Local Exposure

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Softstone Hearts describe their music as "Indie Pop Rock (with Lots of Cello.)"

Longtime friends Chase Jeffries and Lisa Newell started the band, which included Abby Depp to round out the vocal harmonies and provide keys and saxophone, in 2018. With the addition of Tom Harlan on drums and John Botter on bass, they gained not only a rhythm section, but additional tools for songwriting, recording and production.

When they went into Marble Garden studio to record their EP, String Or a Bow, they met up with CCM cello student Chris Park who quickly became a permanent member of the band.

Imagine that you have years of experience behind the bar at a club that celebrates uniquely-crafted cocktails. Add to that over 60 years of rock-n-roll and rhythm & blues history, a dash of funk, a twist of serendipity, garnish with spontaneity and serve super-cool.

Now you have the recipe for Rocktails - a new compendium of concoctions by local musicians Kristen Kreft (The Perfect Children) and Mayalou Banatwala (Heavy Hinges).

NXNS - North By Northside

Apr 25, 2019

50 musical acts at 7 venues over a 2-day period.

That is exactly what you can experience at the North By Northside festival --- happening this Memorial Day weekend.

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.

Andy Gabbard, frontman for the band Buffalo Killers has a brand new solo project he’s put out, called Strawberry Tapes - in which he explores a wide array of new territory, both musically and thematically.

From beginning to end, Gabbard has taken complete control of the creation of Strawberry Tapes with the intention of having noone to answer to but himself.

Mark Messerly: Inert

Oct 9, 2018

Mark Messerly has been a key figure in the Cincinnati music scene for quite some time - known both as a member of Wussy as well as for his long-time partnership with Brian Ewing.

Messerly’s newest project, called INERT is anything but.

Local heavy-rock icons Electric Citizen are about to release their 3rd album Helltown on RidingEasy Records.

Helltown, in a way, provided the band with a way forward by taking a small step back - and continues to strengthen their great working relationships with their label and with noted musician, engineer and producer, Brian Olive.

Bradford Jones

In this episode we re-visit an interview I did in 2015 with David Lowery and Johnny Hickman from the band Cracker.

David & Johnny stopped by the WVXU studios to talk about the band, its longevity, the music industry and to play a few songs prior to their show at The Southgate House Revival.

Photo by Brian Mahar

Lung has just returned from an extensive tour and I was fortunate enough to get time with them before the release of their new album All The King’s Horses.

Kate Wakefield & Daisy Caplan joined me to play two songs - one of which is not yet released.

Dispatch From America, Location 12

Sep 5, 2018

Colorado-based Dispatch formed in 1996 and became one of the most successful Indie bands ever, jokingly called “the biggest band nobody’s ever heard of!”

If not having a website for your band makes you part of the underground, then Sweet Pablo is the next big thing in Cincinnati’s subterranean culture.

On September 29, Her Royal Airship Ashanti and the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance will be hosting a jazz concert at Withrow High School to celebrate 20 years of the popular anime series, Cowboy Bebop.

The concert also benefits Melodic Connections an organization dedicated to teaching people with special needs through the power of music.

jimpelz.com

Jim Pelz is a prolific country-rock songwriter and performer who, when he’s not playing solo or with his band, Hickory Robot, is sitting in with other bands like Root Cellar Xtract.

Lately, he has collaborated with some great musicians to form yet another band called The Firewalkers to record an album that is a follow-up to his 2015 release, Loser Angels.

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