The names of many of the performers for this year’s MidPoint Music Festival (coming up Sept. 23-25) have been leaking out gradually over the past few months. But this Friday, mpmf.com will unveil a new interactive schedule with all of the artists scheduled to play the event. If you haven’t been privy to the acts announced so far, here’s a taste: Tom Tom Club, Best Coast, Surfer Blood, Justin Townes Earl, A Place to Bury Strangers, Caribou, Van Dyke Parks and Japan’s legendary Shonen Knife. Some of the more recent bookings announced include Scotland Yard Gospel Choir (which was booked for last year’s MPMF but a serious van accident on the way to Cincinnati forced them to cancel) and the reunited Babe the Blue Ox, an amazing, spastic trio (now quartet) that played in Cincinnati so much in the ’90s (and had such a huge local following) they were like an honorary Cincinnati band. Find out when and where these and the other MidPoint performers (including a huge chunk of locals) will be rockin’ this Friday.
Also Friday, the free MidPoint Indie Summer concert on Fountain Square (featuring California’s Dawes and local greats Goose, Messerly & Ewing and The Sweep) will be your last chance to purchase discounted tickets to the fest. You’ll be able to buy a three-day pass for $29 Friday at the MidPoint booth on the Square; after that, all passes are $39. Tickets are available through mpmf.com and at select bars and retailers (a full list is available at the site).
Hot Blues in the Summertime
The Cincy Blues Fest returns to Sawyer Point this Friday and Saturday. Along with some quality headliners (Joe Louis Walker, Alexis P. Suter Band, Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, David Maxwell Maximum Blues Band, The Insomniacs, Candye Kane and Shane Dwight), organizers from the Cincy Blues Society will once again present some cool side-stage offerings and loads of local performers.
On Friday at the Arches Stage, “Pardi Gras! A Tribute to New Orleans” will feature the N’awlins-centric sounds of Little Freddie King, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers and longtime Cincy faves Robin Lacy and DeZydeco. Keeping with the theme, the nonprofit Gulf Restoration Network will have a booth at the event with information about protecting and preserving the ecosystems in the oil-soaked Gulf. Saturday, the Arches Stage spotlights Boogie Woogie Blues, another style with roots in New Orleans, with performances by Vernel Bagneris & Morten Gunnar Larsen, Ann Rabson, Carl Sonny Leyland, local Boogie torch-bearers Ricky Nye and Todd Hepburn, and many others.
Cincy Blues Challenge winners The Bluebirds Big Band and Bad Men on a Mission earned fest-opening sets on the main stage Friday and Saturday (respectively), while the St. Vincent De Paul Local Stage will be rockin’ with top-notch natives all weekend. Friday’s Local Stage lineup features Il Gigante and Cheryl Renee with Them Bones, The Blues Merchants, The Doug Hart Band, Thomas Long & Blue Sacrifice and The Tempted Souls Band, while Saturday’s lineup has The Noahs (with guitarists Noah Wotherspoon and Noah Cave), Chuck Brisbin & The Tuna Project, Noah Wotherspoon Band, Miss Lissa & Company, Johnny Fink and the Intrusion, II Juicy and Ralph and the Rhythm Hounds.
Proceeds from the fest go to the Blues in the Schools program, which strives to ensure the Blues’ future by sending musicians to area schools to educate kids about one of America’s greatest artforms and help those interested them to learn to play the Blues. A collection of those BITS students will perform at the Blues Fest main stage Saturday at 4:45 p.m.
Music gets rolling at 5:45 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $10 Friday and $15 Saturday; teens aged 13-18 can get in for $5 (with an adult) and under-12 kids don’t have to pay a cent.
For the full schedule, links to all of the performers’ Web sites and more information, head over to
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: