Cincinnati's Smale Riverfront Park will be the place for music lovers the weekend of May 8-9 when The National presents their Homecoming festival featuring performances by Patti Smith, Sylvan Esso, Of Monsters and Men, and two different performance from The National. The National's drummer Bryan Devendorf talks with Elaine Diehl about this year's event and musical line-up.


The second half of Chamber Music Cincinnati's current season kicks off on January 28 with a concert by the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Music Hall. For more on this and the other upcoming presentations, board members Awadagin Pratt and Reuel Ash are in our studio with Elaine Diehl.

Cars have always been a popular subject for musicians, but do you have any idea how rich and prevalent that connection is? The folks at Digital Third Coast were curious so did a deep dive analysis and the results are fascinating. Host Lee Hay talks with Collin Czarnecki from Digital Third Coast about the premise, methodology, and results of this study.

This week on The Blues, Saturday night at 11pm, January 25th, the show begins with a song written by Jimmy Smith and performed by Joey DeFrancesco, "Bayou."  Songs by Ruth Brown and Hugh Laurie fill out that set.  

Music by Tony Joe White, Garland Jeffrys, Steely Dan, and Honey Island Swamp Band are included in the second set.  You'll hear music from Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Cyndi Lauper, and Peter Frampton in the third set.  And, the show ends with Delbert McClinton and Marcia Ball.  Delbert's coming to Ludlow Garage March 30th.

If you enjoy cover bands, a concert by The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute to the Beatles is coming to the Taft Theatre on Friday, February 21st.   

According to their press release, “The Emmy Award Winning Fab Four is elevated far above every other Beatles Tribute due to their precise attention to detail. With uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles' classics such as "Can't Buy Me Love," "Yesterday," "A Day In The Life," "Twist And Shout," "Here Comes The Sun," and "Hey Jude", the Fab Four will make you think you are watching the real thing… Their incredible stage performances include three costume changes representing every era of the Beatles ever-changing career, and this loving tribute to the Beatles has amazed audiences in countries around the world, including Japan, Australia, France, Hong Kong, The United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Brazil.”

Tickets are available at the Taft Theatre Box Office or Ticketmaster.

Rose Music Center website

Blues legend Buddy Guy and guitarist Jonny Lang will hit the road on a joint tour this summer. The tour will include a stop in Huber Heights, OH at Rose Music Center on Saturday, July 18th and the next night in Cincinnati, OH at PNC Pavilion on Sunday, July 19th.  Tickets for both shows go on sale to the public at 11am, Friday, January 24 at and  

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, on Saturday night, January 18th at 11pm on The Blues, you'll hear a conversation between Ron Esposito and Bruce Conforth, one of the authors of the book, "Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson." Their phone interview was recorded on June 12, 2019.

This book has been nominated for the Penderyn Music Book Prize, the only UK-based book prize specifically for music titles including history, theory, biography, autobiography now in its 6th year.  The 2020 award ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 29th.

During their conversation, Mr. Conforth stated that this book was a result of 100 years of combined research by both authors.  The book goes into a detailed account of the life of this mysterious bluesman who only recorded 29 songs during his career and passed away at the age of 27.

He said that nothing made it into this book until the fact had been verified several times through various means of documentation including census records, birth or death certificates, etc.

Helen Ward's You Can't Pull the Wool Over My Eyes," Steve Lawrence's "This Could Be the Start of Something" and Joe Gransden's "I've Got the World on a String."


Dr. Mark Lomax II is an innovator, composer, musician, percussionist, and storyteller who created and performs 400: An Afrikan Epic Suite, an 8 ½ hour journey through the African American experience since arriving on these shores. Dr. Lomax, from Columbus, Ohio, has been sharing his musical storytelling throughout the area in collaboration with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and joins Lee Hay to discuss the origin and creation of the piece.

This week on Swing with Bill Cartwright you'll hear Will Bradley's "Celery Stalks at Midnight," Dee Dee Bridgewater's "A Tisket, A Tasket" and Frank Sinatra's "Pennies From Heaven."

This week's blues show, Saturday, January 11th at 11pm, starts off with the Noah  Wotherspoon Band followed by music from Kurt Elling, Dave Frishberg, and Ann Chamberlain & Eddie Morgan.

The second set features Aretha Franklin, Charlie Musselwhite, Otis Redding, and Billie Holiday.  And, we'll end the show with songs from Leonard Cohen, Bobby McFerrin, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the Allman Brothers.

A great quote from Bobby McFerrin's website:  “Listening to Bobby McFerrin sing may be hazardous to your preconceptions.  Side effects may include unparalleled joy, a new perspective on creativity, rejection of the predictable, and a sudden, irreversible urge to lead a more spontaneous existence.”

This week on Swing with Bill Cartwright you'll hear Jimmie Lunceford's "Rhythm is Our Business," Ralph Flanagan's "Joshua" and Benny Goodman's "Somebody Stole My Gal."


Some may have forgotten but there was an influential Apple long before Steve Jobs and iPhones. Apple Records was the home of the Beatles for many years and one of the people who helped grow Apple into the force it became was musician-turned-executive Peter Asher

King Records: Cincinnati Legacy, is a five-part series hosted by Lee Hay and is produced to honor the label’s impact on Cincinnati and music.

The series includes interviews with former King musicians, music historians, and music fans. A roundtable discussion of King Records moderated by music journalist Larry Nager and including Otis Williams and the Charms (Jimmy Railey, J.J. Peterson, and Rufus Allen), session drummer Philip Paul and his wife Juanita, and vocalist Keith Little is also featured.

King Records: Cincinnati Legacy, Part I 

Guitarist Albert Lee's coming back to Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky, on Wednesday, January 8th.  Show starts at 8pm.

From England, Albert Lee joined Emmylou Harris's Hot Band in 1976, playing with Rodney Crowell and Ricky Skaggs.  In 1978, he started playing with Eric Clapton for 5 years.  A Grammy winner, he's also performed at a Crossroads Festival.  

This'll be an opportunity to see a musician who's played with musical legends for decades.

This week on The Blues, Saturday night, January 4th at 11:30pm, the show begins with George Thorogood & the Destroyers followed by Janiva Magness and Tommy Castro in the first set.  The second set features Thom Chacon, Chet Baker, Shemekia Copeland, and Little Feat.  During the rest of the program, you'll hear songs from Southern Hospitality, Sena Ehrhardt, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin and John Mayall.

This week on Swing with Bill Cartwright we ring in the new year with great tunes like Mills Brothers' "Paper Doll," Ralph Marterie's "Caravan" and Charlie Barnet's "Pompton Turnpike."


Noah Wotherspoon is one of the busiest blues musicians in the area and he recently spent some time with our Elaine Diehl to talk about his new music and touring. He also performs a couple of his songs, "Hip to Your Jive," and "Don't Let the Darkness."

It's a winter wonderland on this week's Swing with Bill Cartwright with Peggy Lee's "Winter Wonderland," Jack Jones' "Sleigh Ride" and Johnny Mercer's "Baby It's Cold Outside."