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New Local Music Compilation Benefits Musicians in Need

Plus, rising local Hip Hop MC Buggs Tha Rocka enlists Talib Kweli for his next album

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The new compilation of Greater Cincinnati music, Passion and Compassion, featuring Walk the Moon, Noah Hunt and several other solid local acts, is set to raise money for the Play It Forward organization. Plus, Buggs Tha Rocka gets Talib Kweli to exec-produce his next album and play Cincinnati on Halloween.  
by mbreen 09.13.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Interview at 03:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
the rides - promo photo

Q&A with Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Red-hot Blues guitarist is headed to Riverbend for a show with his all-star power trio, The Rides

Kenny Wayne Shepherd has brought a youthful side to American Blues music ever since the great success of his first album, Ledbetter Heights, which went platinum and reached No. 1 on the Blues charts. He was just 17 at the time of the album's release and has gone on to put out several more successful Rock/Blues albums with his Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, featuring Cincinnati's Noah Hunt on lead vocals. Shepherd has developed a new exciting project called The Rides with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stephen Stills and Barry Goldberg, a veteran musician who formed The Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield in the late ’60s and has written and produced many classics. The Rides are performing at the Ohio River Throwdown, a new Roots music festival, this Saturday at Riverbend Music Center, playing alongside other acts like Tedeschi Trucks Band, JJ Grey and the Mofro, Los Lobos and many other artists. CityBeat chatted with Shepherd recently about his new project. CityBeat: I saw behind the scenes videos of The Rides recording in the studio together. What was your favorite experience being in the studio with the other two guys? Kenny Wayne Shepherd: Well, the whole thing was a really good experience. Everybody had a really great time doing the record. It’s just very interesting. You look back over the course Stephen's career, and Barry as well, and these guys have made some really tremendous records in their time. They have also been on so many albums and done this for so many years that they have accumulated a vast wealth of knowledge of how to do things in the studio. For me, even though I have had my recording career for 20 years now, I still consider myself to be like a sponge, just trying to soak up as much information as I can. I learned a lot from those guys and it was a really good time. CB: Where did the name of the band actually originate? KWS: We were putting our heads together. It went on for two weeks. One of the hardest things to do is to come up with a band name, at least it can be one of the most challenging things to do. A lot of the reasons why it is so hard to do nowadays is because almost every name has been used. Everything we came up with, we would go back home and I would look it up online and do a Google search and someone would have that name and we would start over again.  We spent a lot of the time in the studio between recordings … Stephen and I are both big car guys, I mean we love cars. Stephen and his wife have some of the most incredible cars you could hope to own. I have a pretty cool collection myself. We spent a good bit of time talking about cars and driving and stuff like that. As we were exploring name options for the band, one day we were at Stephen's house and I had driven my 1964 Dodge to his house and we were walking out to the driveway to leave and he just looked at my car and said, “You know we should be called 'The Rides.' ” I was like, “Yeah. That’s cool.” I went home and checked and couldn’t find anybody with that name. So here we are. CB: What is your favorite car you have? KWS: I don’t know. I would say right now my 1969 Dodge Charger, and I think it is one of the most beautiful, one of the most visually stunning cars that was ever designed. Probably that one is my favorite. CB: I have listened to the new album and I really, really love it. What is your favorite song to play on the new album? KWS: I go through phases when I do a new record like, “Right now this is my favorite song …” and then a few months from now a different one is my favorite one. Currently my favorite is “Can’t Get Enough,” the title track. That song is a great representation of this band and what we are about. It is one of the songs we wrote together. It has great, heavy guitars. It has got really, good lyrics. Even the vocal is nice and raspy and bluesy. There are lots of dynamics to that song and I think it is just really a great representation of who we are as a group. CB: Typically you are touring with your band by yourself. What was it like splitting singing duties with Stephen? KWS: I split singing duties, to a degree, in my own band. I have Noah Hunt, who is from Cincinnati, he has been my lead vocalist for 17 years. But over the past few years of my career, I have stepped up here and there to the microphone when I wanted to, and on the last record we recorded, Noah and I sang a lot of songs together. I have kind of started to integrate that idea into my own band even though I tend to let Noah sing most of the songs because he has such an incredible voice and it enables me more to focus more on my guitar playing. There is certainly, in this band, more vocal responsibility for me. I really wanted to do it. It is pretty cool. Like being around Stephen, who is so well known for his singing and vocals, it has been inspiring to me to step up to the microphone and sing more. CB: I thought I saw Noah at the Peter Frampton show in Cincinnati. KWS: He was there. He went to the show because we had just been on the road with Peter over the past two months, we had done some shows with him. Noah wanted to go hang out and see everybody when they came through town so he went. CB: What is the favorite guitar you have ever played? KWS: The one I am most attached to is my 1961 Stratocaster. It is the first Strat I ever got.  When you are a guitar player you hear this story about how there is this one guitar that is your soulmate. There is one guitar out there that was built for you. You know it the minute you pick it up and start playing it. Some guys go their entire lives trying to find it. I found this guitar when I was just 15 years old. The minute I picked it up, it fit me like a glove. I did everything I could to get it, I couldn’t afford it at the time, then later on, the following year, it was in Los Angeles at the Guitar Center. Then I came back a year later and it was still there. I still didn’t have the money to afford it, but I decided I wasn’t leaving the store without it. I told my Dad, he was like “We gotta go.” I’m like, “I’m not leaving without this guitar.” Between him, the guy at my record company, my A&R guy, my music attorney, they decide they would split the cost up on their credit cards as long as I agreed to pay them back. I did. That guitar has been with me ever since. It has toured the world with me and been on every record I have ever done. It is just my baby. CB: That is a great story. I have interviewed so many guitar players and nobody has talked to me about their soulmate guitar before.  KWS: Yeah, well, it really is. I don’t know about those guys but there is a bond between me and that instrument. I feel like all guitar players have their go-to instrument and there should be a really solid connection between them and the instrument. CB: Social media has become invaluable with marketing music and musicians. When you are on the internet, in general, where do you spend most of your time? KWS: I am a creature of habit and repetition when it comes to browsing the web. I have a couple of sites I look at every day. I go online and get my daily dose of the news. I usually go to AOL, because half of their stories report the news and the other half are like looking at a tabloid magazine. They have some really weird stuff they put up there.  I have a couple car enthusiast websites, like there is a website called Moparts.org which is for all Mopart Car enthusiasts. I love the Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth brands, so I am a Mopart guy.  There are a couple guitar pages that I go onto to see what is going on in the world of guitar. I check in, there is a page called thegearpage.net, then I go to the Fender Forums and Fender.com.  I am also obsessed with the new Tesla Electric cars. I have been browsing their forums a lot educating myself on their technology and stuff. I am kind of a geek when it comes to cars and all things mechanical. CB: Can you tell us what the fans can expect from The Rides' live show in Cincinnati? KWS: We just rehearsed, we just had four days to rehearse for this tour and none of us had played any of these songs since we recorded the album back in December. So I guess with my schedule with my band and Stephen and his band, we had a very narrow window of opportunity to prepare for this tour.  We are basically going to do the album and throw in a few songs from my catalog and Stephen's catalog and stuff that Barry wrote that other people recorded. The whole goal is to be loose and have a good time and just play music together. They’ll hear a little bit of my stuff, a little bit of Steven’s stuff, a little bit of Barry’s stiff, then they’ll hear the whole (Rides) record.
 
 
by Mike Breen 02.01.2013
Posted In: Local Music, Live Music, Music News at 02:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
studio piano & cello

WNKU Announces 'Studio 89' Season Lineup

In-studio concert series to include local faves and national acts from a variety of genres

Yesterday, Northern Kentucky independent radio outlet WNKU celebrated two years of expanding its broadcast to 105.9 and 104.1 FM (as well as the standard 89.7 FM). Today, the station announced the upcoming season of its great in-studio concert series, Studio 89. As usual, the lineup is a great, eclectic mix of local acts and national artists. Studio 89 begins airing Monday, live at 7 p.m., starting Feb. 18.Feb. 18:  Kelly Richey Band (with new bassist Freekbass) Feb. 25:  Noah Hunt (former Uncle Six frontman and current singer for Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band) March 4:  Bonnie Bishop (Nashville, TN) March 18:  Little Ed & the Imperials (Chicago, IL) March 25:  Frightened Rabbit (Selkirk, Scotland) April 1:  Kim Taylor (local singer/songwriter whose film acting debut was featured in Sundance fave, I Used To Be Darker) April 8:  Ana Popovic (Belgrade, Serbia) April 15:  Nick Moss (Chicago, IL) April 22:  Oxford's Lisa Biales, joined by CEA-winning Ricky Nye and their French pals The Parisians  May 6: Hadden Sayers (Bexley, OH)Studio 89 welcomes fans to watch performances, held at Northern Kentucky University's Digitorium at Griffin Hall, for free (a $5 donation is suggested). There is limited seating; fans can sign up Tuesday-Thursday before each Monday performance for a chance at seats. Click here for full details. Besides your FM dial options, you may also listen to WNKU at wnku.org. UPDATE: As always, WNKU also will have numerous guests in the studio to chat in the coming months. Here's a run-down: Ellis Paul (tomorrow, 3 p.m.); Shovels & Rope (Feb. 5; 2 p.m.), Matisyahu (Feb. 7, 2:30 p.m.); Trixie Whitley (Feb. 10; 3 p.m.); Red Wanting Blue (Feb. 16; 2 p.m.); Chicago Farmer (Feb. 22; 4 p.m.); Paul Bromwell (Feb. 23; 11 a.m.); Tom Kiefer (Feb. 27; 12:30 p.m.); Wake Owl (Feb. 27; 2 p.m.); Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale (Feb. 28; time TBA); They Might Be Giants (March 3; 3 p.m.); Papa Chubby (March 4; 4 p.m.); Kopecky Family Band (March 18; 2 p.m.); and Will Kimbrough (April 5; 2 p.m.).
 
 
by Mike Breen 05.09.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 01:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
press phoot_20110602_105211

Music Tonight: St. Vincent, Freekbot and More

Indie darling Annie Clark and her St. Vincent are at Bogart's tonight promoting their new album, Strange Mercy. Check out Jason Gargano's recent feature story on Clark from last week's CityBeat here. Opening the show is Austin-based Shearwater, Jonathan Meiburg's orchestral Indie project that is on tour in support of the new Animal Joy album on Sub Pop Records. (Read more here.) Showtime is 9 p.m. and tickets are $20. Here's a recent live clip of Clark and Co. performing "Surgeon."• Local Boogie Woogie piano master Ricky Nye has been taking his pals in the Paris Blues Band around the region for several performance dates. If you missed his show last week at the small room at Baker Hunt Arts & Cultural Center, you can catch the whole crew at Covington's Chez Nora tonight at 7:30 p.m. for free. Read Brian Baker's 2010 feature on the band ("The French Connection") here. And here's a clip for Ricky and his Paris bros from last year's visit.• Former local singer with Uncle Six (and in other local projects) Noah Hunt returns to Greater Cincy tonight with the man who took him away from us, Blues/Rock guitar whiz Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Hunt has been singing with Shepherd's band since 1997. On Noah's website it says, "Noah and Kenny are like brothers, and continue to record and tour the world together." Local crew Grooveshire opens up tonight's show at Covington's Madison Theater at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Here's a clip from the KWS Band's "Never Lookin' Back" from the most recent album, How I Go. • Indie trio The Spring Standards consists of three longtime friends who knock out harmonies as if they were related and have been singing together since birth. James Cleare, Heather Robb and James Smith formed the band in the Delaware Valley during their teens, but moved to Brooklyn to launch their career. The Standards’ 2008 debut, the EP No One Will Know, was produced by Rhett Miller of The Old 97’s; their debut full-length, Would Things be Different, was self-released in 2010. The band recently issued a superb “double EP,” Yellow/Gold, which features 12 engrossing tracks’ worth of the trio’s crafty Pop, which occasionally conjures the warm, fuzzy feelings of “AM Gold” Soft Rock from the ’70s, but also pumps things up to a more rocking level, such as on the Carsian tune "Here We Go" (check the clip below).  The threesome performs tonight at MOTR Pub. Local Folk Pop act Shiny and the Spoon opens the free, 10 p.m. show.• Freekbot, the local Electronic/Funk/Dance duo featuring local funkateer Chris Sherman (aka Freekbass) and award-winning turntablist/producer Tobe Donohue (Tobotius), has not played a ton of local shows, spending a lot of time on the road as a touring unit instead. But that changes starting tonight when the duo begins a Wednesday residency at MVP Bar & Grill in Silverton (formerly Play By Play). Each week, the musicians will be joined by a different artist to “give things a different flavor,” says Sherman. For tonight's inaugural event — dubbed “Full Spectrum Wednesdays” — Yusef Quotah from You, You’re Awesome and Brian Olive’s band sits in on keys. On May 23, longtime Jazz saxophonist Randy Villars (currently touring with Bootsy Collins) is the special guest. In June, Sherman says they’ll have a different DJ or band open the shows, as well. Here's the twosome at work.
 
 

Noah Hunt and Jason Dennie

Dec. 31 • Stanley's Pub

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Singer Noah Hunt and guitarist Jason Dennie perform together on New Year's Eve with the 420 All-Stars at Stanley's Pub, where the duo initially cut its teeth back in the mid '90s. The fingerstyle guitar master Dennie (based in Michigan since 1999) and Hunt (singer for the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band since 1997) released their latest acoustic disc, 'All the Dark Things,' earlier this year, and NYE will be the first time the two have performed together since its release.  

More Holiday Show Madness

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Local acoustic rocker Bob Cushing is celebrating his 20th year as a professional musician with a show Sunday at the Blue Note in Price Hill. Other highlights are Foxy Shazam's Snow Show and the Dubkids and Noah Hunt hosting homecomings.  

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