Posted by: thewinchestermusic | August 10, 2010

Do You Love Jazz?..Then Check Out WMS3.

WMS3 was founded over 20 years ago by Reggie and Darryl Williams. They are an original band that plays a mixture of Pop-Jazz-R&B music.  Their music has been influenced by artists ranging from Rock, Classical, Jazz, to R&B.  WMS3 has played a vast array of gigs, from clubs, and receptions, to opening up for Richard Elliot, Kim Waters, and Jonathan Butler.

You can enjoy the smooth jazz sounds of WMS3 at The Winchester in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday, August 28th, 2010.  Admission is $7.00.  Showtime is 8:30pm.  Visit for more information and directions.

WMS3, Jazz


Raccine Williams of WMS-3 was recently featured in an article on  You can read the article here:

Video of the Sting original song, “Fields of Gold,” sung by Rosa Hardin of WMS3:

Posted by: thewinchestermusic | August 9, 2010

Rik Emmett of TRIUMPH “Lays It On The Line” in Cleveland!

Rik Emmett

Rik Emmett

Award winning Guitarist, Vocalist and Songwriter Rik Emmett was the driving force behind the band Triumph.  Rik has also had an incredible solo career.  He is a versatile musician, playing styles from rock, to jazz, to flamenco and more.

Rik brings his top notch guitar talent, amazing vocal range and renowned songwriting to The Winchester in Cleveland for a duo “Strung Out Troubadours” performance with Dave Dunlop on Saturday, September 25th, 2010.

Rik and Dave will be playing Triumph songs along with Rik’s solo material.  There will be two Showtimes this evening, 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm.  Admission for each show is $20.00.

From Rik Emmett’s website bio (

Rik Emmett was a relatively unknown singer/songwriter/guitarist on the local Toronto scene in September of ’75 when he joined a newly-formed hard rock trio called Triumph.  By ’79 three albums had gone gold and platinum in Canada – two of these charted in the States, receiving serious radio airplay.  By ’81, they were firmly established as one of the premier touring rock acts in North America, with generous FM radio airplay support and heavy rotation on the fledgling MTV cable channel.  In the next seven years, the band released ten albums, all of which went gold, with four turning platinum in Canada. In the U.S., two went gold.”

“Rik Emmett has his fair share of gold and platinum hanging on the wall after surviving three decades in the music biz. Awards from Best Guitarist at the ‘81 Junos to Best Smooth Jazz Guitarist in 2005, along with induction into the Canadian Rock Hall of Fame in ’93, the Music Industry Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Junos Hall of Fame in 2008 are highlights in an ever-evolving career.”

Rik Emmett Triumph V guitar made by Dean Guitars

A link to the Rik Emmett Triumph V Guitar available from Dean Guitars (see photo at right):

An informative interview with Rik Emmet can be read here:

Listen to Podcast interviews of Rik Emmett and Dave Dunlop here:

A video of Triumph (with Rik Emmett on vocals) performing at the US Festival in 1983:

A video of Rik Emmett and Dave Dunlop performing “Hold On” live:

Posted by: thewinchestermusic | June 1, 2010

Albert Lee: The World’s Greatest Guitarist

Guitarist Albert Lee will be performing alongside Eric Clapton at this year’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago.  He will also be performing right here in Cleveland at The Winchester Music Hall with the band Hogan’s Heroes on Thursday, June 24th, 2010.  Admission is $20.00.  Showtime is 9:00 pm.  Visit The Winchester’s website at for more information and directions.

Albert Lee, Guitarist

Albert Lee

From Albert Lee’s Bio on (

“British by birth and upbringing, he (Albert Lee) spent the mid-’60s as a top R&B guitarist, but in the 1970s became one of the top rockabilly guitarists in the world, and no slouch in country music either. In England he’s a been household name, and in Nashville and Los Angeles he’s been one of the most in-demand session guitarists there is.  Albert is…likely to be found playing in the background, behind the Everly Brothers, or alongside Eric Clapton.”

“Lee became a member of Joe Cocker’s band, which, in turn, led to the offer of a contract in 1975 to do a solo album with A&M Records, which was Cocker’s label at the time. A gig playing (and recording) with Emmylou Harris delayed the completion of his own record for a couple of years…”

“He was signed to Polydor as a solo artist, but by that time the session work and offers were coming in fast and furious, and Lee was seemingly everywhere, playing with everyone from Jackson Browne to Bo Diddley to Herbie Mann.  His most visible gig, however, was playing with Eric Clapton, first on Just One Night and then on the tour that followed. And when the Everly Brothers reunited for a concert, a live album, and a concert video, Lee was there in the band.”

A video of Albert Lee performing with Emmylou Harris:

“Albert is a great, great player…fluid, lyrical and free.” Eric Clapton.

“The world’s greatest guitarist.” Ronnie Wood.

“When this band lays it down, it stays down.” Musician Magazine.

See you at the show…

Posted by: thewinchestermusic | March 28, 2010

8 String Guitarist BILL BURKE plays the Warr Guitar

Bill Burke plays the Warr Guitar, an 8 stringed instrument, in a tapping style. Well known for his mastery of this instrument, Bill has produced four highly acclaimed recordings as well as numerous broadcast works for TV, film and radio.  His music combines elements of minimalism, jazz, folk and world music.

The 8 String Guitar performer and instructor Bill Burke brings his outstanding ensemble performance to The Winchester in Cleveland on Saturday, May 15th, 2010.  Showtime is 9:00pm.  Admission is $10.00.

Bill Burke (8 String Guitarist)

Bill Burke (8 String Guitarist)

From Bill Burke’s website (

“A prolific tap-style player, Bill is recognized as a wildly gifted musician and new master of the 8-string guitar.Bill plays the 8-string guitar in a manner similar to piano, enabling him to play multiple parts at the same time.  His refreshingly original compositions feature captivating melodies over layered rhythms – highly infused with flavors of place, time and travel.”

To view 8 String Warr Guitars, plus other instruments and styles visit the Warr Website here:

A video of Bill Burke Ensemble performing “The Lyre Bird” live:

Posted by: thewinchestermusic | March 16, 2010

DON DIXON: Producer, Singer, Songwriter, Musician…

Don Dixon has devoted his entire life to the popular song.  Whether working as a singer, songwriter, musician or producer, he has always tried to capture the essence of his life in the moment.

Don Dixon will be performing at The Winchester Music Hall in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday, March 20th, 2010.  Singer / songwriter Marti Jones will be joining him for a not-to-be-missed concert experience.

Psychedelic folk-rock band Morticia’s Chair will round out the show.  Showtime is 8:30pm.  Admission is $12.00.  Visit The Winchester’s website at for more information and directions.

Don Dixon

Don Dixon

From Don Dixon’s website bio (

“[Don] Dixon is considered to be one of the key producers of what is called the jangle pop movement of the early 1980s.  Around 1983, Dixon attracted attention by co-producing with Mitch Easter, R.E.M.’s landmark debut LP Murmur.  He then spent several years producing the work of varied artists including Chris Stamey (formerly of The dB’s) and The Smithereens.”

“Considered to be a highlight of this period was Tommy Keene’s Run Now EP (co-produced with T-Bone Burnett).  This success led to Dixon recording his solo debut Most of the Girls Like to Dance (But Only Some of the Boys Like To), a further affirmation of his love of classic pop melodies and spiky, Nick Lowe-inspired wordplay.”

“After producing wife Marti Jones’ Unsophisticated Time, he released his second solo effort, Romeo at Juilliard, in 1987 and the live Chi-Town Budget Show a year later.  After 1989’s EEE, Dixon’s recording career went into hiatus for several years and he returned to producing, helming efforts for The Smithereens, Richard Barone, and James McMurtry before finally releasing Romantic Depressive in 1995.  Another lengthy hiatus preceded the early 2000 release of The Invisible Man and its 2001 follow-up, Note Pad #38.  His latest release, The Entire Combustible World in One Small Room followed in summer 2006.”

Interested in Don Dixon’s songwriting?

Marti Jones

Marti Jones

Joe Cocker has covered Don Dixon’s song “I Can Hear The River.”

Hootie & The Blowfish has covered Don Dixon’s song “Renaissance Eyes.”

Pop singer Marti Jones first emerged as the front woman of the group Color Me Gone before issuing her solo debut Unsophisticated Time — produced by future husband Don Dixon — in 1985.

Marti Jones is also an artist.  You can see some of her paintings here:

A Video of Marti Jones and Don Dixon performing together:

See you at the show…

Bill Staines In Cleveland On Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Gary Hall Opens Winchester Show

By Bob Sammon

Bill Staines will be bringing his legendary songs, stories and talent to The Winchester Music Hall in Cleveland, Ohio.  Bill Staines is a must see for anyone who enjoys a good song, a good story and a great place to hear both.  He will be performing two sets this Wednesday, March 10th, 2010.

Local folk singer & songwriter Gary Hall opens the show at 8:00 PM.  Tickets are $12.00, and there aren’t too many other places where you can see and hear someone of Bill Staines’ stature along with someone who has been so profoundly influenced by his work (Gary Hall).  If you have any interest in great folk music you’ll be at The Winchester on Wednesday night.  Tickets can be reserved by calling (216) 226-5681.  Visit The Winchester’s Website at for more information and directions.

Bill Staines

Bill Staines

If you listen to the music performed by many of the local acts here in Cleveland – from Alex Bevan to Jim Schafer, Tim Wallace, Steve Mehal and others – chances are you’re going to hear a song or two penned by Bill Staines, the legendary New England based singer/songwriter.  But if you drop in on a set by Gary Hall you’ll not only hear songs that Bill Staines has written but you’ll be listening to a performer who has some history with Bill and will appear with him this week right here in Cleveland.

I had a chance to talk with Gary about his early days with Bill and he was kind enough to share a few memories.

“I first heard Bill Staines,” Gary explained,  “at the Sword In The Stone Coffeehouse in Boston in 1973.  Crossing paths with him was a lucky accident.”

“I recall that his stage patter was very engaging and his musicianship was excellent,” Gary noted. “He also had a very distinctive vocal quality which is easy for me to recall and hear in my memory. On that particular night he kept a full house totally engaged for his full set.”

While Gary doesn’t recall actually talking with Bill that night he says his “next encounters were in 1974 when Staines hosted some Sunday night open mics at the Stone Church in Newmarket, NH.”  The Stone Church’s open mic was a hugely popular weekly event which drew players from all over New England, including Boston, 75 miles to the south.  It presented live music several nights a week, with the Sunday open mic being their busiest night.  It was the social event of the week for seacoast area musicians and Bill and Gary were part of that scene.

Gary says that the Stone Church made such an impression on him that he moved to New Market in the summer of ‘74. It “became the center of my folkie universe,” Gary said, “and it was the center of the folkie universe for many others in the area.”

Bill Staines,” Gary remembers, “was happy to be an occasional guest host of the Church’s open mic. I definitely recall that the other players were in awe of him. He had a way of making difficult things look very easy. He would just stand there in a relaxed way and play what seemed to be some awfully complicated and remarkably appealing fingerstyle song accompaniments.”

Gary Hall

Gary Hall

Gary was also impressed with one other hallmark of Bill Staines sets: yodeling. “I recall”, Gary said talking about a Friday night during one of Staines’ solo shows at the Stone Church, “one occasion where folks were actually dancing on tables to his yodeling…clapping and shouting their brains out. It was the most enthusiastic audience response that I’ve ever seen.”

That was an important night for Gary because he “decided then and there to learn to yodel.”

“When I asked Bill about learning yodeling,” Gary said, “he encouraged me and said it would be easy for me, as I had a good falsetto voice.” Between that encouragement and the lessons provided on a Homespun instructional tape set (now two CDs) entitled “Learn To Yodel” by Tod Whittemore and Cathy Fink, with guests Patsy Montana and Bill Staines, Gary mastered the art.

“It would be hard,” Gary said, “to overestimate the value of yodeling to my music career. I got the New Hampshire Folk Festival gig…a lot of respect in Nashville – including a compliment from John Prine…earned well as a busker because of yodeling.  I have Bill Staines to thank, because it was Bill Staines who inspired me.”

That’s not all Gary learned from this master. “The other big thing is that performing situations vary greatly and that its okay to take a very different approach to different types of gigs.  Bill Staines tells stories and incorporates a great deal of stage patter into his concerts.  At his Stone Church weekend gigs he would simply stand there and play one song right after another, barely speaking at all.”

Surprised by this, Gary asked him about it. “He told me that the concerts were his passion and that he viewed the bar gigs as part-time jobs which helped support him between the concerts.  I recall,” Gary continued, “that he incorporated some popular songs and went about his ‘job’ in a politely craftsman-like way.” Gary said, “I realize, in retrospect, that Bill Staines was operating in two very different worlds and had a very different perspective than the typical local musician who is grateful to find purpose and meaning in the small victories at bar gigs.”

A Video of Bill Staines performing live in Pawling, NY:

See you at the show…

The Winchester Music Hall
12112 Madison Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44107
(216) 226-5681

Posted by: thewinchestermusic | March 2, 2010

A Tribute to Alex Harvey and SAHB: Vambo Rools

Vambo Rools is a tribute band dedicated to the music and showmanship of Alex Harvey and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.  They will be perfoming their Alex Harvey Tribute LIVE in Cleveland at The Winchester on Friday, April 30th, 2010.  Admision is $7.00.  Showtime is 9:00pm.  Visit for more information and directions.

Vambo Rools: A Tribute to Alex Harvey

Born in Govan, Glasgow, on the 5th February 1935, Alex Harvey was considered too be one of the best showmen on the pop circuit.  Alex was famed for his time in the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (SAHB).  He tragically died of a heart attack on 4th February 1982, a day short of his 47th birthday, in Zeebrugge, Belgium.  (From Glasgow Mods:

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

From the Sensational Alex Harvey Band Myspace Page (

“The Sensational Alex Harvey Band were as equally loved as Alex himself and together they were the biggest-grossing UK live act of the mid 70s; they released eight critically-acclaimed albums in their five years together, and Without doubt they are the most influential band to ever come out of Scotland they inspired many of the top names in popular entertainment over the last 30 years…”

A Video of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band performing “Next” live from 1973:

Posted by: thewinchestermusic | February 12, 2010

ALEX BEVAN: Ohio’s “Great Lakes Bard”

Acoustic folk, folk-rock artist Alex Bevan was first known as the “Skinny Little Boy” from Cleveland, Ohio who came to “Chase your wimmin’ and drink your beer.”  Since then, he has continued to enchant audiences with his comic wit and outstanding performances.

You can see Alex Bevan perform live at The Winchester in Cleveland, Ohio on Friday, February 19th, 2010.  Showtime is 8:30pm.  Admission is $10.00.  Visit The Winchester’s website at for more information and directions.  Local folk singer / songwriter Bob Sammon opens the show.

Alex Bevan

Alex Bevan

From Alex Bevan’sLow Tech Troubadour Music Page” website bio (

“Drawing on his deep skill set of imaginative and honest song writing combined with an agile, improvisational wit that dovetail wonderfully with his flawless guitar slinging, Alex never fails to delight and charm audiences…”

“His recordings span the gamut from folk to folk rock and pop to children’s educational music and he has won a number of awards for his commercial efforts in radio and television.  Alex’s creative works have also contributed to documentary film scores….You need to see him to believe him and hear him to know him He is truly Ohio’s “Great Lakes Bard.”

“This will mark the beginning of my… 40th… yes… 40th year as a Northern Ohio Songwriter and Musical Artist.”

From the book Radio Daze: Stories From the Front in Cleveland’s FM Air Wars by Mike Olszewski (2003) Pg 137:

“The release of the album Springboard got him [Alex Bevan] some public recognition due to the local hit song Skinny Little Boy.  In 1977 he performed on the air on Cleveland’s WMMS Radio (Home of the Buzzard) with a band called Alex Bevan and the Buzzard Band, featuring DJ Matt the Cat on guitar…”

Skinny pickles

Skinny Pickles

Alex also sells his own brand of pickles called Skinny Pickles. From the Skinny Pickles’ You can read the story of Skinny website: “Yes…we are a young company…we sell mostly at farm markets…”Pickles here:

Here is a video of Alex Bevan performing on the WNCX Morning Show in Cleveland, Ohio:

Posted by: thewinchestermusic | February 8, 2010

ERIC SARDINAS & BIG MOTOR: Terrifying, Raw & Wickedly Intense.

Eric Sardinas plays ferocious slide blues guitar.  His band Big Motor backs his fury with the same intensity for an awe inspiring concert experience.  Eric Sardinas has toured with Steve Vai.  He is currently signed to Steve Vai’s label, “Favored Nations” (  Eric’s playing hits you like a freight train…he leaves you exhausted from just watching him.

Eric Sardinas is currently touring with special guest Joanne Shaw Taylor.  She is a blues guitarist / vocalist who was discovered by Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics.  You can check out both acts at The Winchester in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday, February 17th, 2010.  Showtime is 9:00pm.  Admission is $15.00.  Visit The Winchester’s website at for more information and directions.

Eric Sardinas, Dobro, Slide, Blues, Rock

Eric Sardinas

From Eric Sardinas’ website bio (

Eric (Sardinas)’s signature brand of Delta dynamite has been a long time in the making…Though born a lefty, he naturally gravitated towards playing the guitar as a right-hander…it’s actually been a major contributing factor in the formation of his unique style and specialized technique.”

“Both his 1999 debut “Treat Me Right” and follow up “Devil’s Train” were chocked-full of electrified Dobro thunder, but neither surrendered Eric’s deeply rooted respect for traditional blues.  Mixed alongside his aggressively soulful, self-penned compositions were searing renditions of several obscure treasures from the back catalogues of classic blues artists.”

“…helping to shape his artistic direction were the soulful grounds in which he planted his earliest musical roots.  Sardinas recalls that it was exposure to the likes of gospel, Motown and R&B that eventually caused him to seek out the emotionally charged acoustics sounds of the Deep South.  Delta titans like Charlie Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson, Skip James, Bukka White, and Fred McDowell were among his favorites.”

“Rural country blues players such as Barbecue Bob and Blind Willie Mctell were later added to his list, as was the electricity of the Chicago blues sound.  Indeed, – Elmore James, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush and Albert King could then be considered responsible for setting Sardinas on a collision course with what would ultimately become the final contributor to his developing style, this (of course) being rock ‘n roll.”

Joanne Shaw Taylor, Blues, Guitarist, Singer, Vocalist

Joanne Shaw Taylor

From Joanne Shaw Taylor’s website bio (

[As quoted by] Dave Stewart [of the] Eurythmics.  “I have played with all sorts of blues musicians all over the world, I even made a film Deep Blues where I went to Mississippi and recorded with some legendary players such as R.L Burnside and Jesse-Mae Hemphill.”

“Last year I heard something I thought I would never hear… a British White Girl [Joanne Shaw Taylor] playing blues guitar so deep and passionately it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end!”

“When Dave Stewart had his big experience, Joanne Shaw Taylor was only 16.  Her skills at the Telecaster were so perfect that the blues fan and Eurythmics-frontman asked her to join his supergroup D.U.P. to tour Europe in 2002…Today Joanne is 23…”

“When Joanne was a little schoolgirl, she was caught by the rough side of the blues: SRV, Albert Collins, the Paladins, Jimi Hendrix.  At Christmas she got her first electric guitar.  The old classical guitar, which she had played since she was eight, vanished from the children’s room.  [Joanne says,] “As soon as I heard SRV and Albert Collins I knew pretty much that I wanted to do that full stop.  That was the lifestyle route that I was going to go down. It was never a hobby. I was always very serious and dedicated to it.”

A video of Eric Sardinas & Big Motor performing live:

A video of Joanne Shaw Taylor & Band performing live:

Posted by: thewinchestermusic | February 1, 2010

The Ragbirds: This Infectious Global Groove Will Make You Move!

The Ragbirds are fronted by multi-instrumentalist Erin Zindle.  Her energy is the catalyst for the band’s incredible LIVE performance.  If you have not seen them live, there is nothing quite like this show.  Sometimes Erin is playing the fiddle, sometimes a drum, sometimes singing.  She is always terrific and surrounded by extremely talented musicians.

The Ragbirds will be performing in Cleveland, Ohio on Friday, March 5th, 2010 at The Winchester.  Showtime is 9:00pm.  Tickets are $10.00.  Visit The Winchester’s website at for more information and directions.

From The Ragbirds’ Myspace bio (

“The musical roots of The Ragbirds sound are complex – with Gypsy, Middle-Eastern, Americana, Rock, and Latin influences, all stirred with a Celtic fiddler’s bow.  In live performances the band incorporates variations on traditional African drum pieces, each member trading their instrument for a hand drum.”  “

The Ragbirds craft their songs carefully, weaving joy and hope into honest lyrics, while keeping an ear always open to improvisation.  The songs carry a positive message that appeals to listeners of all ages.  For all the intensity of their live show, this is a band that is not afraid to show their softer side with acoustic tunes that are anything but typical folk.”

” **COMMITMENT TO GREEN TOURING** In October 2008 The Ragbirds replaced their aging tour van with a Ford E-350 diesel van, and thanks to their friends at Full Circle Fuels in Oberlin OH  ( converted it to run on Waste Vegetable Oil.”

A recent article in Northern Express Weekly (Northern Michigan) on The Ragbirds can be read here:

A great video of The Ragbirds performing live:

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