- Wanda Santos-Bray
- Molkie Cole, reunited at the Winchester.
"Every time I see her, [Beachland owner] Cindy [Barber] bugs me, 'You oughta get the band back together,'" says rhythm guitarist Jim Quinn. "I saw her at the Alarm Clocks show at the Beachland, and she cornered me."
Between 1968 and 1971, the band recorded three albums for the major label United Artists. They regularly opened for the James Gang and played major festivals. And they toured as both a headliner and in support of Eric Clapton and Traffic.
A hard-rock sensibility reigned in Damnation's psychedelic zeitgeist, and their late records would brush the roots of fusion and prog rock. The band cracked the Billboard album chart's upper strata, while the singles "Back to the River" and "Cookbook" reached No. 1 in some markets. A burly cover of the Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" sounds like a Steppenwolf deep-album cut, pumped up with bluesy guitar jams and heavy Hammond B-3 organ.
When the record deal fell apart, lineup changes ensued. The group rebooted as Glory in 1972 and released a self-titled album before disbanding. And while members scattered across country, the music lived on. Beginning in 2000, the Italian label Akarma reissued the albums, including an elaborate boxed set of the first three records; the $60 import has sold over 20,000 copies.
Friday, April 27, the group will appear on the 98.5-FM WNCX morning show, followed by a show that night at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd.). Saturday, April 28, Damnation will make an in-store appearance at Time Traveler (2615 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls) at 3 p.m., followed by a show at the Tangier (532 West Market Street, Akron). Quinn says the band has nothing planned beyond these dates.
"We're really just doing it to have fun. We're getting older. Who knows if we'll ever do this again?"
· The 10-piece Ryan Humbert Band will record a live CD and DVD Saturday, April 28, at Musica (19 Maiden Lane, off Market and High streets in downtown Akron). The acoustic show will feature the JLTS Gospel Singers.
· The locally based Heads Up/ Telarc label has signed a three-album deal with the Bad Plus, arguably the planet's coolest rock-jazz trio. Heads Up will distribute the records via the band's Do the Math imprint. The group's Prog album drops Tuesday, May 8. The disc features instrumental covers of Rush's "Tom Sawyer" and Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."
· Cleveland rap icons Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have received a different kind of remix from keytar-wielding electro-rocker Copy. The Oregon musician has included eight-bit versions of Bone's "Tha Crossroads" on his mixtape, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony-N-Copy.
· Wisenheimer rockers Smiley Baldazar are still playing, but their second album, Relax . . . It's Out of Control, is on hold while the band devises a business plan to push the disc and singer-guitarist Steve Smith takes time off to handle a medical situation with his family.
· Visit Scene's C-Notes blog -- updated multiple times daily at www. clevescene.com/blogs for early concert announcements and online exclusives from record reviews to an interview with Stab-O-Matic.