Local Musician’s New Recording Evokes Early-90s Cleveland Concerts


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Local musician Adam Rich is currently in the recording process of his next album, and it's a trip into both the past and the future that he's been working on for years. One of the songs revisits Rich’s history as a concert-going high school senior back in the early 1990s. In particular, his lyrics — and guest musicians — evoke early First Light shows at Peabody’s Cafe. It's an interesting tale.

Back then, in that halcyon summer between high school and college, Rich was catching The Janglers and First Light as often as he could in Cleveland.

“I actually wrote this song ‘Move My Soul’ around 2010 or 2011,” Rich says. “I was just remembering the fun times I had there that summer watching both bands and it evolved into a song. I thought it would be cool to get as many First Light members on it as possible, but figured getting any of them would be a longshot. I also knew it wouldn't get done in time to make it onto the album I started recording in late 2011 so I set it aside, hoping to include it on my next one.”

A few years down the road, Rich was able to lasso the musicians he'd been following for years and bring them into the studio to work on this track. 

"I knew I had to have Rod [Reisman] on drums," Rich says. "I found out he worked at Stebal Drums in Eastlake. So around 2013, I started going up there every now and then just to talk to him. He introduced me to Dave Smeltz from I-Tal.

"Dave and I became friends. When I finally pitched the idea to Rod about playing on the song, he was up for it. I got Dave got involved as well. Rod was on drums, Dave on guitar and myself on bass. It took some time for our schedules to align, but the three of us jammed in mid-2015 at my house, then recorded a demo toward the end of the year. We recorded final tracks in early 2016, but found the first take we did was the best. So what was intended as the demo ended up being the keeper take."

The guest spots continued into March 2016. Ed Marthey added a keyboard track, and Carlos Jones added percussion. Chopper tossed a guitar solo on top. Butchie from Outlaws I & I added vocals, too.

"It's pretty cool have most of the band you discovered as a teenager now playing on your album on a song you wrote about them almost 25 years later," Rich says. "Most of the First Light guys slowly migrated over to Outlaws I & I. They just seem to gravitate toward each other. No matter what name they play under, I'll never get tired of seeing them."

Rich plans to release the album sometime this fall, likely in line with the annual LoveMuffiinPalooza event that he organizes. 


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