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The New Ron Esposito CD Is Called Triad

Ron Esposito is a musician who plays a very old instrument. Singing bowls go back at least as far as the tenth century, and they continue to be used in monasteries and meditation centers. And there’s another place once can hear them nowadays: on television. That’s right, as Esposito’s singing bowl recordings have been played […]

Vote For Josephine!

Josephine is the daughter of some friends of mine who live in Northside and have some Clifton roots. Josephine is 21 months old, and after her mother posted a comment on Facebook encouraging people to vote for Josephine as the cutest kid in the Gerber Photo Search contest I thought, now that’s something I can get behind! […]

Dylan Wins A Prize

Word got out today that Robert Zimmerman won a big award, and everyone was talking about it both in cyberspace and real space, and along with the wows and the explanation points there were those who questioned the decision either because they thought Dylan was less than iconic or because lyric writers winning literary awards […]

University of Cincinnati Alumni Facebook Page

  A total of 6,351 people graduated from the University of Cincinnati in the spring of 2016. That’s a lot of people, and when you consider that was just one year, you realize that you could fill a city with all the people who have graduated from UC. Given those numbers, you would assume that […]

Big Fun (or “How I Evaded Security at Drake Stadium and Made Some Cool Friends”)

Watching the Olympics opening ceremony Friday night sparked memories for me of growing up in Des Moines. For track and field enthusiasts the Summer Olympics is the A#1 event for such activities. I was obsessed by all things sports-connected anyway, but having the Drake Relays in Des Moines (and the 48th Annual NCAA Track & […]

R.I.P. Patrick David

Clifton’s heart was broken this week when Patrick David, a long-term Gaslight Property employee, passed away unexpectedly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his widow and son. His niece, Melinda Watson, spoke for everyone who knew Patrick when she said, “He was happiest when he was helping other people. I can’t even emphasize how happy […]

New Nelson Slater News

It’s been awhile since we caught up with Nelson Slater; in fact, if memory serves, our last blog entry dates back to the release of his Steam-Age Time-Giant album. Turns out Nelson has another LP in the works, this project involving extensive collaboration with Tom Derwent, who’s worked with Nelson for a long time now. […]

Natural Disasters

One day a friend of mine was playing a record by Keith Jarrett called The Mourning of a Star. While the LP was playing I flipped the cover over to the back side, where I encountered a poem by a writer who I didn’t recognize. This was truly one of those times where a poem reached out […]

From Deep Inside the Forest

In early 2011 a business called Classical Glass moved from Main Street in Over-the Rhine to a new location. Shortly thereafter Mike Markiewicz showed me the space they’d left. Classical Glass was a studio as opposed to a storefront, and the room looked dirty, dark and dingy. I had a hard time imagining it being […]

Nelson Slater Playing Fries Cafe Saturday

On Saturday (8/10) Nelson Slater will be performing at Fries Cafe in Clifton. As I reported in a recent blog entry, Nelson just released a new album on vinyl that is a long-awaited follow-up to Wild Angel, which was produced by his old college friend and bandmate, Lou Reed. This is one those shows that should “bring […]

Remembering JJ Cale

After guitarist, songwriter and vocalist JJ Cale passed away a few days ago, memories started popping up of a musician who, in his own understated, behind-the-scenes, low-profile way left a big mark on music.  Yesterday I typed up some of those memories and sent them to a website I’ve never submitted to before – […]

The Words and Voice of Aralee Strange

Over two decades ago Tom Kellerman opened a used bookstore near the post office in the Gaslight District of Clifton. His idea was to create a store that was more than just a store—he was picturing a place where people would mingle and drink coffee and have literary readings and sit in a corner and […]

iswhat?! Album Release Party at MOTRPub NEXT MONTH

PLEASE NOTE: I HAD THE WRONG DATE FOR THE ISHWAT SHOW, IT’S NEXT MONTH, SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION This Friday 4/19 On Friday, May 17 the hip-hop band iswhat?! will have an album release party at MOTRPub. The new release is called things that go bump in the dark, and it is available on both CD […]

Nelson Slater Album Release Party Friday at Daniels Pub!

It was twenty years ago today that Nelson Slater first spoke to me about releasing his follow-up to Wild Angel, an LP that came out on RCA in 1976. I’m happy to report that the album has now appeared; it’s called Steam-Age Time Giant, and it came out (as should every album) on vinyl. Here’s […]

Kenny Poole, Guitarist

My article in Cincinnati Magazine’s April issue covered lots of ground—decades, actually, but the connecting thread was a band that in 1968 started performing at a club in Mt Adams six nights a week and remained at that location for about a year. The name of that band was the Sound Museum, and it was […]

Grodeck Whipperjenny

A few days ago an article I wrote appeared in Cincinnati Magazine. The piece focused on a slice of Cincinnati musical history that wove together so many styles it would be impossible to say which genre was at the root of it all. It’s a story of a jazz group that ended up morphing into […]

William Ackerman Interview in The Absolute Sound

I began writing for a magazine called The Absolute Sound about five years ago. For those of you who haven’t heard of The Absolute Sound (hereafter referred to as TAS), it was founded in 1973. Primarily TAS focuses on audiophile stereo equipment; it also contains a music section, and I publish reviews, interviews and feature […]

Annette Shepherd, Eclectic Torch Pop Singer

For the first time ever I stepped foot in The View Cucina Friday night, and as soon as I walked in I thought, why haven’t I come here before? A lounge-y kind of cocktail-y vibe quickly came over me, to the point where I half-expected Dean Martin or Julie London to come peeking out from behind […]

Guitarist Peter Banks Passes Away

Today I learned that Peter Banks, the original guitarist for Yes, passed away a few days ago. Because Banks belonged to Yes before The Yes Album, their first big-seller, he’s not nearly as well-known as his successor, Steve Howe. A musical footnote he is not, however, as I learned when, ages ago, I purchased a […]

400 Years of What

Had some fun this weekend, starting with a visit to Aquarius Star’s Om Cafe Friday night, where the free menu party was packed.                     For a quick update to some of the new things happening at Aqaurius Star Om Cafe, here’s a link to a recent […]

Marty Balin Coming to Town (Part 2)

After Bathing at Baxter’s was the album where the Jefferson Airplane broke the mold. After two relatively homogeneous records that built a large following, they proceeded to enter a laboratory and experiment (in more ways than one). Progress was slow, and there was a lot of knob-twisting while record execs wondered what the hell was going on […]

Marty Balin Coming to Town (Part 1)

I just found out today that Marty Balin from the Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship will be playing at the Fairfield Arts Center next Saturday, March 2, at 8 pm. The Center is located at 411 Wessel Drive; tickets are $40 orchestra/$35 stadium; you can buy them by phone (513.867.5348), in person at the center, […]

The Torch Singer From Down the Street

While passing Hughes High School and the University of Cincinnati, few people are aware that one of the great torch singers attended both of those schools. Probably few of the students know, either. But along with being one of the most famous jazz singers during the Jazz Age, Libby Holman was involved in a scandal […]

Makin Heads Turn Salon in the Gaslight District

For the past few weeks this blog has focused a lot on new businesses popping up in the Gaslight District, some of which are slightly off the beaten path – and that also describes the new Makin Heads Turn Salon. Its address is 3307 Clifton Avenue, but if you’re walking down Clifton you won’t see […]

Subscribe, Subscribe!

I’ve been writing this blog for about a year now. Rather than run out of ideas,  I’m just scratching the surface. Mostly I try to focus on small businesses and creative types in the core of city (Clifton, Northside, Over the Rhine, downtown, etc.) with particular emphasis on spreading the word about people who are […]

New Nelson Slater LP Out on Vinyl!

Last night my friend Nelson Slater dropped by accompanied by his loyal and sometimes cantankerous canine Riley Martin. The three of us chilled out and played records, which is nothing new, except this time something special was on the turntable. More than 35 years have passed since Nelson released his first LP, Wild Angel. The record […]

The New iswhat?! Album is Called things that go bump in the dark

things that go bump in the dark is the new full-length release by Cincinnati’s iswhat?!, a hip-hop band that has toured the US and Europe and performed with major jazz artists, among them Archie Shepp, Oliver Lake and Hamid Drake. It’s a fine record, and I’m happy to report that, along with being available as […]

Brian Kelly Receives His Comeuppance

Not so long ago a Great American by the name of Bill Cunningham placed a curse upon Brian Kelly, once the coach of the UC Bearcats football team, and we all know why that curse was placed. Many of us wondered when the curse was going to kick in. During his first season as the […]

Don’t Forget Renter’s Insurance!

  Because this blog is connected with a rental company, I sometimes address issues renters face. Recently I decided to track down an old friend in order to ask her about something you might not think about when you rent, but you should. Renter’s insurance doesn’t cost a lot, and that’s especially true when you […]

Charlie Wilson and King Reeves at the Greenwich Tavern Sunday, December 30

At 8:00 p, Sunday, December 30, The Greenwich Tavern will host an evening of music featuring two acts that are some of the best jazz musicians in the city. The opening act, the very talented jazz  and lovely April Alosio, has been around long enough to have an album out on vinyl (I know, because […]

A New James Brown Biography

I recently finished RJ Smith’s The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, and the impression I came away with was that by the time JB’s first single came out every day of his life was action packed. In fact, I would guess that some days contained so many plots and sub-plots an entire […]

Want to Learn an Instrument? Try The Music Salon

PLEASE NOTE: Sean McGary, owner of the Music Salon, recently announced that The Music Salon recently moved to Silverton, next door to the DrumCenter of Cincinnati.  I’ll have more details soon, but in the interim I recommend calling the same number as before – 859.444.6231 – to look into music lessons. The Music Salon / 859.444.6231 […]

A Nice Rendition of a Classic Christmas Carol

This blog entry is quite simple: it consists of one song that I would like you to hear. It is performed by a friend of mine, Jeff King. He’s playing, on mandolin, an old Christmas carol, “Go Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.” Before he moved off to rural pastures Jeff was quite active musically in Cincinnati. […]

Ready to Take a Vacation? Give Suzanne Sanchez a Call

Call me old-fashioned, but when I make travel plans my first choice would be meeting with a travel agent in person. That may sound pie-in-the-sky in this era when so much is done digitally, but as it turns out there’s a travel office located in the heart of the gaslight district, on Ormond Avenue between […]

Wolverton Brothers at MOTRPub Friday, October 26

The Wolverton Brothers are playing at MOTRPub in Over-the-Rhine this Friday, October 26. You seldom get a chance to see the Wolvertons these days—one or two gigs a year, I’m thinking—but their live performances are still as absorbing as when they were regulars at the now-deceased Sudsy Malone’s or The Metro. In fact, their music has […]

A Conversation with Bill Frisell

Last night was one of those kismet nights where things fall into place at the last minute. Everything went right, except for that point in the evening that mattered most, which was a brief conversation I had with one of the best guitarists in the world. Oh well. I was downtown on business yesterday afternoon/early […]

Catching Up With Bassist Chris Dahlgren

  When I first saw jazz bassist Chris Dahlgren perform both of us were living in Cincinnati. He was clearly quite versatile, working in numerous settings and in different genres, although I always thought of him as a jazz musician first and foremost.  I saw Chris perform several times back then and heard about many […]

Blues Merchants Return with Tattoed with the Blues

Blues music is tricky. We’ve all been to shows where blues artists tear through a set like nobody’s business, yet when you get home and listen to their albums their recordings don’t do them justice. Somehow the energy that comes through when a fired-up audience is on hand up just doesn’t translate to the studio. […]

Did You Know About This Recording Studio?

I dropped by to see my friend Lou Lausche the other day. Along with being a bass player who’s been involved in countless jazz sessions in Cincinnati and elsewhere, Lou also, it turns out, has a recording studio names Lausche Recording Studios on Winton Road. It’s interesting just how much much memorable music has been […]

A Busy Day at the Blue Wisp

It’ll be a busy day today at the Blue Wisp, with Carmon DeLeone’s New Studio Big Band performing at 3 pm and Andrea Cefalo at 7:30. I’m a fan of both, and I interviewed both. Recently I embarked upon an article focusing on a musician named David Matthews, who lived in Cincinnati for about ten […]

Interview with Andrea Cefalo; She’s at the Blue Wisp Sunday Evening

  Recently I wrote, for a magazine, a lengthy feature article on female jazz vocalists from around the world, not so much the famous ones but good ones, many of them up and coming. Writing the article entailed, in part, contacting record companies in America and abroad and encouraging them to send me all the […]

Lisa Biales Interview; She’s Playing Seasongood Pavilion This Friday

This Friday, June 27, at Seasongood Pavilion in Eden Park, a free concert will take place as part of the Edensong series. The artists performing that night will be Lisa Biales, Neil Jacobs, Noah Wotherspoon & Jessi Bair, The Tillers and Ricky Nye. The show starts at 8 pm and ends at 10 pm—and make […]

DC Rock Live: A Unique Music Blog (Part 2)

By itself attending two hundred concerts a year is a lot, and reviewing all those shows, opening acts included, takes us well beyond the realm of casual listener. During the second part of my interview with Dave Hintz, who lives in Washington DC and whose website DC Rock Live is devoted to the concerts he […]

DC Rock Live: A Unique Music Blog (Pt. 1)

  College is supposed to be place where, when you go there, you’re exposed to interesting ideas and cultural events and all kinds of mind-blowing music, and for that reason I was shocked to learn during my freshman year at Miami University that the standard musical diet was so middle-of-the-road blah that I threatened to […]

Roland Kirk on WMKV Sunday, July 1 at 10:00 PM

Even Rahsaan Roland Kirk fans who live in Cincinnati are often unaware of his connection he had with this city. During a recent talk at MotrPub, Jim Tarbell mentioned that he used to see a blues band downtown that had in its horn section Roland Kirk. Local jazz artists Ron Enyard and Charlie Wilson have […]

Meet Charlie Wilson, A Kick-Ass Jazz Pianist

Part of the process of becoming a jazz musician is learning the technical side of a genre that’s extremely demanding. There’s something else, though, something inside you, something intangible but real—and whatever that is, Charlie Wilson has it, and so does his partner in crime, King Reeves. The two of them will be performing duets […]

Meet Carmen Bowen Bush, An Artist

  A few days ago I received a call from a friend who had lost my number but who ran into another friend who did have my number, which came as a great relief to Friend #1 because he wanted desperately for me to make it over to the place where a number of old […]

John Ray Is a Rock Star

In a recent blog I discussed how I sought out music that challenged me, and apparently I feel same way about drama, because I was quite fond of The Sweet, Burning Yonder by John Ray. Yes, he had given me a synopsis of the play, and yes, I read the program before the performance, but knowing what […]

A Brilliant Pianist

Charlie Wilson is a pianist who lives in Cincinnati and plays out on a rare occasion, usually in the company of King Reeves, an equally talented vibraphonist. Sometimes the two of them work as a duet and sometimes they expand the lineup to a quintet. Decades ago, while he was living in California, Charlie played […]

Nelson Slater Pays a Visit

I had a nice visit today with Nelson Slater, who dropped by to trade two LPs of particular interest to me for a box of 45s of particular interest to him. If you don’t know Nelson, he’s a fellow Cliftonite who has done contract work for Gaslight Property. Nelson attended Syracuse University in the early 1960s, where […]

Willy and Haneef: Street Musicians Extraordinaire

You may have caught wind of the fact that UC beat Syracuse in the Big East semifinal game; there may even be a reader or two who watched the game on TV. I caught bits and pieces toward the end, but it happened to be taking place during a phase of the day when cabin […]