When Tim O’Brien plays guitar, mandolin or fiddle, the
result could generally be described as Bluegrass. But it also represents
the breadth of his myriad influences and his startling ability to incorporate them into his personal
Meth, liquor, hitchhiking, cheating and, of course,
angels are just a few of the topics about which Old Crow Medicine Show
enjoys singing. It sounds like a bad play on the topics of Country
music, but it works for them — especially when you add in the banjo and
that big ol’ bass.
Remember a few years ago when you couldn’t walk into a
Starbucks without hearing the words, “Three words that became hard to
say/I and love and you?” At the time, you probably rolled your eyes, but The Avett Brothers ended up becoming kind of a big deal. While “I and Love and You,” as a song, was mostly mellow
and Folk-ish, it’s far from a decent indicator of the sort of noise the
Brothers are capable of creating.
The local Roots music scene and its
fans have a cool new music venue to check out. This Friday-Sunday is the
grand opening of Plain Folk Café, a converted two-room schoolhouse
(originally built in 1913) featuring coffee, beer, food and regular live
music from area Folk, Bluegrass, Americana and acoustic acts.
Bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles was originally formed as a side
project so the original four members could take a break from their Rock
bands, but the exercise was comfortable and rewarding enough to warrant giving
up Rock and moving full-time to Bluegrass.
Thanks at least partially to our proximity
to Appalachia, Greater Cincinnati has long had one of the finest
Roots/Americana music scenes in the region. And the finest band from
that impressive batch of artists right now is Magnolia Mountain, the
band formed by Rock veteran and singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
Mark Utley about five years ago.
One need not be a fan of
Bluegrass to enjoy the music of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. They make music
for anyone who squirms giddily at the symphony or geeks out over complicated
arrangements and often ignored time signatures. The Flecktones are now touring in support of their
newest album, Life in Eleven, the first album to be recorded by the
original lineup since the ’90s.
sweetheart Alison Krauss and her band of pickin’, strumming and bowing
minstrels, Union Station, return this week to the Taft Theater. Krauss has been
on the music scene for more than 25 years. She drew a flurry of attention when
she was featured on the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? and
again when she released an album of duets with Robert Plant. Krauss is more
than just a pretty face and enchanting voice. She’s also a champion fiddle