The Music Box Supper Club (Secret Sisters/Striking Matches)

Who:  Dana C. Crawford, PhD

What: The Music Box Supper Club (Secret Sisters/Striking Matches)

Where: 1148 Main Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113


As I previously posted, Cleveland offers art and music events almost on a daily basis. To take advantage of these opportunities this summer, I have been perusing the Cleveland events calendar every week. And that’s when I saw it: the Secret Sisters were playing here in Cleveland at the Music Box Supper Club. I had to go!

The Secret Sisters are the Laura and Lydia Rogers sister duo of from Muscle Shoals, Alabama who specialize in American traditional country music. I would not characterize myself as a country music fan per se. Rather, I appreciate several genres of music including American traditional (e.g., folk or Americana). I first became acquainted with the duo from The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond album where their original song “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” was featured. This album, by the way, is packed with contemporary artists specializing in Americana music. I was hooked by the Secret Sisters and their haunting harmonies, so I bought their debut self-titled album which consists of both cover songs as well as originals such as “Tennessee Me.”

The Secret Sisters are currently touring with Striking Matches, the headliner for the concert. I was not familiar with the duo, but the ads mentioned their music is featured on ABC’s Nashville. Well, say no more! It turns out that the duo Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis penned “When the Right One Comes Along,” a piece sung by ill-fated lovers Gunner (Sam Palladio) to Scarlett (Clare Bowen) at the Blue Bird Café on Nashville. They also penned “Hanging on Lie” sung by bad girl Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). Striking Matches just published their first album Nothing But the Silence which features some of these and other songs, and they are now out on tour full force to promote it.

Mom and I bought tickets at the last minute and headed out the door to the concert venue the Music Box Supper Club. This is a relatively new concert venue in downtown Cleveland in the Flats district (warning: do NOT trust Google maps to get you there. You will be circling a building under construction on the wrong side of the water if you do. Believe you me…). The Supper Club is interesting because it offers sit down tables and food and drink service before and during the concert. I am all about food, so I was curious to see what they had to offer. The menu in the concert hall is limited but it did the job. I had a Caesar salad and Mom had the seafood platter. Only one kind of red and white wine each is offered in the concert hall, so that’s really limiting for the wine lover in you. I didn’t get a chance to study their beer selection, but I did see others order Dale’s Pale Ale, so I suppose it’s a decent list. Of course, there is a full bar, and the one drink I had as a cocktail was OK. For a more complete menu, you’ll have to arrive at least two hours early and eat downstairs at the Rusty Anchor.

Better than the food was the music venue itself. The setting was intimate and the sound was great. The crowd was very knowledgeable and appreciative. For quiet concerts, I can imagine that the sound of utensils clinking on plates would be annoying, but most patrons that night were polite and kept the noise to a minimum. That night, the Secret Sisters played music from their debut album, The Hunger Games companion soundtrack, and their new album Put Your Needle Down. Mom got teary eyed during their moving cover of Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All The Flowers Gone.” After the somber set, Striking Matches came out with a bang. Mom was very impressed by the guitar skills, especially Sarah Zimmermann’s---girlfriend rocked the seven string mandolin! Overall, we had a great time, and we look forward to another concert at this venue, especially now that we know where it is! Bossa Nova Night, anyone?

Posted in Cleveland Calculus and tagged .

Dana Crawford

Professor of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and Associate Director of the Cleveland Institute for Computational Biology, with interest in pharmacogenomics, electronic health records, and diverse populations. Also, an avid foodie!