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The Boogie Men Cometh

By Mike Breen · November 2nd, 2011 · Spill It

Last year, officials in Marshall, Texas, declared its city the birthplace of Boogie Woogie music. But 13 years ago, local pianist Ricky Nye started a tradition that has made Greater Cincinnati (or, more precisely, Newport, Ky.) one of the premiere active hubs in the U.S. for the rolling, rollicking American style of Blues/R&B music that dates back to the late 1800s. Popularized by players like Albert Ammons, Jimmy Yancey and Professor Longhair, and an influence on piano players from Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino (Boogie Woogie was a key ingredient in the development of the recipe for Rock & Roll) to Liberace, Boogie Woogie isn’t exactly a household name anymore. But, thanks to Ricky Nye and the international lineup of performers that have come to Newport’s Southgate House annually for the past 13 years for Nye’s Blues & Boogie Piano Summit, Boogie Woogie is probably more popular in the Cincinnati area than it has been in well over half a century.

For Saturday’s 13th annual affair, Nye and the house band for the evening (guitarist George Bedard, bassist Chris Douglas and drummer Brian Aylor) will be joined by Los Angeles-based “Boss of the Boogie,” Rob Rio, Germany’s Jörg Hegemann and young, classically trained St. Louis native Stephanie Trick, a rare female presence at the event who has been acclaimed for her mastery of “stride” piano.

Doors open at 8 p.m.

and the music begins at 9 p.m. Get your tickets before Saturday for $20 (though southgatehouse.com); remaining tickets will be $25 at the door. This is a seated (though there is room for, uh, boogying), no-smoking affair open to music lovers 18 years old and up. Visit rickynye.com for more info.

More Local Notes

• Bogart’s hosts a benefit concert Saturday for The Dragonfly Foundation, a local organization that launched last year with the goal of providing “comfort and joy to children being treated for cancer and other blood diseases” by giving them distractions like facilitating celebrity visits and other entertainment. This event was designed to provide assistance for one patient in particular, Paige Grant, whose family is having a tough time financially. The concert is headlined by Los Angeles AltRock band Chalk FarM, which made some waves in the mid-’90s, broke up and is now reunited. Also performing is local Alternative Rock band Zebras in Public and West Virginian Rockabilly/Psychobilly outfit The Heptanes. The show includes a silent auction with some sweet items, including signed memorabilia (like a Justin Bieber autographed Fender guitar). The event kicks off at 6 p.m. with a pre-party; music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 (VIP tickets are available for $50) through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com). For more on the cause, visit thedragonflyfoundation.org.

• Cincinnati native Stacy Mitchhart (currently a resident of Nashville) comes home Friday for a special 8 p.m. performance at the Fairfield Community Arts Center (411 Wessel Drive, Fairfield). Before relocating in the mid-’90s, Mitchhart and his band Blues-U-Can-Use were a popular presence on the local Blues scene. Since the move, Mitchhart has built up global acclaim and an international fan base. Mitchhart was even the subject of a feature-length documentary, Nashvegas Blues, which has screened on the Documentary Channel. Friday’s show is part of a concert series benefiting the Sojourner Recovery Services, a nonprofit that helps area residents with substance abuse problems. The series continues next year with concerts by Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad (Feb. 4), legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb (March 10) and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Rick Derringer (April 28). Tickets for all shows are available through www.fairfield-city.org/cac

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com



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