording artists DeLeon and their special brand of Sephardic rock.  A custom DJ set by members of afrobeat orchestra, Mifune, opens this show.

Tickets? Inquiries? Directions? Click  HERE to buy tickets, visit or call one of our standby operators at 216.383.1124.


Tonight: live SOUL MUSIC with Charles Walker and the Dynamites

22 09 2009

After a technically-induced hiatus, the Beachland blog has returned to regale you with SOUL MUSIC.  Not in strictly platter’d form, but alive, sweating and breathing and ready to take you ever-higher.

Tonight the Beachland presents The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker, all the way from Nashville, TN.  Let’s cut right to the chase and dig up some live audio/video for your pleasure:

That hot number, “Talkin’ ‘Bout You”, hails from a 60s-era side that Walker cut for Decca Records.  See, this cat’s got a discography.  And from what you can hear, he hasn’t lost an ounce of power as a vocalist or a performer.

A portion of Walker’s bio on Zane Records informs us:

His professional musical journey began in his hometown with his first recording ‘Slave To Love’ released in 1959 on the Nashville ‘Champion’ label. He relocated to New York shortly afterwards and met record entrepreneur Bobby Robinson who cut some demos with Charles for his ‘Fury’ label.

Soon afterwards, a chance meeting with the J.C Davis Band, who had played the famed Apollo Theatre, opening for Jackie Wilson led to Charles becoming their lead singer. During his time with the L.C Davis band he toured the country opening for many of the greats of the era, including Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, and Little Willie John. With Charles as lead singer they recorded ‘Sweet Sweet Love’ and ‘The Chicken Scratch’ for Chess records. These cuts never become hits at the time, but their quality has ensured that over the years they have become highly collectable.

Later, Walker formed a band called Little Charles and the Sidewinders, whose 45s can still be found online, sought after by soul music collectors and vintage afficionados.  Here’s a tasty cut by the Sidewinders that fits quite nicely with the UK ‘northern soul’ aesthetic, titled “It’s A Heartache”:

But you, the discerning Beachland Listener, are looking for that unique live vibe, aren’t you? So here we leave you with more of Walker and the Dynamites.  All that geeky collector speak is fun to roll around on the tongue, but ultimately doesn’t hold a candle to a killer live band such as the Dynamites. While the dress on this gig is casual, the groove here is definitely not:

We’ll leave with with Mr. Walker and the incomparable Miss Sharon Jones duetting on a sultry classic we can probably still relate to, entitled “Summertime”:

Now, that’s deeper than American debt!  See Charles Walker and the Dynamites tonight, with special openers The Floorwalkers!  For more information, head to


Low Life Gallery Updates, Ken & Kathy Janssen’s Wedding Reception After Party, Hold Steady, and upcoming shows

11 06 2009
A scene from Ken Janssen's Wedding Reception After Party, this Saturday night

A scene from Ken Janssen's Wedding Reception After Party, this Saturday night

 (First order of business: A big thank-you goes out to those of you who’ve read and disseminated these posts throughout the blogosphere and beyond. Please share and especially as much as you can. In addition to being in the early stages of learning SEO stuff (that’s Search Engine Optimization, if you’re clueless as some of us at HQ are) we’re also slightly behind on the proliferating blog culture that’s sprouted up in Northeast Ohio. To paraphrase the old catchphrase, “brother, can you spare a dime?” is now, “sister, can you spare a link?”)

Beachland Blog now resumes its usual broadcast session. Updates are as follows:

ONE: Thanks to the Facebook generosity of photographer/music enthusiast Mr. Steve Barrett, we now have a list of who’ll be showing at tomorrow night’s Low Life Gallery opening of “This Is Cleveland: All The Stuff I See“:

Steve Barrett (aka Lightning Fingers)
John G
The Sign Guy

Bill Rupnik (from Architecture Gallery/William Rupnik Gallery)
Leigh Ring (Pink Eye Magazine & Ring Art & Design)
Cleveland SGS
Rick Sans (from Sans Oceana Clothing and x-Above This Fire)
Leia Alligator (Afternoon Naps, Picklefight Puppet Theater)
Ray Scott (Helper T-Cells)
Carol (aka Miss Firecracker)
Marijana Oroz
Allisun Hovater

Heather Young
Genna Petrolla
Dave Desimone
and many more….

TWO:  That Hold Steady band your friends might have heard about? These dudes with the lyrical twists and the jackhammer riffs (here on Letterman)?

Playing this coming Monday at the Beachland? SOLD OUT. Uh-huh.  Hopefully you didn’t roll your rock dice and come up snake eyes on this one.

THREE:   Saturday night’s an open invitation to the Wedding Reception After Party of Ken Janssen and his wife Kathy.  See, they got married a while back, but decided to hold back on their reception until they felt the party irons were sufficiently hot. And they will be–Ken,  frontman for dude rockers The Hot Rails, and Beachland employee–never fails to throw a swingin’ bash.  He’s the mastermind behind this Friday night’s Phoebe Cates/Party of Helicopters shindig; he’s also the one throwing what promises to be a madcap Saturday, with Karaoke and a Downtown Soulville session in the Tavern.  This shindig starts ’round 11 pm, which means this might possibly be the start of a very long nightcap for you and yours.  Always thought it’d be fun to crash someone’s wedding celebration? Well, now you can.

FOUR:  Coming up very, very soon, the Beachland will host the  Detroit Cobras and Ozric Tentacles . Not on the same bill, though.  Too many synapses would fry.

The Detroit Cobras play sexy, sultry, and dirty rock n’ roll on Wednesday, June 17th.  Fog up your windows to  “Cha Cha Twist” :

The Ozric Tentacles get psychedelic on Thursday, June 18th.  See and hear “Chewier”:

PS. We are quickly approaching the date of the Waterloo Arts Fest.  This year it is Sat June 27th. We still have lots of projects to wrap up and could use YOUR help! Contact Amy at for ways YOU can help.

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