Best Of 2020

Best Deck for Cincinnati Music History Fans: Cincinnati Musical Legends

Shake It Records and ArtWorks teamed up on a special (and ongoing project) in 2019 that was a smart and novel way of sharing stories about the incredibly rich but still weirdly under-noticed musical history of Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Musical Legends deck of cards are in the spirit of classic baseball cards and inspired by R. Crumb’s famous trading card sets dedicated to Blues, Jazz and Country music pioneers. Each card features a notable musician on the front — illustrated by a team headed up by Cincinnati comics artist and sign painter Justin Green — and a synopsis of their contributions on the back. The Volume 1 deck featured well-known artists like Bootsy and Catfish Collins, Lonnie Mack, Mamie Smith, Stephen Foster and The Isley Brothers, as well as lesser known acts like Junior McCants, Cody Black, Sacred Mushroom and Mr. Spoons. Some of the non-musician cards include ones dedicated to The Cotton Club, Herzog Studios and “Cincy Indie Labels” (King, Federal, Saxony, Jewel and others), as well as iconic King Records kingpin Syd Nathan. More decks are slated to come. Available at Shake It Records, 4156 Hamilton Ave., Northside, shakeitrecords.com.