It’s been a few years since The Dollyrots have rolled through Columbus though they have an excuse – singer/bassist Kelly Ogden and guitarist Luis Cabezas got married and started a family (River was born in 2013, his sister Daisy in November 2016). With a new album – Whiplash Smile – coming out on March 24 (stream the whole thing here), the entire family decided to hit the road.

After playing at Bernie’s, The Summit, Ravari Room, A&R Bar and Skully’s in the past, The Dollyrots make their Rumba Cafe debut on Monday night with The Two Tens. Doors open at 8 and cover is $10.


Not quite a year ago, I had the chance to check out Alex Dezen (The Damnwells) perform a solo, happy hour set at Schuba’s in Chicago while I was there on a business trip. A great coincidence as Alex is, in my opinion, the Dylan of our generation and an artist that I try to see anytime I’m in the same city he is.

After the show, Alex told me he had just completed his second solo album and said he’d send me a link to stream it. Hours later, as I sat in my hotel room, an email with a link hit my in-box. As a fan of The Damnwells since basically their origin, I have some idea what to expect with the music Alex writes but I was not prepared to the new material. I fired off a response as I finished out my first listen. “Whoa, Alex. You know I LOVE everything you do but after just one listen, I’m thinking this might be some of my favorite songs I’ve ever heard you do. I detect an ’80s vibe to some of the songs and you know I love the ’80s.”

The album, that I’ve been listening to since last May, finally was released to the masses a few weeks ago and the reception from fans and critics alike has been overwhelmingly positive. And even though this album featured a full backing band, I was expecting tour dates to be Alex standing on a stage with an acoustic (as he’s done the last 3 or 4 times I’ve seen him). To my surprise, the current tour features a full compliment of musicians playing not only music from Alex’s two solo albums but also some Damnwells cuts.

Not sure if any of Columbus Calling’s readers have checked out Thirty One West in Newark, but that’s where Alex will be playing on Saturday night along with his touring partner Mike Dunn and Melodime, an Americana-inspired band from Virginia. Tickets for the show are $15 at the door.


Yeah, I’ll admit it … I missed out on the whole Sepultura thing back in the mid-90s. The band came of age in the transition between grunge and nu metal and while I don’t shy away from HEAVY metal, I just sort of assumed the Brazilian band would be a bit too brutal for my liking.

So, here we are, 21 years after the release of Sepultura’s sixth studio album, Roots, and I’m finally paying attention. There’s no denying by this point in their career, the band was incorporating some of what was going on around them (aka “groove metal”) and – for 1996 – made a very relevant-sounding album that fit in with some of the bands whose popularity was skyrocketing (namely Korn).

Founding vocalist Max Cavalera left Sepultura at the conclusion of the Roots tour and his brother, drummer Iggor, left ten years later (the two formed Cavalera Conspiracy in 2007). With an opportunity to go back and celebrate the anniversary of Max’s last album with Sepultura, the brothers hit the road last year to perform Roots in it’s entirety and that tour has extended into the new year bringing the Cavalera brothers to the Alrosa this Saturday night.

This will be a chance for me to catch up on something I missed and I suspect the Alrosa will be packed with metalheads moshing like it’s 1996. Doors open at 5:30 and there’s a stacked lineup (The Whiteouts, Mithridium, Crucible of Hate, Full of Hell, Immolation) set to get the crowd fired up before Max and Iggor hit the stage. Tickets are $25 at the door.

WCBE welcomes Welshly Arms, with special guests Nick D and the Believers, to Rumba Cafe on Friday, Feb. 3. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

WCBE welcomes Welshly Arms, with special guests Nick D and the Believers, to Rumba Cafe on Friday, Feb. 3. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

There are people in Columbus who saw The Black Keys and/or John Mayer at Little Brothers, Gary Clark Jr at Woodlands Tavern, twenty-one pilots at Kobo. Now, I’m definitely not saying that someday Welshly Arms will be headlining Nationwide Arena – believe me, I’ve made some pretty far-fetched and foolish predictions in the past – but the Cleveland-based blues-rock band is on track to start reaching much bigger audiences in, dare I say, the very-near future.

After spending the summer opening for NEEDTOBREATHE and playing to large crowds, Welshly Arms returned to Cleveland in November for a headlining show at the House of Blues that I attended. I’m terrible with guestimating crowd sizes but I’d say there were at least 500 people to welcome the band home and it felt more like a national band’s tour stop than a gig for a local band. When I asked a friend of mine if he was going to the show, he said, “No. Ohio already has one Black Keys, that’s all I need” and, to be fair, there are some similarities between the two bands but Welshly Arms contains additional members, including two back-up singers (reminds me of Columbus band Nick Tolford and Company), who fill out the sound.

Whether or not Welshly Arms has built a Columbus following remains to be seen – personally, I think Rumba is a little small for the band – but it wouldn’t be far-fetched to believe that next time they come around, they’ll be able to play to hundreds at The Newport.

Welshly Arms and Nick D and The Believers will be at Rumba Cafe on Friday night. Tickets are $10 in advance (available at Used Kids, Magnolia Thunderpussy, Rumba Cafe, online) or $12 at the door.


Do bands that only release music digitally have “Streaming Release Parties”? Not something I’ve really thought about until realizing¬†that this weekend there are back-to-back honest-to-goodness CD Release Parties, something that hasn’t really been the norm for the last few years. While digital music is convenient, there’s something to be said for bands who still cater to those of us with CD players in our cars. And the new releases by Bava Choco and Sophmore are EXACTLY the kind of music I want to be listening to while on the road.

You’d be excused if neither of these names are familiar – neither band falls into the traditional college-aged kids playing every opportunity they have even if it means a Tuesday night 1am slot at The Summit. (Yikes, if you knew how hard I had to think about a live music venue in Columbus that hosted local bands late into the night/early morning on a weeknight, you’d say, “Yep, dude lives in the ‘burbs and is out of touch”). But, I digress. Bava Choco and Sophmore are both made up of Columbus music veterans who¬†used to do the Tuesday night gig thing back when clubs like High Five, Bernie’s, and Ravari Room were still around. These days, band members have full-time jobs, mortgages, kids and few dreams of signing a record deal with Geffen and going out on the road 250 days a year so these shows are somewhat rare and special.

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