by Amy Harris
19 days ago
Pop singer/songwriter plays Covington’s Madison Theater this Saturday
Andy Grammer has a unique blend of musical talent, meshing his piano and guitar playing skills, smooth vocals and Hip Hop-like hooks to get crowds across the world fired up. Since his self-titled debut album in 2011, he has found great success through radio airplay and tours with the likes of Train, Natasha Bedingfield, and Colbie Caillat. Grammer is now embarking on his first headlining tour, which brings him to Covington’s Madison Theater this Saturday. The tour stop will be your chance to see Grammer in an intimate venue setting and see him up close and personal as he delivers his hits. (Click here for tickets and show info.)CityBeat: What can the fans expect from the new album coming in August?Andy Grammer: They can expect a lot of different vibes. I took a lot of chances sonically on this one. There is some acoustic stuff. There is one that sounds to me a little like Imagine Dragons meets Kanye. There is one that sounds like an MGMT track. There is one sounds like an old Lauryn Hill jam. I just made sure the songs were, in my opinion great, and I had a blast with the stuff I am really into right now.CB: The album is called Magazines or Novels. Is there a story behind the title?AG: It’s like how we ingest music these days. We are very ADD. A lot of times we just read through it, like magazines — tear through it, then throw it away. My goal was that not to be the case with this record. I built like 100 songs. I wrote the first 50 and realized I had a lot more magazines than novels, so I wrote another 50 and I think it is really good, actually. I am really excited about this album.CB: What is your songwriting process?AG: My process is more like … (chase) something all the way to the end and then step back and see if it is any good. Sometimes it is and, more often than not, it is not. I have to write a whole hell of a lot to get the jams I’m real proud to have on the album.CB: You have had several huge hits on radio in your career. Do you know right away when you have a hit on your hands when writing?AG: I don’t. I really don’t. That’s what is so confusing about it. I wouldn’t write it unless I thought it was great. I write it and am super stoked about it. As time goes by I can kind of tell whether it’s going to hold up. CB: Do you have people close to you that can give you the feedback?AG: Yeah, my manager and I pretty much are the ones that make the decision.CB: What is the best and the worst thing about being on the road for you?AG: We are doing shows that are like half old stuff and half new stuff and the fans will be really into it. The worst thing about being on tour is finding food that is good. It is pretty difficult to do, to find good food. It is easier to find McDonald’s and then you fall into (it) and feel bad. The best part of this tour, specifically, is playing new songs and seeing the fans react to it. It’s really exciting.CB: I have seen you play in Cincinnati when you opened for Train. Do you have any specific Cincinnati tour memories that you remember or fun things in Cincinnati you like to do?AG: Fans in Ohio are the best. Any show in Ohio, fans know how to have a good time, they party harder than anyone else at shows. It’s real. I’m not sure you know that about yourselves. I have toured around the whole country and it is just better in Ohio.CB: Have you ever been starstruck?AG: Sure. When I met Sara Bareilles I was a little bit starstruck and I don’t even know why. I really liked her and was excited to meet her.CB: Is there anybody you want to collaborate with, maybe a different genre of music?AG: I would like to do a song where I did the hook and Macklemore did the rap. I think that would be dope. CB: Do you have a favorite guitar that you like to play?AG: Yeah, Taylor is my jam. They hook me up with guitars and they sound amazing.CB: Is there one specifically? Some people have one guitar. I saw one person last week with one they had played so much they had worn a hole in it.AG: I don’t have that. I bust them up a lot and I have to get them fixed. I have also had this thing where I have had like three of my guitars stolen out of my car in L.A., and I don’t live in a terrible place. I think someone is on to me.CB: I guess you shouldn’t get attached then. Well, what can the fans expect when you come through Cincinnati. I know you said you were playing half old and half new material, but what can the fans expect from your headlining show?AG: Expect to see a little bit different light. One song has a vocoder on it. There is a little more high energy stuff. I am really excited. High energy is, in my opinion, better.
Friday • Greaves Hall (Northern Kentucky University)
0 Comments · Monday, March 17, 2014
The legendary five-time Grammy winners
Blind Boys of Alabama have steadily brought inspired grooves to the
stage since the group’s beginnings in the 1930s. Greater Cincinnati has
witnessed some special shows by the group, especially their gig at the2006 Tall Stacks Festival, when lead singer Jimmy Carter was led
into the crowd with a mic where he proceeded to lift up
the audience with goodness and light and soul.
Newgrass favorites Yonder Mountain String Band hit the road with some gifted substitutes
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 21, 2014
With Newgrass heroes Yonder Mountain String Band’s mandolinist Jeff Austin sitting out the band’s current tour due to his brand-new baby, two members of ace Bluegrass crew Del McCoury Band will be filling in for the proud papa.
Sunday • Southgate House Revival
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Jim Jones was doing loud in London at
about the same time Kurt Cobain and Mark Arm discovered their amps went
to 11 in the Pacific Northwest.
by Mike Breen
• The first time I saw Neko Case was a complete accident. I
was in Chicago around the most recent turn of the century and went to
see Indie Rock singer/songwriter Edith Frost at the small (but popular)
club Lounge Ax and Case and her “Boyfriends,” as her backing band was
then called (really Canadian Roots rockers The Sadies), opened the show
with a great set. Though I’d heard of Case, seeing her live was
revelatory — the singer/songwriter (also part of Canadian Pop collective
The New Pornographers) has one of the most soulful, mesmerizing voices
in music today and, once I’d heard it, I was hooked for life. Case’s
transcendent pipes are only comparable to legends like Patsy Cline
(though Jenny Lewis has made quite the solo career aping Case).
Working in a folksy musical realm (though not tethered to
any specific style), Case has yet to release a bad album, though her
latest for Anti- Records, the recent The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You,
has received mixed reviews (likely more indicative of a press corps
bored with her astonishing consistency than the actual album itself,
which is excellent). I’ve seen Case numerous times since that happy
accident in Chicago — including dates at Chicago’s Metro and at
Newport’s Southgate House — and I’ve never left in any other state
Case comes back to the Cincinnati area tonight for a show
at downtown’s Taft Theatre (her largest local appearance yet) with
special guest and fellow red-headed singer/songwriter Karen Elson.
Tickets are still available for $35 at the door.
Check out Jason Gargano's feature story on Case from this
week's CityBeat. Here's the "lyric video" for The Worse Things Get track
"Night Still Comes."
• Over the past two decades, Built to Spill has become a legendary cult band, remaining a solid concert draw across the nation and
releasing some of the most brilliant guitar-driven Indie Rock albums of
the ’90s and ’00s. Led by singer/guitarist Doug Martsch, BtS formed in
Boise, Idaho, in the early ’90s, and worked with a lot of Pacific
Northwest musical institutions on its way up. In 1995, as the major
labels were winding down their signing frenzy in the wake of Nirvana's
huge success (signing seemingly every band even loosely associated with
the words "Seattle" or "Grunge"), Built to Spill inked with Warner
Brothers Records, which has released six stellar albums by the band
since 1997, including the crew's masterful debut for the label, Perfect
From Now On, and 2009's There is No Enemy, the group's most recent album.
Like label mates The Flaming Lips, BtS has been the rare
band that has sold consistently enough to remain signed to a major label
for well over a decade thanks to the consistent quality of its work,
heavy touring and an incredibly dedicated following. It's refreshing to
see a big-time label stay so loyal to a group that will probably never
sell a million copies and even more probably won't ever have a big hit
single. (Despite rumors, BtS is not breaking up; a new album is in the
works and expected by the end of 2014.)
Built to Spill performs tonight at Newport, Ky.'s
Southgate House Revival with guests Slam Dunk and Genders. Showtime is
8:30 p.m. and tickets are $25 at the door.