Another Reason to Love Cleave-age

Enigmatic rock musician Cleaveland Jones is one of the more interesting figures on the local scene and likes to think of himself as hard to pin down, stylewise. Take a listen to the music on his website, and you'll probably agree. His sound coasts from Latin jam sessions to guitar-driven rock to the syncopated samba rhythm underlying songs such as “Stumble.” “It’s a love affair [with Brazilian music] that I have been cultivating for a long time,” Jones says. “I had to get over a hump to sing in Portuguese, and it was nice to bring it out in the open.”

Now, at his new residency at Shiso everyday Tuesday night around 8:30, Jones is going to change it up again. The electric guitars and drum set are out, and a stand-up bass and a cavaquinho — a small guitar used in samba that is basically the Brazilian version of the ukulele — are in. He hopes the new ensemble will produce a stripped-down sound that will feature his songs in a way not possible when the melody had to compete with the layers of funky sound featured on his last CD. That should be ideal for Shiso, a small Japanese pub with enough sake cocktails to make you regret it if you attempt to try them all in one night. Not that you'd want to with a musician as skilled as Jones playing a few feet away, laying down a groove and reinventing himself for neither the first nor the last time. There’s no cover. For more info about Cleaveland Jones and to check out his music, visit
Tue., March 17, 2009
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Jared Goyette