Getting better all the time

Posted By on January 29, 2011

I went to a show at Beachland Ballroom Jan. 22 that made me think there are second chances, ways to start all over again. It starred the Hesitations, a nine-piece soul group from Cleveland’s 1960s. The singing Hesitations are in their 60s and are prime exponents of Northern Soul, a variant of Motown with a sweeter top end. They’re really good. The five musicians who back them are younger but in the same groove.

The weather sucked. Except for one day when it crept near 50, the temperature in Cleveland has been zero to 30 and there’s been snowfall virtually every day for the past six weeks. That might explain why the Hesitations drew only about 150 despite major publicity.

In any case, the Hesitations were just fine, living proof of the second chance. They recorded for Kapp in the late ‘60s and hit the charts with such tunes as “Soul Superman,” “Born Free” and “The Impossible Dream,” speaking to the rise of black power. Those songs, along with such chestnuts as “Stand By Me” and “Mustang Sally,” still have the power, though whether they relate to today’s young people is a question.

Red becomes the Hesitations

It was great to see and hear a group with harmonies and choreography, a group that plays real instruments and tells real stories through their music. Makes you think getting older pays dividends after all.


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I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: