The Burning River Ramblers, hailing from both Cleveland and Athens, recently won the local competition at the Hard Rock Cafe. The band now represents Cleveland (and Ohio) against 95 other bands from around the world after nearly 12,000 bands initially entered. The grand prize after all of this? Bands are competing for a chance to play in London, go on a world tour, win $10,000 to Guitar Center, and sign a one-year contract with the Hard Rock Cafe Record Label.
Kind of a big deal.
“Getting this far in the competition tells us that we’re doing something right,” vocalist Conor Standish says.
The gist of the voting procedure involves "liking" Hard Rock Cafe's Facebook page, and then voting for a particular band (the Ramblers, duh). Casting a vote also translates into downloading the band's new single "Don't Wait on Me."
That song and the band's other new material continues their tradition of "opening" up their sound more and more as times goes on. Guitarist Zach Catania described the sound last summer as more of an expansion than a complete change in the band's roots Americana rock. The follow-up to their last album is expected later this year, and it's sure to build on the terrific sound they've built thus far.
The Ramblers' shows are always groovy events. Comparisons to soulful, jam-friendly types like Ryan Montbleau abound, but the band is most definitely cultivating its own sound.
The Burning River Ramblers will play a free show at Around the Corner in Lakewood tonight at 8 p.m.
Votes for the competition will be accepted until 4 p.m. May 1. The band adds that voting must be done on a computer, not a mobile device. Winners will be announced May 6.
Cleveland-based Hey Monea! won the competition last year, so the local vibes are positive and the Lake Erie omens are burning brightly for the Ramblers.