• If it's seemed like Cincy Folk trio The Tillers haven’t been as omnipresent on the local club scene this summer, that’s because the group has been spending a lot more time on the road since the release of its sophomore album, By the Signs. The band has been playing clubs and festivals throughout the Midwest and East Coast, including slots alongside heavies like Doc Watson and John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers.
The group has a full slate of dates lined up for this fall, so the touring doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. But fans get a chance to see The Tillers open for one of the living legends of Folk music this Thursday, when the trio warms up the Southgate House stage for Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, a peer of Woody Guthrie’s who was mentored by the famed musical icon and went on to influence generations of Folk musicians himself. An excellent video for The Tillers’ song “Lantern Lullaby” (filmed and directed by Pete Ohs) was also recently released; go to
• For a great visual representation of the local music scene in photographic form, be sure to check out the Cincinnati Public Library’s Where the Kids Are Goin’ Tonite exhibit, timed to the MidPoint Music Festival’s kick-off next week and opening Wednesday with a 5 p.m. reception hosted by WNKU’s Mr. Rhythm Man. Borrowing its title from the like-minded 2005 photo book of the same name released (with an accompanying CD project) by local indie Tokyo Rose Records/Chapultepec Press, the library exhibit features photos — of both local and touring artists — by Tokyo Rose’s David Garza and former Afghan Whigs/current Fists of Love bassist and producer/engineer John Curley. The show also contains work by Michael Wilson, who has shot portraits, promo pics and album covers for everyone from Lyle Lovett, Randy Newman and B.B. King to locals like Over the Rhine, Katie Reider and Kim Taylor. Those attending the opening can sign up to win MidPoint tickets. (Get more info here.)
• Local producer/artist Eddy Free recently completed an ambitious compilation album on which he collaborated with 15 other R&B and Hip Hop artists from around North America, all in the name of charity. The album, Mad City 2010, was designed to raise funds for the Alicia Keys-sponsored Keep a Child Alive organization, which provides care and medication to children and families with HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. Friday at Dirty Jack’s, the “Mad City 2010 Community Fundraiser” will also raise attention and money for the cause. The 9:30 p.m. event will be hosted by Minneapolis-based poet/rapper/speaker Kaoz and feature performances by local artists like Jayce Miguel and Daddie Rich and Jibri from the group Eclipse, among many other performers from across the country. Get details at
• Singer/songwriter Matthew Shelton recently moved to Chicago, but this Tuesday he returns to host a release party in honor of his latest album, The Vine, at Iris BookCafé (1331 Main St., Over-the-Rhine). The musician/visual artist recorded the album in Cincinnati in 2007 with Austin Brown — formerly of Staggering Statistics and currently based in Berlin and performing under the name High Heels (a MidPoint Music Festival participant this year) — as well as his backing band The Cat Lovers. The free all-ages show kicks off at 8 p.m. and also features performances by Paleo and spoken word from David Eichert.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: