Two years ago, young singer/songwriter Nathan Holscher (pictured) released his second album, Even the Hills, a moody, mesmerizing slab of ethereal, transcendent Americana that helped make Holscher — then a relatively new Cincinnati resident after a few years bouncing around the Midwest and South — a much buzzed-about local artist. Holscher has taken the formula from his debut and improved on it with the new release, Hit the Ground. And this time he’s not alone, using the name “Nathan Holscher & the Ohio 5” to give props to his current back-up band of ace local players.
It’s fitting that this isn’t marked as a solo release, because the band definitely helps give Holscher’s intimate story-songs more presence. There is a clear chemistry between the songwriter and the group, and the chemistry between Holscher and producer/guitarist Ric Hordinski (who also recorded Hills) once again proves to be magical.
Holscher’s gruff, whispery vocals are so engaging they immediately draw the listener through the atmospherics and straight to the guts of his characterdriven tales. The album seethes twilight sadness, thanks to the full combined efforts of all involved. Like Hills, expect Hit the Ground to get attention from Americana outlets across the country, in Europe and beyond.
Holscher & the Ohio 5 — with Hordinski sitting in — perform a free show this Friday at the Northside Tavern in honor of the new release. Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker of Wussy open things up at 10 p.m. (Details here.)
More Local Notes
• The dormant-no-more Emery Theatre in Over-the-Rhine received its official unveiling at last year’s Cincinnati Entertainment Awards music ceremony. Now, the folks at nonprofit volunteering group Give Back Beyond Cincinnati are bringing music back to the gorgeous old venue with a benefit concert this Saturday. Excellent local acts 500 Miles to Memphis, The Sundresses, Kristen Key and Eclipse are slated to perform. Music starts at 5 p.m. (Details here.)
• Stanley’s Pub presents a benefit for local musician Chris Walker (still recovering from a 2007 car accident) this Friday. Doors open at 6 p.m. and there will be music both inside the club and out on the patio. Walker’s former bands IsWhat?!, The Whitney Barricklow Band and The Walker Project will appear, along with Nadir (a friend of Chris’ from Detroit), DJ SPS (who toured with Chris and IsWhat?! in 2007) and many others. All proceeds go to the Friends for Chris Walker fund. (Details here.)
• Rock & Roll and fighting go together like, well, Rock & Roll and drinking, so it makes sense that some club owners in town are connecting the dots and have opened a Mixed Martial Arts/Rock/Sports club. ICF (Intimidation Cage Fighting) Fight Club, where the old club Whiskey Dicks once was (700 W. Pete Rose Way), features live MMA events, televised MMA events and live Rock music from local and national bands. This Friday marks the first music event at the club, featuring local Rock crews The Host, Downplay, Livid, Calloused and Pulse 8. (Details here.)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]