The BrownGrass Festival returns to the charming small town of Rabbit Hash, Ky., this Saturday for its fourth annual event. BrownGrass is the brainchild of veteran local musician David Rhodes Brown and his fiancee Bobbi Kayser as a way to give back to publically funded Northern Kentucky radio mainstay WNKU (wnku.org), a “thank you” for the station’s years of dedication to playing music by Greater Cincinnati artists.
This year’s BrownGrass marks another milestone for Brown, coming amidst his 50th anniversary of playing music professionally. Beginning with a gig singing church requiems at 13, Brown went on to perform everything from Folk and Roots music to Rockabilly and Punk. Warsaw Falcons was his main band in the ’80s/’90s, and he’s also played with acts like Soul Pocket, StarDevils and Catalog Cowboys. Brown hasn’t slowed down at all; if anything he’s busier than ever, organizing BrownGrass and performing with the likes of 500 Miles to Memphis, The Tammy Whynots and his own current band Kentucky Timbre.
Brown will be on the stage a lot at this year’s BrownGrass, celebrating his anniversary by doing what he does best — slicing and dicing spine-tingling lap-steel guitar riffs and singing his heart out. He’ll play with Kentucky Timbre and the Boone County Caterwaulers, as well as 500 Miles to Memphis and probably a handful of others. The rest of the lineup is an excellent representation of Cincinnati’s Roots music scene circa 2013, with The Newbees, Terminal Union, Magnolia Mountain, Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pick-Ups, Straw Boss, Will Kimble String Band, Billy Wallace, Red Beard’s Revenge, Rattlesnakin’ Daddies, Crick Gypsies, Don Clare, Ben Knight and the Well Diggers, Blue Caboose, My Brother The Bear, Noah Smith, Buffalo Wabbs and the Price Hill Hustlers, Andyman Hopkins and Herald Bluegrass Tradition scheduled to appear.
Admission to the festival — which runs noon-11 p.m.
— is $10 (kids get in for free). For directions, set times and info on the family-friendly fest’s many other offerings, visit browngrassfestival.com.
Video from last year's BrownGrass:
• Saturday at the Cincinnati Pride Festival at Sawyer Point/Yeatman’s Cove along the riverfront, there’s a fun mix of entertainment lined up, including drag kings and queens, dancing, DJs, cabaret, singers and other live music. DJ Jules kicks things off at 2:45 p.m. on the Kroger Stage at Sawyer Point, which will also feature performers like Will Reed, Linda & Taryn, Nashville, Tenn., Country artist Ashley Winters, ’80s Pop star Debbie Gibson and award-winning performer, composer and educator Jonathan Zeng, who made headlines last year after being denied a job at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy because of his sexual orientation.
CityBeat is sponsoring a stage at the Pride Fest along the Serpentine Wall at Yeatman’s Cove, with music kicking off at 3 p.m. with The MoTones. The rest of the eclectic lineup includes Country singer Shawn Adkins, excellent Post Punk band The Slippery Lips, long-running choir the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus and the DJ Mr. Fantastic. Visit cincinnatipride.org for full details.
• This Friday’s free MidPoint Indie Summer concert on Fountain Square has an element of contemporary local music heritage … and lots of ear-grabbing melody. The show is being headlined by psychodots, one of the most popular (and locally influential) original bands to ever call Cincinnati home. The Ready Stance, featuring former members of wildly popular ’90s act Middlemarch, opens the show at 8 p.m., followed by Cari Clara, the long-running project of Eric Diedrichs, who now lives in Lexington, Ky., but once fronted Cincy Pop/Rock faves The Simpletons. For more info, go to myfountainsquare.com.
Showcasing Generation Next
• The huge Summerfest music extravaganza in Milwaukee kicks off this week and Cincinnati has a surprising representative at the festival. Alongside blockbuster artists like Rush, John Mayer, Pitbull and The Eagles will be a band of students from the School of Rock Mason. The kids will be competing against 30 other Schools of Rock from around the country Saturday and Sunday with a set that includes covers of songs by The Who, The Police, Emerson Lake and Palmer, The Breeders and others. (mason.schoolofrock.com)
• Over-the-Rhine-based Hip Hop youth center Elementz presents the free “Hip Art @ Washington Park” showcase this Sunday at the freshly renovated OTR greenspace, 7-9 p.m. Along with live music from the Queen City Band and Hip Hop dance squad Studio Kre8v, the show will feature some of the young aspiring artists who have benefited from Elementz’s creative guidance, performing everything from Hip Hop to R&B and spoken word pieces. Visit elementz.org and washingtonpark.org for more details.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: firstname.lastname@example.org, @CityBeatMusic or on Facebook here.