Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Local musician Jonah Leatherman awaits debut album release


Nick Braun

Whatzup Features Writer

Published January 12, 2022

Sun Gate, Jen and the Foggy Creek Band, Bonsai, Sugar Shot, Mud Creek, Red Arrow, Station Wagon, and Peachtree are a few of the acts you may have seen local musician Jonah Leatherman a part of over the years. Playing music for nearly 20 years, he is putting together quite the résumé. 

After being a sideman for a long time, Leatherman has decided it’s time to get his own project going. 

The result is his debut full-length self-titled record that hits all major streaming platforms Friday, Jan. 21. 

The nine-track effort was recorded by Jason Davis of Off The Cuff Studios and mastered at The Boiler Room in Chicago. It features performances by local veterans John Foxworthy (drums), Lance Roberts (bass), and McKenna Parks (guitar/vocals). Parks is also responsible for the album artwork. 

“Starting this record in January of 2020 and being slowed down by the state of the world, it’s good to see this project finally come to a conclusion exactly two years later,” Leatherman said. 

Although the album cannot be streamed until Jan. 21, vinyl copies are available now at all Wooden Nickel locations and Neat Neat Neat Records, and from Leatherman himself. 

In support of this accomplishment, Leatherman has announced a 14-date tour that will have him hitting a number of surrounding states and feature various combinations of friends accompanying him including Foxworthy, Roberts, Edith Coplin, Atticus Sorrell, and Gabe Keister

Local dates include Sunday, Jan. 30, and Friday, Feb. 25, at The Ruin and Saturday, March 12, and Thursday, April 7, at The Brass Rail. 

Furthermore, if you have a couple minutes, hop onto YouTube and check at the music video for his debut single, “Couldn’t Find Any Reason.” 

Florets look to build on momentum

Florets, featuring Whatzup writer Benjamin Dehr, is a band that closed out 2020 on a high note, having performed a handful of top-notch shows, some of which included sharing the stage with San Francisco’s theatrical metal masterminds Big Gorgeous and Philadelphia’s Strange Ranger. 

We can only hope the energy carries on into the new year since Florets is a force you have to see live. 

You will have a chance to check out the band, comprised of Ben Carr (vocals/guitar), Derek Webb (guitar), Sarah Smith (piano), Drew Taft (drums), and Dehr (bass) on Friday, Feb. 11, at The Brass Rail. They will be joined that evening by our own Best Sleep and Shade

Perhaps more enticing is the evening will be in celebration of Dehr’s 30th birthday, making it an even more reason to come out and hang. 

Pete Dio starts new band

A band to keep on your radar this year is Snakehandler Church, a new southern punk trio made up of Pete Dio (vocals/guitar), Matt Belcher (drums), and Drew Snyder (bass). 

“It’s a themed project and the concept is pretty much self-explanatory: crazy cult Christians preaching about the end of the world,” Dio laughs. 

He tells me it’s a cross between his other outfits Riverbottom Nitemare Band and Deep Coiler

“I’m singing a bit, screaming a bit, and for the first time I’m really concentrating on lead guitar,” he adds. “We’ll be able to play with both the punk and metal crowds pretty easy.” 

The band is going to Chipped Tooth Studios the beginning of February and hopes to get out and perform live come March. 

All-star lineup to play 2 shows at Rail

Swell Time is another new act to the local scene that made their debut at The Brass Rail late last year. 

The all-star lineup of Jess Thrower on vocals and guitar, Jon Ross (Meat Flowers/Boat Show) on drums, Zach Smith (March on Comrade/Orange Opera) on guitar, Elizabeth Helms (Boat Show/The Snarks) on keys, and Zach Kerschner (The Snarks/Piques/Slow Pokes) on bass. That, my friend, is a solid lineup! 

The indie rock quintet performs originals and has a couple of Brass Rail dates on their calendar including Friday, Jan. 28, and Friday, Feb. 4. I can’t wait to see what 2022 brings for Swell Time. 

Local group releases song from Clyde

“Sin: Live at The Clyde” is a new song released by local indie rockers Man of the Flood

The band had the opportunity to perform at The Clyde in November. So, they managed to secure some audio recordings and had a friend shoot video footage. The culmination is a wonderful piece that can be heard on streaming sites and a video that can be viewed by going to the band’s Facebook page. 

Man of the Flood claims there will be more song releases soon, so be on the lookout. As of press time, that band have no local dates but will be traveling to Muncie on Friday, Jan. 14, and Springfield, Ohio, on Saturday, Jan. 15.

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