When Michael Riley died in June from a massive stroke, it was clear his passing would leave a gaping hole in the Cincinnati scene and that his life and talents were worthy of significant tribute. His longtime professional and personal companion Tebbe Farrell has been planning that tribute for months, and it comes to fruition Saturday at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center with "Man of Music: A Tribute to Michael W. Riley."
It's often been said of larger than life characters that if they didn't exist someone would have had to invent them. Thankfully we had Michael Riley, because it's difficult to imagine the twisted cosmic novelist that would have been necessary to come up with him. Riley was the personification of dichotomy. He was a fixture as an employee in Clifton music stores, but a fatal stroke June 18 ended his reign as the unofficial Mayor of Clifton Music.
I have not yet heard the new Bruce Springsteen (no promo love from the label), and the weather conspired this week to keep me from hitting a store to pick it up. One disc that did make its way into my P.O. box is 'Ready for the Flood,' the first equal studio collaboration from Mark Olson and Gary Louris since the pair parted company as The Jayhawks in the mid-'90s.