Friday • Thompson House
0 Comments · Tuesday, May 26, 2015
A little over a year ago, 88-year-old
Bluegrass Hall of Famer Ralph Stanley called me as he was mourning the
loss of his long-time guitarist George Shuffler. Ralph and his brother
Carter made American Roots music history in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s as
The Stanley Brothers.
by Mike Breen
Video of Bluegrass legend latest in series of videos shot at historic Emery Theatre
One of the more soulful venues at this year's MidPoint Music Festival was the gorgeous Emery Theatre, which is in the process of being brought back to life thanks to the efforts of "The Requiem Project" (the group that has been doing the heavy lifting to get the theater fully back in commission). But perhaps best showcasing the theater's potential as a proper new/old music venue are the folks behind The Emery Sessions, a series of live performances filmed at the Emery over the past year or so by photographer/videographer Michael Wilson (the man behind a gazillion brilliant album covers) and musicians Cameron Cochran and Henry Wilson (who play together in the group Pop Empire). The sessions have produced some remarkable footage so far, with sessions filmed with Jeremy Pinnell and the 55s, Daniel Martin Moore and Joan Shelley, Over the Rhine, Brian Olive, The Kickaways and many other local acts. When Bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley was booked to play the theater for this year's MidPoint fest, the Sessioneers captured a magical session before the show featuring The Clinch Mountain Boys with the iconic musician. The lack of an audience during all of the Sessions (and the black and white approach) adds an air of mystery to the clips, the empty theater providing a wide-open and kinda spooky atmosphere. That's especially evident in the Session with Stanley, who recorded locally in his heyday for King Records and had performed several times at the Emery decades earlier with his brother Carter as The Stanley Brothers. Fittingly, on what was dubbed "Ralph Stanley Day" by the city, the Sessions crew captured Ralph and Co. performing "Train 45," a tune the Stanley Brothers recorded for the local King label. Check out more of The Emery Sessions here.
Newly renovated OTR historical landmarks offer function, charm to MPMF.12
1 Comment · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Dan McCabe’s been keeping a close eye on the
transformation of Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park since last October. MidPoint Music Festival’s executive producer talks about the park and the renovated Emery Theatre becoming a part of the increasingly OTR-supportive fest.
by Mike Breen
MPMF.12 to include Andrew Bird, The Walkmen, Ralph Stanley, The Antlers and more
Several local acts have been notified in recent weeks that they have been chosen to perform at this fall’s MidPoint Music Festival. Organizers today revealed its second wave of national acts that will join them at the Sept. 27-29 fest — Andrew Bird, Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys (revealed a couple of weeks ago at a MidPoint Indie Summer concert), The Walkmen, The Antlers, Hospitality, Rich Aucion, Stepdad, Eternal Summers, White Arrows, Dirty Bourbon River Show, Hume, Sidewalk Chalk, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Kitten, F. Strokes, Wooden Wand, Hundred Waters, Golden Boy, Tim Easton and Army Navy. Keep up to date with the latest MPMF news at mpmf.com and this here music blog at citybeat.com. Early Bird All Music Access and Loyalty Presale passes are sold out. A limited number of All Music Access Passes ($69) and VIP Passes presented by CVG ($169) now on sale. Washington Park Day Tripper passes will be available soon. Get your tickets now at CincyTicket.com.Check out news songs from The Antlers and (previously announced MPMF band) Grizzly Bear at NPR here.Here's the latest music video from The Walkmen, for their tune "Heaven."And here's a recent CNN piece on Andrew Bird.
by Mike Breen
Fascinating film about musical collaboration featuring Skrillex, Pretty Lights and Mark Ronson to screen in theaters nationwide
If you're a hardcore devotee of the creative Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene exploding across the world right now, the place you'll most want to be tonight isn't your favorite dance club, but a movie theater. That's because the intriguing documentary film Re:Generation Music Project is premiering simultaneously in theaters across the country, including locally at the AMC theaters at Newport on the Levee and the Rave theaters in Florence, Ky. Showtime is 8 p.m. (Click here to buy advance tickets for tonight's screening or the encore ones Feb. 23.)The film's premise is quite clever and not what you might expect from a documentary seemingly about the state of contemporary Electronic music. While five of today's most popular producers/DJs — Skrillex, The Crystal Method, Mark Ronson, DJ Premier and Pretty Lights — are at the heart of the movie, it really sounds like it is more about the inherent mongrel nature of music in general and how all music evolves organically through hybridization.Acclaimed documentarian Amir Bar Lev directed the film, which follows the five featured artists as they prepare to write and record a new track with someone renowned for their work in a decidedly different field of study. Subtitled "5 DJs Turn the Table of the History of Music," Lev takes viewers along as recent Grammy winner Skrillex teams up with members of Rock band The Doors, The Crystal Method head to Detroit to collaborate with Motown legends Martha Reeves of The Vandellas and The Funk Brothers, Ronson gets down on some New Orleans Jazz with Trombone Shorty (as well as Mos Def, Erykah Badu, The Dap Kings and Zigaboo Medeliste), DJ Premier goes Classical with the Berklee Symphony Orchestra and Pretty Lights explores Bluegrass with Ralph Stanley (and LeAnn Rimes). By exploding genre and generational barriers, Re:Generation makes a great point about the development of music in society. While Stanley and Pretty Lights' Derek Vincent Smith are a half a century apart in terms of age, they share the common ground of being artists and creators, which makes them able to "get" what the other is doing on a unique level that often only artists can access. The new generation of Electronic Dance Music artists are also perfect to focus in on, since the younger musicians of today (especially in electronic music) feed off of invention and seem willing to experiment with any source. As long as it services the song, who cares where it's placed in the iTunes store?Here's a clip from the film featuring Skrillex and his legendary collaborators, The Doors.
Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley might not have become such a heavyweight without King Records
1 Comment · Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Bill Monroe is widely recognized as the Father of Bluegrass, and so, in that context, perhaps we can consider Ralph Stanley as the genre's kindly Uncle ... the guy who teaches us about life and ourselves without inflicting the unflinching discipline and judgmental subjectivity of our old man. But the fact remains that the king is dead and the throne can't remain empty, the crown unworn. Perhaps it's time to coronate a new King of Bluegrass, and if so the only true heir is Dr. Ralph Stanley.
When Ralph and the Clinch Mountain Boys took the stage, there was always an uproar
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I once opened for Ralph Stanley somewhere north of Cincinnati in a pre-fabricated building with one of those signs out front where you can change the letters by hand. It said, "Tonite Ralph Stanley," and that was about all it needed to say. When Ralph and the Clinch Mountain Boys took the stage, there was an uproar. "Stone Walls and Steel Bars," somebody yelled. "Rabbit in a Log!" "Clinch Mountain Backstop!" Ralph looked flinty, with a chiseled face straight out of southeastern "Virginny" where he was born and still lives.