Winter Blues Fest Heats Up the Weekend

Plus, The Tigerlilies take over local venues in February for new EP

click to enlarge CEA winners The Whiskey Shambles play Winter Blues Fest Friday.
CEA winners The Whiskey Shambles play Winter Blues Fest Friday.

This Friday and Saturday, the Cincy Blues Society’s Winter Blues Fest returns to The Phoenix (812 Race St., Downtown, showcasing over two-dozen Cincinnati Blues acts, as well as headliners like the Nick Moss Band and Carolyn Wonderland on four stages. Music begins at 6 p.m. Friday and 5:15 p.m. Saturday. This year’s lineup shows just how celebrated our local Blues scene is, with many acclaimed and award-winning and nominated artists slated to appear.

Sonny Moorman headlines the third-floor Grand Ballroom stage Friday, fresh off of a great showing at the recent International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Moorman was one of eight finalists in the “solo/duo” category of competition (he plays the first floor “Tea Room” stage at 6:30 p.m. Friday, too). Doug Hart and The Beaumonts also play the third floor stage Friday.

On the second-floor Archway Ballroom stage Friday, catch Silver Pockets Trio, Ricky Nye Inc., The SoulFixers (another IBC competitor, representing the Dayton Blues Society) and The Blue Bird Big Band. The Tea Room stage has the Ben Levin Duo and the Cheryl Renee Duo Friday, while the first-floor Presidents Room plays host to Ralph and the Rhythm Hounds, the Brad Hatfield Band, The Heaters and The Whiskey Shambles, who won the Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Blues on Jan. 31.

Saturday, the Grand Ballroom stage features The Tempted Souls Band and Kelly Richey. Richey recently released her 16th album (including live collections), the superb Shakedown Soul. Saturday at the Archway Ballroom stage, a band from the Blues in the Schools educational program (which also recently performed in Memphis during the International Blues Challenge) gets the fest rolling at 5:15 p.m. Chuck Brisbin & the Tuna Project, Johnny Fink & the Intrusion (another IBC competitor this year), The Leroy Ellington Band and The Jay Jesse Johnson Band complete Saturday’s lineup on the Archway stage. Also Saturday, the first-floor President’s Room stage has Noah Wotherspoon, G. Miles Band, Greg Schaber and The Medicine Men, while the Tea Room stage features Leo Clarke & Larry Bloomfield and Dayton’s Chris Yakopcic (yet another IBC competitor).

Advanced tickets are available at for $22.50 for Friday; $25 for Saturday; and $40 for a full weekend pass. The full schedule and more info can be found at You can also download the Cincy Blues Fest app for iPhone or Android to keep the schedule at your fingertips.

Tigerlilies Take Over February

One of Cincinnati’s finest Rock bands ever, The Tigerlilies, is taking over Cincinnati in February. No, the band isn’t invading City Hall (that we know of), but it is performing a free show each week this month in different clubs around town to support its latest release, 123456. The EP was made available on digital platforms and on CD late last year; it is now available on vinyl and cassette. The release's six songs are some of the best in The Tigerlilies’ 20-plus-year career, including the prescient “Bowie,” a fantastic tune praising the late Rock legend's life's work that was released well before his death. The album also features gems like the glorious Pop Rock of “Green Eyes” and the soaring “Easy as it Seems.”

The band’s weekly tour begins Saturday with a vinyl and tape release party for 123456 at The Drinkery (1150 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, Tiger Sex also performs. On Feb. 13, The Tigerlilies play Northside’s The Comet with The Sundresses (in honor of Valentine’s Day weekend, attendees will be able to take a “prom photo” with the band, so wear your tacky prom-formal best). On Feb. 20, the band plays Northside Yacht Club, with Dayton’s The Motel Beds and The Grotesque Brooms, plus a special screening of The Tigerlilies’ music video for “Bowie.” The fun comes to an end on Feb. 26 at Northside’s Urban Artifact, when the band is joined by The Slippery Lips and Mark Zero & the Cave Managers.

For information about The Tigerlilies, visit

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]