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A TOAST TO BRIGHTER TIMES

The last year or so has been rough on Greg Klyma. First, the Buffalo folk rocker had to face the death of his grandfather. A few months later, he was arrested in Colorado and charged with possessing a small amount of cocaine. Not long afterward, while he was still fighting the charges, his girlfriend broke up with him.

Now, though, Klyma is facing the next millennium with fortitude. His new CD, "New Clothes," is his first solo acoustic effort. It points toward the future, with songs that help sort out his recent experiences with love and loss, chiefly his grief over his grandfather. ("After he died, I acquired his clothes," Klyma says, alluding to the CD's title.) And it marks Klyma's new commitment to music. "This is what I do for a living now," he says. "I don't have any other job."

With luck, Klyma will have the first copies of "New Clothes" ready this week, because his calendar is full. On Wednesday at 9 p.m., he'll give a solo performance in the Coffee Bean Cafe. And on Jan. 7 at 9 p.m., he'll perform in Nietzsche's with a group called the Nashvillains -- Geno McManus on guitar, Frank Reno on bass and Rob Lynch on drums. Also on the bill are local bands JunKulture and Sweatin' Like Nixon. They'll celebrate Klyma's 29th birthday -- and toast brighter times to come.

-- Mary Kunz

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