Stark After Dark Live Music Spots

Anywhere from 15 to 20 bands, most of them national touring acts, grace the small stage of downtown Canton’s Buzzbin on any given week. Originally a record store, Buzzbin shifted gears in 2010 when impromptu band shows began attracting 50 or 60 people. Here, Buzzbin music booker Mike Nasvadi shares stories.

Buzzbin Art & Music Shop

Anywhere from 15 to 20 bands, most of them national touring acts, grace the small stage of downtown Canton’s Buzzbin on any given week. Originally a record store, Buzzbin shifted gears in 2010 when impromptu band shows began attracting 50 or 60 people. Here, Buzzbin music booker Mike Nasvadi shares stories.

HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO GET BANDS FROM TEXAS, CALIFORNIA, ITALY AND MEXICO TO PLAY IN CANTON?

“I’ve always liked independent, unsigned bands, and I knew a lot of them through a social network I had, so when live music started at Buzzbin, I reached out to everybody I knew. We treat bands really well. Give them some beer, some whiskey, give ’em people to watch them. We still pay ’em even if nobody shows up. Sometimes, we even put them up.”

WHAT STYLES OF MUSIC CAN PEOPLE HEAR AT BUZZBIN?

“Punk rock is a staple. Garage rock is one of my favorites, blues, country, metal, rockabilly, folk-punk. A local guy named Jamo does hip-hop. We don’t do covers or tributes. Nonoriginal bands is not what our crowds want. People are coming here to find the next band they’re going to fall in love with.”

WHAT IS THE WILDEST SHOW YOU’VE HAD?

“(The instrumental band) Daikaiju from Alabama. They wear Japanese masks. Craziest shows ever, hands down. Everybody comes out to see them. Impromptu, they closed down Fourth Street, a bunch of twentysomethings just dancing and going nuts. The Canton cops pulled up and watched. They are very cool with us. We don’t cause any problems at all.”

WHAT NIGHTS DO YOU HAVE LIVE MUSIC AT BUZZBIN?

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, there’s always bands. Sundays and Mondays are hit or miss. The only night we don’t have bands is Wednesday, which is Geeks Who Drink trivia. Having live music six nights a week makes us valuable. Our whole club is built on up-and-coming touring bands from all over the country.”

Catch some tunes:

George’s Lounge

In addition to its justly famed cheeseburgers and fries, this old-school bar in downtown Canton features live music on a tiny stage. There is no cover charge.

>>MIC NIGHT: Tuesday is open-mic night hosted by Pat Masalko, and local, regional and national indie bands perform Saturday nights.

Jerzee’s Sports Grille (Belden)

This sports bar and eatery features live music Friday and Saturday nights. There is a cover charge.

>>TUNES: The music is often country by such acts as the Buck Naked Band, Tony Rio & Relentless and fiddler Chris Higbee, but the retro dance band Disco Inferno is a regular attraction.

Jupiter Studios

The most eclectic live-music menu in Stark County can be found at this funky venue in downtown Alliance, which also has food and art shows. Friday and Saturday night concerts run the gamut from hard rock to Celtic to traditional folk to jam bands to singer-songwriters, plus comedy and poetry. There is a cover charge.

Loby’s Bar & Grille

This lively bar-restaurant offers live music every Friday and Saturday night. Acts range from sax player Matt Corey and his jazz-funk combo to acoustic duo Friq & Fraq to retro dance band La Flavour. Eric Brooke hosts a jam night Tuesdays in the summer. There is no cover charge.

Maize Valley Winery & Craft Brewery

Maize Valley offers live music, along with beverages and food Friday and Saturday nights from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in its rustic, yet comfortable tasting room, located in a converted barn and on a spacious back pavilion in warmer months. There is no cover charge.

>>POPULAR ACTS: Peggy Coyle and Mike Lenz, The Ohio Weather Band, Triple Play and Jeff Poulos

Muggswigz Coffee & Tea Co.

Acoustic music is a staple at this comfy coffeehouse in downtown Canton that’s a popular hang for college students. Open-mic night every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. is an informal showcase for local singer-songwriters, with touring musicians occasionally Friday and Saturday nights, and live music every First Friday. There is no cover charge.

Passion Blues Restaurant & Club

True to its name, this intimate bar-restaurant in downtown Canton specializes in live blues music, with local and regional bands Friday and Saturday nights, and a dance floor. There is a cover charge.

>>RECENT ACTS: Memphis Cradle, Stolen Cadillac, True Blue and Little Chicago Band

Sadie Rene’s

Live rock ’n’ roll is the main attraction here. There’s an electric jam night hosted by The Soundz on Wednesdays and karaoke with the Rusty Nail band on Thursdays. An array of rock acts play Friday and Saturday nights—Hurricane James, Cold Shot, 1988, to name a few—and original bands on select Sundays. There is a cover charge.

Towpath Cabin

This rustic and casual roadhouse across the street from the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath serves beer, cheap food and live music Thursday through Saturday. Expect to hear Delta blues when longtime regular Mike Lenz is playing and otherwise classic rock, country and Johnny Cash. There is no cover charge.

NEW ON THE SCENE:

>>Whiskey Ranch recently opened at 4919 Mt. Pleasant St. NW in Green. The country sports saloon and wood fire grill has live entertainment, pool tables, a whiskey bar, a craft beer bar and more.

ABOUT STARK AFTER DARK

StarkAfterDarkIconDrinks with friends. An after work meet-up to dissect the day’s work. Throwing back a pint or two during the big game. Romantic moments over a bottle of fine red. Saturday night dance parties. Acoustic riffs and raucous crowds. Celebrating with a bottle of bubbly.

Whatever the occasion, Stark County’s watering holes are as diverse as their patrons.

As the sun goes down and you begin your search for killer cocktails, handcrafted selections, expert whiskey slingers or lively entertainment, let Stark After Dark be your essential guide.

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