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Locals at Bunbury: A Primer

By Mike Breen · July 11th, 2012 · Spill It
248463_10150271547726183_2735857_nFoxy Shazam

This weekend’s huge Bunbury Music Festival at Sawyer Point features some of the top-names in Alternative music. And it also includes several local favorites. Since Bunbury is drawing music lovers from all over the region, here is a primer on some of the Greater Cincinnati-based acts performing at the festival.


You won’t hear a ton of Blues at Bunbury, but you will have a chance to check out one of Cincinnati’s finest contemporary outfits, G. Miles and the Hitmen. The band’s sound mixes all forms of Blues with twinges of R&B, Rock and even Jazz. (3:45 p.m.; AliveOne Stage)

One of the past decade’s best Cincy Indie Pop bands, The Minor Leagues have released several fantastic LPs that musically reference everything from the Elephant 6 collective to Belle and Sebastian. A musical based on the band’s album The Pestilence is Coming debuted in Brooklyn earlier this month. (5:15 p.m.; AliveOne Stage)

Foxy Shazam is like a surrealistic version of Queen, with one of the best live shows in the nation. The band is currently signed with the relaunched I.R.S. Records and continues to tour relentlessly across the globe. (9 p.m.; Landor Stage)


Starting life as a folksy duo, Messerly & Ewing has evolved during the past decade into a powerhouse Rock quartet. Mark Messerly and Brian Ewing are two of the better songwriters in the city and their latest album, Every Bitter Thing, was the best showcase of that so far. (3:45 p.m.; Bud Light Stage)

With a powerful live show and a sound that twists American Roots music inside out and injects it with a Post Punk surge, The Sundresses are one of the more popular original bands in the area. Their 2008 LP Barkinghaus won that year’s Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Album of the Year. (3:45 p.m.; AliveOne Stage)

With a voice that sends shivers and gorgeous, introspective songs, Tracy Walker has been a local favorite since the late ’90s.

Walker’s style is impossible to pinpoint as her sound soars with Folk, Rock, Pop, Jazz, Soul and many other types of influences. (4:30 p.m.; CMC Stage)

The Lions Rampant takes vintage Garage Rock and infuses it with enough adrenaline to wake up an OD victim. Great songs, solid musicianship and an overriding sense of raucous fun. (5:15 p.m.; AliveOne Stage)

One of the best songwriters in Greater Cincinnati, Jeremy Pinnell returned to local stages this year with the more Country-flavored Jeremy Pinnell and the 55s, and those missing his spine-tingling, evocative writing style were not disappointed. (6 p.m.; CMC Stage)

Led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Ryan Malott, 500 Miles to Memphis has morphed from a scrappy Country Punk band into a mature Roots Rock ensemble with amazing, catchy songs full of heart and depth. (6:45 p.m.; AliveOne Stage)


Charming Indie Pop band Belle Histoire’s Bunbury appearance is something of a “pre-release release party” for its full-length debut, Dreamers (due July 17). With a radio-friendly sound that recalls The Sundays and Cranberries, don’t be surprised to hear these guys (and gal) soon on a radio near you. (1:30 p.m.; Bud Light Stage)

Even the most die-hard local music fan has likely not heard of Bunbury performer Jake Kolesar. Yet. Kolesar is a 15-year-old Folk/Rock artist who has been building a following posting songs online, including on his popular YouTube channel. (2:15 p.m.; CMC Stage)

Fresh off of its wildly successful first tour of the West Coast, Wussy has been a top Cincinnati draw since forming in 2001. Co-fronted by singers/guitarists Lisa Walker and Chuck Cleaver, Wussy makes smart, clever and emotive Indie Rock that proves addictive even after just one listen. (3 p.m.; Landor Stage)

This year, Art Pop dynamos Pomegranates released their best work yet, the entrancing, dynamic Heaven, which wonderfully showcased the group’s distinct brand of twilight Indie Dream Pop. (3 p.m.; AliveOne Stage)

One of the newer acts on the Bunbury bill, Arlo McKinley & the Lonesome Sound has been building a strong following locally with its brand of natural, soulful Indie Folk. (3:45 p.m.; CMC Stage)

If there were a Grammys category for “süperfolkelectroindiepop,” The Seedy Seeds would win every year because … well, they invented it. The trio’s charming mix of Indie Pop melodies, Folk instrumentation and Electro additives — as well as regular touring — has helped spread the Seeds’ sound well beyond city limits. (4:30 p.m.; Bud Light Stage)

The Tillers have emerged over the past several years as one of the best original/trad Folk acts in the region. The trio retains the essence of vintage Americana soulfulness on albums like By The Signs and the more recent Wild Hog in the Woods. (5:15 p.m.; CMC Stage)

If you only just heard the new album by Cincinnati Indie Pop group Bad Veins, The Mess We’ve Made, and went to see them live, you couldn’t be blamed for being surprised that there are two members and not 100. The vocals, guitars and drums are played live, with “third member” Irene (a reel-to-reel tape player) providing the lushly arranged backing tracks. At the core, though, are Benjamin Davis’ stunning songs, which would shine through regardless of the presentation. (6 p.m.; AliveOne Stage)

For tickets and full Bunbury Music Festival info, visit bunburyfestival.com.

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com or @CityBeatMusic on Twitter.



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