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.

There’s a free event for musicians this Saturday, August 24th from noon to 3pm to recycle and replace their instruments’ strings with new D’Addario NYXL or Nickel Bronze Acoustic strings.

The event will be held at Third Rock Music Center at 1232 Eight Mile Road.  Old strings collected during the event will be recycled through Playback, D’Addario’s national recycling program.   For more information, call Third Rock Music Center at 513-843-5739.

Elementz, a Cincinnati-based urban arts organization - with the help of ArtsWave - is producing their first ever concert series for the community focused on music and spoken word from the local Hip Hop community. The series is called THRIVE - A Celebration of Hip Hop Music & Culture.

The first of these four events entitled HipART will take place Thursday, September 19 at the Woodward Theate. HipART performances will explore themes of personal growth, adulting and continuing to pursue dreams at every stage of life.

BeWILDerFest 2019

Aug 15, 2019

The eclectic and mesmerizing BeWILDerFest returns to Urban Artifact for its 4th year on August 23 & 24, 2019.

Hosted on three stages over two days, this years’ lineup of musicians includes many local favorites as well as great regional and nationally-know acts such as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Zach Deputy and Screaming Females.

Jack Burton Overdrive has recently released their second album, Happy To Be Here. This album, a follow-up to 2015's Tarbell Street, is a more experimental project with more collaborations, but still guided by the trusting hand of Ben Cochran of Soap Floats Recording Studios.

The members of the band stopped by the WVXU studios to play two songs from the new album and to talk about the band, the new record and some of the stories behind the songs.

We were delighted when Ben Levin came into our Corbett Studio this morning along with his friend, Takuto Asano from Japan, who plays guitar.  I asked them about their friendship and their upcoming concerts with Ben's trio later this week.  They performed "Key to the Highway" while in the studio.  (Technical assistance from Rick Andress, engineer.)

Takuto also mentioned that he is taking intensive English courses in New Orleans and decided to fly into Cincinnati a week early to spend some time with Ben and perform with the trio.  He also told me that he had been lucky enough to attend this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The Ben Levin Trio will be performing at Latitude's Bar & Bistro in Anderson Township from 6-9pm, Thursday, August 8, and the next night, Friday, August 9, from 7-10pm at the Brew River Creole Kitchen in the Columbia Tusculum area.

I don’t know much about Mike Montgomery’s childhood, but I imagine it included a lot of people telling him that he can’t make a career out of punk rock and skateboarding - but that’s pretty much exactly what he’s done.

Riverbend. org website

Jonny Lang recently spoke with Ron Esposito in advance of his performances at PNC Pavilion, 8/9, and Rose Music Center, 8/10, along with JJ Grey and Mofro along with Marc Broussard.  Lang discussed his guitars including playing Duane Allman's Les Paul on his new album,

Doug Yeager Archives

We're hoping to set up an interview for Around Cincinnati with Sandy Nassan who'll be performing at the Ludlow Garage's 50th Anniversary Celebration in Eden Park on Saturday, August 17th.  So, I reached out to Doug Yeager for his contact information since they're good friends, and Doug sent me this 1970 concert poster of Sandy's appearance at the Reflections nightclub at the corner of Calhoun and Vine Streets in Clifton.  That was a great venue!!  I drove up with friends from Morehead to see the Allman Brothers there with Duane.  It's an empty lot now, but what great memories for those of us lucky enough to hear great musicians who played there.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band is bringing their Wheels of Soul tour to PNC Pavilion on Friday, July 19th and to the Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Saturday, July 20th.  Both shows start at 7pm.  Opening acts are Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope.  I spoke by phone yesterday with guitarist Derek Trucks about the Tedeschi Trucks Band's new album, Signs, and also about their Wheels of Soul tour. 

Cincinnati Opera

Get to know Evans Mirageas, the Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Opera since 2005.

Evans tells his own story and previews the Cincinnati Opera's 100th anniversary. He also discusses the balancing act between new and experimental and standard audience favorites, taking opera to exciting new venues, the collaboration with our CSO and student singers from CCM, and finally, what’s to come for Cincinnati Opera.

From the band's website

During this conversation  Yemi Oyediran, jazz trumpeter John Zappa discusses his musical background including working with various musicians who went on to play with prominent players like David Bowie, James Brown, and David Sanborn.  Some of the bands he's performed with include the Psychoacoustic Orchestra, the Blue Wisp Big Band, Rich Uncle Skeleton, and Tropicoso.  Zappa also teaches at CCM and NKU.

Yemi Oyediran asked John Zappa about the inspiration for his band's self-titled album, Now Hear This, some of which came from a trip to France and an introduction to an afro-beat sound.  Zappa also talks about each band member's background as well as some of the songs on the album.

The cd release party for their new cd, Now Hear This, will be at The Greenwich, 2442 Gilbert Avenue, on Friday evening, June 21st.  

Marc Cohn will join the Blind Boys of Alabama who'll be performing on stage the evening of June 19th beginning at 7pm at the Rose Music Center at the Heights along with the Robert Cray Band and Shemekia Copeland.  I recently spoke with Marc Cohn about this appearance.

During our conversation, he said that Shemekia Copeland will open the show with a 20-minute set, and  he'll be performing with the Blind Boys of Alabama , and the Robert Cray Band will also perform their set.  Cohn also mentioned that he and the Blind Boys of Alabama have recorded an album, Work To Do, that will be coming out in August.  He shared that he'll be playing both a guitar and piano during the show, but mostly the piano.  The guitar he'll have with him is a vintage Gibson from the 60's he found in a secondhand shop in Chelsea.  I also asked him about the non-profit organization, Love Rocks, which he supports and is a board member of.  

Michael McDonald has a tour planned this summer with Chaka Khan, and they'll be on stage together at Rose Music Center at the Heights in Huber Heights on Thursday, June 20th at 7pm.  During his conversation with Elaine Diehl, he said that he and Chaka Kahn plan on rehearsing a couple of days in Detroit before going out.  The plan is for a set each with their own bands, then together, and maybe a song in each other's set, but they're still figuring it out. And, he also said that he'd probably perform 2 or 3 songs from his new album, Wide Open.

His new album, Wide Open, features original music and is first studio album in over 9 years.  Branford Marsalis, Robben Ford, and Warren Haynes are some of the musicians who helped out with this project.  McDonald said every musician he approached jumped on board.

Chaka Khan is a 10-time Grammy winner with 22 albums, and Michael McDonald has 5 Grammys and is known for recording with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers. 

Lonesome Miles is the latest album by country-rock masters Root Cellar Xtract. The band’s mission is to continue the Laurel Canyon music tradition that gave us such artists as The Eagles, Pure Prairie League, Buffalo Springfield, Canned Heat, Jackson Browne and many more.

Lonesome Miles is a follow-up to their 2017 album Rear-View Mirror Eyes and clearly demonstrates the band’s fellowship as well as their individual virtuosity. It also provides an excellent compare-and-contrast reference for how the band has developed and grown over the past few years.

Arlington Memorial Gardens website

If you'd like to take your family out for an evening of music, you might want to pack up a picnic basket along with a blanket or folding chairs, and head to Arlington Memorial Gardens for their Second Sunday Summer Concert Series on June 9th (Forever Diamond), July 14th (2nd Wind), and August 11th (Blue Stone Ivory).  Concerts begin at 7pm.

Elaine Diehl spoke with Dan Applegate about the series in WVXU's studio on Tuesday, May 28th.  Their conversation included many of the details, like who'll be performing, parking, pet friendly, and a food truck will be there along plus many other topics.


This is Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra's 45th anniversary this year, and recently music director Eckart Preu spoke with Elaine Diehl about this summer's Summermusik Festival.  The festival runs from August 3rd - 24th at various locations around the city.  This series is sure to sell out, so if you're planning to attend any of the concerts, you might want to order your tickets soon.

Comprador: Important

May 21, 2019

Comprador’s third album Important is a surreal adventure that balances original music with both subtle and overt musical homages. The subject matter of the album ranges from the apocalyptic to the irrational. It is simultaneously a strange amalgam of solo compositions by Charles D'Ardenne and beautifully-intertwined guest appearances.

All the while, Important is loosely based on the exploration into “the abject horror of internet dating in 2018.”

I sat down with Charles D'Ardenne in the studio to talk about Important, the challenges of performing Comprador’s music in a live setting and why this is probably the last Comprador album we’ll see in Cincinnati for a good, long time.

In February 2017, award-winning composer, writer, vocalist and hip-hop performance artist, Napoleon Maddox (IsWhat?!), was commissioned by Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center to create a new work as part of their Black Box series.

The Devil Makes Three band, an Americana/bluegrass trio, is bringing their unique sound to Moonlite Gardens at Coney Island on Wednesday, May 15th at 8pm.  Elaine Diehl spoke with band member Pete Bernhard by phone from Vermont on May 7th.

Their conversation included what the live album recording process was like, their writing process, tour stops, their advice to young bands, plus much more.  The band's spring tour is in support of their recent release, Chains Are Broken, which according to their press release, "...debuted in the Top 10 Bluegrass Album Charts..."


Not many people would trust a tarot card reading they bought with a Groupon, but for a musician like Wonky Tonk, it just seems to resonate with that special part of who she is and where she finds herself on her journey.

A tireless performer and songwriter, Wonky Tonk is preparing to release her second full-length album, Lessons Not Lovers, this summer.

It took some relentless pursuit, but after a few years of trying, I was finally able to get her to sit still long enough to spend some time with me in the studio. As we sat down together, I wasn't sure where our conversation would go, and though I resisted asking about "being a girl in a band," it just naturally went in that direction. I found myself fascinated by her stories, her view on music, life, and everything.

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