• Lately there has been something of a Reggae revival in the Greater Cincinnati area, with lots of eclectic new talent popping up and established talent getting stronger and drawing more and more. Another sure sign of Reggae’s resurgence — Stanley’s Pub in Columbia-Tusculum is presenting the first Stanley’s Reggae Festival this Saturday. Doors open at 5 p.m. for the fest and music will be split between the indoor and outdoor stage. Locals appearing at the event include Super-Massive, The Ohms, The Cliftones and Wet Soul (Michigan’s Rootstand is also on the bill). Admission is $12. Stanley’s Steve Maltz says he’s hoping to make the festival an annual event. (www.myspace.com/stanleyspub)
• Before heading to Italy to lead some Jazz workshops next month, Cincinnati-bred Jazz singer Amy London comes home for a weekend of shows at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club. Backed by local greats Steve Schmidt, Marc Wolfley and Jim Anderson, London performs at the club Friday and Saturday night. After taking up Jazz piano as a high school senior, London took voice lessons from Milt Weiner, who had also worked with local legends like Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney. London moved to New York City in the ’80s to kick off her singing career in earnest and it’s been quite a career so far. London appeared on Broadway with a lead role in the hit City of Angels and has headlined many NYC Jazz clubs. More recently, she has performed with many Latin Jazz heroes while playing with an AfroCuban band in NYC, released the album When I Look in Your Eyes and has continued to be a top-tier music educator. Read more about London (and listen to some music samples) at amylondonsings.com.
• Excellent singer/songwriter Jason Wells’ eight-piece band for algernon is holding down the fort at the Southgate House’s Juney’s Lounge for June, playing the intimate room every Wednesday as June’s Artist in Residence, with a rotating cast of openers. Check out this week’s free show with great Pop group The Newbees and singer/songwriter Lauren Houston. On June 22, the band is joined by Felon Friendly and Merley the Moc, while June 29’s closing A.I.R. show will feature The Chocolate Horse’s Jason Snell and Andrew Antle. Expect lots of new songs from for algernon’s forthcoming new release. Wells is closing out each Wednesday’s show with a solo set featuring surprise “secret” guests. (www.reverbnation.com/foralgernon)
• Indie Pop group The Minor Leagues are gearing up for the release of their new album, North College Hill, named for frontman Ben Walpole’s neighborhood growing up. The release (recorded in Nashville last summer) is set for September, but the group has put out a single — “Ghost Maps” b/w “Please Don’t Throw My Love Away” — as a free download from its new website (www.minorleaguesmusic.com). While you’re there, be sure to check out the Leagues’ new music video (directed by Chris Collins) for “Ghost Maps.” If you wanna dose of live Minor Leagues, this Saturday’s your shot, as the band plays a free show at Northside Tavern with Okay Lindon and Calm Palm Vapor.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]at.com