Music? We got that. We put 10 different Akron bands on our Akron Music Download card. – Sponsored by Big Love Fest
Last month I posted a DJ mix of nothing but Akron based music, and the response was very positive. To keep showing the Akron music scene love, Unbox members received an Akron Music Sampler download card. 10 songs from 10 different Akron based artists. There was a wide range of styles presented on the card. It also features artwork from Marxarmando Rivera, and is sponsored by Big Love Fest.
Be sure to head over to Big Love Fest on March 12 at Summit Artspace for a fun-filled day of music, art, and community building. And do you want to join Unbox Akron and receive a box full of Akron goodies each month? Just follow this link and you can sign up! https://unboxakron.cratejoy.com/
And now, here’s a look at all of the great bands featured on this month’s Akron music download card from Unbox Akron and Big Love Fest.
I heard Copali‘s “Sax Funk” from their self-titled album and knew I had to work it into the “All Akron, All the Time” mix I put together. How original was this? Is that a steel drum I hear? Funk-jazz with just a touch of island sound is the best way to describe what you hear when you play Copali. The band consists of Blaine Klein on steel drums, Willow DiGiacomo on clarinet and alto saxophone, Lucas Rich on saxophone, Mike Langman on guitar, Charles Klein on bass, and Cameron Weichman on drumset.
They have performed at the Highland Square Porch Festival, First Night Akron, and Akron’s SquareFest. They released their self-titled debut in December of 2015 and you can find it at Copalimusic.bandcamp.com
I fell in love with Gretchen Pleuss‘s music when I happened upon her song “Covered Windows”. Who was this person singing like this and calling Akron home? I instantly reached out to her, and I met a talented young lady who was making brilliant music. She lists Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin, and Paul Simon among her biggest influences. Her lyrics paint vivid images and scenarios, telling stories that any listener can follow and relate with.
Gretchen is currently competing in NPR’s Tiny Desk contest with her song “Desperations”. She is also preparing to release her third full length album From Birth To Breath To Bone on March 4th. Keep an eye on her Facebook page to learn how you can buy the new album.
When I asked DJ El-Prezidente of the Mighty Soul Night who was doing funk and soul in Akron, he told me to check out Eriq Troi. To say I wasn’t disappointed would be the understatement of year. I played his album Blooming Where Planted three times back to back to back. I then became indignant that no one had told me about this local musical talent earlier. Eriq Troi is a musician and producer and he lists the Quincy Jones album The Dude as a major inspiration on his Blooming Where Planted. He worked with some of his favorite artists from Northeast Ohio, crafting songs with each one of them to create the album, similar to how Jones created his famous album.
Eriq Troi is constantly creating new music. You can stream and download his work, and if you keep an eye on his Facebook page you will get great behind the scenes glimpses of how he puts together his songs in the studio.
Axon-Neuron is incredibly creative. They describe themselves as progressive rock, but it almost doesn’t seem fair to limit them to that category (and that’s saying something because progressive rock allows you to be anything you want). But there are elements of classical, metal, and jazz in their sound that shouldn’t be overlooked. Harmonies, rhythms, orchestrations – it’s all there. You could easily expect to hear some of the songs on their new album as the score of a movie.
This new album is the band’s third studio album. Metamorphosis is a 16 song double-album, and was just recently released on January 28th. You owe it to yourself to get a copy of this album for your music collection.
Zach is a busy man. He seems to be always playing live shows or recording music. He’s an Akron music staple! When you don’t find him with his guitar in hand, he’s working on one of the many community building projects he’s involved in (he’s one of the co-founders of the Big Love Fest – who sponsored this download card).
If you want to hear more music from Zach, just keep your ears open. His music seems to be everywhere. You can hear him occasionally on the Summit 91.3 FM. You can find his music on iTunes. And you can catch him live all over Northeast Ohio.
A-Minus loves hip-hop and he loves being a positive influence through his music. He also has a fun, quirky take on his music, referring to himself as an alien who has crash landed on Earth to entertain Earthlings through his music. He lists Prince, Run-DMC, and Nirvana as influences who led him to start creating his own music. Now he’s returning the favor, hoping to inspire Akron’s young creative minds through his positive brand of hip-hop.
You can often find A-Minus performing for students at schools and at community events. You can also hear his music on University of Akron’s WZIP FM88. Head over to the official A-Minus website to download his albums.
If you love jazz, it is easy to enjoy the Admirables. And let me just say how pleased I was to find that Akron is full of people who love jazz. Not only do we have a great jazz club in Blu Jazz, but we also produce some incredible jazz musicians. The Admirables are standing right there on our jazz scene as one of its anchors. In 2014 they released a now collectible and hard to find EP – Just A Tease. They are currently working on a full length album – and I am hoping and praying with my fingers crossed that I see a release date in the upcoming months of 2016.
But until we get that official album release, we can enjoy streaming and downloading the selection of songs available on the Amirables Bandcamp page.
Nick Wilkinson & the Featured Players
As the story goes, Nick Wilkinson & the Featured Players started out as a joke. Well, now it’s impossible to think of them as a joke. They are such an integral part of the Akron music scene that it’s almost hard to imagine them not being around. Nick Wilkinson’s folk songwriting gets a backing that delivers a serious punch with the Featured Players backing up the song.
So, if you are digging the music from these guys like we are, be sure to stop by the official Nick Wilkinson website, and then head over to their Bandcamp page to stream and download some more great tunes.
Among All Things
Among All Things was another Akron band that I ran across while pulling together songs to go in the “All Akron All the Time” mixtape. They were loud, fast, and fun…and I loved it. They consider themselves pop-punk adding even more to the diversity of styles we have here in regards to Akron music.
One of my favorite things about this band is that they list “The Wonder Years” tv show as one of their influences. I can dig it. Be sure to check out their Soundcloud page for some streaming of some more great music.
I actually heard bluelight before I moved to Akron this past summer. While listening to their self-titled EP, all I could think was, “If this is what music in Akron is like, I am going to love this place.” And it has held true. I love the city, and I love the city’s music.
I couldn’t think of a better way to round out our first (catch that? We are going to do this again!) Akron Music Sampler. bluelight’s smooth laid back sound blends jazz and hip-hop into music that goes perfect in your headphones, or while you are staring out the window, daydreaming on a rainy day. These guys are seriously talented, and not to mention a great big friendly group. If you catch them live be sure to say hi to them after the show.
“Peripheral” is from their upcoming release The Silence Behind the Noise”. Keep your eyes on their official website for updates on the release.