Blessid Union of Souls

Friday
22
Sep

'90s Alt-Rock Heroes from Cincinnati

Hits "I Believe," “Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me}”


 

Why you should see this show…

Hailing from Cincinnati, Blessid Union of Souls were alternative rock heroes of the ’90s. Their seamless combination of contagious pop, rock and soul brought them 5 top 20 hits, a trio of top 10 hits, and a number one smash hit. These Ohio boys take our Concert Hall stage and bring back the love of all things ’90s and alt-rock.
 

Blessid Union of Souls Bio
From meteoric rise on the radio throughout the 1990s, through the subsequent decade of thought-provoking songwriting and amassing an extremely dedicated fan base on tour, Blessid Union of Souls has become amongst the most beloved, meaningful and musically consistent acts of this generation. Thanks to the seamless merger of contagious pop, rock and soul from singer Eliot Sloan, coupled with his ability to continuously write socially conscious and spiritually inspiring songs, it’s no surprise to see gold records, chart-cruising singles and a slew of soundtrack appearances.

Just for the record, Blessid Union of Souls has thus far clocked in a number one smash, a trio of top tens, five top 20 tunes and seven to hit the top 40, spanning the diverse likes of the iconic ballad “I Believe,” the quirky and colorful “Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me),” the acoustically framed “Light In Your Eyes,” plus romantic favorites like “I Wanna Be There” and “Let Me Be the One” (to name a mere handful). Add in the gold selling landmark debut disc Home, being featured on the gold selling Carole King tribute album Tapestry Revisited (Rod Stewart, Faith Hill, Amy Grant, The Bee Gees) and the double platinum soundtrack for Pokemon: The First Movie, in addition to appearances on “Contact” (starring Jodie Foster), “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” “Cold Case,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Live with Regis” (no less than four times), “Good Morning, America,” “Top of the Pops,” “All My Children” and VH1, and Blessid Union of Souls’ fingerprints have literally encountered every facet of pop culture. 

“You don’t have time to really prepare for it because all of a sudden your songs are being played on the radio, you’re getting video play and landing on TV shows all around the world,” suggests Sloan of his rocket ride to Blessid Union of Souls’ fame. “But I try not to think about it too much and never let myself get a big head. I just live a regular life with my wife and two kids at the house, drive to the studio for recordings and then hit the road when it’s time to tour.” 

Sloan’s remarkably humble demeanor is rare for someone who’s shared the stage with superstar acts like Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind and Mike & the Mechanics (not to mention headlined major venues all across the globe), but the attitude stems from a lifelong Christian faith that’s repeatedly made its way into Blessid Union of Souls’ songwriting. And when he speaks of hitting the studio and road these days, it’s all revolving around the brand new CD The Mission Field, which takes a spiritually overt direction while retaining the signature qualities that have literally attracted millions of fans over the years.

“I’ve always sung about wanting to live right, and with The Mission Field, it’s just a matter of taking things one step further and doing in my heart what I’m called to do,” he assures of Blessid Union of Souls’ fourth national long player. “The songs we wrote for our first album Home were particularly strong in that direction, and though there was more of a light-hearted direction in some of the later tracks, the underlying spiritual tone was always there. I wanted to make an album that was closer to our first record musically and lyrically, which really gives The Mission Field a full circle feeling.”

Such is certainly the case across the piano popper “The Only Song,” a rousing praise anthem that’s loaded with pop sensibility and Sloan’s inviting vocals that truly get richer with time. During “Higher Calling,” meaty guitars are laced over alluring programming, simultaneously conjuring up a retro sensibility and a fresh edge for Blessid Union of Souls. Yet the title track is a clear calling card for the record, evoking the now classic “I Believe” with an appeal for listeners to impact their corner of the world to the fullest extent possible.

“You can never get too close to God, and throughout all of these songs, I’m always going in that direction,” the leader relates. “All of the pondering and articulating matters of faith on The Mission Field are basically an extension of the ideas I first started exploring on Home, which makes the two records seem like bookends with one another. 

Though a longtime staple of EMI Records (David Bowie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Roxette) and V2 Records (The White Stripes, Moby), The Mission Field was recorded entirely on Sloan’s terms, but will pop up in all the usual physical and digital retail outlets thanks to distribution from Sony/Provident Music Group. With dual footing in the general and faith-based marketplace, the collection is sure to expand Blessid Union of Souls’ audience even further and serve as the next natural evolutionary step. 

“A lot of fans have said this is the perfect transition and I also hope to inspire new listeners as well, but I don’t really think about marketplaces or numbers when I’m writing,” confides Sloan. “I always just want to make them sound as good as possible while singing something of substance, which on this record says ‘let’s strap in and really make a daily, conscious effort to follow in Christ’s footsteps.’ I’m always under construction, but at the same time, if I wait until I’m perfect before taking a step, then it’s never going to happen. I don’t know of any perfect people except one and they hung Him on the cross! I think the songs speak about looking at ourselves a little closer, paying more attention to what we say and do, and knowing that overall world change is possible, but it starts with one person at a time.”

 

 

Chris Allen Bio
“If you miss the straight talking side of Jeff Tweedy…you’ll want to get to know Chris Allen.”  Bud Scopa, Paste Magazine

Chris Allen is an acclaimed songwriter from Cleveland, OH, and front man for
the alt-rocking band Rosavelt.  Said producer Don Dixon to the Plain Dealer about Allen, “Chris Allen is the most underrated songwriter in the country.  People like Jeff Tweedy and Ryan Adams ought to be hiding outside his house going through the trash for his cast off material.”

His band Rosavelt garnered much local and national acclaim in the late 90’s with their 4 releases, including the Sony Red Eye national release of The Story of Gasoline which received 4 stars in Paste Magazine.

From 2006 to present Allen has also released 4 solo albums, including the latest Everything Changes But the Rodeo (2014), available on vinyl, CD and all digital outlets.  The album was produced by Don Dixon (REM, Smithereens), it was recorded in upstate New York and features Tom Prebish (Rosavelt/The Ohio City Singers) on bass and Mark Stepro (Ben Kweller/Jakob Dylan/Gavin DeGraw/Keith Urban) on drums.

From No Depression regarding The Rodeo:

The album opens up with the radio friendly “It’s Too Late to Cry” that will immediately hook the listener followed by a gorgeous ballad “Words On a Page” that will reel you in.  Rain from the front porch adds sound effects to “Summer Never Came” and “Waiting On the Night to Come” will have the listener singing along.  “You Gotta Run” is an upbeat rocker that flows into “Second Life Starts” where moving forward back in time, sooner or later it all collides. A gritty lead guitar rips through the rocking single “Only One First Love” and the country laced “Lucero” offers some beautiful harmonies with a touch of that western guitar riff in the bridge.”  Jay Minkin

Allen is also the founder of the all-original holiday band the Ohio City Singers, co-founder of the rowdy Irish band The Boys From The County Hell, and has toured the U.S. and Europe extensively as a guitarist for renowned singer-songwriter Tim Easton.

 
Last call to dine in your seats in the Concert Hall will be 15 minutes before show time. Please arrive early if you plan to eat dinner in your seats. Table side beverage service will continue throughout the concert.