Local Exposure

WVXU's Local Exposure focuses on the thriving music scene in the Greater Cincinnati area.

You'll find interviews with local musicians as well as national artists coming to town, plus concert announcements, album reviews and other music news.

Contributors include musicians, artists and a number of folks who have their finger on the pulse of the local and regional music scene.

The Sorg Opera House is hosting two concerts on Friday, April 26th and Saturday, April 27th.  Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials will be on stage at the Sorg Opera House Friday night, April 26th, beginning at 8pm.  Then, the next evening, Saturday, April 27th, the Blue Wisp Big Band take center stage for a special evening saluting Duke Ellington with music  also beginning at 8pm.  It's the 2nd Annual Duke Ellington Birthday Celebration and Fundraiser sponsored by Premier Health Atrium Medical Center.

Elaine Diehl and Jeff Johnson, board member of the Sorg Revitalization Group, discussed the history of the Sorg Opera House, improvements made since 2012, volunteer opportunities, and upcoming concerts.

Photo supplied by Carla Parisi

Singer/songwriter Nellie McKay is "a sly, articulate musician who sounds comfortable in any era" according to the New York Times.  She's bringing her solo show to the York Street Cafe on Thursday, April 18th at 8pm to promote her new album, "Sister Orchid."

Nellie spoke by phone from North Carolina to Elaine Diehl on March 28th.  During the conversation, she spoke about Bob Dorough, Geoff Emerick who was an engineer with the Beatles, and also about her new album.  McKay also said that she plays a number of instruments, but mostly piano and harmonica, and loves mallets.

"Sister Orchid" is her 7th album.  Nellie McKay's also performed on Broadway, on NPR programs, and on films.  Her music has been heard on many television programs like Mad Men, NCIS, and Boardwalk Empire.  And, she's also been recognized for her support of animal rights , civil rights, and feminism.

More than a tribute show, Hagfest is a musical celebration of country legend Merle Haggard who passed away on April 6th, 2016 at the age of 79.  Joe Macheret of The Tillers and Joe’s Truck Stop is the organizer with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Appalachian Prison Book Project.  Otis Williams who recorded at King Records will also be performing.  There'll be three stages of music beginning at 6pm, Saturday, April 6th, at Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky.   

Phratry

Mar 26, 2019

15 years ago, Jerry Dirr decided to start his own record label, Phratry Records,  in the bedroom of his home in Cincinnati.

When the label celebrated its 10th anniversary, Jerry partnered with director Shane Chaney with the intention of compiling video footage of the various Phratry bands into a documentary short film.

Five years and hours of film later, the completed feature-length film is finally ready for its premiere.

To learn more about the label, the film and the celebration, I spoke with Phratry Records founder Jerry Dirr as well as producers David Cornelius Matt Gray from Argo One Productions.

Chris Smither is one of those singer/songwriters who's been on the scene for fifty years and loves to keep bringing joy to his fans with his music.  Promoting his first album of originals in six years, Call Me Lucky, Smither will be bringing his tour to the 20th Century Theater in Oakley on Wednesday, April 10th.  Kevin Gordon will be opening for him.  Doors open at 7pm with music beginning at 8 o'clock.  

Elaine Diehl spoke with him by phone on March 19th about his new album, his tour of Ireland in January, and the fact that he's only playing 100 shows per year.  Smither also talks about the guitar he'll be playing at the 20th Century solo show, which songs he prepares for shows, and what he does in his time off.  Chris Smither also said that he grew up in New Orleans and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts now, but still makes red beans and rice once a week.

The Joe Policastro Trio is bringing their jazz sounds in support of their new release, Nothing Here Belongs, to Caffe Vivace on Friday, April 5th. 

During their conversation, Joe, who's a Cincinnati native, talks about some of the songs on the new cd, what the band's process is working up arrangements, and the chemistry of the band members.  Joe also talks about the club where they play regularly in Chicago, Pops in Champagne.

This year many nationally known musicians will be making stops in the Greater Cincinnati area.  Tours have already been booked at Memorial Hall, Riverbend, U.S. Bank Arena, and the Rose Music Center at The Heights. 

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is also presenting their annual "Classical Roots" concert in honor of International Women's Day on Friday, March 8th at Music Hall.  And, country legend Mickey Gilley is bringing his Urban Cowboy Reunion Show to the Belterra Casino Resort on Saturday, March 9th with Johnny Lee.  

Elaine Diehl

The brothers Blase, Jim and Darren, dropped by WVXU's studio last week and talked with Elaine Diehl about their eclectic, nationally-recognized Northside record store that's celebrating its 20th anniversary the month of March.

During the interview, they talk about how the store was started and how different the record store experience is for a customer as compared to clicking on an i-phone or computer to buy music.  They mention that coming into the store opens up new possibilities for purchases folks might not have been aware of on a phone or computer which may narrow their searches.

Juliet Simmons Dinallo and her husband Michael Dinallo (from The Radio Kings) are appearing Monday, January 28th at MOTR Pub in Over the Rhine.  Strum n’ Honey will also be performing.  Music starts at 9:30pm that evening.  Juliet and Michael will be performing as a duo at this free show.

There are so many shows you can catch during the holidays in the Cincinnati region.  From Christmas brunch with Jazz at the Hilton to a Jake Speed concert 12/28, the 79th annual Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival, and so many New Year's Eve celebrations!

New Year's Eve: The Rusty Griswold's at Newport Syndicate, big shows at the Madison Theater, Blue Note Harrison & the Woodward Theater, Lynne Scott at Sorrento's on Reading Road, the Ron Enyard Quartet at Schwartz's Point Jazz Club, the Chris Comer Trio at Dayton's Crowne Plaza Hotel, the Cincinnati Pops at Music Hall, and Triage at Caffe Vivace.

Happy New Year!

This week's music scene has lots of holiday events on tap.  From Cincinnati Film Society's presentation of  the documentary "Jingle Bell Rocks!" to the 3rd Annual Island Christmas Holiday at The Redmoor and the Society Jazz Orchestra at Schwartz's Point Jazz Club.

No Promises, the Randy Villars Trio, and the Bromwell Diehl Band all have concerts this week.  And, Larry Goshorn found some of his & the Goshorn Brothers' cds in his basement & took them to Shake It Records if you're still looking for that special gift for a music lover.

He is best-known as lead singer/frontman and merrymaker-in-chief for Cincinnati rockers THE MENUS, but Tim Goldrainer is equally at home with Sinatra, Martin, Crosby and Nat King Cole in his other band, CURLY & the Q-BALLS.  Tim and Cueballs pianist Greg Dastillung took a break from rehearsing their annual Christmas show to drop by WVXU's Corbett Studio on November 30th for a visit with Elaine Diehl and a swingin’ take on an Irving Berlin classic Christmas song, "White Christmas."  Curly & the Q-Balls w

Holiday concerts are springing up around the city including a Nat King Cole Christmas at the Aronoff.  CCM will feature Gerald Arpino's Birthday Variations this week, and musician Will Downing will perform at the Freedom Center Friday night.

Lots of jazz shows around town, too, including Lynne Scott, the Brad Myers Trio, Mike Sharfe's Mambo Combo, & Mandy Gaines. 

There's a film coming to the University of Cincinnati's Mainstreet Cinema on Friday, November 30th, with  an important thesis which is that rock and roll was a contributing factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist party.  Cincinnati native Doug Yeager, one of the producers of the film, "Free to Rock," will be at the screening.  Doors open at noon, film begins at 1pm, Friday afternoon, November 30th, with a question and answer session with Doug Yeager immediately following.

During this one-hour special, Saturday evening, November 24th at 11pm on WVXU/WMUB, you'll hear a phone conversation recorded in WVXU's studio on November 1st with Brian O'Donnell and Doug Yeager.  Doug begins by sharing his memories of booking local acts in clubs in Europe, and then being one of the owners of the Reflections rock club at Vine & Calhoun in Clifton which opened in 1970.  They talk about some of the musicians who played there like Boz Scaggs, Seatrain, the Allman Brothers, YES, Long John Baldry, Edgar Winter & White Trash, Velvet Underground, Chuck Berry, Cheech & Chong, Martin Mull, Bonnie Raitt, Genesis, and Little Feat.  He said that The James Gang was the very first booking with opening act guitarist Sandy Nassan.  There are also stories about Popeye Maupin, how Pure Prairie League was signed to RCA, and trying to book Elton John. 

Then, Doug goes into detail about how the film, Free to Rock, was started and the long process to get music rights and interviews with folks like President Jimmy Carter, the Beach Boys, Billy Joel, and many, many others who appear in the film which airs on PBS stations through 2019.

Michael Wilson

This holiday week there are plenty of music opportunities throughout the Cincinnati area.  Ricky Nye's performing a number of concerts, the Bromwell Diehl Band have a lunchtime show at Christ Church Cathedral Tuesday; the Newbees &  the Psychodots are in concert Friday night, 11/23; Saturday night, Robin Lacy's Trio at Front Street Cafe, & it's Brews, Blues & BBQ at Christian Moerline Brewing Company.  Looking ahead, Chris Collier's back on stage at York Street Cafe, 12/7.  Steve Schmidt's announced dates for his annual Christmas Schmidtacular, 12/19-21, and Merlefest has firme

Rick Andress

We were thrilled when singer/songwriter Chris Collier dropped by the studio with George Cunningham from the Faux Frenchmen on Tuesday, November 13th, to talk with Elaine Diehl about her upcoming performance at the York Street Cafe on Friday, December 7th.  Greg Mahan will open the show.

Their conversation centered on Chris's return to York Street Cafe where she once played a monthly show to packed houses.  She said that this is the first time she’s performed with a full band in a very long time.  Chris also discussed what it was like to hear her own music interpreted by the talented musicians she works with including George Cunningham who came into the studio with her.  Other topics included her songwriting process, the need for music in the world, and her retirement from public education and how some of her former students impacted her life and also turn up in her songs.

Chris Collier and George Cunningham also performed the song, "Over the Moon," from her cd "Love Answers Loudly" which was released earlier this year in WVXU's studio.  Technical support was from Rick Andress.

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