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King Makes a Comeback

By Alex Weber · July 15th, 2009 · Spill It


We here in the CityBeat music universe just got word that thanks to a vote last month by City Council, $950,000 of a capital improvement program allocation earmarked for Evanston will go toward rebuilding King Records Studio a few blocks up from its original location at 1540 Brewster Ave.

While the recently placarded historical site will continue to stand on Brewster, council plans to acquire three properties around the corner along Montgomery Road with the intention of transforming them into an all-in-one facility housing the King Records Memorial Hall, the new King Recording Studio and a community art center, according to a City of Cincinnati interdepartmental memo.

A four-pronged partnership has been designated to handle the project; key players from the Evanston Community Council and at Ultrasuede Studios, the Flavor of Art Studio and Xavier University will act as co-owners and -operators.

King was a rare integrated record company that catered to both Country and R&B fans during the racially tumultuous early 1940s to the late ‘60s. The label is particularly notable for having released James Brown’s first records.

The original building was finally given a historical marker in November of last year.

Folks Show Cincinnati Bands Some Love

Congratulations to Buckra, our fair city’s suave-yet-rowdy ambassadors of swingin’, swaggerin’ Pop Rock, and to the mega-‘lectrified “power” Bluesmen of The Sonny Moorman Group. Both artists have been nominated for two awards from Just Plain Folks, the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Grassroots Music Organization.”

Buckra gets the Best Rock Album nod for 2008’s Camouflage Playboys International, and SMG is looking at a nomination in the Best Blues Album category for last year’s Crossroads Motel. Both groups compete against nine other contenders in these respective categories.

But that’s not all. SMG’s twangy, fiery title track is battling it out with 19 other hopefuls for the Best Blues Song award as well. Buckra’s up against 24 contenders for Best Rock Song. They were nominated for “Stop,” a Funk-Soul-brotherinfluenced hook-fest that sounds like a radio-ready hit single.

Both bands were chosen from more than 40,000 international entries. Not bad for some hardworking Midwestern rockers! Best of luck, gentlemen.

Visit jpfolks.com for more information on Just Plain Folks, the nominees and how to vote online. But jump on it — the awards show takes place in Nashville on Aug. 29.

‘Appy Birthday, Abiyah

All funky souls should consider the Northside Tavern their destination on Friday night, when Cincinnati’s high priestess of slammin’ Hip Hop floetry, Abiyah, celebrates her birthday with an 11:30 p.m. show. The groovy gal spits her rhymes after neo-Soul/Jazz group iolite’s 10:30 p.m. set, and the recently re-branded J. Dorsey Blues Revival will send y’all out with a dose of white-hot blooze rawk immediately following Abiyah’s set. (myspace.com/abiyah)



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