Tonight in Cincinnati, you can explore the state of local music at any number of area venues featuring local talent. You can also explore Cincinnati's important musical history at events set to celebrate and honor its rich legacy.
• At the site of the former Herzog recording studios (811 Race St., Downtown
, also home to CityBeat
), the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation (which is now headquartered in the old Herzog studio's space) is throwing a dinner party this evening to mark the 64th anniversary of music legend Hank Williams' second (and last) sessions at Herzog. Williams recorded a handful of songs in Cincinnati at Herzog that helped launch him into music superstardom, including "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "Lovesick Blues," "Lost On The River," "House Without Love," "I Just Don't Like This Kind Of Living" and "My Bucket's Got a Hole In It." (Click here for more background on Herzog
Tonight's event at Herzog — dubbed Bucky Herzog's Legacy Hour
— will get you dinner from Eli's BBQ and drinks at 7 p.m., plus a reception at 9 p.m.
The juicy stuff's in the middle — a collection of local musicians will be performing/recording those eight famous Williams' tunes from the second session in the same spot they were originally recorded.
The music starts at 8 p.m. and the show is being presented like an old-fashioned radio hour. Edwin Vardiman hosts and performs those classic songs with Arlo McKinley and several of his talented friends from the area Roots music scene, including Timothy Carr, Tyler Lockard, Moriah Haven Lawson, Sarah Davis, Sylvia Mitchell and Kelly Thomas.
Making it even more like an old-timey radio show broadcast — it will actually be broadcast live (though through the internet's series of tubes) for those who can't make it. The first 30 minutes of the show will be streamed live through StageIt here
. Head there now to grab a ticket — for a $5 donation to the Music Heritage Foundation (also the beneficiary of the live tonight), you will receive a free download of the entire performance.
Bucky Herzog's Legacy Hour is open to music lovers of all ages. Admission is $25 at the door. Visit the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation's site here for more info (or to become a member, which you can also do tonight).
• This September marks the 70th anniversary of the launch of King Records, the Cincinnati-based label that, for 30 years, released some revolutionary records in a variety of genres, including titles from James Brown, The Stanley Brothers, Hank Ballard, Tiny Bradshaw and Wynonie Harris. Founded by Cincinnatian Syd Nathan (who was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997), the label is widely credited as a pioneer of laying the foundation for Rock & Roll, releasing music by both black and white artists and putting out high-quality R&B and Country/Bluegrass artists.
The label’s legacy has gradually gotten more attention over the past couple of decades and, especially locally, hardcore music fans have loudly trumpeted King’s historical significance.
The original building still stands in Evanston (dilapidated but marked with a historical marker) and Xavier University (plus numerous boosters) is making plans for King Studios in the neighborhood. The “experiential learning” community center is set to feature interactive displays about King’s history, a recording studio (for local musicians to record and others to use for learning opportunities) and a community arts center providing visual art classes and more.
The label’s 70th anniversary month is loaded with events throughout the city — from author visits, music and exhibits at Cincinnati library's main branch downtown to numerous King-related concerts and activities around the city.
Here's a short documentary about King Records, made Matt Peiken and posted online today at King Studios' site:
Tonight, King Records Month launches with a free reception at the Evanston Recreation Center
, running 4-7 p.m., where the public can learn more about King Records and King Studios.
From 6-8 p.m. tonight, MOTR Pub
in Over-the-Rhine hosts the opening of Royal Plastics: King Records Album Art
, a very cool concept for a King-centric photo show.
The exhibit — named for King's separate company set up to manufacture music releases, Royal Plastics — was conceived by local music historian Brian Powers, who works for the city's library, a big reason the main branch has so many King events this month (and has long been illuminating visitors about Cincy's musical past).
Powers had begun to collect King releases on vinyl when he noticed that several were obviously shot in Greater Cincinnati. Powers reached out to accomplished local photographers John Curley and Michael Wilson to assist and signed up several local musicians — including Bobby Mackey, Jake Speed and Buggs Tha Rocka — to star in "re-shoots" of the vintage covers, mimicking the original front of several of King's old releases.
For the full run-down of King Records Month events, taken from the King Studios' site, click below the fold. Be sure visit kingstudios.org
for full details.