Happy Memorial Day! The popular annual food-fest Taste of Cincinnati ends today (Monday), your last chance to hear some solid local music and eat some excellent local grub (at least until the next downtown street event). Today’s musical offerings kick off on a bittersweet note. At 1 p.m., the Katie Reider Spirit of Music Award will be given posthumously to longtime local bassist and music scene presence Chris Walker, who passed away last year after battling injuries sustained in a serious car accident in 2007.
The award was first given out in 2009 to its namesake, the late, local singer/songwriter Katie Reider, who died in 2008 from complications from a rare tumor when she was just 30. The award was designed to honor musicians in the local music scene who personify Reider’s “essence and that of the Cincinnati music scene.” Last year’s recipient, Kelly Thomas, received the honor for her numerous musical charity events over the past several years.
Walker’s sister and former bandmate Carole Walker Luley will accept the award at 1 p.m. today at the Metromix Stage at P&G Gardens. Thomas and her Roots/Country band, the Fabulous Pick-Ups, perform on the stage at 1:30 p.m.
Here are a few other recommendations for Taste of Cincinnati musical exploration:
Monday 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
Blues ace Sonny Moorman has been on the forefront of the local Blues scene for over 15 years, releasing several albums that have received attention from the international Blues community. Moorman’s discography is loaded with “live albums,” a testament to the natural power of Moorman and his band in concert.
Monday 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Chemed Stage
The music of Tracy Walker (pictured) has, over the past 15 or so years, been a consistent, jaw-droppingly gorgeous and soulful presence in the soundtrack of Greater Cincinnati. Be it with her top-notch band or as a solo force, Walker proves with every show how deserved she is of her numerous music awards and accolades. She makes transcendent sounds that are organic and folksy at their root, but soar off into the stratosphere thanks to Walker’s stunning voice.
Monday 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Metromix Stage at P&G Gardens
Cincinnati’s best new Rock & Roll band is The Kickaways. The scrappy young foursome doesn’t muddy its waters with trendy consolations — they play it straight up … the way the Rock gods intended. See them live for a taste, then grab their fantastic debut album, America! America! (available for free download via The Recording Label here), to hold you over until the next time they play.
Monday 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Metromix Stage at P&G Gardens
Chris Sherman — aka Freekbass — has been a renegade of Funk since his days with local P-Funkin’ faves SHAG. Since then, Sherman has guided his eponymous band through several albums (including the brand new Concentrate, available as a free download here) and steady tour dates, and his “side-projects” have become equally beloved. Following up his successful run with Headtronics (an Electro Funk/Hip Hop project with Steve Molitz, DJ Logic and various guests, including Funk legend Bernie Worrell), Sherman has been doing a lot of shows with Freekbot, his Hip Hop/Funk duo project with DJ/producer Tobotius, aka Tobe Donohue, from DMC world champion turntable crew Animal Crackers. Below is a clip of the twosome jamming during a recent appearance in Chicago.
Photo: Zona's Eye Photography