The Heartless Bastards had fans stacked on top of each other last Christmastime at Northside Tavern (or so legend has it, since I couldn't get in) when they played a free two-night stand. You'll have to pony up some dough this year, but the Bastards will again be home for the holidays (from their current headquarters in Austin) on Saturday.
This Sunday, local musicians and the fans who love them will be getting gussied up for the 13th Cincinnati Entertainment Awards honoring local musicians. The CEAs will be presented at a 7 p.m. ceremony at Covington's Madison Theater, a first for the event, and feature live performances from six nominated acts.
Get all the details about Sunday night's CEA show, performers, tickets and special surprises as well as the scoop on the wonderful people who helped to make the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards possible.
The historical marker proposed for the former site of Herzog Studios downtown has been approved. Thanks to the hard work of the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation, the marker will be installed at the site (where Hank Williams recorded trademark tunes like "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry") on Sunday, Nov. 22, the day of the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards.
You could stand in a check-out line at a grocery story in northwestern Cincinnati behind Joe McDonough and never detect that the guy unloading his cart before you is a playwright whose scripts have been enjoyed by audiences at theaters all over town and beyond. In fact, the self-effacing man who is disinclined to talk about himself at length has been writing plays since 1988. This season he's accomplished something no other local writer has ever managed to do: Two of his scripts will be given their world premieres almost simultaneously by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati.
A dozen years after Ed Stern's arrival in Cincinnati to take over the creative reins at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the theater company finally was recognized by the Tony Awards for fostering new plays, building a subscriber base envied by theaters in larger cities and reaching out to several hundred thousand young people annually, the audiences of the future. Stern is quick to deflect praise from himself to those he works with and to the community the Playhouse serves. But he's played a leading role in tandem with Playhouse Executive Director Buzz Ward.
"Ain't nothing goin' on but the weather, time and old age," Big Joe Duskin is known to say. With all due respect, he's wrong. There's plenty going on for Big Joe these days. One might be tempted to call it a comeback, but in order to "come back" you have to go away, and that certainly doesn't apply to the King of Cincinnati Blues. Besides, he knew about coming back years ago.
It isn't exactly be the sort of historical marker you'd stumble upon while taking a stroll. It's found at the end of a dreary industrial street in Evanston, fixed to a pole in front of a poop-brown abandoned warehouse overlooking cars whizzing by on I-71. But someone who comes upon it next week (or in years to come) will likely do a double-take reading what happened in that crumbling building where King Records became The King of Them All.
Forget blow-dried scenesters and self-absorbed spotlight stealers. It's original and compelling artists like H-Bomb Ferguson that halls of fame were designed to lionize for the lucky contemporaries who knew the man and for the envious generations who will only know his music. While the CEA Hall of Fame induction came posthumously, H-Bomb knew he was loved as one of Cincinnati's most outrageously colorful musical figures.
One of the most heartwarming and vindicating moments of the 2006 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards ceremony came when local Soul/Funk legend
Kenny Smith took the Taft Theater stage to accept his long overdue Lifetime Achievement Award. He joked about not accepting it. "Can I turn it down?" Smith said before the CEAs with a hearty, self-deprecating laugh. "No, I wouldn't turn it down. I think it's great that we have something like this in Cincinnati."