The annual Bluegrass for Babies benefit concert returns to the riverfront’s Sawyer Point this Saturday for another day of family-friendly events and Americana/Bluegrass music. Started in 2009 by Matt and Anne Schneider, the event raises money for the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which saved the Schneiders’ son with surgery when he was less than two days old. Organizers report that Bluegrass for Babies has raised around $80,000 since its inception.
This year’s event kicks off at 3 p.m. with a performance by veteran Cincinnati Folk/Americana masters Wild Carrot, who will be followed by local faves Comet Bluegrass All-Stars (5 p.m.), locally based musician and children’s music performer Jennifer Ellis (4:15 p.m.) and Louisville, Ky., Bluegrass/Roots crew The 23 String Band (6:45 p.m.).
Tickets for Bluegrass for Babies are $15 in advance through bluegrassforbabies.com, where you can also find info on the various vendors and other fun activities. Kids 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets will be available at the gates on the day of the event for $20.
King Records Month Continues
How’s your King Records Month going? Celebrating the legendary, historically important Cincinnati-based King Records’ 70th anniversary (as well as the in-the-works music/education/community center, King Studios), September has already seen numerous exhibits and performances related to the King legacy.
This week, Bloodshot Records’ Barrence Whitfield and the Savages are doing a free, two-night stand Friday and Saturday at Over-the-Rhine’s MOTR Pub (motrpub.com) to pay tribute to the label’s pivotal R&B releases (see CityBeat's feature story on the band here) with several special guests.
Sunday at Northside’s The Comet (cometbar.com), the aforementioned Comet Bluegrass All-Stars will honor King’s legendary Bluegrass recordings with some cover tunes during their usual 7 p.m. Sunday showcase at the club; Brian Hellmann will be spinning King music from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for The Comet’s Sunday brunch (and you can spin your own thanks to the club’s King-heavy jukebox).
On Saturday, Sept. 28, King Records Month winds down with a free concert at the new riverfront green-space, Smale Park, featuring a performance by legendary, Cincinnati-born King artist Otis Williams. Williams — who had R&B hits with his group, The Charms, and also worked on Hank Ballard’s original version of “The Twist” and Little Willie John’s “Fever” for King — will perform after that day’s Reds game at 8 p.m. He’s believed to be one of the last original King artists still performing. During the show, organizers will be asking for audience participation for an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest Twist dance. (Shake It Records in Northside will unveil an exhibition of historic King items at the store on Sept. 29; the display will be up through the end of November.)
For a list of all King Records Month events and more, be sure to visit kingstudios.org.
More Local Notes
• This Thursday at Over-the-Rhine’s Kaze sushi restaurant/bar (1400 Vine St., kazeotr.com), CityBeat hosts a special, free party in honor of both this week’s fall-previewing Cool Issue and next week’s huge MidPoint Music Festival (MPMF.com). There you will be able to purchase tickets to the fest, sign up for a chance to win two free VIP MPMF tickets and hear some mostly acoustic performances by excellent local MidPoint performers Archer’s Paradox, Alone at 3AM and Molly Sullivan. The fun runs from 5-10 p.m. You can also pick up copies of the official MidPoint guide that was inserted in last week’s issue of CityBeat (they’ll be available at the festival as well). If you can’t make it but still want to buy a three-day wristband for MPMF, visit mpmf.cincyticket.com.
• This Friday at The Redmoor (3187 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, theredmoor.com), popular local jam crew Jerry’s Little Band will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The group was formed in 1993 (originally using the name Jerry Had a Little Band) by members of various local jam bands, including Speedway Boogie, Crazy Fingers and Curve West, and went on to become a consistent club draw over the next two decades, performing their own, improv-heavy versions of songs by the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, Phish and others. Showtime Friday is 9 p.m. Admission is $7 at the door.
• Wednesday at Northside’s The Comet sees the return of the free indie Hip Hop showcase, Abiyah Presents Hip Hop @ The Comet, a monthly series of themed shows masterminded by dynamic, veteran Cincy Hip Hop artist Abiyah. For September’s event, Abiyah is joined by Animal Crackers turntablist extraordinaire djdq for a special night that is “half open mic, half karaoke.” Interested MCs/vocalists will be given a choice of instrumentals curated by djdq to back them, then try to win over the crowd for a $40 cash prize (one for each of the two sets of performances planned). The series will showcase area female MCs next month. More info can be found here. (facebook.com/abiyahmusic)
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