Summer update

Greetings, Dirt-bags! A lot to update in the Wonderful World of Dirt since we last posted.

First of all, we officially said good-bye to bassist Jason Ortman when he played his final show with us on Saturday, July 14 at the Akron Empire. At his request, we did not acknowledge this on-stage. Jason devoted 15 months to us and helped Dirt reach another level. After dabbling with other potential projects, Jason announced he is reforming his band Fallen Angel shortly after his departure. We at Dirt would like to sincerely thank Jason for his time and effort with us and we wish him nothing but the best of luck in his future endeavors, music or otherwise.

Bassist Bob Rodriguez has been spending the last two months learning our catalog and rehearsing with us. After a few appearances on stage with us at various shows, Bob will make his official debut for us this Saturday at the Dogg House (formerly Johnny Malloys) in Avon Lake. We are excited to begin this new era of Dirt!

Speaking of new members, we are strongly considering a return to a five-piece (two-guitarist) lineup. The last two incarnations of this did not go well due to personality clashes. However, there is only one guitarist out there that would make us consider doing this -- longtime personal friend of the band Tym Broadhead. Tym, who grew up with guitarist Matt Smith and has been friends and a music collaborator with drummer Dan Gilles since they were in college together in the early 1990s, is a veteran of many local bands and has begun learning our catalog. It also brings John and Dan full circle in other ways, as they jammed with Tym in Sleeplord during the summer months of 2015, a stint that - while it failed - laid the foundation for Dirt. It might be a while before this version of Dirt sees the stage, but if and when it does, look out!

We would like to congratulate drummer Dan Gilles on his recent engagement to his girlfriend, Tracy Terranova. The couple are targeting a September 2019 wedding date and we've been told we will be playing during their reception. We are very happy for Dan and Tracy as they begin their new life together and we are happy to welcome Tracy into the Dirt Family!

We have added a few more venues to our growing list of places Dirt has placed, most recently Aces in North Ridgeville. Scott Monos filled in for Dan behind the kit that night and did very well, despite just one practice/rehearsal with us prior to it. We are looking forward to more shows at Aces in the near future. We have also added shows at the Music Lynxx in Mentor in September and Rupp's Place in Norwalk in December, and had a very successful debut show at the Jailhouse Taverne in Grafton on June 23 that will lead to return engagements next summer.

On July 24, we celebrated our second anniversary of our debut show at the Trainwreck Tavern in South Amherst. On Saturday, we will have played our 47th show, with our 50th scheduled for Aug. 25 at the Empire with Columbus-based tributes Sanitarium and Blacktooth Grin. Who would have thought we would have played 50 shows in just over two years, but we have. Thank you to you, our devoted Dirt-bags, for all of your support over these past two years for helping this happen for us.

We are booked pretty solid from now through the end of 2018, with at least two shows set in every month. We have decided to take the first two months of 2019 off from performing to help us recharge our batteries and get together to learn some new material. We fully expect to hit the stage again in March of 2019 armed with more material to help us adapt to all venues and bills, whether we play at places more suited for rock or more suited for metal. 2018 has shaped up to be a banner year for Dirt, and we believe 2019 will be even better! So stay tuned!


A New Era

In late March, Dirt was notified by bassist Jason Ortman of his intent to leave the group. He wants to start his own project focusing on glam metal covers and he wanted to put his efforts into getting that off the ground.

While Jason pledged to remain with Dirt for the remainder of 2018, the remaining 3 members made it known that we were seeking a new major rager of the four-string motherf**ker. And, after an exhaustive search that turned up many candidates, we are happy to announce we found our guy.

Bob Rodriguez, a native of Sheffield Lake and a current Elyria resident, wowed Dan, John and Matt in his audition two weeks ago. We gave him five songs to learn and he showed up with 12! After a few days to talk it over, Bob expressed his interest in becoming the newest member of Dirt. And we unanimously agreed to welcome him into the Dirt Family.

Jason will stay on board for the time being to help us fulfill dates while we get Bob up to speed. As of now, we've circled July 14 at the Akron Empire as Jason's swan-song gig and July 28 at the Dogg House in Avon Lake as Bob's debut performance with Dirt. With Avon Lake right next door to Sheffield Lake, we're hoping we get quite a few people out to see their native son make his debut with us.

Bob has been a member of the Lorain County-based classic and pop rock cover band Big Agnes for the past several years. But he's always been a metal-head at heart. The chance to jam on those songs he loves was too good to pass up.

Bob is married with two daughters about to graduate from high school and a son.

Ironically, we make this announcement one year to the day that Jason decided to officially join the band in place of the departing Andres Moyet.

We wish Jason the best of luck in his future endeavors and we welcome Bob into the fold as our newest Dirt-bag!

March Madness

What's up, Dirtbags? Figured we'd pop on and give you an update since we last did back in November.

We have new T-shirts! A brand new design and slogan and available in women's styles as well. We'll have them available at every live show we do.

If you thought 2017 was a great year for Dirt, 2018 is shaping up to be an even better year. 

Shakers Tavern, where we've already played three times, has already lined us up for two more shows this summer -- May 11 and Aug. 3 - and potentially one more before they year ends. Every time we play Shakers, it's the best crowd. They love us and we love them! They will be the first venue we play five times.

We also booked our fourth show with the Sly Fox, which will be June 2. That's another place that loves Dirt as much as we love them. What a great venue for live music! We are blessed that both of these venues have become regular stops on the Dirt-Train!

We finally landed our long-awaited debut show at the Jailhouse Taverne in Grafton. Circle Saturday, June 23 on your calendars. We will play from 2-5 p.m., with Maiden Voyage following from 7-11 p.m. It should be a phenomenal day of metal at one of the best outdoor venues in Lorain County and we are excited for the opportunity.

Dirt also secured a foothold in venues such as the Red Iron in Wellington, Bullshooters in Ashland, the Front Row in Brook Park/Cleveland, Iggy's in Lakewood and Johnny Malloys in Medina. We'll make our debut at the Front Row on St. Patrick's Day (March 17) and also celebrate the 25th show with Jason Ortman on the bass guitar!

Speaking of the Red Iron, holy shit! The Town of Wellington really loves their own, and that's been evident with the two shows we've already played there. That place was jam packed with folks. It was great energy all night long. We filmed part of it for a promotional video we hope to soon release. If Red Iron booked live acts during the summer, we would be there in June or July. Instead, we have to wait until Nov. 3.

Dirt landed a spot on two awesome bills of music at the Akron Empire. First, we'll support Radiatrix and Wrath Icon and (possibly) Evil Eye on July 14 - actually one year to the date of our Empire debut. Second, we will play with Sanitarium (Metallica tribute) and Blacktooth Grin (Pantera tribute) from Columbus and A Few Fighters (Foo Fighters tribute) from Cleveland on a four-band cover extravaganza on Aug. 25.

Dirt will celebrate its 40th show sometime in April (either April 14 at Front Row or April 28 at Smedleys, depending on a mystery show on April 6) and it's 50th show before 2018 ends. Who would have thought we would have 50 shows when we put this thing together in November of 2015?

Lastly, our show on March 31 in Mansfield fell through with two different venues. The proposed show with Sanitarium at the Whiskey Warehouse fell through when the venue closed in January. Thanks to Matt's girlfriend Shari, we quickly got into another venue across town called The Den. However, they notified us this week that they are temporarily closing and our show has also been cancelled. Who knows if we will play there again or not?

Oh, a quick congratulations to our founding bassist Andres Moyet, who married Autumn in early February!

Dirt is in the midst of a three-week hiatus (our longest break in quite some time) as Dan is busy with one of his other careers -- covering high school sports for the Plain Dealer and the Lorain Morning Journal. It was good to recharge the batteries and not worry about the band so much during this time. We'll hit the stage March 17 refreshed, refocused and ready to rock!

Until then, don't forget us! We are Dirt from Lorain County ... and we play heavy metal! You guys are awesome ... WE ARE DIRT!

All Aboard the Dirt Train!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us in Dirt!

Man, it's been a great few months since the last time we did a news update. Several more shows have been booked, including a few that we've been anticipating for quite some time.

This past Saturday at Johnny Malloys in Medina, Dirt played it's 30th show. With two more scheduled for 2017 in December, we're looking to cap a remarkable 2017 in style!

Our first show this month is one that means a great deal to our frontman John Raab. A Wellington native and life-long resident, John will get the chance to perform at a venue in his hometown for the first time ever. Thank you to the Red Iron Bar & Grille in Downtown Wellington for booking us! This show is this coming Saturday, Dec. 2. Get there early because we're anticpating a full house.

Our next and last show of the year (for now) is Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Sly Fox in North Olmsted. This will be our third show at the Sly Fox (all in 2017) and we expect it to be our best there. It will be the first time performing as a four-piece with Jason, so we expect it to be a phenomenal performance. Our friends Evil Eye will open up with a set of music focusing on Dio and Yngwie covers. We're excited to give them their first show at the Sly Fox and we hope this opens the door for them for more in 2018.

We picked up a last-second show on Nov. 18 opening for our friends A Few Fighters at iggy's in Lakewood. We parlayed that gig into our first headlining show at Iggy's on Cinco De Mayo (May 5). And, we may be playing with A Few Fighters at some other high profile shows in 2018. Stay tuned!

On Thanksgiving Eve last year, we played at a jam night at Ace's in North Ridgeville. It did not go well, as Matt couldn't play and Eric (our other guitarist) did not perform well (we dismissed him shortly afterward). One year later, we opened for our friends Mellow Villains in Alliance at Jupiter Studios. Our debut in both the town and the venue and it went very well!

Today, we not only rebooked a show at Johnny Malloys in Medina (they loved us), but we also secured our first show at Smedley's in Kamm's Corner in Cleveland!

Dirt went over the 1,000-fan mark on our Facebook page (getting their faster than Sleeplord, by the way) and have already surpassed the 1100 mark as well.

And our trio of shows in late October-November (Laporte, Shakers Tavern, Mutt & Jeff's) were all off the charts. Shakers already rebooked us for Feb. 9. We anticipate that Laporte and Mutt's will be following suit very soon. And both the Jailhouse Taverne in Grafton and the Lorain Palace's 6th St. Experience have been in touch about some summer shows as well!

Thank you to everyone who has attended a Dirt show, bought a shirt, vouched for us at a venue, booked us, allowed us to open for them, opened for us, helped us load and unload gear, and run sound for us in 2017! You guys are awesome - WE ARE DIRT!

Stay tuned for more! Jump aboard, because the Dirt Train is picking up steam and gaining several regular stops!

A few updates

We had a few key updates in the world of Dirt.

First and foremost, moving forward, Dirt will return to being a four-piece band featuring John on vocals, Dan on drums, Jason on bass and Matt handling all guitar duties. We felt it was best to streamline the approach. With that, we decided to part ways with Ronny Turner, who played with us six times this summer. Ronny is a fine guitarist and we're sure he'll find a new project very soon that's more suited to his style. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Second, this Saturday's scheduled show at Johnny Malloys Medina was rescheduled at the venue's request for Saturday, Nov. 25. Halfway Home will open for us there like they originally were. Conflicts from the Browns' preseason game and the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight necessitated this change. Thank you to the management at Johnny Malloys for working with us and we believe -- especially since Medina is a new market for us -- that this move was for the best.

Just like that, our busy August came to a halt. We now have 3 weeks until our next show, and that one should be huge -- Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Pour House in Amherst! We've been salivating over playing there all year long, and we can't wait to blow the roof off the place!

We also scheduled two shows at two of our favorite places -- Mutt & Jeff's in Lorain and the Sly Fox in North Olmsted. The Mutt's show will be Saturday, Nov. 4 -- we're calling it Lorain's Headbanger's Ball with us and our friends in Tail Gunner. The Sly Fox show is Saturday, Dec. 16 -- a few days before Dan's 44th birthday, so come out and celebrate the occasion!

We may book something else in early December, but as of now, it looks like our 2017 has been filled. It's been a great year for the band, and we're excited to ride this wave all the way up!

2018 should be an even better year. With two shows already scheduled for the Akron Empire early in the year and another big show (that we can't reveal yet) slated for the first weekend of January, we've already gotten a head start on big things. With several bars, such as Sly Fox, Mutt's, Shakers Tavern, Laporte Inn and the Empire, keeping us in their rotation of bands already, and others -- like Iggys Bar, Whiskey Warehouse and the Lorain Palace's 6th St. Experience -- who have expressed an interest in bringing us back again, there should no shortage of shows next year, either. Stay tuned for more!

Until next time, you guys are awesome ... we are Dirt! We are from Lorain County and we play heavy f**kin metal! \m/

Busy August

Dirt is ramping up as the summer comes to a close with five shows in four weeks during the month of August. We just played the first two on back-to-back nights, and both were outdoor shows.

We had the honor Friday of being the first band to play at the 11th annual Lorain County Music Festival. Our performance had some of the better reviews from the three-day weekend, which is always good to hear. We kind of wish we had played a little bit later, but it all worked out in the end. This was our second straight trip to the LoCo Fest. Last year, Geri gave us a slot even though we hadn't had any shows yet (it wound up being our second gig). Hopefully, we'll be back there again next year.

Saturday, we made our debut performance at Shakers Tavern on the Cleveland/Parma border. Playing out on their patio made for almost a heavy metal parking lot atmosphere. What a cool place to play -- the people were amazing, the bar treated us extremely well and we're looking forward to many more shows there. At one point, the music carried so well that someone heard us a mile down the road on I-480 and had to stop to see where the music was coming from! We're now calling ourselves the "Manowar of Cover Bands," ha-ha!

This Saturday is our long-awaited return to the Sly Fox. This is one of the main places we've wanted to play since we formed Dirt almost two years ago. We are still seeking a support act after Wrath Icon had to cancel due to personnel being out of town that weekend, so if you are interested, please contact Dan Gilles at 440-320-8976. However, you will want to come out to the Sly Fox and see us tear the place up. 

We follow that with another outdoor show on Friday, Aug. 18 at the Lorain Palace's 6th St. Experience. Lorain shows are always meaningful because that's Dan's hometown - we're expecting a lot of familiar faces to come to the revamped alley and party with us. Let's liven up Downtown Lorain for a few hours with some heavy music!

Finally, we make our debut in Medina at Johnny Malloys on the 26th. Our old friend Nate Brumfield - our first guitarist to perform with us live on stage - will bring his new band Halfway Home there to open. It will be fun to reunite with Nate -- our first of two performances with his new band.

Stay tuned for more developments in the world of Dirt. Our November and December are still wide open for gigs, so if your bar or club is interested, let us know.

We are Dirt from Lorain County, and we play heavy metal \m/

Striking the Empire

Last Friday, Dirt made it's long-awaited debut to the fantastic Empire Concert Club in Akron and it was a fantastic night of metal!

We would like to thank Tail Gunner, who made their debut performance a memorable one in support of us Friday night. No band around here has the balls to cover Yngwie, Savatage, King Diamond, Racer X and Dio material in one night, but THEY DID! We will play many more shows with these guys in the near future, that's for sure! They ruled!

As for us, we played 2 hours straight with no breaks, covering 22 songs and debuting two brand new ones (Thunder Kiss 65 by White Zombie and Highway to Hell by AC/DC) and re-introducing two from the past (Seek & Destroy by Metallica and Junkhead by Alice In Chains) with Jason and Ronny in the band. It was a great night, indeed. Thank you to all who made the trek to Akron to check us out! We earned ourselves some new fans, which is always the goal, and have cemented the Empire as a regular venue for Dirt in the future.

It looks like we'll have two shows in early 2018 back at the Empire. We will headline a show on Friday, Jan. 17 (still looking for supporting bands), and will be back to support our friends in Bound By Fate on Saturday, Feb. 10. We are looking forward to both.

Other changes to the schedule -- we've added a few new shows and rescheduled some others. We are excited about being one of the first bands to play at the Lorain Palace Theater's outdoor "6th St. Experience" on Friday, Aug. 18. Our drummer and co-founder, Dan Gilles, is a Lorain native and very proud of that fact, so we're expecting a great turnout for that show.

Because of an oversaturation of summer shows, we decided to reschedule with Kelley's Pub, which is on the Lakewood/Cleveland border. Three on The Tree, who supported us at Eddie's Club back in February, will take our place and play that show on Saturday, July 29. We are thrilled to help them out --- they are a fantastic power trio covering classics from the 70s and 80s. Kelley's does want us to reschedule and we have a tentative date set. It's tentative because we were holding that date open for another venue who expressed an interest in us performing that evening, but, as of yet, that has not been confirmed. Once all that get sorted out, we will confirm. In a perfect world, we will have shows at both venues.

It's been a busy summer for Dirt and it will be picking up in August, with five shows in four consecutive weekends scheduled. Starting with Saturday's show in Lorain at the Musicians Memorial Outdoor Jam, four of our next five shows are currently scheduled to be outdoor shows. It should be a lot of fun.

As of now, our November and December are void of scheduled gigs. That will hopefully change soon. If your club or venue is looking for bands to play during those months, please do not hesitate to hit us up at 440-371-3279 or 440-320-8976.

Until next time, you guys are awesome! We are Dirt!


Been a while since we touched this page. A lot of changes in the world of Dirt since we last were here.

Dirt said good-bye to Andres Moyet, our founding bassist, in April. He quit to pursue other interests and passions. He played with us at Laporte at the end of April and then returned for a one-off at our most recent show at iggy's Bar on June 23. We are sad to see Andres go and we wish him well.

Fortunately, we found ourselves an absolute monster of a bass player in Jason "Jay-Sinn" Ortman. Jason is a veteran of many heavy bands around the Akron-area. He recently moved to North Ridgeville and was looking for something closer to home. It just so happened we were right down the street. It's been a match made in Hell since he came aboard. The band has gotten heavier and our stage presense has improved tremendously. Jason brings a lot of energy and a great look and great playing to the table. Jason has played three shows with us -- Club 42 Eighty on May 12, Whiskey Warehouse on May 27 and Kenilworth II on June 10.

On Jason's recommendation, we went back to being a five-piece for the first time since last November. Guitarist Ronny Turner, from Wadsworth, has joined to give us an even heavier and more layered sound. He and Matt have worked well together in harmonizing and trading solos. Ronny's only played one show with us so far, but we expect things will sound better as he gets further acclimated.

Dirt is closing in on it's one-year anniversary of our first show. We've played 17 shows since that first one, which is pretty impressive, with more on the horizon. Our profile continues to rise, and we have you to thank. We put out our own T-shirt (which is for sale on our site and at every gig we play). We were the subject of a feature story in the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram -- our hometown newspaper -- and gigs at some high-profile venues appear to be on the horizon.

Thank you all for being fans of Dirt! It's been a fun ride so far, and it's only going to get better and better! You guys are awesome! We are Dirt!

Local Band Dirt at Kenilworth
"Innocently enough, we saw a Facebook post from a guitarist who was looking for musicians to start a project. The project he had in mind was an Alice In Chains tribute band. John and I were in another band together that played original metal, but we left after a couple of months due to creative differences. We were looking for something, anything, to do with music. Alice in Chains was the one grunge band that to me stood out above the rest. I've always been a fan of them. From a drumming perspective, it's very fun and challenging stuff, but not overly complicated."
-- Dan Gilles [Read More...]
Thank you!

Dirt would like to say thank you to everyone who came out and supported us at Mutt & Jeff's on the 18th and at Eddie's Club on the 25th! We would also like to thank Bittersweet and Three on a Tree for opening up the night for us, you both rocked!


We hope to see you all on March 25th when we make our long awaited debut at The Sly Fox! This show is very important to us and we are looking forward to seeing all of our supporters and fans there to help us rock the night away!


As always, thank you all for your continual support, we wouldn't be where we are without you!

We are Dirt from Lorain County and we play rock and roll!

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