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Cincinnati: The Original Music City

By Bobby Goodwin · August 19th, 2009 · Spill It

Believe it or not, back in the 1940s and ’50s, before recording artists flocked to Nashville, Tenn., some of Country music’s most legendary artists came to Cincinnati to record hits that would one day make them famous. Musicians like Hank Williams, Patti Page and Flatt and Scruggs all played sessions at Cincinnati’s historic Herzog Studios, formerly located at 811 Race St.

Now the Cincinnati Music Heritage Foundation — the same people that helped bring a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame historical marker to King Recording Studios’ old grounds at 1540 Brewster Ave. last November — is back this summer in an effort to raise money for a similar marker.

Comprised of group members Elliott Ruther (local musician), former City Councilman John Cranley and Bootsy and Patti Collins, the Cincinnati Music Heritage Association held a press conference downtown on Aug. 3 to announce plans for the Herzog marker.

This Saturday marks the 60th anniversary of Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” session at Cincinnati’s old Herzog Studios, where he cut one of his most successful songs, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

To honor the date/boost financial support for the future Herzog Studios marker, a group of local musicians will be playing at the Southgate House as part of the “Hank Williams and Herzog Studios Marker Benefit.”

The event will feature the following acts: The Hiders, Straw Boss, Magnolia Mountain, Elliott Ruther & Marvin Hawkins, The Crick Gypsies, Billy Catfish Orchestra, The Comet Bluegrass All Stars, The Kentucky Struts, Mack West, Katie Laur and Joey Allcorn (from Nashville).

Besides originals, many bands will be paying tribute to Williams by covering some of his best-known tunes.

Doors open at 8 p.m.; show starts at 9 p.m. It’s only $8 to get in if you’re 21 or older. (myspace.com/herzogrecordingstudios)

A Cincy-Style (and Sized) Bonnaroo

With “Big Sound,” “Big Lights” and a “Big Stage,” the eighth-annual Ohmstead Music Festival will go down Aug. 21- 23 at Hannon’s Camp America near Oxford. In what could be called a micromini Bonnaroo, the weekend-long festival was started by local band The Ohms and features several other local acts, along with a few out-of-towners.

Get to know a few acts that make up 2009’s Ohmstead lineup:

The Ohms: Having just released their first E.P., Resistance, the band will offer its trademark funky Reggae/Rock hybrid. They’ve also shared the same stage with Foreigner and Bad Company.

Mike Perkins: The acoustic/Folk Rock singer/songwriter’s solo album, Sway, includes guest appearances by Columbus musicians Ward Scott and Robb McCormick of The Shantee as well as Jerry DePizzo of O.A.R.

Mia Carruthers & The Retros: Having recently appeared on MTV’s Taking The Stage and graduating from Cincinnati’s School of the Creative & Performing Arts, Carruthers has so far reportedly turned down several record contracts. You go, girl.

Other musical acts set to play at Ohmstead include Elementree, Lemon G, Rusty Van Band, Jones For Revival, League Of Proper Musicians, Under The Sun and Grooveshire, as well as Cincinnati Entertainment Award-winning artists Rumpke Mountain Boys and noctaluca.

There will also be a special fire performance by Incendium Arts.

In true music festival fashion, feel free to camp out for two nights. Pre-sale tickets cost $35 and go for $45 at the gate. (ohmstead.eventbrite.com)

CONTACT BOBBY GOODWIN: music@citybeat.com



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