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BACK Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Concert Review GUITAR DIGEST by Bob Engleman
Category: Music
-Guitar Digest Magazine and The Ohio Guitar Show-

By Bob Engelman - The Damnation (who got the bands name from a list of books in the back of a Ray Bradbury novel) formed in 1968, was one of the few bands out of Greater Cleveland in the early 70's to get national airplay and touring assignments (of course we knew who the James Gang and Raspberries were). Their self-titled debut album and consequent second album deal with United Artists happened the following year. Back to the River and their covers of Morning Dew (the much covered Tim Rose song about nuclear war), and Last Train to Clarksville were FM radio favorites, and still pop up on national oldie tribute shows like Little Steven's (when The Soprano's are on hiatus) Underground Garage (which is by the way fantastic and is heard on Sunday nights in the Cleveland area). Sweet Dream Lady from their third album, was originally done with The Cleveland Orchestra, at a time Adam said, everyone else was using the now prehistoric Mellotrons.
DOAB, like a lot of late 60's and early 70's regional bands started getting props from major artists who began going back and listening to the various "Roots" bands. In those days talent wasn't the question, but the answer was getting hooked up with the right record and promo people that could take you and keep you national.
The original lineup with a new bassist (replacing original member Ray Benich), and percussionist, cooked. The sometimes five-part vocals were always one of their strong points. By the third song, I had some musical acquaintances (first time DOAB listeners) make comments about how talented these guys are. Adam (Bill Constable's alter ego ala Alice Cooper) and brother Ken on lead and backing vocals set the tone. Guitarists Bob Kalamasz, accomplished pocket player Jim Quinn, and drummer Bill Schwark, knew where to take the band. The band always had the ability to successfully provide a feeling comparable to the best attributes of the Moodies, CSN, and at times, The Dead. I'd seen them a few years back at the Rock Hall reunion, and as is the case with many reunion ventures, they sound better now!
The Tangiers show was a follow up to the gig at The Beachland Ballroom the night before. They announced that they're working on new material. Keep your eyes and ears open for these guys!

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