There is an odd circularity in the work
of Kevin Barnes. Back in 2005, of Montreal’s amazingly prolific and
profoundly talented frontman was pursuing an Electronic/AfroBeat
direction on The Sunlandic Twins and celebrating the arrival of
his daughter Alabee. Ten years and five albums later, Alabee is a
10-year-old tween and Barnes and his wife Nina are navigating the stormy
seas of separation and divorce.
When Wilco plays Cincinnati this week,
the opening act will be a singer/songwriter and guitarist whose
textured, ethereal, slightly dazed and bluesy Rock sound is earning him
comparisons to The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile. He is Steve Gunn.
Cincinnati vibraphonist Rusty Burge has amassed an
impressive curriculum vitae over the past 20-plus years, including four album releases. His latest, Faraway, is a collaboration with Indiana-based pianist Steve Allee.
The Mountain Goats have dropped 15 albums since 1994, the most recent of which, the just released Beat the Champ,
is yet another effort in which frontman John Darnielle’s hyper-literate words and
modest but expressive voice take center stage.
Chuck Prophet is making some of the best music of his
career. Jangly, unique and rocking, Prophet’s jams should be reaching a
bigger audience. But fickleness and modern tastes don’t always coincide
with true creativity that may be lying in the grass like a snake.
Prolific singer/songwriter Mark Utley has released a single album’s worth of songs. And that’s all.Bulletville, Utley’s excellent
sophomore solo album, is not a double-set on a single CD or accompanied
by a new release from his band Magnolia Mountain or another musical
vessel for the songs that pour endlessly from his head, heart and hands.
In the years between 2002's High on the Hog and 2008's Tales from a Road King, Greater Cincinnati Country artist Dallas Moore and his band toured relentlessly with a boundless appetite for the road and its greater and lesser sins. Since Road King, he’s put out several releases, including his latest album of powerful originals, DarkHorse Rider.
An affinity for the down and dirty can
be heard in Cincinnati band Lovecrush 88’s mix of ’80s Goth, Hair Metal and good old
fashioned Rock & Roll. Featuring singer Tina Sullivan, guitarist Joel Spivey, bassist
Nathan Bach and drummer Ryan Moore, Lovecrush 88 has assembled a sound
that is hot in all the right ways.
Dessner, guitarist for international Indie Rock stars The National,
founded the MusicNOW Festival in 2006, he didn’t necessarily envision
the three-day Indie Rock-meets-experimental/Classical music event’s