Sat 3/15 @ 8PM
Cellar Door Productions started inauspiciously over a decade ago as a coffeehouse out in Lake County. Co-owners Justin Markert and Rick Fike put out several local compilations, mostly of unknown artists on the edges of the music scene.
How things have changed! Two years ago, the company, now including Markert’s livewire wife Allie and writer/social media maven Nikki Delamotte, moved into a warehouse-type space in Asiatown, with an office, performance space, and shop devoted solely to local releases.
They recently closed that space — but not because the project was a failure. On the contrary, they’ve been too successful for the space. Cellar Door has been growing by leaps and bounds, and they’ve been tapped to be part of many larger-scale events that don’t give them the time to devote to keeping their own space going. They’ve worked with events like the Heights Music Hop, Weapons of Mass Creation, the Waterloo Arts Fest, and Ingenuity.
They’ve also taken on management of several area bands, just recently announcing a real coup: a management and recording deal with red-hot symphonic rockers Seafair (pictured below at Ingenuity).
The Markerts’ enthusiasm and discerning ear for talent found confluence with a local music renaissance and is helping to fuel it. Last year, they presented the Cellar Door Rendezvous, a two-night, two-stage showcase of top-tier local talent at the Beachland Ballroom & Tavern that packed both rooms.
It’s a testament to how much great talent there is in northeast Ohio now that there second go-round of the event — still two nights at both the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern — features 18 bands with only three repeats from last year. Those three are the bands they’ve signed over the last year: the Commonwealth, So Long, Albatross, and Ohio Sky. Seafair is playing for the first time.
Friday night’s lineup features the Lighthouse & the Whaler (pictured), who have been building some national buzz over the last couple of years, along with Captain Kidd, the Commonwealth, Tom Evanchuck, Likenesses, Midnight Passenger, Ottawa, Rob Duskey and James Douglas.
On Saturday you can check out why Seafair attract more fans with every show. Ohio Sky, Thaddeus Anna Greene, the Suede Brothers, So Long, Albatross, These Knees, Nomads, Morgan Mecaskey, and Extra Medium Pony are also performing, representing — as does the entire show — as mix of genres, veteran players, and young guns.
Each night is only $12 for this astonishing array of talent. A two-night pass is $20.