Music

It's always a delight to have local blues pianist Ben Levin come into the studio and not only talk about his career, but also perform on the grand piano in WVXU's Corbett Studio.  Ben sat down with me to catch up on Tuesday, December 3rd, and chat about how he feels about playing in Cincinnati clubs while going to school.  We discussed upcoming gigs at Mansion Hill Tavern (12/21 from 8pm-midnight) and BrewRiver Creole Kitchen (12/27 from 7-10pm).  

Ben also shared the details of being included on Joe Bonamassa's "Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea II" Mediterrean cruise this summer (8/14-19) with stops in Barcelona, Spain; Genoa, Italy; and Cannes, France.  The story behind his new single, "Forgot Mrs. Claus," is fun, and Ben was delighted that it has had more than 60,000 hits online so far.  He also mentioned accepting the CEA award for Ricky Nye recently.

And then, the magic happened in our Corbett Studio when Ben sat down at the grand piano and performed "Come On Take a Little Walk With Me."  

The rest of this week's blues show, Saturday, December 14th at 11pm, is a potpourri of Christmas tunes starting with Aaron Neville, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Koko Taylor, and Lonnie Brooks in the second set. Then you'll hear "Carol of the Bells" by the Marcus Roberts Trio, Houston Person, Joey DeFrancesco, and BB King in the third set.  And rounding out this program is holiday music from Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, the Goshorn Brothers, and Tuck Andress's "Little Drummer Boy." 

This week's blues show, Saturday, December 7th at 11pm, starts off with Ernestine Anderson and the Monty Alexander Trio followed by the Blind Boys of Alabama and "Christmas Prayer" by Aaron Neville.  The Blind Boys of Alabama are playing Lexington next Wednesday night, December 11th.

You'll hear Hugh Laurie, Birthday Boy Tom Waits, Vinx, and Chet Baker in the second set.  And, the show ends with Joey DeFrancesco, Houston Person's "Santa Baby," and Ruth Brown.   Hugh Laurie's coming back to American television in an HBO series,"Avenue 5," next month.

We're getting into the holiday spirit on Swing with Bill Cartwright with Benny Goodman's "Winter Weather," Joe Gransden's "It's Beginning to Look at Lot Like Christmas," Frank Sinatra's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and Manhattan Transfer's "A Christmas Love Song."

I was saddened to get a call this morning from Jimmy Railey, one of James Brown's Famous Flames, whose daughter was killed this past weekend.  Donna Railey was killed crossing Reading Road this past Saturday, November 30th.  Visitation is from 10:00 am until 11:00 am, on  Saturday, December 14, 2019, at the Walker Funeral Home - Walnut Hills Chapel, 2625 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati  (45206).   The funeral service will immediately follow the visitation beginning at 11:00

This special episode of Swing with Bill Cartwright commemorates the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

You'll hear popular songs from WWII, including "Any Bonds Today," "When the Lights Go On Again All Over the World," "You Can't Say No to a Soldier," "Rosie the Riveter," "Comin In on a Wing and a Prayer," "G.I. Jive," Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B," "I'll Be Seeing You," "Bell Bottom Trousers," "I Don't Want to Walk Without You," "No Love, No Nothin," "I Left My Heart at the Stagedoor Canteen," "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" and the unforgettable "They're Either Too Young or Too Old."

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Cincinnati's No Promises Vocal Band is ready to kick off their schedule of Christmas performances around the area. Members Nat Comisar, Josh Steele, and David Baum, along with the other five members of the group, join Elaine Diehl in our Corbett Studio for a conversation about singing, choosing songs for this tour, and a performance of Joni Mitchell's "River."

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The local choral music group known as Cincinnati Camerata is putting the finishing touches on their annual Marian Concert, presenting sacred works in sacred spaces. Their artistic director, Trevor Kroeger, joins our Suzanne Bona to preview Cincinnati Camerata's two "Mystical Rose" concerts.

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The Fillmore Wind Band is Cincinnati's official wind band and is comprised of professional and semi-professional musicians from around the area. They have been invited to perform at New York City's Carnegie Hall in May, so their upcoming Christmas concert will help fund that trip. Stewart Blatt, President of the band, and Assistant Conductor Avious Jackson join Lee Hay with more on their December 7 concert featuring special guest emcee, Nancy James.

The holiday weekend edition of The Blues begins with The Goshorn Brothers, John Mayall, Garland Jeffreys, and Van Morrison.  The second set features music from Branford Marsalis/Joe Louis Walker and George Thorogood & the Destroyers.  You'll hear from Delbert McClinton, Johnny Adams, Phoebe Snow, and Linda Tillery & the Cultural Heritage Choir in the third set.  And, the show ends with the gospel sounds of the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Fairfield Four.

Concert notes...Ricky Nye's playing with Chris Douglas 12/1 at MOTR Pub, and Ben Levin will be perform at the Brew River Creole Kitchen on Eastern Avenue on 12/5.

All performances will be in the Jarson-Kaplan Theater at the Aronoff Center for the Arts. 

Ticket information

This week on Swing with Bill Cartwright you'll hear Harry James' "Shiny Stockings," Lionel Hampton's "Red Top" and Judy Garland's "Almost Like Being in Love."

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It's going to be a cowboy and cowgirl Christmas party on December 4 when musical duo The Farmer & Adele moseys over to Newport's Southgate House Revival with local favorite Mike Oberst. Grace Adele and Kennan Wade spend a few minutes with our Elaine Diehl to talk about their music and the idea for this family-friendly holiday concert.

The week on The Blues, you'll hear the Kris Barras Band from the UK, Ronnie Woods from his Chuck Berry tribute album, and the Nick Moss Band who's up for a Grammy in the Traditional Blues Album category. Curtis Salgado & Alan Hager finish out the first set. The second set features the Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Tedeschi Trucks bands, plus Charlie MusselwhitePeter Frampton's "The Thrill is Gone" begins the last set followed by the Blind Boys of Alabama, Mavis Staples, and Johnny Adams.

Video - The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band - "Blue on Black

Elaine Diehl spoke by phone with singer/songwriter Livingston Taylor on November 14th about his upcoming concert at the 20th Century Theater on December 4th.  He's also been teaching at the Berklee College of Music for 30 years.

This week on Swing with Bill Cartwright we'll warm up ypour weekend with Steve Lawrence's "Baby, It's Cold Outside," Diane Schuur's "Come Rain or Come Shine" and Les Brown's "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm."

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Singer/songwriter and unique instrumentalist Matt Venuti returns to Cincinnati for a November 30 performance at the Center for Spiritual Living. He joins our Ron Eposito by phone to talk about his music, his fascination with instruments like the Hang, and his life on the road as a traveling musician.

Ambriehl Crutchfield / WVXU

Cincinnati may not be top of mind when people think of innovative hip-hop music, but some local artists are hoping to change that with "Thrive," a series that celebrates the local hip-hop scene.

This week's blues show, Saturday night, November 16th at 11pm, starts off with two songs from the opening night of Chicago's House of Blues in 1996 with the Blues Brothers.  You'll also hear songs in the show by the Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, and Nina Simone.

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