The Same As Last Week | Eric Blecher | Jeff Bloom | Les Bloom | John Bogo | Lee Branst | Dave Featheringham | Bill Jaros | Mike Kaplan

With war raging, an extraordinary Ukrainian audio engineer used AI audio tools to transform a poor quality 1969 stereo recording of a popular Cleveland band's live set into a brilliant modern album.

our album

The Same As Last Week
Live In Cleveland 1969 (2023 Mix)

Immerse yourself in an hour of great rock and Motown dance tunes of the late '60s or first check out previews of each track below.

The Same As Last Week | Eric Blecher | Jeff Bloom | Les Bloom | Lee Branst | Dave Featheringham | Bill Jaros
The Same As Last Week | Eric Blecher | Jeff Bloom | Les Bloom | Lee Branst | Bill Jaros

Preview Tracks

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
    Fire 3:51
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14


The Same As Last Week | Eric Blecher | Jeff Bloom | Les Bloom | John Bogo | Lee Branst | Dave Featheringham | Bill Jaros | Mike Kaplan


Founded in 1968 in Cleveland, Ohio, the confusingly-named The Same As Last Week became a hugely popular band in Northeast Ohio and the Midwest.   They entertained devoted followers at frat parties, college dances, crowded local bars, a summer lake resort, and even a 400-seat lounge at a bowling alley in Calumet City, IL.   With their diverse musical backgrounds, two superb lead singers, and uncommon instrumentation, they added unique flavors to an eclectic repertoire of rock and soul hits of the day, oldies, and future classics.  

On the album “Live In Cleveland 1969 (2023 Mix)” are: 

Eric Blecher, bass guitar
Jeff Bloom*, guitar & backup vocals
Les Bloom*, alto sax & flute
John Bogo, drums
Lee Branst, lead vocals
Dave Featheringham, lead vocals
Bill Jaros, organ & piano
Mike Kaplan, vibraphone

*not related at all (we hope)

Additional band members (not on the album):

** Mike Bevis, organ [through February 1969]
*** Neil Hecht, drums [from October 1969 on]

The band picked the best popular songs for dancing, from a variety of genres, played them well, and worked every weekend for two years (like thousands of other bands in the '60s did throughout the world) – way before disco and auto-tuning.


The 1969 Recording

Following a Midwest summer tour in 1969, the band's first gig back in Cleveland was at an outdoor fraternity party.  Someone brought along a stereo ¼” reel-to-reel tape recorder.  The inputs to the two tracks were not ideal.  One track came out of the PA system; the other track was from a microphone suspended over the instruments.  During the gig, the tape even ran out a couple times, but a few sets were captured. The tape was then forgotten.

The band dis-banded

After several of the band members graduated from Case Western Reserve in June 1970, the band sadly broke up. 

Members moved on to further musical ventures, advanced degrees, or the military.  They ultimately enjoyed long careers in engineering, business, finance, education, home building, or medicine. 

So, you might well wonder how the band released an album 54 years later?  The answer to that starts here.

lost tape found

A copy of the lost tape, forgotten for almost 40 years, was discovered by Les in 2008 and he digitized it.

But not until 2011, when Les had a personal website, was he able to share those tracks on the Internet.  While the tracks were fine to share with friends and family, the audio quality wasn't great.  The sound was muddy, unbalanced, and contained lots of background noise.


The members of the band, now spread around the US and UK, remained friends, and, starting around 2011, reconnected virtually a few times via email, recalling many happy and strange memories from our brief but intensely emotional time together as a band. 

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, now in our 70s, there was more incentive and time to get in touch more regularly – initially by emails or online chats, and then via video reunions.  This allowed the band members to see and hear each other for the first time in many, many years – noticing more gray hairs (or little hair at all) and a few extra pounds here and there.  But still friends and communicating more.


Fast forward to July 2023.

For several years, Jeff, in his business, had been working with Oleg “Yorshoff” Yershov, a highly skilled, Ukrainian audio engineer now in his mid-30s.   But in 2023, in the midst of the war in Ukraine, Oleg was sent a few of the band’s original tracks.

When he listened to them, he heard great spirit, energy, and musical quality.  Wanting to help the band share these and also give himself a distraction from the war, he challenged himself to bring the tracks into the 21st century as a widely available digital album.

Using his exceptional audio engineering skills, artificial intelligence, and the latest technology magic, he devoted over 200 hours to resurrecting the half-century old recordings and made the band’s music come alive again.

So, 54 years after our band played this set at a party, we are proud to present to you a new album based on our original crude recording, in which the tracks now sound almost like they were made in a professional studio.

The technical prowess demonstrated by Oleg in putting this immense project together has been extraordinary.  

Most importantly, we are very grateful to Oleg that, out of the horrors of a brutal, ongoing war, not only has a beautiful collaboration arisen, but we are able to share with you a unique and wonderful period of live music, from a typical ‘60s band.


Fun fact:  As a side note, the audio in “Live in Cleveland 1969 (2023 Mix)” is older than the Beatles' recent AI-based single, “Then and Now”, and our album was released a week before (without any re-recording)!


The Same As Last Week | Eric Blecher | Jeff Bloom | Les Bloom | John Bogo | Lee Branst | Dave Featheringham | Bill Jaros | Mike Kaplan

Long thought that no video evidence of the band ever existed, an 8mm home movie of the band rehearsing was recently discovered.  Filmed in the Fall of ’68, in Mike's living room in Cleveland Heights, by his dad, the original movie had no sound.  Luckily, a reel-to-reel tape recording of the same song was also found from a year later, with slightly different personnel.  Even though not entirely in sync, the new soundtrack definitely reflects the band’s spirit.






Video footage from Euclid Beach, a local Cleveland amusement park, set to the band's recording of “Groovin' Is Easy”.  Coincidentally, the park shut down about two weeks after the album was recorded.  Credit:  Ken Dixon, of the ClevelandLiveMusic YouTube channel.


The Same As Last Week | Eric Blecher | Jeff Bloom | Les Bloom | John Bogo | Lee Branst | Dave Featheringham | Bill Jaros | Mike Kaplan

Eric Blecher, bass guitar

The Same As Last Week | Eric Blecher
The Same As Last Week | Eric Blecher

Eric graduated from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree including a teaching certificate from the state of Ohio.  This was a very creative time in his life.  As a financial means to put himself through college, Eric pursued his interest in music and the studio arts at a professional level.  Playing nightly at parties and clubs, music allowed him to indulge his pursuit of a career in the arts.  He played continuously during this time in multiple bands in the Cleveland area and occasional venues out of state. 

As his musical career was nearing an end, there was more emphasis on the studio arts.  For example, his work was accepted to the Cleveland Museum of Arts "May Show" two times and was also exhibited at prestigious national juried exhibitions.  Eric continued his education at Eastern Michigan University where he earned a Master's of Fine Arts degree, with the intent to become an instructor of Studio Arts at the college level.  In the same time frame, Eric met his wife and was offered a position in his father's construction business who was retiring. 

He decided to choose the construction business rather than a sabbatical replacement position in Texas.  He reimagined the family business into a Home Building Company which provided an acceptable financial and creative lifestyle.  His beautiful wife provided him with two children who are living the American dream.  He Is the proud grandfather of two and is now living in Florida. 








Jeff Bloom, guitar & backing vocals

The Same As Last Week | Jeff Bloom
The Same As Last Week | Jeff Bloom

Jeff Bloom grew up in Ohio and was in TSALW while he was at Case Western Reserve University (B.S. in Physics, 1970).  After graduating, having enjoyed being in TSALW, he formed another band and pursued writing and producing music.  However, in 1973, he accepted a fellowship from University College, Cardiff in Wales, moved to the UK and did research in Psychoacoustics, receiving a Ph.D. in Physics in 1977.

Following that, his interest grew in digital audio recording and processing, and he was invited to pursue research at the (now) University of Westminster in London. His work resulted in many published research papers, and he also developed and patented a computer method for automatically aligning the timing of one recorded voice with another, to lip-sync film actor’s re-recorded dialogue. This led to forming a company to develop commercial systems first used to lip-sync the dialogue in Dune and The Goonies. After the company was purchased, he also helped develop a touchscreen based digital audio workstation released in 1990.

Today, his subsequent company, Synchro Arts (founded 1994 and now part of LANDR Inc.), continues to develop audio editing software for the music, TV and film industries, and he has received a Technology & Engineering Emmy and a Technology & Scientific Academy Award and two Queen’s Awards.

Jeff now lives in Surrey, UK with his wife, Muriel, has two fabulous daughters from his first marriage and is finally taking piano lessons.

Les Bloom, alto sax, baritone sax, & flute

The Same As Last Week | Les Bloom
The Same As Last Week | Les Bloom

Les graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1971 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.  He is a cofounder and President of DocuMed, Inc., which has developed a multi-patented electronic medical records system, marketed nationally to ambulatory medical clinics.

In 1988, Les cofounded Clinical Information Systems, Inc. (CIS) where he was Vice President of Research and Development and a board member until its acquisition in 1996. He was one of the principal design architects of the CIS anesthesia information management system, the company’s primary product, marketed to hospital operating room suites nationwide.

From 1982 through 1987 Les was a principal at VSP, Inc. where he was Director of Engineering and board member of this venture capital financed firm.  At VSP he managed the engineering development of medical and industrial imaging products. There he obtained two patents for his hardware designs in electronic imaging.

Prior to 1982, Les served 11 years in various engineering management and design capacities developing enterprise-wide networked computer systems at Northern Telecom, Inc. and at NCR, Inc., which, at the time, were both large multi-national corporations.

Les has never abandoned his love of music and continued to play alto, tenor and soprano saxophones in numerous jazz, rock and jazz-rock fusion bands throughout his life.  He maintains a website of his music at  Les and his wife Dianne live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.






John Bogo, drums

The Same As Last Week | John Bogo
The Same As Last Week | John Bogo

John Bogo currently lives in Douglasville, GA with his wife Nancy.  They have been married for 45 years and have four children.

John left TSALW in October 1969 to continue playing basketball for the (Case) Western Reserve University Redcats.  (Until the 1971-72 school year, CWRU had two separate basketball teams because of contractual obligations with the other schools in the PAC.)  In his senior year he was elected captain of the team.  He finished with four varsity letters in basketball becoming only the sixth player in Redcat history to accomplish that feat. 

After graduating in 1971 from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in English, John enlisted in the US Army.  He eventually was stationed in Berlin, West Germany as a Russian interpreter. From 1975-1979 he taught English at Wickliffe Jr. High in Wickliffe, OH.  He and Nancy moved to Douglasville, GA in 1979, and he taught English and Russian there until he retired in 2010.

Along the way John earned a Russian diploma from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA in 1973, and an MA in Humanities from Central Michigan University in 2000.  He currently works as an adjunct instructor teaching Humanities at West Georgia Technical College.

John continues to play the same drums you hear on the recording.  One band he was in, FM-109, played in the Atlanta, GA area for over 25 years.





Lee Branst, lead vocals

The Same As Last Week | Lee Branst

Lee graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1969, with a B.S. in Management Science.  In addition, he earned a master's degree from CWRU.  In the summer of '70, Lee and Mike began a new band, Hot Knife.  As one of several lead vocalists, Lee also played rhythm guitar.

Moving to California, Lee had a long career as a technical writer, telecommunications analyst, and regional sales manager in the industrial laser field.  While no longer singing, he kept active in the music world, writing concert reviews for local newspapers.  He also wrote the liner notes for a B.B. King album.

Lee lives in Southern California.













Dave Featheringham, lead vocals

The Same As Last Week | Dave Featheringham
The Same As Last Week | Dave Featheringham
When The Same As Last Week broke up in 1970, Dave enlisted and served six years with the US Army Reserve in suburban Cleveland.  He and Bill Jaros played several clubs on the East Side in a small group before he completed his active-duty training later that year.  When Dave returned, he and Bill joined Eric Blecher and Alan Greene in their successful band, Hessler Court.  They enjoyed playing popular covers of The Rolling Stones, Humble Pie, The Who, and other rock groups for a couple of years in the Cleveland area.
After graduating from Case in 1972 with a B.S. in Operations Research, he began a 46-year career in the steel industry, working for the mills in Industrial Engineering, Sales, and Production Planning.  In 1987, he joined a major stainless steel distributor who had purchased a mill in Massillon, Ohio, as Director of Steel Planning.  After four years, the company moved Dave and his wife Pam to the Atlanta area as Plant Manager of their local facility.  His married children eventually relocated there as well, and he has been fortunate enough to watch his four grandchildren grow up nearby.
In 1999 his company was purchased by one of the largest metal distributors in the country, and he assumed the role of Senior Stainless Product Manager for the remainder of his career.  In this role, he negotiated and managed a number of large OEM contracts in the Southern Region, as well as coordinating with major buying groups in the appliance industry.  He retired in 2019 and enjoys golf and traveling with his family and friends.






Bill Jaros, organ & piano

The Same As Last Week | Bill Jaros
The Same As Last Week | Bill Jaros

Keyboard player Bill Jaros comes from a family of musicians.  His mother Bertha Stern was a drummer who had traveled with an all-girls band, his father William Jaros played piano, and his uncle Edward Stern played tenor sax and clarinet with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.  Blessed with perfect pitch, Bill began piano lessons at 7 and was playing professionally at 14.   In high school he was in a Cleveland band called The Missing Lynx with Neil Hecht, and they had a local hit record “Behind Locked Doors”. 

After his time with The Same As Last Week, Bill graduated in 1973 from Cleveland State University with a BS in Electrical Engineering.  (He would add a MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hawaii in 1977.)  He was hired in 1973 by Gould Ocean Systems, a Department of Defense (DoD) contractor in Euclid, OH.  Gould was producing the Mark 48 torpedo for the Navy. After a brief OJT at Cape Kennedy, FL, Bill was sent to Honolulu, HI to work at Pearl Harbor with the US Navy. He would remain in Hawaii for 25 years.

During those years he worked for other companies with DoD contracts:  Honeywell as a senior systems analyst in marine system defense, McLaughlin Research, and Raytheon.  Bill eventually founded his own company Waterhouse Software that did shipboard maintenance for American Hawaii cruises and Paradise Cruise Line. 

Bill left Hawaii in 1998 and returned to Cleveland where he joined his brother Freddie James in his DJ business. Bill founded his own company Billy J Disc Jockeys in 2006.  He still runs this business today.

While in Hawaii Bill was a very active keyboard player. He recorded on several country CDs with Warren Johnson.  He backed Jan Brenner at the Sheraton Waikiki, the late Don Ho at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, played with the Honolulu Symphony and on board the cruise ship The Star of Honolulu.  As various musical acts came to Oahu, Bill could be found in the bands behind them. Some included Brooks and Dunn, Crystal Gayle, Ernest Tubbs, Jerry Lee Lewis, and most notably B B King.  And in addition to all of that, Bill was also licensed by the State of Hawaii to perform weddings!!

Bill and his wife Gaydene Renee currently split their time between his residences in Highland Heights, OH, a suburb of Cleveland, and in Calistoga, CA in the famous Napa Valley.  Bill has three children and four grandchildren.