The Cincy Blues Society’s Winter Blues Fest (a more locally focused sister event of the group’s outdoor summertime Cincy Blues Fest) has moved around quite a bit the past few years, from various venues in Covington to last year’s multi-venue affair in Over-the-Rhine.
The Winter Blues Fest is on the move again for this year’s event, which takes place Friday and Saturday in its new, one-stop home, downtown’s The Phoenix on Race Street (right across from CityBeat’s building; take a shot and throw some eggs at my window — I’m on the fourth floor).
The festival once again has a stellar lineup that provides a great overview of Greater Cincinnati’s strong Blues scene. Artists will perform on four different stages for the event — the third floor Grand Ballroom, the second floor ballroom and the first floor President’s Room and “solo/duo room.”
Friday night starting at 6:45 p.m., catch local favorites like Sonny Moorman, 46 Long, Them Bones, The Blues Merchants, Cheryl Renee, The Bluebirds Big Band, Blue Sacrifice, Doug Hart, Leroy Ellington, Miss Lissa & Company, Leo Clarke, Sonny Hill and many others. The Noah Wotherspoon Band — fresh off of reaching the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis — performs at 11:30 p.m. in the President’s Room (look for a new album from Wotherspoon and Co. in April).
Saturday, former local Blues great (now a national favorite) Stacy Mitchhart and his band return to headline the Grand Ballroom. Also performing Saturday: Tempted Souls, Chuck Brisbin and the Tuna Project, Chris Yakopcic, Johnny Fink and the Intrusion, The Juice, the Brad Hatfield Band, Jimmy D. Rogers, Bob Dellaposta and many others. John Redell will kick off the night at 6:45 p.m. with a band featuring young musicians from the Blues in the Schools program.
Tickets for the Winter Blues Fest are $20 per night or $30 for a presale weekend pass (two-day passes will be available at the door Friday for $35). brownpapertickets.com. For more info, visit cincyblues.org/winter.
New Local Releases
• Fantastic local Jazz vocalist Annette Shepherd celebrates her first new album in more than a decade, I Only Have Eyes For You, Saturday night at downtown’s Blue Wisp Jazz Club. The album — a collection of unique arrangements of mostly standards — features a slew of top-shelf local players, including Brian Lovely, Jim Connerley, Teddy Wilburn, Marc Wolfley, Don Aren and Paul Patterson. Shepherd and Co. perform Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10. (annetteshepherd.com)
Here's Shepherd's compelling take on a modern Pop "standard" from the new release.
• Green Light Morning — the new on-the-rise project from former Oval Opus member Aaron Patrick — returns with its second EP, Find My Way Home, which gets the release-party treatment Friday at Oakley’s 20th Century Theater. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $9 in advance (through cincyticket.com) or $15 at the door. A Continuous Now, Shane Piasecki and The Getaway open the show. (greenlightmorning.com)
Here's an acoustic live show the band did, which streamed live through UStream last summer.
• Very-promising Indie rockers Saturn Batteries celebrate their debut release, the Ever Been in Love? EP, with a free show Friday at Mayday in Northside. The great State Song opens the 10 p.m. show. Give a listen to a couple of tracks now at saturnbatteries.bandcamp.com. The EP will be available at the same site as a pay-what-you-can download. Here's a teaser track from the release, "You Should Know."
Trade Show for Area Musicians Debuts
This Thursday at Rohs Street Café in Clifton Heights, local musicians will get an industry trade show of their own. The “Locally Insourced: Cincinnati Music Industry Trade Show” is being presented at the venue at 6 p.m., organized by the Counter Rhythm Group and presented in conjunction with the MidPoint Music Festival.
Along with being able to register for showcase consideration at this year’s MPMF (you can also do so now via Sonicbids), Locally Insourced is designed specifically with Greater Cincinnati musicians in mind. The event will feature booths representing various music entities in the area, from recording studios and merch makers to local labels, radio outlets and much more.
The event is free and open to all ages. Visit locallyinsourced.com for more details.
On Wednesday, Counter Rhythm Group main-man Brian Penick will be launching a Kickstarter project for his forthcoming interactive and customizable e-book, Musicians’ Desk Reference. For more on the book, attend Thursday’s trade show, visit musiciansdeskreference.com and be sure to check the music blog at citybeat.com, where Penick recently began guest blogging monthly updates about the project.