Ricky Nye Brings Back the Boogie

Plus news on Walk the Moon, Foxy Shazam and the second annual Guitars for Vets benefit

click to enlarge Ricky Nye presents the 15th annual Blues and Boogie Piano Summit this weekend at Southgate House Revival
Ricky Nye presents the 15th annual Blues and Boogie Piano Summit this weekend at Southgate House Revival

One of Greater Cincinnati’s most unique annual music events, the Blues & Boogie Piano Summit, returns for its 15th year this weekend. For the 2014 edition, the showcase of international Boogie Woogie Blues pianists takes place over two nights (Friday and Saturday) at the Southgate House Revival (111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., 859-431-2201, southgatehouse.com).

The Boogie Piano Summit was founded by Ricky Nye, Cincinnati’s top purveyor of Boogie Woogie, a rollicking, highly rhythmic style of Blues piano that was influential in the formation and development of Rock & Roll and various styles of Blues, Jazz and Country music. Nye, winner of multiple Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and “Best Local Musician” honors in CityBeat’s “Best of Cincinnati” issue, books the shows and continues to perform at every Summit (he also MCs the events). Nye has released CDs featuring show highlights from nearly all of the Summits; they can be previewed and purchased at cdbaby.com/artist/rickynye.

The Boogie Woogie style is much bigger in Europe, which explains the big talent Nye is able to attract annually for the local event. It has also enabled Nye to tour Europe on a fairly regular basis. Most recently, Nye — who released his latest album, Swingin’ Some Blues, earlier this year — spent the bulk of August playing shows in France and the Netherlands.

This year’s edition of the Summit is dedicated to the “New Breed of Boogie Woogie,” showcasing three players all under the age of 30 (the same lineup performs both nights). The event features Switzerland’s Chris Conz, Iowa’s Chase Garrett and Luca Sestak, a 19-year-old wunderkind from Germany whose popularity has been fueled by the performance videos he’s posted to YouTube since he was 11 (the clips have racked up millions of views). Backing the musicians during the concerts this year is the trio of George Bedard (guitar), Chris Douglas (upright bass) and Paul Ellis (drums).

Reserved seating is available for the first time in the Piano Summit’s history this year. Tickets — available through ticketfly.com — are $25 in advance or $30 day of show for a seat and $20 in advance or $25 day of show for standing room tickets. Showtime is 9 p.m. both nights.

For more information on the Blues & Boogie Piano Summit, visit rickynye.com.

More Local Notes

• A release date for Cincinnati-based Alt Pop quartet Walk the Moon’s anticipated new album for RCA Records was recently announced. The full-length, titled Talking is Hard, is scheduled to hit real and virtual stores on Dec. 2. It is the group’s third album overall and second for RCA, following 2012’s self-titled full-length debut for the label.

The band just wrapped up its fall tour (much of which was sold out) and have been promoting the new LP’s first single, “Shut Up and Dance,” which topped Spotify’s “Viral 50” chart for two weeks upon its release and was performed on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers in mid-September. Walk the Moon will commence touring in December in support of Talking is Hard. (walkthemoonband.com)

• Cincinnati rockers Foxy Shazam, one of the Queen City’s more successful musical exports in recent years (and one of the city’s best ever live bands), recently announced that it would be disbanding, effective immediately.

The extremely hard-touring band has canceled all forthcoming shows, including a hometown New Year’s Eve appearance at Oakley’s 20th Century Theater. The band, which self-released the Steve Albini-produced Gonzo this spring after albums for labels like Warner Bros./Sire and I.R.S., says the split will be for “an unknown amount of time” as the members spend some time with their families and other artistic endeavors.

“We truly believe there is a future for Foxy Shazam, that our best art is yet to come,” the message continues. “We don’t know how long this will take but we plan on someday returning more powerful than ever.”

• The local chapter of the Guitars For Vets nonprofit organization, which provides musical therapy in the form of guitar lessons to military veterans at the local VA Hospital suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, presents its second annual benefit this Sunday at 1 p.m. at Jim and Jack’s on the River (3456 River Road, Riverside, jimandjacks.net). The event is free and features performances by noted local guitarists Sonny Moorman and Dick Buchholz, who will perform with Guitar For Vets students. There will also be a guitar auction and raffle to raise funds for the cause.

For more information on Guitars For Vets, visit guitars4vets.org.

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected] or @