Ian Hunter & The Rant Band Prove Cleveland Still Rocks at The Music Box!

Ian Hunter & The Rant Band

Recently, the Music Box Supper Club hosted one of the iconic legends in the history of not only the Cleveland music scene, but also; the World of Rock.  Another of Cleveland, Ohio’s adopted sons and legendary singer, song-writer, Ian Hunter and the Rant Band made a tour stop and headlined the beautiful evening of music entertainment at this sold-out show of fans.  Opening the night was local singer, songwriter, Marti Jones.

Erica M. Lenhoff and I would like to thank the Music Box Supper Club for allowing us to attend this fabulous show at their diverse venue of dining, music, history and host special events!  The Music Box Supper Club’s atmosphere, food, beverages and entertainment carries on the history of music in all they do.  The Rust Belt Chronicles highly recommends you support their fine establishment and services!

Marti Jones

Marti Jones opened the show with a stunning musical set of music. This mature artist has many talents including painting and is one creative soul!  Marti usually appears with her husband Don Dixon, but on this particular evening; we were treated to her solo spotlight performance.  The intimate appeal of the packed house at The Music Box was the ideal setting for her stunning musical material!

The short setlist was a delight to hear as the former front-woman of Color Me Gone instantly enveloped the audience and fans into a sphere of wonderment.  Her voice was comparable to a woman of one-third of her age, with its smoothness, delicate nuances and lifting tone.  I was truly amazed with Marti’s ability to transcend time into a beautiful journey throughout her performance.  It’s clear she has taken care of her vocal chords and the ease at which she sang her songs was spectacular!

Mart Jones and her radiant vocals onstage.

For me, her performed was topped by the self-titled tune off of the CD, ‘You’re Not The Bossa Me‘, with it’s flowing musical ambiance and sweet voice.  During her opening appearance, I was reminded that music and age has no barriers.  The fans were definitely impressed as well, as they allowed the artist to sing her tapestry without people chattering as they gave her their full-attention span.  The amount of respect from the crowd was justly due and fitting given the performance of the jewel of a singer/songwriter.  She showered the venue with her lovely voice and contemporary tunes!

Mari Jones won our hearts over in many ways.  She bared her soul in a setting with only a guitar and the magic of her voice.  Marti marveled the crowd proving age and musicianship has no barriers.  It was a whirlwind of style, with a moving shift between musical stories signifying her history of inspirations.  We highly recommend her artistry in anytime!

Marti Jones Photo Gallery.

Ian Hunter & The Rant Band

Ian Hunter needs no explanation for his musical contributions beginning with his early days in Mott The Hoople to his years as a solo artist.  His musical accomplishments to the city of Cleveland and the history behind the city’s prolific rise to fame as “The Rock N’ Roll Capital of the World” helped to form the perfect storm in establishing a movement, so strong decades ago; that will last forever.  Although I never saw Ian perform in the past, this would finally be the night!

Cleveland was his first ever tour-stop with Mott The Hoople. The connection established between the English band, John Gorman, former president of WMMS (and current CEO/Founder of oWOW online radio)  and Hank LoConti of The Cleveland Agora was a innovative musical concept. Mott The Hoople were one of the artists that the successful marketing between the radio airplay resulted in sold-out shows and would spur the band to success throughout the USA. This furthered Mott’s ability to perform in larger venues, thus the bond was formed.  In essence, Cleveland became the adoptive home to Ian Hunter a long-time ago!

After the breakup of Mott The Hoople the inspiration of the song, “Cleveland Rocks” and the other tunes off of Ian’s first solo album, You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic further fermenting the relationship between Hunter, Gorman and LoConti. The earlier mentioned sheer marketing brilliance used once again, spiraled Ian Hunter, WMMS and the Cleveland Agora as “the most watched force in the music industry“!  This solidified one of the most successful marketing concepts in rock history, to hit the USA , since The Beatles.  Thus a star, movement, and the city of Cleveland became known as the leader in the entire music industry instantly!

Mr. Ian Hunter.

The anticipation grew between the break of the opening set. Expectations were high as the Rant Band first took the stage alone and began playing “That’s When The Trouble Starts”, a fitting opener for this fine band.  As Ian Hunter appeared onstage the fans rose to their feet, giving Mr. Hunter a warm welcome.  The band was crisp and tight all night with a presence fitting for a night of spectacular music.  Ian gave his familiar “Ello” in his thick British accent signifying the intro of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” as the crowd went ballistic!  The love affair continued all-night between the audience and Ian as he swept us through his catalog of tunes ranging from his earliest days with Mott The Hoople to his latest album, ‘Fingers Crossed‘ (which he also performed the self-titled tune).

As the fans settled in, Ian Hunter and the Rant Band gave us “Fatally Flawed”, Bow Street Runners” and “Saint”.  His voice demonstrated the age of a young man in his prime as he flawlessly progressed throughout the songs.  The band was the perfect accompaniment with two-guitarists shining all evening with blistering solos and a smiling bassist who ducked in and out of the shadows as he effortless scaled the instrument.  The keyboardist relished his ivories like fine wine and the drummer must be a superb studio musician as he accented and thoroughly established his tempo and fluently dabbled with detailed percussion.

But it was Ian Hunter who commanded the center of the attention whether on acoustic guitar, electric piano or with a microphone in his hand.  His inspirational tunes, musical experiences and the fine voice were the mark of a true rock star! Always on key with his voice, his projection, stage presence and ability to whisk The Music Box audience throughout the night was astonishing.  I was amazed at his playing of the keyboards as he often reminded me of Jerry Lee Lewis with his Rock-A-Billy style of fingers transgressing the ivory keys.  Behind those customary dark-shades of Ian’s world, he cascaded us with his sense of wisdom, musical style and vocal resonance appeal.  Make no mistake about it, Ian Hunter still Rocks!

Throughout his own past catalog of tunes, “The Truth, the Whole Truth, Nuthin’ But the Truth”, “Just Another Night” and “All American Alien Boy” were phenomenal.  Later, he added the Mott The Hoople tune, “All The Way From Memphis” as the crowd was totally clamored with the historic musical romps through time and space!  I particularly enjoyed “When I’m President” and his musical tribute to David Bowie entitled, “Dandy” on the electric piano.  The single, “Ghosts” was touching as well as Ian explained the song was inspired by a visit to Union Avenue in Memphis where Ian and the Rant Band were invited to jam in rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Studio.

A I heard a familiar chord played onstage, I knew “The Bastard” was next.  When the band came in shortly there after, the crowd responded on their feet clapping and singing along.  The party continued as Ian Hunter and the Rant Band did a cover of the Velvet Underground’s,”Sweet Jane” to close out there regular set.

The encore began as the loving fans chanted the band to return to the stage. The English gentlemen graciously accepted the request and broke into “(Give Me Back My) Wings”.  Next, the most anticipated song to ever grace Cleveland’s fame was introduced by Mr. Hunter.  In his chat to the sold-out crowd, he mentioned Cleveland was the first American city Mott performed at, WMMS and even our friend, Michael Stanley!   The cat was out of the bag, as the familiar guitar intro rocked the house. Yes, it was “Cleveland Rocks” and from what we witnessed it still does.  The Music Box fans were on their feet singing in unison and love was in the air!

Following Cleveland’s national anthem, the fiery band gave us a medley of “Long Life”, “Life” and “All The Young Dudes”.  The last tune of the night was a beautiful cover of Lead Belly’s, “Goodnight, Irene” putting the finale on a memorable evening of entertainment.

A truly inspiring show of music from Ian Hunter and the Rant Band.  Perhaps more importantly, a historic jaunt down the Rock N’ Roll trail which began in Cleveland, once more; from one of the most prolific singer-song-writers in Rock- Mr. Ian Hunter brought everyone together to celebrate!

Ian Hunter and The Rant Band Photo Gallery.












Ian Hunter & The Rant Band Photo Gallery


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Jim Carver About Jim Carver

Jim Carver is the President of The Rust Belt Chronicles.

In 2004, Jim graduated from North Central State College with a degree in Business Information Technology. Jim developed "Rock Lines" news report online in 2010.After a trial-run of The Rust Belt Chronicles in April of 2013, Jim decided to make his dream a reality in 2014 by re-launching The Rust Belt Chronicles.


  1. Alexander Belisle says:

    Excellent photography!

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