Band: Ryan Humbert (www.ryanhumbert.com; www.myspace.com/ryanhumbertband)
Hometown: North Canton
Sounds like: "Sometimes like a ridiculously loud rock band in the vein of Elvis Costello or Steve Earle. During acoustic shows, a little on the lines of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. For this acoustic performance, we'll be joined by the four-piece Nothing to Lose Gospel Choir."
Fun fact: "Our second album, Hangman, features guitar, violin, and mandolin from Andy Carlson, sideman extraordinaire, who has played with R.E.M, Nanci Griffith, Billy Bragg, and many more."
Playing: Friday, February 10 at the Kent Stage's Up From the River Festival
Why you should see them: Because you never know what you'll see at an RHB show . . . rock, folk, punk, country. And we have a hot chick in the band. That never hurts." -- Ryan Humbert, guitars and vocals
Band: Blazer (www.myspace.com/blazermusic)
Hometown: Bay Village
Sounds like: "They should have been born with all the post-punk new-wave bands from Manchester, England."
Fun fact: "blaz"er. Pronunciation: 'blA-zer.' Function: noun. 1) one that blazes 2) a sports jacket, often with notched collar and patch pockets."
Playing: Saturday, February 11, at the Hi-Fi
Why you should see them: "Our debut CD has already received critical acclaim in the U.K. Also, this might be our only local show in February." -- Jay Glenn, synth and vocals, and Raymond Glenn, guitar
Band: Houseguest (www.houseguest.org; www.myspace.com/houseguest)
Sounds like: "The best description of us I've ever heard is 'nerds on fire.' I don't know what it means, but it's exactly what we sound/look like."
Fun fact: "We're recording an album for Audio Eagle Recorded Discs, a label owned by the Black Keys' Patrick Carney."
Playing: Saturday, February 11, at the Lime Spider
Why you should see them: "We totally flip out onstage. Sometimes we get so pumped up, we actually grow slightly larger than normal. We each get maybe, like, only an inch taller, but I'm told the effect is eerie, nonetheless." -- Ted, singer
Band: The Spikedrivers (www.thespikedrivers.com)
Sounds like: "Bluegrass, country, blues, and rock and roll, blended into a red-hot honky-tonk heaven."
Fun fact: "I am currently in training for the 2007 world beard competition."
Playing: Saturday, February 11, at the Happy Dog
Why you should see them: "You'll never slap your knee so hard at the best hoedown this side of the Mississip." -- Steven Fox, upright bass and vocals