Band leader: Cleveland will rock at block party
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Oct 30, 2012 | 2434 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Drivin' N Cryin'
DRIVIN’ N CRYIN’ will rock the block Wednesday night during the silver anniversary of the Downtown Cleveland Block Party. Banner Photo, GREG KAYLOR
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“Are you rockin’ yet? If not, you’re gonna be rockin’ and rollin’ when we get to Cleveland,” said Keven Kinney, of Drivin’ N Cryin’, who will be the featured artists at the 25th annual Downtown Cleveland Block Party Wednesday.

Drivin’ N Cryin’ is one of the South’s hottest jam bands.

The Atlanta-based band best known for the 1991 hit “Fly Me Courageous” is playing a 90-minute concert beginning at 8:15 p.m. The band has toured extensively over the last 25 years and even made history by becoming the only band to share a stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sonic Youth and Neil Young in the same 12-month period.

In 2011, the Georgia General Assembly honored the band with a resolution for its contribution to popular music, according to Sharon Marr, executive director for MainStreet Cleveland.

Kinney said the band has taken on a new challenge after being in the music business for 27 years.

“We are making new recordings every 90 days,” he said.

The band is producing, “short albums” with off-the-wall titles. The short albums are marketed at a reduced rate.

The latest release this past week was “Songs about cars, space and the Ramones.”

“As the boys themselves exclaim, the influences this time around are The Kinks, The Who, Count Five, The Ramones, and others, and that baseline shows without mercy in ‘Songs about Cars, Space, and the Ramones.’ Raucous, loud, energetic, and in your face with more than a little shirtsleeve snottiness, the band has found its zone,” according to a review by Mark Tucker of Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange.

“We are constantly in the studio doing these short records,” Kinney said.

Kinney noted the band has a dozen full albums.

The band hails from an area in Atlanta known as Virginia Highlands.

“We have never played Cleveland but have been to Chattanooga and performed,” Kinney said.

Local group Dexter Thomas Band performs at 6:30 p.m.

The Dexter Thomas Band has built a reputation as being one of the most exciting show bands in the Southeast. The group’s high-energy show features the outstanding vocals of India Galyean and Jonathan Jarrett and a 10-piece entourage of experienced musicians and vocalists.

The band has been featured in many concert events throughout the Southeast, from headlining the Conoco Stage at Chattanooga’s Riverbend to opening for Michael Bolton in Finley Stadium. It has performed in concert with The Doobie Brothers, Bruce Hornsby, Atlanta Rhythm Section, The Guess Who, Leon Russell, The Byrds, Goose Creek Symphony, Survivor, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Four Tops, The Drifters, Dr. Hook, and the Coasters,” Marr said.

“We are looking forward to playing in Cleveland and we promise to make it a great Halloween party,” Kinney said.