Cleaveland Jones is a band of mystery, insists its frontman and songwriter, named, also, Cleaveland Jones. "I don't mind it being a bit confusing or ambiguous," insists the Ohio transplant, who has been in Miami for 10 years and playing music locally for three. Try to get more details about who, exactly, makes up the band, and he turns tongue-in-cheek petulant: "If you're going to ask me all that, at least buy me a drink or run your fingers through my hair!"
At least the music is serious. "Samba dub soul funk" is how his MySpace page (www.myspace.com/cleavelandjonesmusic) describes it, but there's a definite rock twist. Jones name-checks as major influences James Brown, Bob Marley, and, uh, Steve Miller. "I know it sounds weird, but I like a lot of classic rock stuff, because I'm from the Midwest," he explains. Anchoring a Cleaveland Jones show is the man's nimble guitar work, augmented by a revolving cast of stars of the local rock and fusion scenes. Friday's show at Circa 28 will feature Andrés Ponce of Elastic Bond and maybe vocalist Sophy EnCanto of the same group. "Put that in there and maybe she'll read it and have to show up," Jones says. Either way, he's got to be onto something; this past spring he was voted Best Rock Band in the Miami New Times's "Best of Miami" readers' poll.
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