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The Cla-Zels

They packed the house and wowed me with their music. It is creative, fun and inventive! Anyone would be able to enjoy their sound…”

The lights are up and they hit the stage.  The boy and girl lead singers have come back with their electrics, and loud power now drives the high-octane blues rock.  The mellow harmonies and rootsy percussion are gone and on is the classic rock drum beat.  The upright bass has been replaced with its electric counterpart, which is now driving the eighth note rhythm of the “Mississippi Queen”-like rocker “Flower of the Gold Rush.”  The boy and girl sing together, but not with the sweet, fluid Everly Brothers phrasing of last hour’s acoustic numbers. Now their voices lock into a rough tenor unison, a wailing AC/DC melody punctuated by greasy guitar solos.   

“…Solidly melodic writing and an adventurous musical approach which shifts tones, moods, and styles…” --Mike Breen, City Beat

Joanie Whittaker (vocals, rhythm guitar) and JasonErickson (vocals, lead guitar) comprise the two-headed songwriting monster that fronts TheCla-Zels.   Each takes on half of the songwriting and lead singing duties, alternately leading the veteran rhythm section of Brian Baverman (drums) and Chris Barlow (bass) through a variety of grooves. Girl and boy strut their hour upon the stage with Joanie and Jason’s signature two-part harmony sound.  Nowhere is this more on display than with I Own Hawaii and In a Canyon, The Cla-Zels first two albums, which have garnered airplay on WNKU and other radio stations.   

Yee-haw! Love this track [“The Hurting’s On Me”]. It’s rock-infused country, with a little rockabilly swing to get your hips moving.   Some tracks are upbeat, and others are bluesy, slow, and just plain sexy.” --Daniele Cusentino, Metromix

Featuring the solid vocals of co-frontpeople Jason Erickson and Joanie Whittaker… [In a Canyon] is an enjoyable trip through The Cla-Zels’ varied influences; you’ll be glad they invited you along for the ride.” –Mike Breen, City Beat

“…Both Whittaker and Erickson are strong writers, giving I Own Hawaii a fun, polished vibe…

They also mesh perfectly on harmonies…” --Rod Lockwood, The Toledo Blade

The live Cla-Zels experience sometimes conjures up a late 60’s vibe, complete with psychedelic lights, go-go dancers, and improvised jams.  There are amped-up Delaney and Bonnie rockers like “Train to Alabama” and “Dear Candy.”  Man and woman equally represented and rocking your ass off.  Fleetwood Mac on steroids.

A modern day incarnation of the best of male and female-led vocal rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s… their live show is something to be remembered.” --Cole Christiansen, The Sentinel

 Working with The Cla-Zels is a dream! All of the band members are fun and respectful. The Cla-Zels are playing The York St Cafe again soon and I hope many more times after that.”        --Ryan Angell, Manager, York St Caf

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