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by Brian Baker 07.12.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video, Festivals at 12:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bunbury Sleeper: Now, Now

The inaugural Bunbury Music Festival — three days of top-shelf Alternative music at Cincinnati's riverfront Sawyer Point Park — is TOMORROW! All this week, CityBeat's music blog has featured samples from some of our "sleeper picks" for the fest, artists who some may not be as familiar with as they are Weezer or Death Cab for Cutie or Jane's Addiction.

Our next "sleeper" is Now, Now, performing Sunday at 3 p.m. on the Bud Light Stage.

Cacie Dalager and Bradley Hale, paired up as songwriters since 2003 when both were in high school marching band, officially started as a duo with the unwieldy handle Now, Now Every Children; their 2008 debut full length Cars was an indie sensation.

That success ultimately resulted in a moniker makeover to the sensibly edited Now, Now and the addition of second guitarist Jess Abbott, which broadened the band’s sound on its 2010 EP, Neighbors. Sporting an energetic Indie Pop vibe that could pass for Kathleen Edwards channeling Motion City Soundtrack, Now, Now teamed with veteran producer Howard Redekopp for its just-released sophomore full length Threads, an expansive album that throbs with an aggressive Ambience.

Here's "Thread" from Threads.

Tickets and full info on the Bunbury Music Festival can be found here.

by mbreen 09.10.2015 80 days ago
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals at 10:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Foxfire, Longstone Fests Spotlight Local Music and More

A pair of music festivals just northeast of downtown Cincy feature wide array of local talent

With the summer music-festival season winding down and Cincinnati’s MidPoint Music Festival just two weeks away (did you pick up this week’s CityBeat for official guide, right? If not, you can find info here), you might think there’d be a music-fest lull this week. But two (very different) festivals northeast of Cincinnati are keeping the vibe alive this weekend — the Foxfire Freedom Festival in Morrow, Ohio, and the Longstone Street Festival in Milford, Ohio. 

The Foxfire fest, dubbed a “music and sustainability festival,” takes place Friday and Saturday at Morgan’s Riverside Campground & Cabins in Morrow, along the Little Miami River (you can even go canoeing if you’re up for it!). The $45 two-day ticket, available at the gate, covers camping Friday and Saturday night (one-day, non-camping tickets are $15). Foxfire will feature vendors and information related to being an environmentally-friendly citizen (the “sustainability” mention), with live music from several area Roots/Americana/Bluegrass performers, as well as acts that play other genres (or a fusion of several). 

Friday’s Foxfire lineup kicks off at 6 p.m. and features Dead Man String Band, Easy Tom Eby, Jared Schaedle, Joe Wolf, Heather Hamlet and Richard Cisneros. On Saturday, music begins at noo. The Saturday lineup features Common Center, Baoku Moses And The Image Afro-Beat Band, Lawson Family Reunion, Simply Dan String Band, Aaron Hendrick Trio, Black Mountain Throwdown, Adam Singer, Little Miami String Band, Allen Talbott, Blue Caboose and a songwriters-in-the-round session with Greg Mahan, Wolfcryer and Achilles Tenderloin. 

Click here for links to more info on all of the artists. 

More on the campground can be found here. And further info on the Foxfire Freedom Festival is available at the fest’s official site and Facebook page.

The Longstone Street Festival takes place Saturday along Main Street in Milford’s historic downtown district. The annual free event celebrates Milford with various food and arts and crafts vendors, plus a stage featuring a variety of musical acts all day long. This year, the music starts at noon with My Brother’s Keeper (featuring Andrew Hibbard). Other Longstone performers include Seabird, Harbour, Along the Shore, Taylor Shannon, Shiny and the Spoon, Daniel in Stereo, Static Wonder and a band featuring students from the School of  Rock Mason. 

For full details (including info on vendors, kids’ activities and more), visit longstonestreetfestival.com. The times the various performers are playing the Longstone Street Festival can be found at the event’s Facebook page, which also includes music and video samples of several of the artists. 

The Foxfire Freedom Festival and the Longstone Street Festival are both open to all ages and are family friendly.

by Staff 03.02.2010

MPMF Registration Now Open

Is it really that time again? It seems like just yesterday that we were jumping from one packed MPMF venue to another, checking out everyone from local favorites to national and international gems to local favorites turned (inter)national gems.

Yes, bands and artists the world over can now register to take part in the 2010 MidPoint Music Festival, a three-day (Sept. 23-25) downtown Cincinnati party that is rapidly becoming a highlight of the region’s musical landscape.

Read More

by Izzi Krombholz 07.12.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals, Music Video at 10:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bunbury Sleeper: Tristen

The inaugural Bunbury Music Festival — three days of top-shelf Alternative music at Cincinnati's riverfront Sawyer Point Park — starts TOMORROW! All this week, CityBeat's music blog has been featuring samples from some of our "sleeper picks" for the fest, artists who some may not be as familiar with as they are Weezer or Death Cab for Cutie or Jane's Addiction.

Our next "sleeper" is singer/songwriter (and frequent Cncy visitor) Tristen, performing Friday at 2:15 p.m. on the Bud Light Stage.

MidPoint Music Festival veteran Tristen returns to Cincinnati to play the first ever Bunbury Music Festival. From Chicago, Tristen moved to Nashville soon after college to join the Indie Folk music scene. Her debut album, Charlatans at the Garden Gate, was released in 2011.

Tristen is backed by The Ringers, who add an edge to her Folk Pop music. Tristen is very thoughtful in her approach to Pop music. She has studied what makes a good “hook” and this is reflected in songs such as “Baby Drugs” and “Eager for Your Love.” With lyrics that delve into the complexities of love, it’s clear that Tristen is an introspective soul as well as a fantastic songwriter and performer.

Here's Tristen's music video for "Baby Drugs."

Tickets and full info on the Bunbury Music Festival can be found here.

by Mike Breen 05.17.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Festivals, Local Music at 02:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Music at Saturday's OTR Summer Celebration

Washington Park set to come alive with art, live music and a 5K run

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the seventh annual OTR (that's "Over-the-Rhine," if you don't get the hip lingo) 5K Run and Summer Celebration, featuring a fine art show, food, drink and other vendors, the 5K Run and a strong lineup of local, original music in OTR's Washington Park.

The festivities kick off with the 10 a.m. OTR 5K, which begins and ends at Washington Park this year. Here are the artists — including several Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nominees and winners — you can check out (on the park's Bandstand and Main Event Lawn Stage) this year. (Click each name for more info on the performer.)

The Cincy Brass (Event Lawn Stage 10:15am-11:30am)
Baoku & the Image Afro-Beat Band (Event Lawn Stage 12:00pm-12:45pm)
DAAP Girls (Event Lawn Stage 1:15pm-2:00pm)
Decker, the solo guise of Histoire singer Jane Smith. (Event Lawn Stage 2:30pm-3:15pm)
The Tillers (Bandstand 11:30am-12:15pm)
Mia Carruthers (Bandstand 12:45pm-1:30pm)

There will also be the following "special appearances":
Young Professionals Choral Collective (Bandstand 10:45am-11:15am)
Cincinnati Opera (Bandstand 2:00pm-2:20pm)
Queen City Brass Band (Bandstand 2:45pm-3:30pm)

Click here for more info.

by Jeff Roberson 05.01.2012
Posted In: Festivals, Live Music, Music Commentary, Reviews at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
mcwhirter pottery 5

MerleFest 2012: That's a Wrap

April 29 - Super 8 Motel, Wytheville, Va.

Wytheville — pronounced "whiteville," I believe — sits at the cross of I-77 and I-81. Looking down I-81, I used to see Bristol, Tenn., and think of that time in 1927 when The Cater Family and Jimmie Rodgers separately met a rep from the Victor Talking Machine Company and recorded a couple of songs. They got paid about $100. Lot's changed since then, though the pay's about the same. These days when I look down towards Bristol I see a redneck deputy hauling a longed haired songwriter off to jail for the crime of relieving himself behind a bush. In 1981, that cost $25. There use to be a great BBQ joint in Wytheville. It's gone. too. They had the best fried chicken and blackberry cobbler.

I guess everyone wore themselves out Saturday as no one stayed up past midnight to talk or jam or whatever. On Sunday morning, with a solid six hours of sleep, I was up and drenched in coffee by 8 a.m. I packed up camp and planned what was left of my MerleFest weekend. I like to get going, so it was an easy morning and I headed out to the Traditional Tent for some Shape Note Singing with Laura Boosinger.

I misidentified this a few days ago as Sacred Heart singing. The idea is the same — using shapes for notes instead of notes on a musical staff. Sacred Heart uses four notes. Shape Note uses seven. The workshop I attended was about those seven notes and how to sing them. It's pretty straight forward — anyone who's ever seen The Sound of Music and sang "Do Re Mi" will get the idea. "Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti" — each note has a particular shape attached to it and you sing that note when you see that shape. Laura talks about the history of Congregational singing, why they use shapes (people actually patented musical notation at one time) and how Sacred Heart differs from Shaped Note contextually, historically and regionally. Pretty cool stuff, even if the Traditional Tent smells like a barn and is now filled with flies. Laura is also really funny, cracking denominational jokes that the churchgoers find hilarious. I don't get them.

My interest in Sacred Heart/Shaped Note singing came when I wandered into a church one Sunday morning 30 or so years ago. I was wandering around northern Alabama on a motorcycle making my way to the Natchez Trace and then south to New Orleans when I stopped for a breather and cool air beneath a tree. I heard the singing as soon as my head stopped rattling. I slipped inside the outer part of a church and heard the most glorious harmonies — not sweet or beautiful, but primitive and inspiring.

In Shape Note, everyone is singing to the pitch the lead singer has identified. There is no piano, no organ, no hip dude playing guitar, only imperfect humans looking for the most comfortable place for their voice to sing. Your split into four groups depending on your vocal range  — altos (includes sopranos), tenors, bass (includes baritones) and leads (anyone who can't but follow the melody regardless of range). I go to the bass group. Each group has a different part to sing — the altos, basses and tenors all singing a harmony part and the leads singing the melody. When it all comes together it unifies the same way most old time music does. It's wondrous and miraculous; if there is a place where God exists, it is inside the dissonance that has congealed into a thing so coherent and beautiful that any existence of God outside of it becomes marginal and meaningless.

I leave the Traditional Tent invigorated and inspired and head back to camp to pack the van. Everything packed and lunch consumed, I head back to the Traditional Tent for one last show before heading home — "Women Singing Traditional Music." On stage are women ages 20 -70, including hosts Carol Rifkin and Gaye Johnson, Brooke Buckner, Laura Boosinger, Joan Wernick, Tara Nevins (Donna the Buffalo), Kim McWhirter and Gailanne Amundsen (Jubal's Kin). All give outstanding performances, but Kim McWhirter brings the house down with a moving version of the Dolly Parton song "Crippled Bird" (which in turn is based on an English Broadside) sung in a sweet mountain lilt and strummed sparingly on guitar.

A wonderful to finish to a great MerleFest.

MerleFest is so much more then one guy can write about, no matter how much he tries. I like what I like — new bands and rediscovering old favorites. In addition to what I see and hear, there are workshops on everything from clawhammer banjo to dulcimer playing, a kids stage and activities, open mics, sitting and picking, indoor concerts, food, vendors galore. It is amazing how much music and activity the organizers pack into one day (and then clean it all up and do it again).

A lot of people stream in mid-afternoon for the nighttime concert. As mentioned, these always feature name acts. I am most fortunate to be able to tag along with my sister, help her in her booth and receive onsite camping privileges in exchange. By 8 p.m., I'm pretty exhausted and looking forward to reading under the remaining light and then laying back and hearing what's on the main stage.

This year they had some good acts. Thursday night the very humble and talented (and maybe the last real Country act standing in Nashville) Vince Gill had a fine set. Saturday I was fortunate to hear Derek Trucks take Sam Bush and his band to school on how to play melodious improvisation on the Clapton tune "Bell Bottom Blues." Derek Trucks is the living heir on slide guitar to the dead-to-early Duane Allman and he has unquestionably extended that legacy way past a wink and a nod and into something quite imaginative and bold. His wife Susan Tedeschi joined them on The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" and hit all the backing vocal parts with soul.

Later that night, Trucks and Tedeschi helped Los Lobos to new heights on a cover of the Grateful Dead's "Bertha." They sounded like they were having a blast, and my noisy camp neighbors confirmed as much the next morning as they were on stage watching the whole thing go down. Unfortunately, I slept through most of Los Lobos set and the Tedeschi/Trucks set Saturday night, though I caught the first few songs, and they sounded quite excellent. Good sleeping music — that's a compliment!

View Jeff Roberson's photos from MerleFest 2012 here.

by Mike Breen 11.09.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals, Playlist at 02:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Explore Heights of Local Music This Weekend

Heights Music Festival fall event brings another eclectic Cincy music sampler to Clifton Heights

The Heights Music Festival returns this weekend for its fall event and another wide-ranging sampling of Cincinnati’s original music scene. Music will run Friday and Saturday night from 7 p.m. until about closing time at four venues in Clifton Heights near the University of Cincinnati campus — Baba Budan’s, Mac’s Pizza Pub, Christy’s Biergarten and Rohs Street Café (the only location open to music lovers of all ages).

Here's the full lineup/schedule for this year.

Rohs Street Cafe
: 7:00
Music Resource Center showcase; 8:00 – Wendy’s Yellow Poncho; 
9:00 – MC Forty and Wonder Brown
; 10:00 – Cowgirl; 
11:00 – The Yugos

Baba Budan’s: 
8:00 – Sulla; 
9:00 – Second Chance At Eden; 
10:00 – Damn It To Hell
; 11:00 – Buenos Crotches
; 12:00 – Grey Host

Mac’s Pizza Pub: 
8:00 – The Celestials; 
9:00 – Majestic Man
; 10:00 – The MJ’s Blues
; 11:00 – Hickory Robot; 
12:00 – Jeremy Pinnell & The 55′s; 
1:00 – The Founding Fathers

Christy’s Biergarten: 
8:00 – The Marmalade Brigade; 
9:00 – The Heavy Hinges; 
10:00 – The Perfect Children; 
11:00 – Shrub (Columbus, OH); 12:00 – The Guitars

Rohs Street Cafe
: 7:00 – Elementz Hip Hop Youth Center showcase; 
8:00 – Alex Evans
; 9:00 – For Algernon
; 10:00 – Young Heirlooms
; 11:00 – Oui Si Yes

Baba Budan’s: 
8:00 – Pursuing Hounds
; 9:00 – Sweet Ray Laurel
; 10:00 – Jamwave; 
11:00 – The Regrettes (Columbus, OH); 
12:00 – The Natives

Mac’s Pizza Pub: 
8:00 – Tangerine Sound Machine
; 9:00 – Somebody’s Something
; 10:00 – Big Rock Club
; 11:00 – Valley High
; 12:00 – Junya Be & Wazali

Christy’s Biergarten
: 8:00 – Killer Looks & Noise
; 9:00 – Horsecop; 
10:00 – Loudmouth; 
11:00 – Black Signal
; 12:00 – DAAP Girls; 
1:00 – The Frankl Project

Tickets are $5 per night if purchased in advance through cincyticket.com here. Admission is $8 for one night or $12 for both if purchased at the festival. Visit the fest's official site here for more info. Here's a sampler the organizers compiled featuring some of the performers:

by Mike Breen 05.17.2012
Posted In: Festivals, Local Music, Live Music at 10:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Music Fest Roadtrippin' This Weekend

Nelsonville, River Roots music festivals feature quality lineups Friday-Sunday

If you're feeling a little adventurous this weekend, there are a pair of great music festivals in the region this that are less than a three hour-drive from Cincinnati. (Stay tuned for continuing previews of the Rock on the Range Hard Rock/Metal fest in Columbus this weekend, for those who like things a little heavier.)

• The Nelsonville Music Festival isn't named because it's some sort of tribute to Willie Nelson. Nelsonville is actually a small town nestled in the Wayne National Forest near Athens, Ohio, and within spitting distance of Hocking College. The eighth annual fest takes place this Friday-Sunday, with a warm-up concert set for tonight. The festival features several stages, an area for art vendors and a kids' section, and you are welcome to camp (though there are several hotels nearby as well).

The lineup for this year's Nelsonville fest is pretty eclectic, with current Indie faves Iron and Wine, Andrew Bird and M. Ward joining legends like Lee "Scratch" Perry, Guided By Voices, Roky Erickson and Sonic Youth's Lee Renaldo. Cincy/Dayton duo R. Ring is also on the bill, along with acts like Mucca Pazza, Horse Feathers, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Kurt Vile, Charles Bradley, Dawes and many, many others.

Click here for the full lineup, tickets and further details.

About an hour and a half southwest of Cincinnati, in Madison, Ind., the RiverRoots Music & Folk Arts Festival (formerly Ohio River Valley Folk Festival) goes down Friday-Sunday, with a lineup showcasing the many flavors of Americana/Roots music. Now in its seventh year, the festival features family activities, lots of folk artists (the "arts and crafts" kind) exhibiting and selling their work, storytellers and top-shelf music from Hayes Carll, The Black Lillies, The Band of Heathens and Cincinnati greats Over the Rhine.

Here's the full lineup:

Friday, May 18
5 pm Gates & Folk Art Village open
6 pm Carolyn Martin (Texas Swing)
8 pm The Band of Heathens
10 pm Searson

Saturday, May 19
11 am Gates & Folk Art Village open
Noon Music Workshop & Jam Session (in the Storyteller tent)
1 pm Joe Crookston w/Peter Glanville
2 - 6 pm Rivers Institute at Hanover College Traveling Exhibit open
3 pm Roosevelt Dime
5 pm Charlie Parr
7 pm Over the Rhine
9 pm Hayes Carll

Sunday, May 20
12:30 pm Appalatin
1:45 pm Michael Kelsey
3 pm Whiskey Bent Valley Boys
4:30 pm The Black Lillies

Click here for ticketing info and here for further details.

by Mike Breen 02.07.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Winter Blues Fest Kicks Off Tonight

Cincy Blues Society’s annual winter fest showcases top-notch headliners, wealth of local talent

A satellite event to the Cincy Blues Society’s huge outdoor, summertime Cincy Blues Fest, the Winter Blues Fest — which returns to The Phoenix (812 Race St., Downtown, thephx.com) tonight and tomorrow — has truly grown into its own. This year’s lineup features two of the fest’s biggest national headliners yet. 

Celebrated Blues/Rock singer/guitarist Tinsley Ellis performs in the venue’s third floor Grand Ballroom on Friday at 9:45 p.m. Check out Ellis’ “Kiss Of Death,” from his recently released Midnight Blue album, below:

Accomplished singer/songwriter Janiva Magness performs in the Grand Ballroom on Saturday at 9:15 p.m. (For more about Magness, read Brian Baker’s preview from this week’s CityBeat). Here’s a clip of Magness and her band performing “I Won’t Cry,” which won her and co-writer Dave Darling “Song of the Year” honors at the Blues Music Awards (one of many Mangess has won over the past several years). 

Below is the full lineup (subject to change). Click each artist’s name for more info.


Third Floor Grand Ballroom

6:30-8 p.m.: G. Miles & The Hitmen

8:15-9:30 p.m.: Greg Schaber Band

9:45-11:15 p.m.Tinsley Ellis

11:30-12:45 p.m.The Blue Birds

Second Floor Cincinnati Room

6:30-7:45 p.m.: Bob Dellaposta

8-9:15 p.m.: Jimmy D. Rogers

9:30  - 10:45 p.m.: Leo Clarke & Chuck Brisbin

11 p.m.-12:45 a.m.: Dave Muskett Duo


Second Floor Archway Ballroom

7-8:15 p.m.: Blue Sacrifice

8:30-9:45 p.m.: The Juice

10:00-11:15 p.m.: Leroy Ellington Blues Band

11:30 p.m.-1 a.m.: The Blues Merchants


First Floor Presidents Room

6:15-7:45 p.m.: The Heaters With Ben Levin

8-9:30 p.m.Bekah Williams with Ricky Nye

10-11:15 p.m.: Ralph & The Rhythm Hounds

11:30 p.m.-1 a.m.: Ducttape & Dynamite


3rd Floor Grand Ballroom

6-7:30 p.m.: The Tempted Souls Band

7:45-9 p.m.Doug Hart Band

9:15-11:15 p.m.: Janiva Magness

11:30 p.m.-12:45 a.m.: Johnny Fink & The Intrusion

Second Floor Cincinnati Room

6:30-7:45 p.m.: Brian Wallen

8-9:15 p.m.: Greg Schaber (Solo)

9:30-10:45 p.m.: TBA

11 p.m.-12:15 a.m.: The Twirlers

Second Floor Archway Ballroom

6:30-8 p.m.: Blues In The School Band

8:15-9:30 p.m.Chuck Brisbin & the Tuna Project

9:45-11:15 p.m.: The SoulFixers

11:30 p.m.-12:45 a.m.: Jay Jesse Johnson

First Floor Presidents Room

6:15-7:45 p.m.Little Red & The Rooster

8-9:15 p.m.Ricky Nye Inc.

9:30-10:45 p.m.Brad Hatfield Band

11 p.m.-12:45 a.m.: The Noah Wotherspoon Band

Tickets can be purchased in advance at cincybluesfest2014.brownpapertickets.com. Prices are $20 for one night or $32.85 for a weekend pass (there are smaller-than-usual service fees through the ticketing site). There will be food available and full-service bars throughout the venue. 

Visit cincyblues.org for the full schedule, artist details, ticket links, deals for special room rates at the nearby Garfield Suites Hotel and more.

by Mike Breen 04.24.2015

Early-Bird MidPoint Music Festival Tickets Now On Sale

Weekend passes for MPMF 2015 go on sale and new dates announced

A limited amount of early-bird passes to the 2015 MidPoint Music Festival are on sale now. Tickets good for all three days of the fest are available for $69, while V.I.P. passes are only $149. Once this first batch of passes is gone, weekend passes will be $79 (and $179 for V.I.P.s) through Labor Day, when another $10 price increase kicks in. The tickets are available for purchase at mpmf.cincyticket.com

MPMF has also announced a new date shift. After 14 years of running Thursday-Saturday, MidPoint 2015 will take place Friday, Sept. 25-Sunday, Sept. 27. Organizers say the move was to make things easier for out-of-town guests (who previously might not have been able to make the Thursday shows) and also allow for more daytime programming opportunities, including in Washington Park, which is expected to see an increase in attractions and music showcases. 

Stay tuned here and at MPMF.com (where artists can also submit for showcase consideration through May 17) for the latest MidPoint developments. You can also follow MPMF on Twitter here and Facebook here for more up-to-date info.