by Mike Breen
Cincinnati R&B/ElectroFunk group profiled on cable series Jan. 30
The sixth season of TV One's entertaining and informative Unsung series, showcasing artists who did well but didn't quite reach the heights many expected, kicks off tonight at 10 p.m. with an episode about the late, great Soul star Isaac Hayes. Next week, on Jan. 30, the series focuses on a group that was formed at Kentucky State University and ended up calling Cincinnati its home base — Midnight Star. The R&B/ElectroFunk nine-piece band was a major success in the ’80s, giving the music world massive hits like "Slow Jam," "No Parking on the Dance Floor" and "Freak-a-Zoid." But the band eventually splintered — due to "arguments over money and management," according to the Unsung synopsis — with Reggie Calloway and brother Vincent leaving and eventually forming Calloway (which had success with the smash "I Wanna Be Rich" in 1989). Midnight Star carried on and produced a couple more albums that featured R&B chart hits before taking a break. The "hiatus" ended in 2000 and Midnight Star continues to this day, performing most recently at the Macy's Music Festival last summer. Click here to read up on the band circa 2013.The Unsung series has a loose definition of "unsung" (as the Isaac Hayes episode suggests), but its profiles of various R&B/Soul, Hip Hop, Funk and Gospel artists are always fairly illuminating. The show has dedicated episodes to a wide range of successful artists, from The Ohio Players and Zapp to Kool Mo Dee and Big Daddy Kane to George Clinton, The Spinners and another Cincinnati-affiliated star, Bootsy Collins. Unsung (Documentary) - Bootsy Collins... by GENERATIONDISCOFUNKThe rest of Unsung's season six includes episodes on EPMD, Lou Rawls, Eddie Kendricks, The Whispers, Mint Condition, Johnny Gill and a special two-hour look at the Disco phenomenon. TV One is channel 217 for local Time Warner Cable subscribers (1217 for the HD channel).
by Mike Breen
Cincinnati born and bred legend Bootsy Collins is known for his collaborations, from James Brown, George Clinton and Deee-Lite to more recent (and more unusual) hookups, like William Shatner, Charlie Daniels and Dr. Cornel West. But his latest collabo might be his strangest — and most fun — yet. Last night, Collins joined The Roots, DEVO's Mark Mothersbaugh, Biz Markie and Erykah Badu on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for a little jam session with the cast of the trippy, hip kids' show, Yo Gabba Gabba.
Improv meets Electronic cool in latest project from resident bass genius Freekbass
0 Comments · Monday, January 24, 2011
These days, Freekbass’ outrage is contextualized by his formidable musical skills, particularly on bass, the instrument that has earned him global attention. His local back story is well documented — befriended by Bootsy Collins, band gigs with Sleep Theatre and SHAG, a burgeoning solo career, sessions and tours with the likes of Buckethead, Bootsy and countless others — but his most recent project might raise his profile to previously unimagined heights.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Several Cincinnati-based artists and institutions are up for Ohio Hip Hop Awards, an annual event that honors the statewide Hip Hop community, culminating in a music conference/awards ceremony Sept. 17-19 in Cleveland. The event spotlights everything from MCs, DJs, break-dancers and graffiti artists to labels, radio, venues and promoters.
Sept. 4 • Madison Theater
0 Comments · Monday, August 30, 2010
Bootsy Collins has assembled a major party to pay tribute to his late older brother (and musical companion) Phelps "Catfish" Collins, one of the most influential guitarists in Funk history, who passed away on Aug. 6. This Saturday at Covington's Madison Theater, Bootsy hosts "The Catfish Nation Celebration" featuring appearances by Ray Parker Jr., Reggie Calloway, Freekbass, Wilbert Longmire and many others.
Classes now open at Bootsy Collins' online Funk U
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Bootsy Collins' latest project, Funk University, began classes July 1 and might just become the way to preserve Funk for the next generation to enjoy. "This Funk University will be the first of its kind to not only show love to the Funk but even more importantly to lift up live music in general," Collins says.
A message from the MPMF.09 head honcho
1 Comment · Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Dear MidPoint Performer: Welcome to Cincinnati, the city I've enjoyed living, working and making music in for the past 20 years. I hope your experience is a great one. And I hope you don't leave. Really. Take a good hard look around while you're here. The rent is cheap, the architecture and geography are stimulating and the people are generally sweethearts. But Cincinnati is also building something, and we need more builders with your kind of tools.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Believe it or not, back in the 1940s and '50s, before recording artists flocked to Nashville, Tenn., some of Country music's legendary artists came to Cincinnati to record hits that would one day make them famous. Hank Williams, Patti Page, and Flatt and Scruggs all played sessions at Cincinnati's historic Herzog Studios, formerly located at 811 Race St.
1 Comment · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Jeff Ruby's newest production, Bootsy's, recently began serving lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. While Bootsy's typically has more of an after-work party vibe, a midday meal there could be just the mini vacation that keeps you from going batty during a long day at the office. Lunch here is a bit of a production. We were brought to the dining room for the main attraction. It was gleaming with psychedelic lighting, and the staff, like ushers, scurried about, taking care of business.
Bootsy's restaurant offers exhibits representing Cincy's rich musical history
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Finally, a slice of Cincinnati music history gets enshrined. While there have been temporary exhibits in recent years on our music lore at the public library and the Contemporary Arts Center, there has never been a permanent historical display. There is one now — in the lobby of the new Bootsy's restaurant downtown.