This holiday weekend is shaping up to be a scorcher, so be sure to add sweatbands to your “things to bring to Taste of Cincinnati” list (along with your Tums and earplugs). Below are some local music suggestions for Sunday's Taste. For the full entertainment lineup, Saturday-Monday, click here. And click here for a map of all the stages and food kiosks.
Sunday Noon-3 p.m. Chemed Stage
Thanks to Ricky Nye, Cincinnati has become something of a hub for Boogie Woogie Blues, the vintage, rollicking style with New Orleans roots. Nye’s own undeniable skills on piano is only part of that; Nye also presents an annual Blues and Boogie Summit at the Southgate House and often hosts national and international Boogie Woogie practitioners, including his own Paris Blues Band, a trio of musicians Nye hooked up with during one of his regular treks to Europe for show dates.
Sunday 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Metromix Stage at P&G Gardens
Like a modern Indie Pop/Rock version of The Kinks, The Minor Leagues are enamored with melody and concept albums, song cycles and story songs. But even if you don’t understand a word, The Minor Leagues energized performances and often jubilant explosion of brain-commandeering hooks are captivating enough to make you a lifelong fan.
Sunday 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Metromix Stage at P&G Gardens
The catchiness continues with Giant Wow, a tight Power Pop foursome whose already solid Pop Rock sounds got a next-level bump when drummer Keith Adams moved from behind the kit to guitar, adding a more textural feel to the band’s well-crafted songs.
Sunday 4 p.m.-5 p.m.
The rise of Folk music’s popularity amongst young musicians who come from a more Rock upbringing is a natural result of music’s cycle of life, which rolls around to more pure forms of expression during times of uncertainty in society (in this case, post-9/11 perspective changes and economic turmoil). The Tillers were ahead of the Folk revival curve and the trio’s members embrace and largely adhere to the traditions of classic American Folk and Roots music with authentic, soulful flair. Their instrumental prowess and masterful songwriting have made them wildly popular with both purists and younger fans drawn in by the natural power of the music.
Sunday 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. Metromix Stage at P&G Gardens
Speaking of going back to the essence of classic music, The Lions Rampant is one of the leaders of Cincinnati’s vintage Rock & Roll revival, a welcome phenomenon showcasing some amazing young Garage bands that grasp the inherent power of Rock & Roll’s pioneers and translate it with vigorous zeal and deft virtuosity. The Lions’ songs just keep getting better and better, a sign of the group’s endless creative curiosity and ambition.
Sunday 7 p.m.-8 p.m. Metromix Stage at P&G Gardens
Coming off of a solid run with Thee Shams, the members of Buffalo Killers debuted its band as a fully-formed entity and drew national attention right out of the gate. With unanimously glowing reviews and high-profile touring engagements with famous fans like The Black Crowes and The Black Keys, the band’s soulful Psych Rock has developed a sharper Pop edge over time, earning the Killers’ killer songwriting as much attention as their trippy swagger.
Sunday 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Metromix Stage at P&G Gardens
Walk the Moon are looking more and more like Cincinnati’s next big musical export. The young group’s accomplished Dance Rock/Art Pop sounds has garnered Walk the Moon an increasingly high profile. From TV appearances to British tour dates to slots at this summer’s biggest music fests (Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza), Walk the Moon’s future’s so bright, they'll soon have to add some sun-block to that body paint they sport during live shows. Things are happening so fast for the band, there are exciting new news items almost daily. The latest: Spin just named them one of the 25 “must-see” acts at Bonnaroo 2011; they’ve added tour dates opening for Weezer; and a live video from WTM’s recent show at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley recently emerged online (view below).
Sunday 10:00 PM - 11:00 PM Metromix Stage at P&G Gardens
Like the classic Country and basement-rocking Punk heroes that influenced them, 500 Miles to Memphis (pictured) are making their legend on the road, touring nearly non-stop throughout the year. But they’re no slouches in the studio — 2007’s Sunshine in a Shot Glass was a stunning introduction to the band’s energized performance chops and also frontman (and only original member) Ryan Malott’s wise-beyond-his-years songwriting, while last year’s Pop explosion, We’ve Built Up to Nothing, was testament to Malott’s staying power, showing an expertise that usually doesn’t materialize until an artist is six or seven albums deep into their discography. Though tagged with the “Cowpunk” descriptor early on, Malott’s growth as a writer has helped 500MTM transcend any easy genre-fication.