by P.F. Wilson
Posted In: Live Music
at 04:33 PM | Permalink
Something about the mythology around The Alarm makes it seem perfectly fitting that frontman Mike Peters would assume the role of hired gun for his old friends from Scotland, Big Country. That band tragically lost their lead singer, guitarist and co-founder Stuart Adamson in December of 2001. In 2010, the surviving members asked Welshman Peters, who still fronts The Alarm (with no original members), to join Big Country. The band rolled into Newport’s Thompson House on Sunday (July 21), a last minute addition to their tour, so only about 80 people turned up. By the band’s performance you would have thought they were playing Paul Brown Stadium. Though considered a full member, Peters carried out his duties modestly. Several times he enthusiastically gave shout outs to his bandmates — co-founder/guitarist Bruce Watson, Watson’s son Jamie on guitar, drummer Mark Brzezicki and bassist Derek Forbes (ex-Simple Minds), who replaced the retired Tony Butler. In a way it was like seeing three bands at once. The set list included several tracks from the fine new album, The Journey, which was written by the band, including the departed Butler. The big crowd-pleasers, such as “Look Away” and “Fields of Fire,” were mostly played towards the end, with the latter inducing a sing-a-long with the crowd. For his part, Peters looked very Alarm-like strumming his amplified acoustic guitar, but certainly did the Big Country songs justice. The enthusiastic audience was treated to a two-song encore that featured a great new track, “Last Ship Sails,” and — no surprise here — “In a Big Country.” Afterwards, Peters ushered his mates down to meet the faithful, shake hands, and sign autographs. Watson gave the crowd a heart-felt thanks that made you wish more people would have known about the gig.
by Mike Breen
Veteran singer/songwriter Kenny Peck celebrates new Roots album tonight in Newport
Tonight, dynamic Northern Kentucky group Kenny Peck & the Smoky Jack Band will celebrate the release of their new album, Country Jack, at the Thompson House in Newport. Following up last year’s Naked Jack, which explored various forms of Pop/Rock, Country Jack focuses on the Country and Folk sides of Peck's schizo musical personality. Steeped in a vintage Roots style (and peppered with engaging lyrics that range from bittersweet to comedic), the new album includes some top-shelf local players, including Harold Kennedy, Bob Nyswonger, Lisa Biales, Marcos Sastre and Jeff Roberts, as well as a few musicians from Nashville, Tenn. Peck grew up in Dixie Heights, Ky., and was drawn to the regional sounds of Bluegrass and Folk. Peck started writing and publishing songs in high school and college, before heading off to serve in Vietnam. Peck moved to San Diego after he was discharged and kicked off his music career with the original Smoky Jack Band in the early ’70s. From there, Peck played in various duos, including a comedy/musical act with his wife called The Special K. Peck settled in Greater Cincinnati in 1989 and continued writing and recording music. Naked Jack was his first album release in a dozen years. Tonight's release party starts at 7 p.m. The $15 cover charge also includes a copy of the new album on CD. Read more about Peck and find details on his releases at smokyjackband.com.
by Mike Breen
• Bluegrass ensemble Hayseed Dixie began racking up fans upon its formation at the dawn of the 21st century thanks to its energized and entertaining live show and the contents of the band’s initial setlists and albums. Though all talented and experienced players, it was Hayseed Dixie’s novelty that initial drove attention its way. The group’s debut was a Bluegrass tribute to AC/DC, while subsequent albums have featured a wonderfully ridiculous array of the group’s Appalachian-spun Rock covers (they grass up everything from OutKast and Green Day to Neil Young and Motorhead). After wide exposure through musical- and comedy-world exposure, the Hayseeds began to introduce more and more original material (2008’s No Covers should be self-explanatory). Hayseed’s members have individually gotten more busy with various interesting side projects while the main band takes a hiatus. As frontman John Wheeler works towards his more serious-minded debut solo album (scheduled for release early in this new year), banjoist Don Wayne Reno carries the Hayseed torch with his band Granny 4 Barrel, self-described as “Country music’s first and only shock Country Rock & Roll band.” If you thought Hayseed Dixie was outlandish, G4B takes it to the next level with their ridiculous outfits and a sound that retains Hayseed’s Rawkgrass attitude and turns the Rawk elements up to 11. Granny 4 Barrel performs tonight at the Southgate House Revival as part of the opening for area visual artist Derek Toebbe’s “Urban Revival Art Show.” The event (which also includes DJ sets by the Devout Wax crew) is free and starts at 7 p.m. Here's a sampling for G4B's crazy sound and stage show.• Wildly entertaining (and wildly eclectic) ensemble The Duke of Uke & His Novelty Orchestra bring its self described "lyrical ukulele jazz-funk-motown popssical" sound back to Cincinnati tonight for a a free show tonight at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Drawing comparisons to artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Amy Winehouse, the B-52s, and Captain Beefheart, the Urbana, Ill.-based septet has been winning fans all over the region with their energized, swinging live shows, which blend smart lyrics, four-part harmonies and diverse instrumentation (ukulele, violin, tuba, saxophones, Latin percussion). Read more about The Duke and Co. in Reyan Ali's preview in this week's CityBeat here.Here's The Duke of Uke & His Novelty Orchestra's official music video for "Jump Back," a track from their 2012 album April's Empire. • There were moments over the past few years where it seemed like bassist Nick Oliveri was on the brink of imploding, stuck in that weird, almost dreamlike universe (inhabited by the likes of Courtney Love and Katt Williams) where an entertainer’s fans ultimately just accept that there’s a good chance the performer might die any day. Oliveri’s ornery streak has been consistent but it started out manageable — just some usual Rock & Roll debauchery. Then, in 2004, Oliveri was kicked out of Queens of the Stone Age after Queens frontman Josh Homme suspected he had been physically abusive to a girlfriend. Luckily for Oliveri, he had a few side-projects to fall back on, touring with his group Mondo Generator (who comes to Newport’s Thompson House Saturday night), as a solo acoustic act and with veteran Punk sensations Dwarves. But it wasn't enough to keep him out of trouble (click here to read more about Oliveri's various ups-and-downs over the past year). But Oliveri seems to have rebounded, even reportedly making amends with his old bandmate Homme. Mondo Generator has been perhaps the most consistent part of Oliveri’s life since 1997. Blending the Hard Rock of his previous projects with more Punk Rock chaos, Mondo has built a strong cult following for itself. But, with the way things are going as Oliveri continues to rebound, it’s anyone’s guess if Mondo will go back to “side project” status at some point. Mondo Generator performs Saturday at the Thompson House with Saviours, Wino, Bearer of Bad News and Mangrenade. Showtime is 7 p.m. and tickets are $18. Here's Mondo Generator performing "Four Corners" live.Click here for even more live music options in Greater Cincinnati this weekend.
Jan. 5 • Thompson House
0 Comments · Thursday, January 3, 2013
Mondo Generator has been perhaps the most
consistent part of bassist Nick Oliveri’s life since 1997. Blending the Hard Rock of
his previous projects with more Punk Rock chaos, Mondo has built a
strong cult following for itself.
by Mike Breen
• Influential Maryland-spawned Death Metal/Hardcore/Gindcore group Dying Fetus headlines Newport's Thompson House for a night of hardcore release. Singer/guitarist John Gallagher has kept the Fetus alive for 21 years, maintaining a dedicated following and racking up honors like having his band's 2000 release, Destroy the Opposition, named to Decibel Magazine's list of "Hall of Fame" Metal albums. Read more on the group from this week's CityBeat here. The band is joined by guests/tourmates on the Fetus' "The Blood of Power Tour," Malignancy and Cerebral Bore, plus Beverly Hellfire, Fenrir, End It With a Shotgun and Soul Rot. Tonight's show is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Here's Dying Fetus' "From Womb to Waste" from the group's most recent album, Reign Supreme. • The Madison Theater in Covington is launching its "Madison Theater Band Challenge" tonight. The events will feature a boat-load of local acts — between now and Jan. 4, there are NINE "Round 1" challenges, featuring around nine established and up-and-coming artists from a variety of genres each night. Tonight's first event starts at 6:30 p.m. and features a mix of Rock, Funk and Hardcore, with Banducci and the Wheels, Merry Carls, Pledges, Rebuild The Barrier, Self Ish, The Fallen, The Requiem, Undefined and Victory Over Vanity competing. Visit Madison Theater's site here for a run down of the rest of the challengers. All of the Band Challenge events are open to music lovers of all ages. • For something funky and jolly, Steve Schmidt's annual Organ Trio Christmas Spectacular concludes tonight at The Comet and is always a popular draw. Click here for details.Even more live music options in Greater Cincinnati tonight. (Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments)
by Mike Breen
Veteran ace Jazz pianist/organist Steve Schmidt returns to The Comet in Northside to launch his Christmas-themed two-night stand at the venue. Schmidt's annual Christmas Jazz "Spectacular" has become a local holiday tradition. Schmidt whips out his organ (a Hammond B3; get your mind out of the gutter!) for the occasion and, as always, brings along some top-shelf special guests for the shows. Schmidt is joined by Brad Myers on guitar and Mark Wolfley on drums, plus two amazing singers — Eugene Goss (known for his work with Billy Larkin as Triage) and the great Mandy Gaines. The Steve Schmidt Organ Trio Christmas Spectacular runs 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. tonight and tomorrow at The Comet. There is no cover charge.
Local musicians get in the holiday spirit
1 Comment · Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Local musicians to dress up/perform as David Bowie, The Cure, Daft Punk and Dwarves for Halloween, while MC Forty presents the Hip Hop flavored "Crack-O-Lantern" show, Surf bands get zombified at the Southgate and Hogscraper's delayed return goes down Saturday. Also, You, You Awesome to play free show Tuesday and Yallwire.com dominating Country artists Mason James and Dallas Moore team up in Cheviot.
Oct. 6 • Thompson House
0 Comments · Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Joey Cape might be among Punk’s busiest purveyors, but his longest standing and best-known band is
obviously Lagwagon, one of the original Punk/Pop groups that emerged
from the early ’90s California scene.
San Antonio trio Girl In A Coma learned and grew from a series of unfortunate events
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
If there’s a recurring theme that seems to
sum up the events of the past few years for Texas trio Girl In A Coma (including
the trio’s latest album, Exits & And All The Rest) it boils down to one word — growth.
Aug. 10 • Thompson House
0 Comments · Monday, August 6, 2012
Strung Out's current tour is
dedicated to revisiting those solidly melodic, Heavy Metal-influenced
albums, as they'll be playing both front to back nightly — a performance
that's sure to fill every thirtysomething dude who still wears cargo
shorts and oversized Pulley T-shirts with gooey nostalgia.