Year-end accolades for local musicians

Check CityBeat next week for our annual roundup of the best Greater-Cincinnati-produced CDs of 2007. This year, for the first time in a while, those outside of Cincinnati have really paid attenti

Wussy has had a pretty good year.

Check CityBeat next week for our annual roundup of the best Greater-Cincinnati-produced CDs of 2007. This year, for the first time in a while, those outside of Cincinnati have really paid attention to our local music scene. Besides Paste magazine's Cincy love (Over the Rhine's latest ranked No. 25 on their end-of-the-year list of albums; Cincy ex-patriots The National had their Boxer chosen as the best album of 2007 by the mag), here are a few more accolades that have come out just in time for year-in-review mania:

* Wussy's Left for Dead CD came out locally earlier this year but didn't hit nationwide until November (via Cincinnati label Shake It Records). Capping off what is turning out to be their best year yet, the four-piece's sophomore album was just named one of writer/editor Robert Christgau's Top 5 "Personal Favorites" in the year-end issue of Rolling Stone (which earlier, along with Spin, gave the disc a four-star review). Wussy has signed on to play at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Tex., in March, after which they will embark on an East Coast tour. (

* I Feel Like a Fading Light, the latest from singer/songwriter Kim Taylor, recently got a year-end shout out from Performing Songwriter magazine, one of the premier songwriter mags in the world. The CD was picked as the fourth-best "DIY" (i.e. self-released) release of 2007, a category that will likely have a bigger nomination pool next year. Editor Mare Wakefield writes that Fading Light is "one of my all-time favorite DIY records. Taylor keeps things smart and spunky." Taylor says she will be working on a new album this year (with hopes for a release before the end of '08) and in February New York label Experience Vinyl is putting out a vinyl version of Fading Light.


* Singer/songwriter Nathan Holscher is getting a lot of attention from the Roots/Americana music world with his 2007 CD Even the Hills. And I do mean "world." The Euro Americana Chart (compiled by Americana DJs, journalists, retailers and others) recently ranked the CD No. 4 for December, just ahead of the lauded new Robert Plant and Alison Krauss collaborative CD. (A great quote from Nathan: "It is good to know if I ever need health insurance I am always welcome in Europe.") (

More Local Notes
* Dayton's Mario Abney Quintet is coming to The Greenwich in Walnut Hills this Thursday for a special musical dissertation/meditation on A Love Supreme, the legendary John Coltrane album. The show is "hosted and poetically framed" by Napoleon Maddox, frontman for local experimental Jazz/Hip Hop crew IsWhat?!. Music starts at 9 p.m.; admission is $10.

* Local Folk/Pop duo Ellery is ending its 2007 in a gift-giving mood. The twosome recorded a three-song holiday EP, which they are offering as a free download on a special Web site, Ellery also hosts a free show Thursday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood (7 p.m. showtime). The duo made the finals of Paste magazine's "Rock n' Reel at Sea" contest. If they win, they get to play on a cruise alongside Shawn Colvin, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris and a ton of other big names. To vote for them, go to

* Christmastime at The Comet in Northside means only one thing. No, not giant, mistletoe-laced burritos — on Thursday and Friday local pianist/organist Steve Schmidt returns to the club with his 11th annual (and eighth at The Comet) "Organ Trio Spectacular," featuring loads of jazzy X-mas music. Schmidt missed last year's event (which went on without him) due to illness, so this year he makes his triumphant return, joined by tenor saxman Scott Burns and drummer Marc Wolfley. Schmidt again mans the Hammond B-3 organ, while vocals are provided by Eugene Goss and Mandy Gaines. Music starts at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and 9 p.m. Friday. Both shows are free.

* Bucket, the decade-old trio featuring locals (and ex-Raisins) Bob Nyswonger and Bam Powell and fronted by singer/songwriter Lee Rolfes, has a new CD ready to share with the world. The band plays Jaspers in Mount Lookout Friday with The Bluebirds to celebrate the new disc, Hunchdancer. The Bluebirds also have a new album, titled Brawny Lads.

* Saturday at Northside Tavern, local underground legends The Wolverton Brothers come out of hiding for a rare local show for fans (they're calling it their "quasi-annual Solstice Show"). The band has new material, which will no doubt be included on the new album the band is currently working on. The Wols are joined for the show by Culture Queer. (

* Dreaming of a White Girls Christmas? Hopefully that doesn't entail marathon viewing sessions of that awful Wayans brothers "comedy" and instead means you'll be headed to the Gypsy Hut to catch the Girls, one of the more "buzzed" about new bands in the city. The band plays Christmas Eve Eve (Sunday) at the Hut alongside fellow excellent newcomers Eat Sugar and The Read. (

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]

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