MEET THE BAND: Tom Kurlander (vocals, guitar), Sean L. Spicer (guitar), David Harris (drums), Timothy Carr (keyboard), Jake Proto (bass)
THE CLEVELAND CONNECTION: While he currently lives in L.A., Kurlander and his family moved from Chicago to Cleveland when he was 2, and Kurlander's father, Donald Kurlander, still lives in Cleveland Heights. Many of Kurlander's cousins live in Northeast Ohio as well. "I went to boarding schools, but I spent my entire childhood coming in and out of Cleveland, often hanging at an uncle's antique shop on Coventry or visiting my grandmother, who was a killer cook, on Warrensville Center Road," says Kurlander. "My connection to Cleveland is about family. I'm also a huge Browns fan. I've never stopped being a Browns fan except for the past 15 years."
HIS FIRST LOVE IS MUSIC: While at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Kurlander picked up the acoustic guitar and learned every Neil Young and Bob Dylan song he could. After college, he moved to Los Angeles where he had an acting career, appearing in such films as Kindergarten Cop, Young Guns II and Flatliners. He also starred in dozens of television shows and commercials. "That said, my first love has always been songwriting," he says. "Right from the beginning, I started writing lyrics." Kurlander has released two albums to date, Work and Sugar Burn Sessions.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BAND: Kurlander's band includes six-time Gospel Music Association of Canada award-winning guitarist Sean L. Spicer, who's been featured in Guitar Player Magazine as "a player you should know." "I'm blessed to have [Spicer] and other world-class musicians play with me because of the quality of songs I write," Kurlander says. "The template for my band is Tom Petty. I always have a great guitar player to my left. Sean is so good. We've been together for eight years now."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR HIM: The rootsy "You've Got My World" sounds like a cross between Warren Zevon, Bruce Springsteen and the Band. Kurlander even throws some horns into the mix, and the bursts of French horn really make the songs pop.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR HIM: https://www.facebook.com/TomKurlanderMusic/
WHERE YOU CAN SEE HIM: Tom Kurlander & Pale Blue perform at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Stella's Music Club.