On Nov. 23, CityBeat brought the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards to the Emery Theatre for what turned out to be the best show in the awards’ 12-year history. Bootsy Collins and a large band of James Brown cohorts tore the roof off right away with an opening tribute to the Godfather of Soul, part of a big celebration of Cincy’s King Records’ legacy. Earlier in the day, a marker was erected at the site of the original King in Evanston, and, within spitting distance, plans were later unveiled for a new King Records facility, dedicated to education and the arts.
Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys were introduced by Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and wowed the sold-out crowd with a fantastic show-closing set honoring King’s pioneering Bluegrass and Country spirit (the Stanley Brothers were one of the biggest Bluegrass acts on the label). The book-ended performances felt historic (true architects of modern music), while The Sundresses, The Seedy Seeds and Eclipse represented Cincy’s music scene in the present with great live performances.
Check out cea.citybeat.com for the full list of winners and nominees, tons of photos and more memories from the show.
The way I see it, everyone was a winner, from the show’s main beneficiaries (Michael W. Bany Scholarship Fund) and the Emery Theatre (a great old building now primed for a major comeback) to King Records, CityBeat and everyone who got to see such a wonderful ceremony and hobnob with our great local music makers.
Can it get any better? Tune in next year.
The Turkeys won the “Country” Cincinnati Entertainment Award, surely to the chagrin of Garth Brooks-lovers everywhere. The Turkeys’ brand of “Country” is more of the “Country Rock” variety, reminiscent of the Byrds’ and Gram Parsons’ pioneering records in that field. It’s a damn tasty mix, whatever you call it.
The Turkeys is a duo showcasing the singing and songwriting talents of Kyle Knapp and Chris Cusentino, but they’re joined by a ton of local talent on their new CD, It’s Gonna Rain. Still, it’s the twosome’s amazing writing and singing that is the heart of the album. The harmonizing alone is worth the price of the disc — Knapp and Cusentino are the Simon & Garfunkel of Cincinnati.
Every track on Rain is stellar, from the ’60 Pop lilt of “Southern Skies” to the dust-kickin’ “Waste of Time” (featuring some speedy banjo from Harold Kennedy) to the trickling, beautiful Folk cascade of “Love Song for the Dreamer.”
The band hosts a CD release party for the new disc Wednesday (Turkey Day eve) at the Southgate House. The show is also serving as a fundraiser for the Eric Pohlgeers Memorial Fund (named in honor of a late friend of the band) benefiting the Linden Grove School. (myspace.com/theturkeysband)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: firstname.lastname@example.org