Happy Blues Year: Cincy Blues in 2016

The Cincy Blues Society is gearing up for another big year in 2016, with the Winter Blues Fest just around the corner, the announcement of the national headliners for this summer's Cincy Blues Fest and a call to local artists to play this year's Cincy Bl

Jan 6, 2016 at 9:52 am
click to enlarge Kelly Richey
Kelly Richey

The Cincy Blues Society has another big year in front of them in 2016. The organization has already made lineup announcements for its two big festivals, and recently put out a call for artists to participate in its annual Blues Challenge event.

• The Blues Society’s Winter Blues Fest kicks off in less than a month and the full lineup has been announced. The event — running Feb. 5-6 on four stages at The Phoenix (812 Race St., Downtown, thephx.com) — once again showcases the city’s top Blues talent, with a few excellent national headliners thrown into the mix.

The Feb. 6 Winter Blues Fest headliner is Chicago Blues/Rock/Soul crew the Nick Moss Band. Local acts scheduled to appear on the fest’s opening night include Sonny Moorman Group, The Bluebirds Big Band, Ralph & the Rhythm Hounds, Brad Hatfield Band, Cheryl Renée Duo, The SoulFixers, Ricky Nye Inc., Doug Hart, Silver Pockets Trio and The Whiskey Shambles. Locals joining Winter Blues Fest’s Saturday headliners Carolyn Wonderland and the Tullie Brae Band include Kelly Richey, Chuck Brisbin & the Tuna Project, Noah Wotherspoon, G. Miles Band, Johnny Fink & the Intrusion, The Leroy Ellington Band, The Tempted Souls Band, Jay Jesse Johnson Band, Greg Schaber and The Medicine Men.

Tickets for the Winter Blues Fest are available in advance through brownpapertickets.com. Visit cincyblues.org for the full schedule and further information.

• The Cincy Blues Society recently announced national acts slated for the 2016 Cincy Blues Fest, which returns to Sawyer Point along the riverfront Aug. 12-13. Artists coming in for the fest’s Friday opening night include Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Albert Castiglia, EG Kight, the Teeny Tucker Band and Saffire Revisited, a tribute to the group Saffire − the Uppity Blues Women and member Ann Rabson, who passed away in 2013 (local singer/pianist Cheryl Renée will be featured in the tribute). The Aug. 13 Blues Fest lineup features modern Blues heavyweights Tinsley Ellis, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers and Walter Trout.

Tickets for the Cincy Blues Fest will be available at the Winter Blues Fest and then online at brownpapertickets.com. Visit cincybluesfest.org for full details.

• The local Blues Fest lineup has yet to be announced because many slots are determined by the Blues Society’s Cincy Blues Challenge. This year’s 18th-annual Blues Challenge is scheduled for June 5 at Germania Park in Colerain. Local artists can apply now for consideration for this year’s competition, which includes competitors in a “Band” category and “Solo/Duo” category. Entry info can be found at cincyblues.org.

Challenge performers populate the Cincy Blues Fest’s local stage, and the category winners are invited to play the fest's main stage. The winners will also represent the Cincy Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis early next year. The local Challenge winners from last year — Johnny Fink & the Intrusion and Sonny Moorman — head to Tennessee at the end of this month for the 2016 IBC.

Good Old Times at Arnold's

The oldest bar in Cincinnati, Arnold’s Bar and Grill (210 E. Eighth St., Downtown, arnoldsbarandgrill.com), has launched a new music series for 2016 that pays tribute to artists who perform “old-time” American music. Old Time Mondays kicked off Jan. 4 with a performance by local Folk/Americana favorites The Tillers. The showcase series continues every Monday, featuring a mix of featured artists and “Old-Time Open Jams” (with 15-20 string players slated to participate regularly) from week to week.

Area artists on the Old Time Mondays schedule so far include OK Ramblers (this Monday), Doc and Ruth (Jan. 25), Queen City String Band (Feb. 22), The Corncobs (March 14), Russell Up Some Grub (March 28) and Jericho Old Time Band (April 18).

Music begins each week at 7 p.m. and, like all of Arnold’s music shows, there is no cover charge.

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]