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U.S. Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Cleveland Music Scene

"Cleveland Rocks" by The Presidents of the United States of America proudly salutes the city where rock and roll became popularized by Cleveland radio DJ Alan Freed in the 1950s. Symbolic of Cleveland's importance to rock history is the Rock Hall of Fame featuring the Alan Freed studio at the top of the triangular building.

The Rock Hall is the center for big festivals every year that attract several thousand people. Other popular local venues include Beachland Ballroom, Grog Shop, Angora and Peabody's, Winchester, Phantasy and Brothers Lounge. The history of the Cleveland music scene has included Nine Inch Nails, Filter, Tracy Chapman, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Dazz Band, Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, Johnny Gil, The James Gang, Marc Cohn, Pere Ubu, The Dead Boys, The Rasberries, The Outsiders, Michael Stanley and Freddy Martin. The local scene is covered by

Attack Cat * Avant * Audiblethread * Burning Vegas * Charlie Mosbrook * Chris Castle * Code Sumari * Crooked River Blues Band * David Ullman * Day Method * Eclyptic * Hal Walker * Johnny Philko * Jonny Sayne * LT & The Blues Express * Lwam * Magpies * Noize From the Basement * Nox Arcana * 70 Lewis * Sir Leslie * Tailz * This Is a Shakedown * Todd C. Thompson * Village Thrift * Waterband * Winslow * Zora *

Cleveland Local Music Scene History

A pair of musicians from the Cleveland music scene wrote a song about the coronavirus in the spring of 2020. Adam Rich based the music on punk chords, according to He recorded the track "Social Distancing" with Mike Taffi. Rich said he wrote the song as he was finding about the closing of bars and restaurants.

The CBS TV show Criminal Minds featured a song called "Coming Home" by Cleveland singer/songer Marina Strah on March 14, 2018. The song is an autobiographical story about life in Cleveland. The show is in its 13th season. Marina first gained public attention in 2014 by winning the "Ohio's Got Talent" competition. Later that year she won Ryan Seacrest's cover song contest, in which she performed the Taylor Swift hit "Shake It Off." A new Marina Strah single called "On Your Mind" was released in February 2018.

Crop Rocks opened up as a new music venue for Cleveland in August 2015. The capacity of the venue in 150 seats, which is ideal for a local band. Operated by Steve Schimoler as part of a three restaurant complex in the East Bank, overlooking teh Cuyahoga River boardwalk. One of the sister restaurants to Crop Rocks is the Asian restaurant Crop Stix. The third section will be called On-Air, which will be a 250-seat dining room designed for live music and live radio broadcasts. is a local music scene resource that can keep fans and research busy for hours. The site is full of concert listings and CD reviews as well as the latest news. It provides info on concert festivals such as All Good (July 18-21, 2013), Bunbury Music Festival (July 12-14, 2013) and Gentlemen Stopover (August 30-31). The site also provides links to local venues and features a musicians classified section.

Radio Hannibal is the website of music guru John Hannibal, who believes that the Cleveland music scene in 2013 is an exciting time. At the same time he believes that the internet has leveled the playing field between regional and national acts, so he doesn't feel it's necessary to label music as "local" anymore. He notices that an increasing number of venues in Cleveland feature artists who perform original material. Even bowling alleys such as Inferno Lounge and Mahall's are booking original bands.

Adam Bowers works in advertising and promotions at Cleveland radio station WNWV 107.3 and writes about the Cleveland music scene in He supports independent businesses and indie bands. He's written about lcoal bands such as Fitz and the Tantrums and local venues such as Beachland Ballroom. Read his review of the local scene in this November 14, 2011 article in the Examiner.

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