Cover Story: Hot Genre

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

May 31, 2001 at 2:06 pm

Cincinnati has a few genre-specific sub-scenes that look to be particularly thriving at the moment. Local Hard Rock/Metal bands play to packed houses at Bogart's and other venues, while the Pop/Rock scene has produced several groups that are among the city's biggest draws.

At the moment, though, it's the Roots music scene that seems to be on the most encouraging upswing. "Roots" is about as definable as Pop, but it's essentially Americana, Folk, Roots Rock and other forms indigenous to the United States. Cincinnati music has always been strong in the Roots area, thanks to our proximity to Appalachia, which has resulted in lots of great Bluegrass and Country and a noticeable twang to our Rock.

But in the last couple of years, a groundswell of audience support mixed with an admirable unification among the performers has resulted in a dominant, healthy scene, featuring diverse acts from veterans (The Ass Ponys, Len's Lounge, Wolverton Brothers, Big In Iowa) to relative newcomers (The Stapletons, Pike 27, The Freddies).

This summer looks to be particularly strong due to the formation of production company Uprooted Music. Formed by Dave Purcell (Pike 27), his wife, Amy Purcell, and Jeff Roberson (Len's Lounge), the label is out to help not only the city's Roots bands but the fans as well, bringing together regular showcases featuring local and touring bands.

Uprooted has already begun booking monthly showcases at the Southgate House in Newport, the next one being June 9. A huge fest is planned for the Southgate June 23 to feature some of the area's best on three stages: The Warsaw Falcons, The Stapletons, Pike 27, Greg Mahan & His Indestructible Band, Messerly & Ewing, Jake Speed, Ma Crow's Medicine Show, The Ass Ponys, Len's Lounge and New Radio Cowboys, with a few other acts to be announced.

WHO: 2001 Uprooted Music Festival. · WHEN: 8 p.m. June 23. · WHERE: The Southgate House. · TICKETS: $7. · INFO: 859-431-2201.