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 poet Francis Duggan called Death “The Great Equalizer.” No matter who you are, where you come from or what you believe, all of us will one day leave this existence.

Mike Oberst, one of the founding members of The Tillers, has released an 11- track solo album titled Six Feet Of Earth that examines that reality.

By combining traditional American and European folk songs with two original compositions - and an extraordinary Carole King cover, Mike explores themes that transcend our differences and finds those common bonds that define us all, ultimately, as human beings.

The movie, "The Mountain Minor," is coming to the Esquire Theatre on Thursday, October 17th and Sunday, October 20th at 7pm each evening.  There's a q&a session after each showing and an after party at Sitwell's on Thursday evening with live music, too.  The director, Dale Farmer, and two of the actor/musicians Ma Crow and Mike Oberst from the Tillers came into the studio this morning to talk about this film.

The film was shot in North Carolina for the most part with some scenes in Eaton, Oxford and the Southgate House Revival in Newport.  Dale cast real musicians for acting roles in this story about an Appalachian family who came to Cincinnati for jobs and brought their music with them.  The plot's based on Dale's grandparents' story which is also the story for many of us in the area.

The film's made the film festival route and has garnered awards, but Thursday night is the premiere of "The Mountain Minor" movie which resonates with those who have seen it to the point of bringing tears.  A dvd is in the planning stages.

The sound of Fickle Hellcat is best described as "Vintage Indie Rock," but the music created by Rachel Maxann, Mike Wiley and Paul Swabek comes from an enormous universe of influences.

Their self-titled debut album has just been released and I had the opportunity to sit down with lead singer Rachel Maxann to talk about where all of these songs come from; and how her travels around the globe have shapeed her and the songs she writes.

MOIRA: Demons + Daisies

Oct 4, 2019
moiraband.com

MOIRA is a 3-piece dream pop band with origins in Dayton, OH. Their new EP Demons + Daisies is a follow-up to their 2015 release entitled Asleep/Repeat/Awake.

The music of MOIRA is lovely combination of traditional and non-traditional instruments intertwined with samples and the haunting vocals of lead singer Alicia Grodecki.

I sat down with the members of the band to talk about the new EP, writing songs in the cold and bartering chicken-wrangling for rehearsal space.

Hissing Tiles: Boychoir

Sep 27, 2019

Frank Zappa once said, “You can't always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.”

This sentiment applies when you’re composing an entire album that tries to navigate the male archetypes in everyday life.

From social expectations about what it means to be a “real man,” to the ever-increasing presence of fascism and hate-groups in America, Hissing Tiles seeks to shine a light on the assumptions the pervade our culture and ask why they exist in the first place. Their new album Boychoir is dissonant, challenging and extraordinarily cathartic.

Freddie Meyer, the original drummer and singer of Ivan & The Sabers, a popular Ohio band in the early to mid-60s, later formed his own band Salvation & His Army (while studying TV production at UC).  Doug Yeager took the band to France in 1968 where Meyer became a star and protege of Brigitte Bardot.  He's lived in France the past 51 years.  Lee Hay recently spoke by phone with Freddie's longtime friend Doug Yeager about him.

Born without a leg above the knee, Freddie Meyer was the poster child of the company that manufactured artificial limbs in Dayton, Ohio.  While at UC, he helped engineers invent an artificial leg with a hydraulic pump, so he could get out from behind the drums and dance like James Brown.  That artificial leg became the model that everyone in the world would then use.  In Europe, he became known as the "white" James Brown.

Cheryl Renee dropped by WVXU's studio recently to talk about the Women of the Blues benefit concert at the Southgate House Revival on Sunday afternoon, September 29th from 2-6pm. This concert benefits Play It Forward which is a "Cincinnati-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping area musicians in times of critical need."  

Cheryl is a board member of Play It Forward and was asked to produce this concert.  She, along with a number of well-known Cincinnati musicians like Sweet Alice Hoskins and the Spear Shakers, will be performing that afternoon.  During our conversation, Cheryl talked about her musical roots, working out of town, her return to Cincinnati, and details of this benefit concert.

Chicago bluegrass band Cox's Army will pre-release their new album, "New Richmond Town," at the Front Street Cafe in New Richmond, Ohio, on Saturday evening, October 5th at 7pm.  The album's release date is planned for November, 2019.

According to their press release, "Cox's Army is a bluegrass band that performs classic and original material in the traditional style."  The band was founded in 2016 and is led by lead vocal/guitarist Chuck Cox who is a Cincinnati native.

The other band members include Laird Patten on banjo; Jeff Burke, mandolin/baritone vocals; and Jack Campbell, bass/tenor vocal.

From press release:

"Tommy Emmanuel is postponing his September 27th concert at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati to March 13, 2020.  Tommy is having a health issue that requires medical attention and rest. Tickets purchased will be honored for the new performance date on Friday, March 13th.

Tommy would like to thank his fans for the love and understanding, and he is truly sorry for any inconvenience. He looks forward to returning to the road soon."

Jorma Kaukonen was also on the bill with Tommy Emmanuel that evening.

Hyperstatic: Witness

Sep 20, 2019

After a 16-year waiting period, there was a good amount of buzz this Summer about the return of Hyperstatic - and rightly so. 

This old-school 3-piece indie-punk band brings everything you could want to the table and more. Sonically they connect with everything from King Crimson to Sonic Youth - and with Sammy McKee on drums, Mike Fair on bass and Brian Hoffman on guitar and vocals, they have the talent to bring it all together.

The release of their new 4-song EP Witness reminds us of why this music just sounds so good.

Michelle Mavrides

Shawn James will be on stage at the Southgate House Revival on Friday night, September 27th.  He recently spoke by phone with Elaine Diehl about his musical career.  James says that he's toured the USA & Europe and that he's put all his belongings in storage while he continues touring. 

The power of his music seems to appeal to folks all over the map...all age groups...no specific demographics.  James said that he's been obsessed with legends since he was a young boy, and they show up in his lyrics.  Orpheus is one of his favorites and opens his new album, "The Dark & the Light."

Shawn James is also excited to return to the Southgate House Revival and play in the room with stained glass windows.  The rest of his tour will be in the Midwest and then moving on to the West Coast.

The Washington Opera House in Maysville, Kentucky, is hosting award-winning Russian concert pianist Dina Ivanova on Thursday, September 19th at 7pm.  This concert is part of the John W. McNeill Memorial Music Series.  Dina Ivanova is a winner of the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition and will be performing works by Liszt, Rubinstein, Schubert, and Schumann during her performance.  

Melanie Davis: Allegoria

Sep 5, 2019

Melanie Davis is a wonderful singer-songwriter from Murray, KY whose writing is imbued with intense passion wrapped in beautiful harmonies.

She and her partner - Fate McAfee (Diesel Palomino) - are performing at Cincinnati’s Listing Loon on September 11 and I thought you might enjoy getting to know a bit more about her and her music.

Look for Allegoria by Melanie Davis to be released in early 2020.

Adam Chaffins' FB page

I got a press release a few days ago about a young musician, Adam Chaffins, who's getting some national attention recently.  He's been featured on NPR's World Cafe Nashville and as one of the best new artists playing AmericanaFest according to NPR City Scene.  Rolling Stone has also highlighted his song, I'm Over You, as one of the 10 Best Country and Americana Songs to Hear Now.  According to his press release, Chaffin's also come to the attention of one of my Nashville favorites, Buddy Miller.

So, Adam Chaffins will be on stage at Northside Tavern this Thursday, September 5th at 9pm and the following night, Friday, September 6th in his hometown, Louisa, Kentucky, for their SeptemberFest.  

Christ Church Cathedral website

Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. 4th Street in downtown Cincinnati, begins another season of Music Live & Lunch concerts this Tuesday, September 3rd from 12:10-1pm with guitarist James Meade.  The series runs through Tuesday, May 26th, 2020.

Associate Music Director Shiloh Roby recently spoke with Elaine Diehl about the series which began in 1971.  Roby has been running the series since 2010 with an aim to include as many musical genres as possible including jazz, bluegrass, world music, classical and even use the church's organ occasionally.  His goal is to have different performers each week, so that no two weeks in a row are the same genre.  

They're currently looking for volunteers to usher as well as help in the kitchen to help with the lunches which are available for purchase each Tuesday.  Music lovers may also bring their own lunches with them.

Riverbend. org website

Patty Smyth & her band Scandal will appear on PNC Pavilion's stage with Rick Springfield and Greg Kihn on Friday, September 6th at 7:30 which also features a pre-show wine tasting.  Smyth is replacing Eddie Money who cancelled his remaining tour dates due to pneumonia complications from a heart valve procedure and is also dealing with stage 4 esophageal cancer.  The tour will move up to Rose Music Center the next night, September 7th.

Elaine began their conversation mentioning that she saw Patty on tour with John Waite many years ago.  They discussed the members of her band, multi-generational fans, and a new recording that's coming out in January.  Patty also mentioned that she calls New York City home with her kids and husband tennis legend John McEnroe.  They also mentioned her self-titled 1992 album (that went gold), the song "Hands Tied," and covers of "Whole Lotta Love" and "Piece of My Heart" that she probably won't be performing this tour.

Joey Allcorn Music

Hank Williams recorded four songs in the Herzog Studios for MGM on August 30th, 1949.  In honor of the 70th anniversary of these recordings, a special concert has been planned in the Herzog Studios space where those recording sessions happened.  The Hank Williams Songwriter Showcase and 70th Anniversary of Hank Williams at Herzog event will happen on Friday, August 30th, from 7-11pm.

Bobby Mackey Talks Music And His Haunted Honky Tonk

Aug 23, 2019
Provided

Local country music legend and club owner Bobby Mackey is celebrating 41 years of his iconic, possibly haunted, country music honky tonk in Wilder, Kentucky. He's with our Elaine Diehl for some reminiscences and to talk about his latest single.

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.

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