Best Of 2018

The concept of and uses for a record label have changed in the digital music era. But for a while now, several indie labels in Greater Cincinnati have been succeeding in different ways by becoming cultural curators of the local music scene, presenting some of the city’s top artists to the rest of the world in nice packaging (many put out releases by artists not from Cincinnati, too). One of the best right now is Dayton, Ky.-based SofaBurn Records, which — with the help of a national press house — has helped releases by the likes of Jeremy Pinnell, Buffalo Killers, The Light Wires and Ampline garner wider national attention through premieres and coverage on some of the biggest music sites in the biz. The label’s latest release, the much-anticipated new LP by Folk heroes The Tillers, indicates that SofaBurn’s winning streak will continue well into 2018 and beyond. SofaBurn, sofaburn.com.

Music & Nightlife
Illustration: David Wilson


2. Northside Yacht Club

3. The Video Archive

2. MOTR Pub

3. Queen City Exchange

2. Overlook Lodge

3. Dutch’s

2. Back Porch Saloon

3. Fox & Hound

2. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

3. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar

2. Knotty Pine Rock Club & Tiki Bar

3. The Crow’s Nest

2. Bogart’s

3. Southgate House Revival

2. Madison Theater

3. Woodward Theater

2. Arnold’s Bar and Grill

3. Below Zero Lounge