The History: The band played its first gig just over two years ago and has been going strong ever since. Because of its terrific live show — sharp-dressed Brent "Wesley Bright" Wesley is a real dynamo on stage — the soul/old-school R&B band is suddenly in high demand. "It's just really strange," says drummer Nick Fritsch. "At this point, we're turning down more gigs than we're taking. We don't want to play every single weekend so people get sick of us. We've been sitting here thinking about how we're going to fulfill all these requests. Things are extremely busy. It's really cool and really flattering. We're trying to take gigs that seem to keep propelling us. It's been a lot of strategic decision-making." The band has been touring regionally too and teamed up with the like-minded, Northern soul-obsessed Vallures to play a gig in Indiana recently.
Why You Should Hear Them: Songs such as "You Don't Care About Me" feature a steady bass beat and soulful, Otis Redding-like vocals. The band's been cooking up a few new tracks and has a new single due out this week. "Originally, we were going to release a full-length," Fritsch says of the upcoming release party. "But we wanted us to have a backlog of songs rather than just release the 12 songs we have. The A-side ['Tell Me'] is our strongest song. The B-side ['Do What You Wanna Do'] is a tribute to an old Northern-soul classic. The neat thing is that everything was done in Northeast Ohio. It was recorded at Studio Time, and it was sent to Adam Boose at Cauliflower Audio for mastering and then went to Clint Holley at Well Made Music [to be mastered for vinyl] and Gotta Groove [to be pressed on vinyl]."
Where You Can Hear Them: facebook.com/wesleybrightandthehilites
Where You Can See Them: Wesley Bright & the Hi-Lites perform with the Vallures at 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30 at the Beachland Ballroom.