Red Carpet Burn

The eighth annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards doled out statuettes to some of the best in the local music (and theater) community during a ceremony at Old St. George on Nov. 22. The event was on

The eighth annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards doled out statuettes to some of the best in the local music (and theater) community during a ceremony at Old St. George on Nov. 22. The event was once again a great, eccentric party, highlighted by solid performances from several nominees.

Heartless Bastards opened the night with their brand of blisteringly soulful Rock & Roll. Other performance highlights included the rustling Western Swing of the Sidecars, Culture Queer's two-song closing set (if you left early, you missed confetti cannons, suckas!), an expanded-lineup Chocolate Horse and Ruby Vileos singer Ali Edwards, who went out of character to perform a sultry torch song with piano accompaniment from Dave Morrison, Ruby's original drummer and longtime time-keeper in the Ass Ponys. Big Joe Duskin, who was inducted into the CEA Hall of Fame, received a warm ovation for his star-studded set of true Blues, while Derrick Sanderson's Soul Expression knocked out slinky, timeless Soul music, doing their best with the old church's horrendous acoustics. The aural challenges should be reduced as the music and theater awards are split into two different ceremonies for next year's two-headed CEA attack.

The music winners for the 2004 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards are:

· BEST BLUEGRASS

Comet Bluegrass Allstars (cometbluegrass.com)

· BEST COUNTRY

Brothers First (brothersfirst.com)

· BEST FOLK/AMERICANA

Jake Speed & the Freddies (freddiesmusic.com)

· BEST WORLD MUSIC

Mohenjo Daro (cdbaby.com/cd/mohenjo)

· BEST ROCK

Thee Shams (theeshams.com)

· BEST HARD ROCK/METAL

Jackass (jackassrock.com)

· BEST SINGER/SONGWRITER

Kim Taylor (kim-taylor.net)

· BEST ALTERNATIVE/INDIE

The Sundresses (thesundresses.com)

· BEST PUNK

Death in Graceland (deathingraceland.com)

· BEST BLUES

Ricky Nye (rickynye.com)

· BEST HIP HOP

Iswhat?! (iswhat.net)

· BEST JAZZ

Kathy Wade (learningthroughart.com)

· BEST R&B/FUNK

Freekbass (freekbass.com)

· BEST JAM

Ray's Music Exchange (raysmusicexchange.com)

· BEST EXPERIMENTAL

Burning Star Core (dronedisco.com/bxc/)

· BEST NEW ARTIST

The Cathedrals (cathedrals.tv)

· ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Culture Queer, Supersize It Under Pontius Pilate (culturequeer.com)

· ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Thee Shams

Woman on the "Merge"
Local singer/songwriter Elizabeth Russell performs Friday at the York Street Café, supporting her excellent release, Merge. With studio assistance from Dave Eberhardt and Josh Seurkamp, Russell's debut floats with a melancholic etherealness, punctuated by the vocalist's intuitive and visceral songwriting talents. Russell confesses to being a latecomer to musical performance, held back by some initial stage fright.

But the music on Merge, while laid-back, exudes confidence and passion. Russell has a wonderful way with words and, while occasionally touching on junior-high-notebook clichés, her lyrics are effective in their poetic insights. You come away from Merge thinking you know a little bit about Russell as a person. But, ultimately, it's Russell's voice that is most grabbing. Like Ani DiFranco without the overexcitability and histrionics, Russell's vocals have versatility and elasticity, but also an intimacy that befits her open, emotive lyrical approach. As she grows, Russell has the makings of being one of the finer singer/songwriters in Cincinnati. (elizabetharussell.com)

Scroll to read more Local Music articles

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.