by Cassie Lipp
98 days ago
Posted In: Music
at 04:00 PM | Permalink
From a dark studio strung to the brim with Christmas lights comes a
music that seems as if it could have originated in an Indian temple, yet it
resonates with the charm of American Folk music. A barefoot guitar player taps
his foot on a pedal as he strums along flawlessly next to his bandmate, who is
playing an instrument of his own creation — a sitar with some strings and a
bell removed, frets added and a homemade capo fashioned out of plastic rollers
and a piece of a lampshade.
As Dawg Yawp plays its song “I Wanna Be a Dawg” in WNKU’s Studio 89, the duo
emits a powerful sound that blends together traditional Folk instruments with
electronic elements. Their John Cage-esque ability to reinvent new ways to play
music (minus slapping a dead fish on a piano) sets them apart from any other
folk artist. It’s the perfect combination of worldly and psychedelic.
“It sounds amazing to sit there and listen to all of the different elements
coming together,” says WNKU’s sound engineer Matt Moermond as he watches a
video of the performance on his iPad. “They did big things this year. Their new
music has even more of an electronic side with a lot of samples and layers.”
The video is part of the station’s promotion of local music. Dawg Yawp is one of
the artists that has been featured as the station’s Local Discovery of the
Month, an honor that has also been spotlighted other Cincinnati-based artists
such as Jeremy Pinnell, Multimagic and The Yugos.
Moermond remarks on how the Local Discovery videos — all filmed in Studio 89 — have
become viral on social media. With the help of sharing and instant viewing on
Facebook, a WNKU video of a Jeremy Pinnell performance has had more than 13,000
Along with the monthly spotlight, WNKU plays a song by a local artist at least once
an hour. However, it isn’t just music from Cincinnati. For WNKU, local means as
far as their radio signal goes out. Artists from areas nearby Cincinnati, such
as Columbus and Indianapolis, can also enjoy being aired on the station.
WNKU’s Assistant Program Director Liz Felix sees playing local music as the
convergence of the station’s mission.
“Ultimately our mission is two-fold: play awesome music that’s not necessarily
exposed anywhere else and tying into the local community,” Felix says. “Playing
local music is both of those things together, and I think that’s what exciting
Both Felix and Moermond say they are blown away by the quality of recordings
they receive from local artists. So much so, that it is difficult for them to
pick who they will feature each month because there are so many great artists
to choose from.
“This is music that I would have no problem telling other people in the record
industry, ‘Here are the great bands from Cincinnati,’ and I think they would
stand up against any national release,” Felix says.
The local artists featured monthly are chosen from the pool of local artists
already being played on WNKU. The station also looks for artists who are
actively releasing new music and who may be familiar, but not too widely known.
“It is extremely important that we play the local artists and support the local
scene,” Moermond says. “That’s one of the main reasons that we’re here. It
gives bands a voice that they may not otherwise receive in broadcast. We were
the first ones to ever air Walk the Moon.”
Local artists can submit their music to WNKU in order to be played. Moermond
says when he is listening to local music submissions, he looks for quality.
While quality production is a requirement for airtime on WNKU, he says this
does not mean that music has to be expensively produced, as there are ways to
make quality recordings within your home.
Moermond also explains that local music submission should clearly be marked as
local recordings. The station receives so many submissions a day, it is easier
to find local music that is marked as such.
Aside from submissions, Moermund and Felix say they try to attend shows
throughout Cincinnati at least a few nights per week to stay in touch with the
local music scene and discover new artists. They enjoy artists who present
lively, energetic performances no matter how small or large the crowd. Both
agree it is as much fun as it is necessary to be in tune with the local music
“I like how everyone seems to know each other, and builds off that,” Moermond
says. “It’s fun to see everyone help each other to grow and expand. It’s neat
to see how they work together.”
The vibrant scene also gives them a unique sampling of the many local artists
making great music.
“There’s such a diversity of sounds that there doesn’t seem like there is an
overarching sound of Cincinnati,” Felix says. “Everyone is kind of doing their
own thing and there’s so much good stuff and so many different genres.”
Plus, local Jazz drummers unite, the Tie Dye Ball returns and Glassworld releases debut
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Oodles of local (and national/regional) acts perform this weekend to benefit Northern Kentucky radio station WNKU, local Jazz drummers unite for the BHM Drum Summit, the Tie Dye Ball, featuring Spookfloaters and Jerry’s Little Band, returns to benefit Play It Forward org and rockers Glassworld release debut EP.
by Mike Breen
Cincinnati area musicians team up for Northern Kentucky public radio station’s fall fund drive
While commercial radio throws a bone here and there to homegrown musicians in Greater Cincinnati via specialty shows or segments, public radio station WNKU (89.7 FM; wnku.org) frequently adds songs from local artists to its regular-rotation playlist. And it has for years. The station also covers the local scene online with news and reviews, hosts local musicians for its live in-studio Studio 89 program and sponsors numerous musical events across the Tristate.Local musicians are returning the favor by appearing on the new compilation album, Get Real Gone: Road Songs for Public Radio. In lieu of, say, a cliched tote bag gift, WNKU will be giving CDs of the album to those who donate during the station’s fall fund drive. Listeners who become “sustaining members,” paying just $8 a month, or those who donate $96 can score a disc of their very own. The compilation features tracks by Roger Klug, Brian Lovely’s Flying Underground, Eclipse Movement, Goose, The Newbees, Balderdash, Tim Goshorn, Kim Taylor, psychodots, Marcos, Graveblankets, Davis Kinney, Charlie Fletcher, Jeff Seeman and Bromwell-Diehl. This Saturday and Sept. 27, several of the Get Real Gone participants will perform live at WNKU’s studio. This Saturday, the lineup features Davis Kenney (10 a.m.), Balderdash (noon), The Newbees (1 p.m.), Roger Klug Power Trio (2 p.m.) and Graveblankets (3 p.m.). On Sept. 27, tune in to hear Kim Taylor (10 a.m.), Jeffrey Seeman (10:40 a.m.), Brian Lovely’s Flying Underground (11:30 a.m.), Goose (1 p.m.), Charlie Fletcher (with The Bluebirds; 2:30 p.m.) and the Bromwell-Diehl Band (3:15 p.m.). Click here for more info and here to make a donation.
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.
Plus, music flows at Cincinnati Pride Fest and MidPoint Indie Summer and local youth groups shine
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The annual BrownGrass Festival in Rabbit Hash, Ky., raises money for WNKU, fetes David Rhodes Brown's 50th anniversary as a pro musician AND features an excellent lineup of some of Greater Cincinnati's finest Roots music artists.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 13, 2013
One of Cincinnati’s finest Indie acts
ever, the brilliant Bad Veins, has split in two. Thankfully for BV fans, this is not the
end of the group.
by Mike Breen
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.).
Plus, Browngrass 2012, New Noise Showcase and Stanley's Blues & BBQ offer variety of local performers
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Cincy Punk Pop quintet Loudmouth has played
well-attended gigs regularly around town for the past half decade or so,
eventually becoming headliners of self-booked multi-band shows at
places like Madison Theater in Covington. This Friday, the group returns
to the club for its farewell show and the release party for its final
album, the eight-song Future Boredom.
by Mike Breen
New episodes of the popular live music program begin this coming Monday
After a year off in 2011, the great live music/interview program Studio 89 on Northern Kentucky's WNKU (89.7 FM; wnku.org) returns this Monday. The season kicks off with Hadden Sayers, a Texas-born/now Columbus-based Blues artist, and this year's series once again features a mix of local, regional and national artists who represent the variety of music played on the station (from Roots, Blues and Americana to Indie, Rock and beyond). The show airs Monday nights through April 30 at 7 p.m. Listeners are also able to attend the performance in the studio, but seats are limited (and dibs go to WNKU members). Reservations can me made at noon on the Tuesday before the session you'd like to check out (keep an eye on the station's website for more info). And check below for the full lineup and video previews for this year's Studio 89 (click the artists' names for more info).
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Electronic Rock duo Pop Empire has released its debut full-length album, available now for free download via The Recording Label Web site. The "all free!" label is the brainchild of Cameron Cochran, formerly of The Sheds and one half of Pop Empire (along with Henry Wilson). There's also news about WNKU's expanded signal helping spread the local music gospel.