James Gang classic lineup members Joe Walsh, Dale Peters and Jim Fox will reunite in Ohio on November 13 along with Dave Grohl, as they did at the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert in England, and are joined by other Ohio bands. The trio with Kent, Ohio roots are known best for their early 1970s Top 100 singles “Funk # 49,” “Walk Away” and “Midnight Man” plus “The Bomber,” a lengthy multi-part number from their Rides Again album.
Michael Stanley Band founding members Jonah Koslen on guitar and vocals, Daniel Pecchio on bass and vocals, and drummer Tommy Dobeck will be celebrating the life of Cleveland’s Michael Stanley, who passed away in 2021, with a pair of shows at The Kent Stage October 21 and 22. The trio will be sharing songs and stories from the first three Michael Stanley Band albums, You Break It…You Bought It, Ladies Choice and the double live Stage Pass which includes Pecchio’s energetic “Real Good Time” and the regional hit single written by Koslen, “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Mind.”
Marc Lee Shannon from Michael Stanley’s post-Michael Stanley Band group, The Resonators, has released a seven-song set called Lucky 7. The seven-piece group’s instruments include saxophone, trumpet and trombone, often recalling the sound of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. “I Feel It” and “I Quit You” are soulful. The harmonies of Jon and Bri Bryant come through on “Too Gone.” The seventh song is a bluesy cover of Bad Company’s “Rock Steady” with Shannon joined by Jackie Popovec on vocals. After the seven-song set, there is a bonus track called “Steady On,” a tribute to Michael Stanley with a subdued sound reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen’s “My Hometown.” Shannon is joined by fellow Resonator Jennifer Lee on this special finale.
The Lost Souls were a mid-1960s band from Cleveland which included Denny Carleton before he joined The Choir, a group with future members of The Raspberries. The self-titled double vinyl album begins with one of Carleton’s most popular songs “Love I Won’t Admit,” a catchy pop number, and includes a pair of his songs that he recorded with The Choir, the edgy “If These Are Men” and the fun “Mummer Band.” “Walking Out on Me” is filled with up-tempo catchiness. Carleton’s “Whatcha Gonna Do” kicks off the second half with a similar edge as “If These are Men” and his “Could She Love Me” boasts a strong power-pop delivery. This 29-song release comes with a colorful 6-page 12” x 12” booklet and three more songs than the 2018 CD version including Carleton’s 1980s bouncy solo single “Sometimes I Wonder,” which has the clearest studio quality of the compilation. Fans of 1960s pop-rock garage bands will enjoy this historic release.
3-D is an instrumental band that Akron guitarist Michael Purkhiser said plays “surftrack” music, a conjunction of guitar driven surf-rock with campy soundtrack styles. The songs were recorded in the late 1990s but were unreleased until now. The collection opens with Jeff Allman’s pounding drums on “Razor Ridge,” an up-tempo surf-rock number augmented by guest horns from Andy MacIntosh. The first side concludes with “Moonshot ’69,” which sounds like it could have been on a sequel to The Ventures’ In Space album, complete with musical space sound effects. The second side opens with Ennio Morricone-style spaghetti western moodiness on “Requiem for a Surfer.” The red vinyl EP concludes with a Beach Party film series inspired dance number, “3-D Theme.” Purkhiser has a long history with nostalgic pop sounds, going back to 1978 with the first of three vinyl singles from The Action, The Raspberries’ inspired “Get Back to Me.”
Librarians with Hickeys from Akron’s Handclaps & Tambourines opens excitingly with “I Better Get Home” featuring pristine vocals and keyboard accents delivering an upbeat 1980s sound. The melodic “Can’t Wait ‘Till Summer” has a Byrds-like quality early in the album with the second summer song arriving later in the collection, “Last Days of Summer” containing a lush string arrangement, including guest Larysa Bulbenko of The Armoires on viola. “Lady Overdrive” and “Over You” are bouncy and “Ghost Singer” boasts rich harmonies with members of The Armoires joining in. The dozen power-pop song collection has a substantive lyrical stand-out in “Stumbling Down Memory Lane,” reflecting on loss, change, and disappointment in recent years.