Overall, I really enjoyed the Cincinnati
Art Museum under Aaron Betsky, the director who announced his
resignation Jan. 2 and will stay until a replacement is found. But there
were a couple weaknesses that ought to be addressed by a successor,
with the support of the trustees.
Thanks to the Contemporary Arts Center
(CAC), Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the University of Cincinnati’s
College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), concert:nova and MusicNow, New
Music progressivism is alive and well — and building a devoted following
— in Cincinnati.
New exhibitions director Matt Distel’s
first big show at The Carnegie gallery in Covington, Ky., which opened
last week, is important in its own right as well as for what it says
about Distel’s curatorial desires for the institution.
Charlie Parr makes the old new. He has recorded 11 studio albums that treat traditional American music as a living, evolving musical form. On his most recent record, this year’s Barnswallow, he sings gruffly and plays banjo and two National steel guitars along with accompanists on washboard, thumb piano, harmonica, jaw-harp and stomping feet.