Impressive Indie Folk/Americana quartet Cookin’ Hearts is preparing for the Tuesday release of its self-titled debut full-length with a pair of weekend shows. The band started off as a duo featuring singer/guitarist Joe Hart and singer/banjo player Alex Cook. As the twosome developed, they added different wrinkles to their increasingly unique sound, as well as new players — Ali Reynolds (vocals/upright bass) and Abigail Westwood (vocals/flute).
Cookin’ Hearts’ debut album (which will be available at cookinheartsmusic.bandcamp.com) showcases the quartet’s spellbinding approach, which is highlighted by strong songwriting, some spectacular, celestial four-part harmonies and Westwood’s haunting flute. Citing inspiration from the likes of Fleet Foxes, The Wood Brothers, Sufjan Stevens and Harry Nilsson, the group’s progressive spin on traditional Americana is captivating.
Cookin’ Hearts’ first appearance to promote the debut album release is Saturday, when they’ll be a part of the first-anniversary celebration of brewery/bar/music venue Urban Artifact (1660 Blue Rock St., Northside, artifactbeer.com). The former church is hosting a full day of free music Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. with a performance by Mike Moroski. Also taking part in Saturday’s festivities are local acts The Hot Magnolias, Coconut Milk, Fun Machine, Jim Trace and the Makers and Gran Bel Fisher. Cookin’ Hearts plays at 8 p.m.
On Sunday, Cookin’ Hearts performs at Leo Coffeehouse, the long-running Folk/Americana showcase hosted by the Queen City Balladeers on Sundays at Zion United Church of Christ (2301 Indian Mound Ave., Norwood, 513-321-8375). The all-ages showcase begins at 7 p.m. with Steve Flammer and Calamity Rain. Cookin’ Hearts goes on at 8:15 p.m. For more on the Leo Coffeehouse series, visit queencityballadeers.org.
For more info on Cookin’ Hearts, visit facebook.com/cookinhearts.
Valley of the Sun Adds Pair of Mad Anthonies
Heavy Cincinnati rockers Valley of the Sun are soon returning to tour throughout Germany and Switzerland in support of the band’s anticipated forthcoming album, Volume Rock, which is being released through Fuzzorama Records on April 29. Guitarist Ryan Ferrier and singer Aaron Boyer will have some special guests with them when they head overseas beginning May 6 in Kiel, Germany.
Guitarists Adam Flaig and Ringo Jones of fellow Cincy rockers Mad Anthony (who are in the middle of their ambitious “Mad Anthology” project, releasing new material every week for an entire year) are fleshing out Valley of the Sun for the tour. (Jones will play bass.)
Ferrier is featured on this week's Mad Anthology release, the song "Running from the Sun" (listen below).
The new-look Valley of the Sun will play a free hometown show Friday at the Northside Tavern (4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsidetav.com). The tireless Mad Anthony will play its own set at the 9 p.m. show. Northern Ohio band Album is also on the bill.
Volume Rock has already received some positive reviews from international music outlets in advance of its release, while a few tracks from the album have been premiered at various music websites. Visit facebook.com/valleyofthesun for more info.
"Eternal Forever" from Valley of the Sun's forthcoming Volume Rock:
"Running from the Sun," Mad Anthony's latest "Mad Anthology" track featuring Ryan Ferrier of Valley of the Sun:
More Local Notes
• For the past several years, Cincinnati Folk singer Jake Speed has headlined a tribute to American music icon Woody Guthrie. Speed and WoodyFest return Saturday for the annual celebration at Mount Saint Joseph University’s Recital Hall (5701 Delhi Road, Delhi). Joining Speed for the 7 p.m. performance are local Folk/Americana faves Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Hustle. Admission is $10 at the door (the event is free for Mount Saint Joseph students with ID).
• Cincinnati Rock trio the Howard Brothers Band turns 10 this year, and to celebrate, the group will be headlining a big show Saturday at MVP Sports Bar & Grille (6923 Plainfield Road, Blue Ash, mymvpsportsbarandgrille.com). Helping the band honor its decade of Rock & Roll service are JuJu Crow, Bootleg Rider, Jeff Workman, Silver Pockets Trio, The Cliff O’Malleys, Wendy Lee Oakley and Father Smash and the Revival. Admission is $5 and music begins at 6 p.m. For more on the HoBros, visit howardbrothersband.com.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]