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by mbreen 05.16.2014

Lineups for Fountain Square, Washington Park Music Series

The impending summertime brings almost daily free music to the city’s center

When the lineups for the every-Friday MidPoint Indie Summer concerts on Fountain Square were announced, showcasing a solid lineup of local and touring Indie Rock acts, a colleague in Charlotte, N.C., Jeff Hahne, bemoaned his own city’s lackluster “outdoor free music” offerings. Writing on the blog of the city’s Creative Loafing weekly, he said he was increasingly disappointed by the cover bands and “’90s alt-rock” acts that populate two of Charlotte’s free outdoor music series. 

“Charlotte may have twice the population and enjoy warmer weather,” Hahne wrote, “but as far as a summer music series goes, Cincinnati clearly wins.”

It was a good reminder of how good things are for live music fans in Cincinnati. And Hahne wrote this about only one small part of the overall free, outdoor, live music offerings the city provides. There are events for fans of cover bands, too, like the every-Wednesday Party in the Park shows at Yeatman’s Cove on the riverfront, but, besides Indie Summer, downtown’s Fountain Square and Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park present a wide variety of styles of music every year once the warmer weather rolls around. And every series draws respectable-to-blockbuster crowds, showing that our city has more than enough music lovers to support the multitude of musical events each summer. (Even these two spaces’ series only represent a portion of the overall outdoor, live music action downtown; there are also events like next weekend’s Taste of Cincinnati that have a wide variety of local musicians performing.)

The lineups for the musical performances at Washington Park and Fountain Square (officially known as the PNC Summer Music Series and presented by 3CDC and a wide range of different sponsors) have leaked out gradually over the past few weeks. Now that most of the artists booked for the various series have been announced, we’ve collected them below for you to marvel at the quantity and quality of what our city core has in store this summer for music fans. (Visit Fountain Square’s site here and Washington Park’s site here for more info and some links to check out some of the artists ahead of time.)

Washington Park (SHOWS 7-10 P.M. WEEKLY UNLESS NOTED)


May 28: Rashon Murph & Randy Villars

June 4: Marc Fields

June 11: Tropicoso

June 18: Patricia & Chris Berg

June 25: Siobhan and the Situation

July 2: Rick Van Matre

July 9: NKU Faculty Band 

July 16: Anne Stephens

July 23: Art Gore featuring Delfeayo Marsalis

July 30: No concert
Aug. 6: Sylvain Archer

Aug. 13: Fo/Mo/Deep

Aug. 20: Dick Sisto

Aug. 27: Mike Wade 


May 29: Jake Speed & The Freddies andThe Red Cedars

June 5: The Comet Bluegrass Allstars

June 12: Wild Carrot & the Roots Band

June 19: Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers

June 26: The Downtown County Band

July 3: Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Band and Woody Pines

July 10: Steve Bonafel & One Iota

July 17: Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle

July 24: The Rattlesnakin’ Daddies

July 31: No concert

Aug. 7: The Tillers

Aug. 14: Hickory Robot

Aug. 21: Bulletville

Aug. 28th: Whiskey Bent Valley and Al Scorch


(Note: Local DJ crew Selectas Choice spins between sets)

May 30: EU, Jameze and performers from Elementz
June 6: Natural Progression and Collective Peace
June 13: Hotsauce, Tyshawn Colquitt and more TBA

June 20: Carpe Diem, Ron C and more TBA
June 27: Bobby Valentino, L’ Renee and performers from Elementz
July 4: Playa (featuring Smoke & Black), Deuces and more TBA
July 11: Carl Moore, Marwan (Soul Flow)

July 18: 2nd Wind, The Ingrid Rachel Project
July 25: (3 p.m. start) Sei High, 432, performers from Elementz and more TBA
Aug. 1: No Friday Flow; LumenoCity returns

Aug. 8: Flawless and Keenan West
Aug. 15: Big Jim and Erica P
Aug. 22: Gregory Porter and Mandy Gaines

Aug. 29: Tiara Purifoy (American Idol), performers from Elementz and more TBA

Fountain Square (SHOWS 7-10 P.M. WEEKLY UNLESS NOTED)


May 27: Jeremy Pinnell & the 55s and Ben Knight & the Welldiggers

June 3: Kim Taylor and Peter Mulvey

June 10: The Black Lillies and The Kentucky Struts

June 17: Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Shuffle and Arlo McKinley

June 24: Dallas Moore Band

July 1: The Tillers and Red Cedars

July 8: Pure Grain and Shoot Out the Lights

July 15: Chuck Mead and Straw Boss

July 22: The Wheeler Brothers and Shiny & the Spoon

July 29: Bulletville and Bucktown Kickback

Aug. 5: Josh Eagle and The Hiders

Aug. 12: The Ragbirds and The Happy Maladies

Aug. 19: Tony Furtado and Rumpke Mountain Boys

Aug. 26: Birds of Chicago


May 28: Super-Massive (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D)

June 4: Driftaways (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ group: Avalanche Sound)

June 11: Peach Freedom and Connect (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D)

June 18: Aaron Kamm and the One Drops (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ group: Queen City Imperial Sound System)

June 25: Milele Roots (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D)

July 2: Jah Messengers (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ group: Avalanche Sound)

July 9: Zvuloon Dub System (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D)

July 16: Gato’s Gullah Gumbo (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: DJ Mowgli)

July 23: Ark Band (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D)

July 30: 77 Jefferson (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ group: Avalanche Sound)

Aug. 6: Rashita Astemari (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D)

Aug. 13: The Drastics (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ group: Queen City Imperial Sound System)

Aug. 20: Big Wig Mechanics (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D)
Aug. 27: The Cliftones  (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: DJ Mowgli)


(Note: Salsa on the Square kicked off May 1)

May 22: Grupo Tumbao

May 29: Mambo Diablo

June 5: Son Del Caribe

June 12: Tropicoso

June 19: Kandela

June 26: Grupo Tumbao

July 3: Zumba

July 10: Mambo Diablo

July 17: Kandela

July 24: Son Del Caribe

July 31: Tropicoso

Aug. 7: Clave Son

Aug. 14: Grupo Tumbao

Aug. 2: Son Del Caribe

Aug. 28: Kandela

Sept. 4: Clave Son

Sept. 11: Tropicoso

Sept. 18: Latin Beat Project


May 30: WHY?, Yip Deceiver, Badboxes, Dark Colour

June 6: Wussy, The Tigerlilies, Honey & Houston, Mason School of Rock

June 13: Betty Who, Vito Emmanuel, Captain Kidd, Pluto Revolts

June 20: Those Darlins, The Harlequins, The Frankl Project, Those Crosstown Rivals

June 27: Moon Taxi, Peridoni, Nevele, Acarya

July 4: Local H, Mad Anthony, New Strange, One Day Steady

July 11: Soledad Brothers, Electric Citizen, Pop Goes the Evil, Grotesque Brooms

July 18: Wesley Bright & the Hi-Lites, DAAP Girls, Mardou, Young Colt

July 25: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Public, Dream Tiger, Danny & His Fantasy

Aug. 1: The Spiders (A tribute to David Bowie), The Honey Spiders, Bad People, To No End

Aug. 8: Man Man, Injecting Strangers, Ohio Knife, Skeleton Hands

Aug. 15: The Nightbeast, more TBA

Aug. 22: psychodots, Lemon Sky, Tonefarmer, Heavy Hinges

Aug. 29: Islands, The Pass, The Yugos, Joey Cook & The Keepers of the Secret


May 31: Cal Scruby, Matt Persin, NJ + drummer, Nuk, Federal & Company, TJC with DJ Vizion, Beatboxer Nav & Jake

June 7: Chingy, DJ Diamond, Sleep, Planet Venus, Chestah T & Snowball, Razook, Alexander the Bear
June 14: DJ Clockwork, DJ Etrayn, Buggs Tha Rocka, Jon Schuyler, Ingrid Rachel Project, SSE, DJ RiQ The Professor, Miles Mulligan
June 21: OCD: Moosh & Twist, Puck, Hafrican, Jayme Shaye, Eazy El Loco, A1 & Juice Jones, DJ iGrind

June 28: DJ Bandcamp, Junya Be, Macho Means, Aysia Marie & Ajax Stacks, Nate Paulson, Mad Snipes, EddieO

July 5: The Knocks (DJ set), Millennium Robots, Disco Joe & Friends, Aviators, T3CCHTUNE, Mr. Fantastic, Keyyz

July 12: Mike Stud, James Dapper, The S.A.U.C.E., SkeetR V. Twinkiee, Kid Quill, Blue Society

July 19: DJ D-LO, Joseph Nevels, Oregonia, Spearpoint, Brad Redford, Banducci and the Wheels, Kyle English

July 26: DJ Kid Capri, Khimera Records (8:30 p.m. start)

Aug. 2: Hi-Tek and Friends, Jillian Faith, Suave & Under New Order, Frankly Speaking, B. Soul, Haze

Aug. 9: Dizzy Wright, Trademark Aaron, Young ILL, Jaylee, Odd Fella, MCB, Jameze Latrail

Aug. 16: Trentino, DJ Skills, Ingrid Woode & the Woode Tribe Orchestra, DJ Will Kill, Mark Moore (8 p.m. start)

Aug. 23: Sound Remedy, Bob A Dob, Panzer, Black Signal, Randi Floss, Skyelle, Button Mashers

Aug. 30: Capitol Thrill, Firecat 451, Riot Ten, DJ B-Funk, Reaux, Chris Alarcon, DJ Edge

by Mike Breen 10.02.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Festivals at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Another Music Fest-Filled Weekend Awaits

Local music lovers have three music festivals to choose from this weekend

Those jonesing for more music fest goodness after last weekend’s spectacular MidPoint Music Festival have some great options this weekend. Bluegrass fans should be especially excited for a couple of them.

The Bend in the River Art & Music Festival debuts this Saturday and Sunday in Lower Price Hill (2104 St. Michael St., next to The Sanctuary: Center for Education and the Arts). The festival/fundraiser runs 5-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday with the goal of bringing the community together (and showcasing it to others) and raising money for the Community Matters (cmcincy.org) and Education Matters (emcincy.org) organizations. 

Along with food trucks and booths, beer from MadTree Brewing and Rhinegeist and a variety of vendors and artists showing their wares, local musical acts from a variety of genres will provide live music. Tim Caudill, Pike 27, Blue Caboose, Under New Order, The Part-Time Gentlemen and Ohio Knife perform Saturday, while Wild Carrot, Sibling Rivalry, Matthew Schneider and Phoenix (the local Rock cover band, not the internationally famous French Indie Pop group) play Sunday.

Admission to the Bend in the River Art & Music Festival is $7 or $10 for a two-day pass (Lower Price Hill residents receive a coupon to attend for free).

For more information on “Bend Fest” and the cause, visit facebook.com/bendfest and cmcincy.org.

• The DevouGrass Festival presents its first-ever event Saturday at the Devou Park Bandshell (1700 Montague Road, Covington). The family friendly event runs noon-dusk, and while there is no admission charge (even free parking is available throughout the park), organizers are asking for donations to the Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky

Along with food trucks, other vendors, various children’s activities and performances by Circus Mojo and kids’ fave Joel the Singing Librarian, DevouGrass will also feature sets by area Roots/Bluegrass outfits Blue Caboose (noon), Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers (3 p.m.), Hickory Robot (3 p.m.) and the Downtown County Band (6 p.m.). 

For complete festival info, visit devougrass.com

• The Versailles State Park Bluegrass Festival returns with a new location and name: the Friendship Music Festival at the Old Mill Campground in Friendship, Ind. (facebook.com/oldmillcampground), which hosts the very popular Whispering Beard Folk Festival annually and is only about an hour drive southwest of Cincinnati. Despite moving from the state park and changing the moniker, the fest will continue to spotlight some of the region’s finest Bluegrass and Roots music practitioners. 

On Saturday, the music starts at noon with a lineup featuring Mamadrones, Common Ground, Rural Route 2, Lee Sexton with John Haywood and Brett Ratliff, Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, The Tillers and Bradford Lee Folk & the Bluegrass Playboys. The music picks back up Sunday at 11 a.m. with Mt. Pleasant String Band, followed by James White & Deer Tick, Blue Mafia, Whipstitch Sallies, Rattlesnakin’ Daddies and Tony Holt and the Wildwood Valley Boys. 

Weekend passes for the Friendship Music Festival are $10; one-day passes are $5. Camping is available. Visit friendshipmusicfestival.com for full details. 

by Amy Harris 07.21.2011
Posted In: Live Music at 05:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Q&A with Rascal Flatts Opener Easton Corbin

Easton Corbin — on tour with Rascal Flatts and coming to Cincinnati for a show at Riverbend Music Center on Friday — is one of the hottest new acts in all of Country music. Since debuting in 2009 with his self-titled album (which reached as high as No. 4 on the Country album charts) he has been gaining great recognition. His first two singles, “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It,” skyrocketed to the top of the Country charts and he has been nominated for 11 awards in his short career, taking home three of them at the 2010 Academy of Country Music Awards.

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by mbreen 01.22.2009
Posted In: Local Music, Live Music at 12:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

MusicNow 2009 Lineup Announced

The avant chamber music festival, MusicNow, returns to Memorial Hall on March 11 and March 12. The "big get" this year is the Kronos Quartet, a brilliant, legendary string troupe that hasn't played in Cincinnati in 20 years. Kronos plays both nights of the event, performing music by Jim Thirwell and Glenn Branca, as well as a new piece by Richard Reed Parry of Bell Orchestre and Arcade Fire.

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by Amy Harris 07.25.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Interview at 11:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Q&A with Danish Metalers Volbeat

Volbeat — performing at Bogart's tomorrow (Tuesday) — may not be a household name around venues in the United States, but they are an intense Danish Heavy Metal  band that has played in front of some of the largest crowds in the world overseas. The band — Michael Poulsen (vocals/guitar), Anders Kjolholm (bass), Jon Larsen (drums) and Thomas Bredahl (guitar) — is about to kick off the U.S. leg of their Grand Summer Tour, promoting Volbeat's latest album, Beyond Hell and Above Heaven. CityBeat caught up with lead vocalist Michael Poulson by phone from his home overseas to discuss the band's growing popularity in America, being naked with Metallica and the great successes of the band in Europe.

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by Mike Breen 11.30.2012
Posted In: Music Video, Music News, Local Music, Live Music at 01:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Watch: Those Guys' Explosive "You Ain't Know" Video

Cincinnati Hip Hop duo get rowdy, blow up a car in new Redman-approved music video

Those Guys have emerged as one of the more impressive up-and-comers in Cincinnati Hip Hop, both via their digital/CD releases (a handful of singles and a trio of excellent mixtapes) and their live show, which incorporates a three-piece live band. Those Guys features MC's J.Al and Jova, who met as high school freshmen and started the group upon graduation in 2008. Citing influences like Kanye, The Clipse and Kid Cudi, the duo issued Greater Than the Mixtape Volume 1 in 2009.

The most recent in their Greater Than the Mixtape series (Volume 3) was released late last year, kicking off with the monster track "You Ain't Know," which showcases the duo's telepathic back-and-forth, superb lyricism and a fat and funky musical approach.

The duo has been garnering extra attention with their just-released video (Those Guys' first) for "You Ain't Know," which was filmed in Monroe just prior to Halloween and features some spectacular scenes of the crew blowing up a car. Who says you need a big budget for action-movie-like special effects? (The group thanks the City of Monroe's parks, fire and police department as well as the Butler County Bomb Squad in the video description on YouTube, so the fiery shoot was on the up-and-up.)

The video has been creating major buzz on social media, even drawing praise from Hip Hop legend Redman, who tweeted "Dope ass video … thats wut Im talkn bout … sumtn different … hard shit."

Check the clip below, then visit the duo's Bandcamp site to download the latest mixtape and other Those Guys material for free. You can find more about Those Guys at their official site, Facebook page and on Twitter here.

by Mike Breen 06.16.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 10:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blue Wisp Big Band Lives On!

Despite losing their namesake venue, beloved local jazzers to continue every-Wednesday shows at Japp’s

Much has changed for the legendary Cincinnati live music venue the Blue Wisp Jazz Club over its 40-plus-year existence. Though it has consistently been the club for Jazz in Cincinnati over most of that period, the Blue Wisp has moved four different times over four decades. In its most recent locale at the corner of Race and Seventh streets downtown, the club owners also tried to attract more business by serving food and varying the types of music performed. But it wasn’t enough and the Blue Wisp has once again closed its doors (though various reports suggest it could find yet another new location in the future). 

One thing that hadn’t changed at the Blue Wisp, at least since it began in 1980, is the Blue Wisp Big Band. The group of all-star local musicians has maintained one of the longest residency in the region, performing its skilled take on vintage Big Band Jazz like clockwork every Wednesday. The band is a Cincinnati institution. 

When the Wisp shut down, the members of the Big Band were determined to not let their remarkable run end with a whimper. Instead, the Blue Wisp Big Band sought to continue its every-Wednesday residency at another venue. (In case you’re wondering, the group owns its moniker, so they can legally continue to use the “Blue Wisp” name.)

Veteran local Jazz pianist and Blue Wisp Big Band founding member Steve Schmidt says they’ve landed their new spot, Japp’s Annex on Main St. in Over-the-Rhine, and will pick up its Wednesday night shows beginning this week. Schmidt says the group will perform every Wednesday at Japp’s, at least through the end of July, when they’ll reassess the situation just to make sure it’s a good fit. The Big Band will again be playing two hour-long sets each Wednesday, the first starting at 8:30 p.m. The cover charge will be less than it was at the Wisp — just $5. (Parking is available in the lot on the corner of Main and Central Parkway, as well as in the garage behind the club on Sycamore.) 

“We are excited about trying out this (Over-the-Rhine) spot and happy that the ownership and staff at Japp's is excited, too,” Schmidt says. “We are all thinking of ways to make it better for the customer and the band as we go along. The band wanted to start quickly, not to be dormant for too long.”

Several of the principal members of the Blue Wisp Big Band did a walkthrough several days ago to get a feel for the new space and were happy with what they saw (and felt).

“I got a very good feeling about the room,” Schmidt says, “both in terms of space — spacious yet intimate — and acoustics. I think the other guys felt the same way. (Founding BWBB anchor/drummer) John Von Ohlen rightly pointed out that there is a lot of wood — the floors and the large bar. As John said, in the fullest and most complimentary sense of the word, ‘It's a joint!’ It's what he had in mind when he formed the band and put it in the original Blue Wisp in O'Bryonville. He said he wanted a world-class big band in a beer tavern.”

“In a word,” Schmidt adds, “(the new space) has soul.”

by Mike Breen 08.31.2012

Music Tonight: Wussy, R. Ring, Rob Base and More

Your long weekend begins with quality live music options in Downtown/Over-the-Rhine

• Downtown at Arnold's tonight (Friday), catch influential cult hero Paleface, a man who has been on the cutting edge of contemporary music's continual fascination with traditional Folk music and an influence on some of the more adventurous musicians who seek to translate that vintage spirit into their own voice. Over the past 20-plus years, the singer/songwriter has been an Anti Folk torchbearer and an Indie Folk mentor, first learning songwriting and lo-fi recordings from underground legend Daniel Johnston in the late ’80s. From there he went on to teach a few tricks to roommate Beck (pre-fame), help the so-called "Freak Folk" scene grow freakier and folkier and collaborate frequently with pals The Avett Brothers. Whether directly or indirectly, if you dig today's "Indie Folk" — or any brand of slanted or subversive Americana — you've likely heard the results of Paleface's unique influence. Click here to read more.

Paleface's show tonight at Arnold's is free and — icing on the cake — great local Folk Pop group Shiny and the Spoon opens the show at 9 p.m. The gig will also be the first one for which Arnold's has commissioned a special concert poster. Crafted by talented local artist Keith Neltner (who has done commissioned poster art for Alice in Chains, Modest Mouse, Hank Williams III, The Avett Brothers, Cake, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and many others), the prints (pictured above) are available for $25 while they last (only 50 were pressed).

Here's Paleface's video for his ode to NYC, fittingly titled "New York, New York."

UPDATE: Arnold's just announced this afternoon that Paleface has cancelled due to illness. A rescheduled date is in the works. Shiny and the Spoon is still performing.

• After the best summer series yet, the final MidPoint Indie Summer concert on Fountain Square goes down tonight at 7 p.m. And the every-Friday series is going out with a bang, featuring a flawless triple bill of local acts. Things get started with superb modern Soul translators The Guitars, who will be followed by the duo R. Ring, featuring Dayton, Ky.'s Mike Montgomery (longtime local engineer ad musician, currently with Ampline) and Dayton, Ohio's Kelley Deal (The Breeders). R. Ring spoke with CityBeat's Brian Baker about the project in this week's paper. Read it online here.

Headlining tonight's Fountain Square concert is Wussy, the now-veteran four-piece that is gearing up for some huge happenings on the horizon, including tour dates with The Afghan Whigs and Heartless Bastards and a trip to the U.K. by co-frontpeople/singer/guitarists Lisa Walker and Chuck Cleaver (playing as a duo) for several shows in support of the band's first U.K. release, Buckeye, a retrospective that came out to glowing reviews this summer. Read more about Wussy's many goings on here.

Here's the skate video by Kristian Svitak that R. Ring helped re-soundtrack. After DEVO's record label removed the video because it used the group's song "Mr. DNA," Svitak got together to record a new version with Deal and Montgomery. The song in the re-edited video was so popular, R. Ring released it as a limited edition single and local label Phratry Records released it digitally. (Click here to get your own copy.)

• Popular local Gypsy Jazz favorites and Django Reinhardt devotees The Faux Frenchmen celebrate the group's 10th anniversary tonight with a show at downtown's Blue Wisp Jazz Club. A decade ago this fall, the band (which features esteemed local musicians George Cunningham, Brian Lovely, Paul Patterson and Don Aren) made its debut, starting an every-Monday residency at former Clifton restaurant Tink's. Over the years, the band has only gotten more popular, drawing attention from outside of Cincinnati and performing numerous road dates (this fall they return for their sixth appearance at the annual Jazz at Chautauqua Festival in New York).  

The band's anniversary show begins at 8:30 p.m. and admission is $10. Here's a clip from the Frenchmen performing on another anniversary — Reinhardt's birthday (
taken from one of their annual appearances on WNKU in honor of Django).

• The performers for the weekly "Friday Flow" concerts at Washington Park are always a bit of a surprise because the lineups have been announced within only a week or two of the performances. It's also a surprise because the featured act is usually something pleasantly unexpected. Dayton Funk greats Lakeside ("Fantastic Voyage") popped up one week and Neo Soul star Dwele launched the series this summer.

Tonight's free Friday Flow concert is another cool, unanticipated treat. Just announced earlier this week, the show will feature R&B singer Chrisette Michele, a Hip Hop hook-singer extraordinaire (with Jay-Z, Nas, The Game and others) who has also had a successful career on her own, releasing a handful of acclaimed, charting albums for Def Jam.

The other headliner is Rob Base, a Hip Hop artist most know from his 1988 hit with DJ E-Z Rock, "It Takes Two."

Because of the volleyball tournament in Washington Park tonight, gates for the concert won't open until 7:30 p.m. Another change from the usual Friday Flow flow (also due to volleyball) — no food, drinks or coolers will be permitted (this weekend only). Extra food vendors will be on hand to feed the masses.

Click here for even more live music events going on tonight in Greater Cincy.

by Mike Breen 04.25.2012
Posted In: Music Video, Local Music, Live Music, Music News at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'The Emery Sessions' Underway

Cool 'One Shot Music Video' project continues with Cincy duo Over the Rhine

We've written a bit in the past about the new film-meets-music "One Shot Music Video" series, beautifully shot, black-and-white short films of various local musical acts shot at the historic Emery Theatre (which is back in action as a functional venue this weekend). Shot by world renowned photographer Michael Wilson with audio help from the musical duo Pop Empire, the clips are filmed in one continuous take (thus the name).

The project has started to take shape and is on a roll now. Pop Empire's Cameron Cochran reports that the series is now named for the venue — "The Emery Sessions" — and will be comprised of footage from 10 artists, all shot at the theater. It's a great way to not only spotlight local music, but also show off the theater in a great light.

Wilson and Pop Empire have completed a couple of videos for Daniel Martin Moore for the first of the series. The second in the series is Over the Rhine (longtime compadres of Wilson's, who has shot OTR album covers and promo shots — including the one above — since the band's very beginning). OTR is familiar with the surroundings; the band played the "preview party" hosted by The Requiem Project which re-introduced the 100-year-old theater to locals late last year.

Here's a clip of Over the Rhine's Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist performing "The Laugh of Recognition" from the twosome's latest album, The Long Surrender. (Click over to local blog Each Note Secure to check out another clip from the project.)

Cochran also runs the all-free, all-digital "record label" The Recording Label, which has issued stellar recordings by The Kickaways, Vacation, Sacred Spirits and Pop Empire. He says working on "The Emery Sessions" inspired him to give the label a more local-specific name. The Recording Label is now called Cincinnati Recording Service. Click here for the new site.

And here are a few words from Cochran on the Sessions and the label:

If we are consuming light then sound is accompanied by sight. Many musical performers understand this concept and will incorporate a visual component to their audio performance. The idea behind the "One Shot Music Video" is to approach music from the opposite direction. The audience approaches the music from a visual perspective first because whether they know it or not the first performance they see is the photographer's.  It is the photographer's eye that navigates them through the musical performance. The hidden live performance is the one done with the camera.

The Emery Theatre was the perfect place to begin our exploration of this relationship between listening and watching live musical performances. Each musician we have recorded and that we are going to record have a love for this amazing space and understands what the Emery Theatre means to our great city of Cincinnati. It is perhaps our own experiences working in this theatre and the pride that has developed for our hometown of Cincinnati that inspired us to change the name of The Recording Label to Cincinnati Recording Service. This name change is also a tip of the hat to another person who loved his city as well as the power that American music has to bring people together, Memphis' very own Sam Philips.
by Amy Harris 12.01.2011
Posted In: Interview, Live Music at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
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Q&A with GNR's Richard Fortus

Icon Rock & Roll band Guns N’ Roses has been selling out arenas since their debut album Appetite for Destruction went to No. 1  in 1987. Though Axl Rose and Co. have not released an album since Chinese Democracy in 2008, they've continued to rock out across the with large-production shows, entertaining audiences not only searching for a taste of nostalgia but also value great music and a sound you cannot find anywhere else. CityBeat caught up with rhythm guitar player Richard Fortus this week and discussed his personal music path and what fans can expect from the show. Guns N’ Roses comes to Cincinnati Friday (with guests D-Generation) for a concert at US Bank Arena and it sounds like fans can expect a really long night of music. (Read our interview with current GNR/former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson here.)

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