This weekend's Winter Blues Fest at the Southgate House in Newport -- presented by the Cincy Blues Society, which also puts on the annual summer Cincy Blues Fest at Sawyer Point -- features a doozy of a local lineup. Actually, one night of the fest is stacked enough. But the Winter Blues Fest features two jam-packed nights, Friday and Saturday. Friday's performers include Sonny Moorman Group, blumanchu, The Jon Justice Band, II Juicy, Todd Hepburn, Ricky Nye & Bekah Williams, 46 Long, John Redell & The Company He Keeps, Josh Dorsey Blues Band, Blue Ravens and Them Bones with Cheryl Renee. On Saturday, catch Miss Lissa, G. Miles and the Hitmen, Ricky Nye & the Redhots, Malkum Gibson & the Mighty Juke, Jimmy D. Rogers, Greg Schaber, Greg & James Clark, Sonny Hill & the Nightshift, Mr.cincyblues.org)
• The Winter Blues Fest will also serve as a sort of good-luck "Bon Voyage" party for Cincinnati's representatives at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next week. Local Boogie Woogie piano ace Ricky Nye will wear the "Cincinnati" sash in the solo/duo category, while The Jon Justice Band -- which releases its sophomore album, The Rebound, on March 7 -- reps Cincy in the band category. The musicians made the Memphis Challenge by winning the Cincinnati Challenge last year. At last year's IBC, Sonny Moorman came in second place in the solo/duo category. (blues.org/ibc)
• The first of what is to become an annual event with a big local Blues focus is Feb. 10's "Big Joe Duskin Memorial Birthday Party" at Music Hall. Honoring the late local Blues legend, the event also features a head-spinning lineup of local Blues talent. Funds raised at the event will go to the Big Joe Duskin Music Education Foundation, an organization set up to give musical presentations in area schools. Performers include The Blue Birds Big Band, Ricky Nye (doing a special tribute to Big Joe), Scotty Anderson, Scott Covrett, Marcos Sastre, Larry Goshorn, Harold Kennedy, The Medicine Men, Lauren Dragon, the Jon Justice Band and oodles of others. Tickets are available now at cincinnatiarts.org. Check bigjoeduskin.org for updates.
More Local Notes
• Neo New Wave quartet Eat Sugar was recently selected as an "Artist of the Day" at Spin magazine's Web site. Head to spin.com, search "Eat Sugar" and give the homeboys (and girl) a five-star rating so they have a chance to become "Artist of the Year." Check eatsugarmusic.com for show updates.
• Aaron Hedrick of the local cover band Working Class Villain is again hosting a "Winter Jam" concert to raise funds and awareness for the Kidney Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. Hedrick, who was inspired to act after donating a kidney to his sister, and his band headline the concert at Silverton's Play by Play Café Friday. Also on the bill: The Ohms, Ten Foot Big and The Tadcasters. Music starts at 7:30 p.m. (myspace.com/workingclassvillain)
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