Music » Livewire

Michael Stanley and the Resonators

Friday, December 23, at the Odeon.

by

comment
We confess, we have an enduring respect for performers who didn't quite get their hands on that brass ring in the '70s and '80s, but still keep at it -- folks like Ellen McIlwaine, Willy DeVille, and hometown hero Michael Stanley.

All the aforementioned artists received critical acclaim, released some very good -- and some great -- records, and showed the usual "signs" of impending Breakthrough Success -- in Stanley's case, the vowel-less production ace Bill Szymczyk (B.B. King, Eagles), a backing crew with "name" recognition (Todd Rundgren, Joe Walsh, David Sanborn), and a benediction from John Lennon, who truly admired MS's cover of the Beatles' "Help" from 1973's Friends & Legends album. (Then as now, jerky radio hacks don't care who your studio friends are.)

Stanley's 1975 set, You Break It -- You Bought It, wasn't exactly Teenage Fanclub, but it had a cozy mix of folk and country-tinged introspection and semi-power-pop. In 1980, punk had yet to break in America, but the Michael Stanley Band had scooped John Cougar Mellencamp with his Heartland rock plan. About three years later, the major-label suits slighted Stanley, showing him the door to make room for crap like Duran Duran. Undaunted, MS persevered, performing concise, melodic rock songs with a soupçon of wit and an awareness of roots. Give the man his props Friday at the Odeon.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.