Aaron Collins strips down for 'Cloud Hug'

Plus, Cincy music faves Over the Rhine play Washington Park, the Northside Music Festival returns to Northside Tavern and musicians and comedians team up for Dump Trump 2.

click to enlarge Aaron Collins - Photo: Ryan Back
Photo: Ryan Back
Aaron Collins
Multi-talented Cincinnati musician Aaron Collins has drummed for progressive local Indie Rock bands like SHADOWRAPTR and Comprador, and he’s been a singer in the vintage Funk/Soul/Motown cover band Fresh Funk. His solo and bandleader ventures have been captivating and equally diverse. On his debut solo album, Godlessly Oscillating, Collins showed the breadth of his talent, writing, arranging and playing most of the instruments on the album, which was a deep, textural and hypnotic Indie Rock tour de force. Collins formed a full band to play live, recording the Aaron Collins and The Blind Conductors EP in 2015, which showed different sides to the sound Collins introduced with Oscillating.

Collins again switches things up on his forthcoming solo effort, Cloud Hug, in which he goes in the opposite direction of his full-band pursuit to create something engagingly intimate. Cloud Hug features songs that center on piano and vocals, with very light, atmospheric ornamentation. And it’s gorgeous and soulful, distilling Collins’ distinct songwriting skills and the mesmerizing aura his music creates down to their bare essence. Collins says the idea for the album began when he was working at a coffee shop that had a piano, which he played during his frequent downtime. Growing up with a piano in the house, he says the album “feels like a return home,” and that sense of comfort and warmth comes through for the listener as well. Though the instrumentation is minimized, the songs still glow loudly, making for a wildly compelling listen.

Cloud Hug will be available July 7 at aaroncollins.bandcamp.com. Hard copies of the album will be available when Collins hosts a release party on July 7 at The Lodge (231 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Ky., thelodgeky.com). Adam Petersen (A Delicate Motor) will also perform, playing his own solo piano songs. Petersen and Stephen Patota will join Collins to play Cloud Hug in full. Showtime is 9 p.m. and there is a $5 suggested donation at the door.

For the latest on Collins, visit facebook.com/aaroncollinsthemusician

More Local Notes

• Fresh off of its Memorial Day shows in rural Ohio, Cincinnati music faves Over the Rhine return to the neighborhood that gave them their name this Friday. The band is playing Washington Park (1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine) to raise money for United Way, with acclaimed singer/songwriter Peter Mulvey kicking things off at 6 p.m. You can make things easier on yourself by pre-purchasing tickets to the concert, which is dubbed “Over the Rhine: Live at Home” and is being presented by Cincinnati Bell (the company featured OTR’s music in a Super Bowl commercial earlier this year). Buying tickets online (suggested donation is $20) here gets you a free streetcar pass and early entry into the show at 4 p.m. Walk-ups can purchase tickets at the gate (while they last) and enter starting at 5 p.m. 

UPDATE: Due to weather concerns, the Over the Rhine concert has been moved to Sunday, June 25, from 4-8 p.m.

• The annual Northside Music Festival returns to Northside Tavern (4163 Hamilton Ave., northsidetav.com) this Friday and Saturday. Music runs on three stages (on the venue’s patio, in the bar’s front room and in the back room) and begins at 8:30 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Friday’s lineup includes performances from Brian Olive, Andy Gabbard (Buffalo Killers), Chuck Cleaver (Wussy), Kuber, Brianna Kelly and Temple. Saturday is headlined by Nashville’s JEFF the Brotherhood, and also includes local acts like Even Tiles, Moira, The Harlequins, Siren Suit, John Bender and more. The entire festival is free.

• Numerous musicians and comedians are teaming up for Saturday’s Dump Trump 2, a show of resistance and a benefit for Proclaim Justice, which fights for the wrongfully incarcerated. Joining comedians like Brad Thacker, Jay Armstrong and Zach Hale for the event at the Southgate House (111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse.com) are The Whiskey Shambles, Lovecrush 88, Go Go Buffalo, Dead Man String Band, Draculas, The Spectacular Fantastic and more. Showtime is 8 p.m. and admission is $5. (Tickets/more info here.)

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]

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