Sun 10/8 @ 7PM
Dave Smeltz was the cornerstone of Cleveland’s reggae scene when he founded I-Tal in 1978, the first reggae band to spread the sound outside the Jamaican community. They were soon packing area rock clubs and opening to major acts. After half the band split to form the even more popular First Light, Smeltz kept I-Tal playing, mostly out of town at beach towns along the east coast, through 1990.
But Smeltz had a dark secret: he was an addict. He hit rock bottom in 2003 and cleaned up his act, with a lot of help from organizations set up to give addicts another chance. Now he’s started his own such group called Clean House. He’s purchased a building on Buckeye, which he’s been slowly rehabbing, where meeting are held and eventually men on their way to recovery will be able to live to get back on their feet.
Smeltz has written a book called Clean: From Reggae to Recovery, with all proceeds benefiting the project. He also organizes an annual benefit for it, taking place at the Beachland Ballroom. He’s assembled a bunch of his friends for this year’s benefit including Jim and Beth Miller, Daddy Longlegs Homegrown Revival, the Vernon Jones Blues Cartel, Jim Tigue of Wish You Were Here, Center in Exile, Bobby Dragon, and Marlene Marlene Deitrick and the Artificial Hipsters. Smeltz himself will play too, of course, with the Dave Smeltz Trio Plus One.
Admission is $15.