Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dave Ritz at Wilbert's 6 May 2009

Cleveland product Dave Ritz, formerly of Genuine Son, did a solo set last Wednesday opening up for Los Angeles singer/songwriter Tony Lucca at Wilbert's. Ritz's nine song set included songs from his Genuine Son days, some new originals, and a cover of Dave Matthews' "#41."

Ritz's music influences stretch from the classic rock days of Billy Joel and Tom Petty, to current artists like Matthews. Performing with just an acoustical guitar he put on a show that started good, and got better as it went along. Much of his music could be called love songs for twentysomethings -- for that time in life after high school and after college, but when life is still filled with a lot of insecurity and fear of the future. His songwriting shows he is a pretty good observer of post-college life in 2009.

"Whiskey and Wine" is a signature tune from his Genuine Son days, although it sounded good solo probably doesn't get its total affect without a full band. "Eddie Casino," another catchy tune, probably needed a full band behind it also. "Scars of Money" was the best song of the evening, and "The Joker's Mine" had a bit of Paul Simon during his Graceland period funk to it. The closer was "Goodbye," which told of an end of a summer romance.

Ritz was comfortable and affable on stage, and although looking quite youthful you can sense he's been around a bit. He's currently working on a release called Smoke with his new band, The Riders. You can learn more about Smoke, Ritz and his band by checking out

Here's hoping we see and hear more of him around town in the near future... and with a full band backing him up.

Wilbert's has a fundraiser coming up for the Cleveland Blues Society on Sunday, May 24, featuring Madison Crawl, Crazy Marvin, and the Real Deal Blues Band. For information about all Wilbert's shows check out

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