Local Musicians Unite for Paralyzed Friend

Plus, news on The Fairmount Girls, Blue Wisp Big Band, Dallas Moore and more

click to enlarge Brett Walls
Brett Walls

In February of last year, Brett Walls, a fixture in the Cincinnati underground music scene in the late ’80s/early ’90s as a member of Devil Nut Mother Hole and other projects, suffered three strokes and two aneurisms. Walls has since been in a paralyzed state caused by the rare Locked-In Syndrome, which leaves victims conscious, but unable to speak or move anything other than their eyes.

Since then, Walls (with the help of his wife) has been fighting and making miraculous progress, considering the dire end result for most Locked-In sufferers. Walls, who is 52, and his family have also been battling their insurance company, while friends and others have raised money to help cover living expenses and mounting medical bills.

Some of Walls’ friends, fans and bandmates are teaming up this Friday for a benefit concert at the Southgate House Revival (111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse.com). Performers scheduled to appear include The Wolverton Brothers, The Tigerlilies, Goose, Uncle Dave Lewis, Culture Queer, Darlene, Maurice Mattei & The Tempers, The Mudlarks, Lovecrush88, The Darkhearts, Sammy McKee, Freddy Brown, Salty Candy, The Cousin Kissers, Chris Lee, Elle Crash & Jim Farmer, Slick Willy & the Kentucky Jellies and Daniel Bennett & the Dirty Shirleys. The show will also feature rare reunion sets by Devil Nut Mother Hole and Ditchweed. The artists will be performing some of Walls’ favorite songs during their sets.

Admission to the show is $15 in advance (through ticketfly.com) or $20 at the door. All of the money will go toward funding Walls’ medical expenses, which include the costs of his ongoing physical therapy.

If you are unable to attend the event (or want to give more), you can make a donation at gofundme.com/brettwalls.

Local Notes

• Cincinnati Indie Pop institution The Fairmount Girls — winners of the first Cincinnati Entertainment Award for “New Artist of the Year” back in 1997 and the only band to perform at all 13 MidPoint Music Festivals — have had a lot of musicians pass through their lineup over the past 15-plus years, with drummer/singer Dana Hamblen and organist/singer Melissa Fairmount remaining the anchor members.

This Saturday at 7 p.m. in the front room of the Northside Tavern (4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, northside-tavern.com), the band will present a special retrospective concert. For the free show, the Girls will be playing songs from their first three albums — 11 Minutes to Anywhere, Tender Trap and Forever — joined by past members, including Chris Schadler and Jane McBrain, as special guests.

• The revered Blue Wisp Big Band are getting used to being mobile. The group, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year and recently won the 2015 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Jazz, followed its namesake club (the Blue Wisp Jazz Club) for several years as it moved locations. Though the club is no longer around, the Big Band — featuring some of the city’s best young and seasoned Jazz musicians — has continued to do regular gigs.

After a six-month stint in Over-the-Rhine at Japp’s, the Blue Wisp Big Band is currently performing every Tuesday on the West Side at the Pirate’s Den (3670 Werk Road, Western Hills, piratesdencincy.com). Showtime is 8:30 p.m. each week and there is a $10 cover.

For more information on the Blue Wisp Big Band, go to bluewispbigband.com.

• Local Outlaw Country greats the Dallas Moore Band have just released a brand new album, Dark Horse Rider, which features 10 new original songs, including “Beats All I’ve Ever Seen,” which has found success on Sirius/XM satellite radio, as well as some terrestrial stations across the world. Dark Horse Rider is available at most online digital music retailers, as well as dallasmoore.com.

Moore and Co. are headed to Texas this week to attend the Ameripolitan Music Awards; the band is nominated in the “Outlaw Group” category. Besides attending the awards ceremony, the band is spending the week in Texas playing shows all over the state.

You can wish the band members good luck when they headline Saturday’s seventh annual Hillbilly Valentine’s Day concert, presented by Sol Records (Moore’s label home; find more info at solrecords.com) at the VFW Hall at 9160 Lawrenceburg Road in Harrison, Ohio. Also performing are Moore’s SOL labelmates Pure Grain and The Renegades. Music starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $10.

• Mardi Gras is coming up this Tuesday, but locals can get a head start on the celebrating Sunday as Findlay Market (1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, findlaymarket.org) presents its 11th annual Mardi Gras festivities. The event includes a parade (of course) and other fun activities, as well as music from some of Cincinnati’s finest. Cajun band Lagniappe plays at 11 a.m. (and will accompany the noon parade), diverse Roots crew Robin Lacy & DeZydeco goes on at 1:15 p.m. and Ricky Nye Inc. closes out the day with a set beginning at 2:45 p.m.


CONTACT MIKE BREEN : [email protected]



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