Country crew Pure Grain, which hails from nearby Bright, Ind., will be celebrating the release of its brand new album, Indiana Sun, when it performs as part of the free, weekly “American Roots” concert series this coming Tuesday on Fountain Square. Shoot Out the Lights opens the show at 7 p.m.; Pure Grain takes the stage at 8:30 p.m.
While at its core Pure Grain is a Country band (much of Indiana Sun wouldn’t be out of place on Country radio), its music is also informed by Rock, Pop and Soul music, which are subtly incorporated into the group’s well-crafted, expertly performed songs. Pure Grain’s music is perfectly in line with the refreshing back-to-basics sound that is re-emerging in Country music, hopefully signaling a shift away from the overly glossed-up “Pop with a fiddle” sound that has dominated the genre for so long.
There are not a lot of flashy bells and whistles on Indiana Sun. Producers Brian DeBruler (also Pure Grain’s drummer) and the legendary Bill Halverson (who’s worked with Cream, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Bill Withers, Neil Young and many other musical greats) give the album a clarity that allows the solid material and the band members’ obvious talent (including gorgeous multipart harmonies and some powerful male/female vocal deliveries) to carry the load.
And that’s all that is needed to make Indiana Sun a successful creative endeavor and start-to-finish treat to listen to. Album highlights include the breezy, catchy acoustic rocker “Lie to Me,” the soulful “New Dawn,” the groove-driven Funktry stylings of “Back in the Woods” and the slinky, timeless ballad “Long Time Comin.”
For more information on the band, visit puregrainmusic.com.
Rock Carnival-Time in Northside
One of the coolest Fourth of July-related celebrations in the country returns this week to Northside’s Hoffner Park (at the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Blue Rock Street). Kicking off Thursday and running through Saturday, the 2014 Northside Rock N’ Roll Carnival features a musical lineup (along with some comedy and the usual carnival sideshow attractions) packed with more national acts than ever before, as well as a healthy dose of local favorites and up-and-comers. The Carnival is free and open to all ages. Music begins each day at 6 p.m.
On Thursday, touring artists Radioactivity, Bad Sports, Idiot Glee and Al Scorch and the Lost Boys will be joined by locals Frontier Folk Nebraska (6 p.m. start), The Cincinnati Suds (8:15 p.m.) and Bummers Eve (9:25 p.m.). Locals on the bill Friday include Leggy (6 p.m.), The Perfect Children (8:15 p.m.) and, playing a rare local show as they continue to tour behind their Frenchkiss Records debut album, Tweens (11:10 p.m.). Columbus, Ohio’s All Dogs and Pretty Pretty also perform Friday, alongside Chicago-based headliners (and 2013 MidPoint Music Festival favorites) Twin Peaks.
The Rock N’ Roll Carnival picks up again at 6 p.m. Saturday with the local act formerly known as Buenos Crotches, Pearl De Vere. Cincinnati acts Fists of Love (7:10 p.m.), The Hiders (8:15 p.m.) and Mardou (9:25 p.m.) also perform Saturday, followed by national acts Protomartyr, Jaill and The Sidekicks.
For complete details, visit northsiderocks.com.
More Local Notes
• More artists are gradually being announced for this year’s MidPoint Music Festival (returning to the venues of Over-the-Rhine/Downtown Sept. 25-27) through the fest’s social media pages. (Expect a fuller announcement of MPMF additions next week.) Cincinnati’s Wussy, which recently wrapped up a string of West Coast dates and are riding a tidal wave of critical acclaim for its Attica! album, has been added to the Sept. 26 lineup at OTR’s Washington Park, re-teaming with former tourmates The Afghan Whigs. All-access three-day and VIP Experience passes, as well as single show tickets for the Whigs’ show and the Sept. 25 Chromeo concert in Washington Park, are available now at mpmf.cincyticket.com. To keep up with the latest MPMF announcements, be sure to follow/friend the fest on Facebook, Twitter (@MidPointMusic) and Instagram (@midpointmusicfestival), and visit the official site.
• One of the best local bands of the late ’80s/early ’90s, Garage Soul/Funk/R&B crew The Auburnaires, have played only sporadic reunion shows in the area since splitting in 1991. But after picking up a new drummer and welcoming back their old bassist after a 20-year relocation to the West Coast, guitarist Jim Cole says the band “will be slowly starting to ramp things up a bit more.” The slow ramp-up begins this Thursday when The Auburnaires play a free 10 p.m. show at Over-the-Rhine’s MOTR Pub. Look the band up on YouTube for a sense of their great live presence and visit myspace.com/theauburnaires for some audio testimonials.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected] or @CityBeatMusic