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Freight Hoppers in Cleveland

The Freight Hoppers are on the move. Unlike those wimpy birds that fly south for the winter, this hard-driving old-time string band is headed to the northern Midwest for a brace of shows this January. The short tour will see the band traveling through Wisconsin (tonight), Minnesota (tomorrow) and finally to my dear old Ohio (Monday and Tuesday).

Freights fiddler David Bass is originally from the Cleveland area, but word has it he won't be playing with the band for Monday's show at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern. In his place will be Edward Hunter, who joins banjo enchanter and band co-founder Frank Lee (who will hopefully be playing the banjothat Jeff Delfield built for him), with Isaac Deal on guitar and vocals and Bradley Adams on bass.

The Freight Hoppers were the hottest old-time string band of the 1990s, performing all over the world and even climbing the Billboard charts, but the group took a five-year hiatus in the early 2000s when Bass underwent heart transplant surgery. The band has returned and released its latest album "Mile Marker" in 2010.

Admission to Monday's show is $10 (tavern side), but those of you who have the afternoon free should consider attending a 3 p.m. banjo and fiddle workshop ($15) with Lee and Hunter at a private residence. Those interested in attending the workshop, which is sponsored by the non-profit group Roots of American Music, must call (216) 321-9353 for reservations. Space is limited. Check out the links below for more details.



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