Dave Smeltz Project
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Dave Smeltz Band
Anyone who has ever had a brush with the Cleveland reggae scene knows the name “Dave Smeltz.” It was Smeltz’s band I-Tal, formed in 1978, that brought live reggae music to Cleveland’s rock ’n’ rollers as the first area reggae band to play outside the Jamaican community. They parlayed a love of Bob Marley and Tuesday night jam sessions at University Circle’s Coach House into a packed clubs at home and an extensive regional touring circuit.
After a majority of the band left to form First Light (1984-1997), Smeltz regrouped and kept I-Tal busy on the road, primarily working the beach towns of the Atlantic coast. But by the 1990s he had developed a serious substance abuse addiction which slowed him down and sidelined his music career until he went into recovery in 2001.
Since then, he’s looked for ways to pay it forward and help others in recovery. In 2012, he formed Clean House Inc, an organization that’s creating a halfway house for men in recovery. And he’s written a book, Clean: From Reggae to Recovery to share his story and encourage others struggling with similar issues.
Now he’s put out an album called Recovery to tell that same story in the way he knows best — through music. To accompany him, he’s assembled the Dave Smeltz Project, collecting many of the musicians he’s worked with over the years, including I-Tal veterans Russ Richards (keyboards), Chris Dunmore (drums), Chris DeSantis (percussion) and Chopper (guitar), along with the Generators’ Eva Dilcue on vocals and Adam Rich of Love Muffin Records on bass.
Together, through their reggae-infused, upbeat grooves, they offer hope and a path forward to those grappling with challenges.
15711 Waterloo Rd
Cleveland, OH, 44110