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From May through September, Lock 3, in downtown Akron plays host to Akron’s biggest festivals, a weekly farmers market, a large number of community events and the City of Akron’s official 4th of July fireworks display.

But also, music fans, it features a seemingly unending season of live music – lots of it free.

And it all begins this coming weekend when Evil Ways, a reportedly “high-energy tribute” band that plays the music of Santana, will kick off the Friday evening series of tribute bands at thousands of people’s favorite spot for summer music.

Evil Ways in concert.

Evil Ways in concert.

Reviews of the group say that Evil Ways approaches each memorable Carlos Santana tune “with a dedication and motivation to making each performance perfect.”

Blues circuit legend Mike Goldberg has been said to have “an uncanny ability to recreate the style and sound of Carlos Santana’s fabled guitar,” while Kenny Baehr takes charge of the vocals.

Mike Goldberg, Evil Ways. Photo from www.clevelandrockandroll.blogspot.com

Mike Goldberg, Evil Ways. Photo from www.clevelandrockandroll.blogspot.com

Each performance by Evil Ways includes all of the Santana hits (including “Evil Ways,” “Jingo,” and “Hope You’re Feeling Better”) that are presumably “performed with authenticity and exuberance that will bring audiences to their feet in appreciation.” Stunning instrumentals, high-energy drumming and percussion, a live horn section and of course the legendary sound of the guitar, all come together to bring the Santana concert experience to life.

As on every Friday evening, the tribute band is brought in an hour prior to the main concert by a warm-up group. For Evil Ways, the guys doing the honors belong to The Juke Hounds, with Bob Gardner on lead vocals and guitar.

Juke Hounds. Photo from www.reverberation.com

Juke Hounds. Photo from www.reverberation.com

Like lots of local bands, they get to do a bunch of self-describing until they are better known and reviewed for their sound and presentation.

The Juke Hounds say of themselves. They “ventured on a special mission to put the ‘Juke’ spin on the standard ‘Blues Sound.’” They say they add “a high-energy approach, an uplifting twist to the songs, and upbeat musicianship.” Continuing, they acknowledge, “Most folks don’t realize there’s another side to the blues – an upside that keeps the listener smilin’, dancin’ and swinging . . . and that’s where The Juke Hounds set their mark.”

Through other Fridays during the summer, groups include tributes to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Bon Jovi; Jimmy Buffet; Bruce Springsteen; U2; and Pink Floyd, among others.

The Juke Hounds will perform at 7 p.m. and Evil Ways: A Tribute to Carlos Santana will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 24 at Lock 3, 200 S. Main St., Akron; 330-375-2877; www.lock3live.com. Admission is free.

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