Ward of the Strings
Singer, guitarist and Nashville native Jenny Ward spent a good chunk of her prime braving an often-stagnant life in a series of small Midwestern towns. Hey, a little misery always brings out the best in a singer/songwriter. Luckily, Ward channeled the frustration and ennui of her situation, wrote a bunch of Folk-informed songs to keep herself sane and then hit the road and headed for Cincinnati. And it was a good move considering our town’s love for Americana-styled tunes.
In the time since she’s made the Queen City her home, she’s managed to lasso up a few able dudes to help arrange her once-solo songs into proper full-band stompers. Together they are Jenny Ward and the Slingerlands: twangy, hard-driving Folk Rock balladeers who throw a little bit of Country and Pop and a touch of Hard Rock into the mix. What else would you expect from a band named after a classic brand of drum sets?
The group’s debut release, Town, is a defiantly upbeat nine-song stumble through themes of escape and a musical tutorial on how to just plain have fun despite the crappy cards life sometimes tends to deal. Town could have been a pity party, but instead it’s a refreshing, hopeful set of tracks that are more likely to make you want to slam your beer, order another one and get up and start a hoedown on the bar rather than sob into an empty mug.
Big drums and bass lines, slide guitar licks and a sweet-voiced, down-home gal strumming the hell out of an acoustic guitar and telling it like it is. Yeah, this one’s got it all.
See Jenny and the boys live at the free Town release party at The Comet on Friday at 9 p.m. (jennynward.com)
Cincinnati’s resident neo-Goth Hard Rockers Chakras will experiment with a fresh approach to putting out new music at their Southgate House release party (8 p.m. this Saturday). Dark Metal siren Andrea Simler-DeGolier and her clan are giving away what they’re calling a “Super Single” to attendees. It’s basically a download coupon granting the holder exclusive access to two of the group’s latest studio tracks. Three more new songs will appear on the band’s MySpace page, one every six weeks for the rest of the summer. The five total tracks will then be released as an EP called Cedric. Expect well-produced versions of fan favorites. With titles like “Under God,” “BDSM,” and “Sex Parade,” I’m certainly intrigued — or just morbidly fascinated. Admission to the show is $7 for 21 and up and $10 for ages 18-20, Super Single included. The Dig, Riley, Vertigo, Bastion and The Host open. (myspace.com/chakrassounds)
Other Local Notes
Local Indie Folk heroes Wussy play a live, in-studio set on WOXY’s Lounge Acts show this Friday afternoon. Tune your Internet radio dial to woxy.com at 3 p.m. to catch it. If you can’t manage that, get yourself to the Northside Tavern next week for some Wussy action on a school night. The free show starts at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10. From there, the band embarks on an east coast tour for its latest nationally acclaimed CD, Left For Dead.
We here at the CityBeat music desk really want you to go to Fountain Square and check out the free, every-Friday MidPoint Indie Summer series. This Friday evening will be devoted to full-on scuzz-‘n’-fuzz Rock ‘n’ Roll and Blues, with the J. Dorsey Blues Revival, The Lions Rampant and The Mysts of Time, a new Psychedelic Garage power trio featuring former members of The Greenhornes and the Cincinnati Suds.
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