Kentucky Fests

· Northern Kentucky rockers Sweet Ray Laurel follow up their successful multi-band festival show, Laurelpalooza, from last year with this Saturday's Laurelpalooza 2 at Newport's Southgate House

· Northern Kentucky rockers Sweet Ray Laurel follow up their successful multi-band festival show, Laurelpalooza, from last year with this Saturday's Laurelpalooza 2 at Newport's Southgate House. The band has compiled a diverse bill for the event. Scheduled to appear are Sweet Ray Laurel, Strip the Image, The Loose Threads, Gravity Hill, Seconds Away, Kelly Thomas, Tupelo Honey, Eric Tepe, Allison Hurt, Ryan Muddiman, Madras Lounge, Background Music, Pete Dressman, The Infinity Ball and 40 East, who are gearing up to hit the studio next month to record new material. The show kicks off at 8:30 p.m. and music will be featured on all three of the Southgate's performance stages. Admission is just $5. (

· Also following up a successful inaugural event from last year is the Winter BluesFest, featuring a bevy of local Blues talent Friday and Saturday night at several clubs in Covington's Mainstrasse entertainment district. Last year's festival reportedly drew around 2000 people and this year looks to be even bigger, with the event expanding from one to two nights. Clubs participating include Zola, Zazou Bar and Grill, Strasse Haus, Pachinko, Mulligan's, Village Pub, Fat Shannon's, Cosmo's, Otto's and the Cock & Bull English Pub. Among the artists slated to appear are Sweet Alice Hoskins and Unfinished Business, the Sonny Moorman Group, the Phil Blank Blues Band, The Medicine Men, The Blues Merchants, Malkum Gibson and the Mighty Juke, Them Bones and II Juicy. A one-time cover of $5 (which can be paid at any bar or bought in advance at the Cock & Bull) will get you admittance to all of the participating venues.

Proceeds benefit the Lonely Instruments For Needy Kids (LINKS) program.

Rumors, Lies and General Misunderstandings
· Local AltRoots crew The Hiders, whose magnificent 2006 debut, Valentine, received national attention thanks to a nod from the folks from NPR's World Café, are the special guests at this Saturday's "Girls & Boys" night at Northside's alchemize. The band's 10 p.m. set will be followed by DJ Boy Radio's beloved mix of Indie classics, new and old. (

· AltRock band Tonefarmer is coming out of hibernation for a free show at the Northside Tavern this Saturday. It is the band's first show in over a year, as the group has been holed up recording their soon-to-be-released CD, Meanwhile. The band's Chris Mundy and Rob Hamrick have also expanded Tonefarmer's membership; to capture the fuller sound of the new material, they have enlisted drummer Todd Drake (of The Hiders and Ruby Vileos) and guitarist Kevin Welch (formerly of The Underwoods, and currently working with his recording project, Trillium; check for a sample) to flesh out their live show. Tonefarmer previously played live in a duo or trio format. Saturday, music begins at 10 p.m. with openers Chris McCoy and The Gospel. (

· Local artist/musician Jay Bolotin is hosting an exhibit/CD release party at the Clay Street Press Gallery (1312 Clay St., in Over-the-Rhine) this Friday starting at 5 p.m. Bolotin is celebrating his latest album, The Songs of Jay Bolotin Vol. 1: Shadow of a Beast, and his woodcut concert posters will be on display.

· Local public radio station, WNKU (89.7 FM), is kicking off a series of live performances and artist interviews this week. The on-air showcases begin Thursday, with an in-studio with buzz band The Last Town Chorus (see Sound Advice, page 40) at 2:15 p.m. Local jazzers Faux Frenchmen appear Saturday between noon and 2 p.m., while acoustic trio Second Sister will be reuniting for a few shows, including a gig on NKU on Feb. 16 at 1:15 p.m. Other live WNKU broadcasts will include sets from Lucy Kaplansky (Feb. 23), Mike Younger (Feb. 7) and Willy Porter (Feb. 3). If you need visuals to go with your songs, WNKU has set up a video hub at YouTube (, which will feature past performances in the station's studio. The site currently has clips from local acts Screaming Mimes, The Newbees and Noah Hunt. (


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