Popular Northern Kentucky Ska/Reggae/Rock crew Duppy a Jamba is no more. But fans shouldn’t be too disappointed. The band announced, due to a creative shift in new material, though membership is essentially the same, it has changed its name to The Secret Six.
Cincinnati Blues foursome Cheryl Renee and Them Bones are back from the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where they came in third place in the "band" category. The group, competing against dozens of bands from around the world, won cash and other prizes for their impressive victory.
The local rockers of Wussy received some well-deserved “list love” at the end of 2009. A writer for the Patriot Ledger in Massachusetts named the band’s self-titled Shake It Records release (the band’s third) one of the Top 10 of last year, former Afghan Whigger Greg Dulli put it at No. 4 on his list and outlets from online ’zine Blurt to influential radio outlet KEXP also included them in Top 10s.
But Wussy’s most high-profile big-fan — legendary music journo Robert Christgau — gave the group even bigger props on his “Best of the Decade” list, putting the band’s debut Funeral Dress at No. 4 (between releases by Lil Wayne and Kanye West) and 2007’s Left for Dead at No. 14. (Check out Chistgau’s list here). Oddly, Wussy’s eponymous release didn’t make the cut (odd because it’s their best record to date). I’d vote for it to replace Lil Wayne (overrated!) at No. 3, but that’s just me.
The eerie humming sound that kicked off The Afghan Whigs' 1993 major label debut, Gentlemen (considered by many to be one of the best albums of the ’90s), sounded mysterious to those who’ve never visited Greater Cincinnati. But those in Northern Kentucky and Cincy knew that rhythmic buzzing wasn’t a swarm of bees or a loop of some old man snoring. To anyone who frequently traveled across the Roebling Suspension Bridge over the Ohio River, the sound was instantly recognizable as the sound created by the cars, buses and trucks driving across the bridge’s distinctive blue grating. So in some ways, it makes perfect sense that this year’s RoeblingFest, Saturday’s daylong celebration of the 155-year-old structure, is showcasing some high quality musical acts to enhance the festivities.
Indie/Psych Pop crew Elf Power will be screening Major Organ and the Adding Machine, an artsy, long-awaited film featuring numerous members of the influential Elephant 6 collective (a sort of less pretentious/glam version of Andy Warhol’s Factory, but with more of a music focus), before the band’s 12:30 a.m. performance on Sept. 25 at the Blue Wisp, part of the MidPoint Music Festival.
My insomnia was richly rewarded (finally!) Wednesday night when I caught the television premiere of Beastie Boys' very own Thriller mini-movie, Fight For Your Right Revisited, which features more top-shelf Hollywood celebrities than Elton John's Oscars party and is stupid-hilarious in that uniquely Beastie way. The creamy center of the film — written and directed by the trio's Adam "MCA" Yauch — is the new track "Make Some Noise" from the Beasties' forthcoming Hot Sauce Committee Part Two album, due May 3 (the official video for the song is a shortened version of the short film). For those who haven't seen it yet, the film will continue to be rolled out over the next week. Or you can take a peek below.
There’s a popular trend the past few years whereby popular musical acts perform their classic albums in full during a concert. Music festivals like Pitchfork have been the scene of many of these full album covers, and Rock & Roll weirdos The Flaming Lips are currently performing the album The Soft Bulletin on some summer tour dates.
The Lips are also covering another album on select tour dates … and it’s not even one of their own. The band’s version of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (recorded and released last year) will be performed in its entirety again when the group plays Red Rocks in Colorado early next month.
While not necessarily “weird,” when fans discovered that bad-ass, longtime local Blues artist Kelly Richey had started a side-business as a “life coach,” undoubtedly a few thought they misheard or misread. It’s not really a logical step from stunning Blues guitarist and vocalist to personal life coach for hire.
Likewise, when I first got an email about the new lineup of Richey’s band, I did a double take. Again, not that it was particularly unusual news — I just didn’t see it coming. (The music world could use a lot more moments like that.)
Joining Richey in the new version of KRB is experienced drummer Jyn Yates from Kentucky and Chris Sherman, the guiding force behind popular local Funk group Freekbass (and his new duo project, Freekbot).
While Sherman (who goes by his stage name, Freekbass) is best known for his huge Funk grooves, dabbling in modern EDM and rather flamboyant stage outfits at times, Richey’s sound skates the line between hard Blues and Rock; the most flash from her live shows come from out of her fingers as she plays and mouth as she sings.
On the surface, the pairing seems on par with Buckethead joining Bonnie Raitt’s band or Flea sitting in with Stevie Ray Vaughan. In other words, it should be quite interesting to hear what the trio comes up with. The first single, “Fast Drivin’ Mama,” offers a hint — the song is a rocking slice of riffing Blues Funk. It’s not drastically different from Richey’s usual sound, but the groove is appropriately huge.
Here's the debut single/video for "Mama":
The new KRB trio was assembled to record the next Kelly Richey Band album, which the musicians have been working on at Shangri-La Studios in Lexington, Ky. The album — Sweet Spirit — is scheduled for release March 1, followed by tour dates that will take them from Florida to Canada.
The trio’s debut show is Saturday in Northern Illinois (Mishawaka, to be exact), but local fans won’t have to wait long to check out the new KRB. The group performs on Jan. 11 at Legends Nightclub in Cheviot. Showtime is 8 p.m. and there is a $10 cover at the door.
The first time I heard Yo-Yo Ma was on the episode of West Wing when his White House performance triggered Josh Lyman’s PTSD. Obviously, this was a horrible first impression. It tainted my opinion of the cellist for nearly a decade. Recently, though, I’ve become rather fond of Mr. Ma. That fondness only multiplied when his new album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, found its way into my hands. A “goat rodeo” is a situation where a thousand things must come together and go perfectly in order for it to work. The album, a collection of Americana/Bluegrass works, must have felt like exactly that when Ma sat down and began collaborating with bassist Edgar Meyer, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile (Punch Brothers, Nickle Creek), and fiddler Stuart Duncan. The album contains only one song with vocals, sung by vocalist Aoife O’Donovan (who sounds a lot like Alison Krauss).
The Goat Rodeo Sessions is available for purchase now, but on Jan. 31, music fans across the country will have the chance to see it performed live.