Bellwether Music Festival returned for its second year at the Ohio Renaissance Festival fairgrounds in Waynesville, Ohio. In contrast to last year’s setup, the festival was within the fairgrounds rather than in the neighboring fields. Making full use of the location, the festival provided several Renaissance-themed offerings for attendees, including a rock and roll joust featuring legendary competitors. Bellwether kept similar stage placements, with two stages on opposite ends of the fairgrounds. This made for an easy walk from one stage to the other in between performances. The Shipwreck Stage made for a unique setup, allowing performers to check “play a show on a pirate ship” off their wish lists.
I have had the pleasure to see Will perform numerous times over the years in various incarnations (solo, duo shows with Brigette Demeyer and Tommy Womack, Willie Sugarcapps, Red Dirt Boys). He also has performed with Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell and performs with Emmylou Harris as her guitarist and harmony singer. But rarely have I seen him bring his own full band to town. Tonight Will brought his band to one of my favorite music venues, The Southgate House Revival in Newport, KY. Will has had a long history at The Southgate House Revival and the Southgate House and puts on a great show every time. Read more
Sawyer Point’s annual metamorphosis from a lush, green river retreat into a well-worn, sunbaked field covered in footprints is finally complete. Straw-covered mud patches greet visitors to the once verdant spaces, mulch and rocks pepper the sidewalks, and various pathways lead passers-by to wide open spaces that had been filled with thousands of people mere hours before. Every event leaves its mark, and this is Bunbury’s. Read more
With cicadas buzzing and sunbeams beating down on the people below, Bunbury 2017 has come to a close. With a number of small tweaks implemented this year, PromoWest brought the people of Cincinnati (and the folks flocking from far and wide) an experience full of what we have come to expect when heading to the riverfront for our very own music festival. Read more
It tends to be the case with most music festivals that there are a few gems that stick out amongst the lineup that make the experience all that more enjoyable. Headliners are often a major talking point for festivals, and often grab people’s attention first. However, there are often plenty of strong acts peppered throughout a lineup that can really make or break a lineup. These acts can sometimes be lost in the crowd, making it hard to discover the truly special artists. This year’s Bunbury Music Festival seemed to largely avoid this problem, either intentionally or otherwise, by having just 3 stages and a smaller lineup than years past. This made it much easier to explore different shows and possibly find the next band that’ll be dominating playlists for the rest of the summer. Read more
Days are getting longer, temperatures are getting higher, and the grass in your lawn is growing taller. Road construction is in full swing and the concert season is back for another round of deafening, ground-shaking, and energetic shows. This can mean only one thing: it’s summertime in Cincinnati. With it comes the fifth year for Cincy’s own music festival, Bunbury. Read more
Zac Brown Band’s appearance at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 22 drew a sold out crowd that was ready to party. Touring behind their latest release, Jekyll and Hyde, the ZBB opened the evening with a taste of the new recording in the form of the steady grooving gem, “Homegrown.” With Coy Bowles and Clay Cook on guitar, the ZBB launched into a series of rip roaring covers including, Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” The Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” and Jason Isbell’s ” Dress Blues.” Brown and company returned to Jekyll and Hyde for the most poignant song of the night, the soulful charmer, “Remedy.” Read more
The first annual Buckle Up Music Festival arrived on the banks of the Ohio river on July 18-20, and provided a party to look forward to year round in the Cincinnati area and beyond. The rain that fell on July 18 did not dampen the spirits of patrons eager to hear the down home leanings of Amanda Shires and Jamie Lynn Spears. Sam Lewis certainly did not disappoint those coming to hear his bittersweet ballad, “I’m a River,” while the water fell out of the sky near the peaceful settings of the lawn stage. Nashville’s Chris Janson put on a rip roaring set on the Bud Light stage, featuring freewheeling harmonica solos, and material from his long player, Take It to the Bank. Knoxville’s Ashley Monroe’s sunny presence on the river stage had Buckle Up’s denizens dancing and singing along to the roots driven rhythms of her 2013 chart topping album, Like a Rose. Marty Stuart’s classic country style harkened back to his Mississippi beginnings as his guitar playing sizzled through the barn burning classics, “Stop the World and Let Me Off” and “The Whiskey Ain’t Working.” Read more
Anyone who attended Bunbury this year would agree that the lineup was full of bands that were bursting with talent. While all of the bands fit under the Bunbury umbrella, there were several that really stood out as good fits for the Festival. They cover a wide gamut of musical genres, as well as a wide distance from around the country. Whatever their style and origin, these bands had excellent performances and really helped to push the Festival into the success that it was.
Jane Decker played a solid set at the Lawn Stage, attracting a modest crowd. While normally not going the acoustic route, she was determined to play at Bunbury and being forced to play acoustic wasn’t going to stop her. Grabbing a friend to play guitar, Decker sang her heart out to her audience, excited that she won a bet on whether 100 people would show up to her show or not. Listening to this local gem was certainly worth it, and her bubbly, energetic personality made it all the more worthwhile. She showed equal excitement about her upcoming album, which will no doubt be fantastic. Routinely thanking the audience for their applause and attendance, it seems only natural to return the favor and thank her for putting on such a great set. Read more
On a beautiful summer evening along the Ohio River the crowd of around 3,000 file into the PNC Pavilion in Cincinnati, OH. to see an icon of rock and roll royalty. As it hit 8:00 the legend wasted no time as the band took the stage with the classic Creedence Clearwater Revival hit Travelin’ Band. The older crowd were on there feet singing every word right along with Fogerty. The band had a quick moment to catch a drink as Fogerty welcomes the crowd and thanks them for coming out to enjoy some great rock and roll. Fogerty told the crowd “Tonight there won’t be much talking so lets get on with it!” As the guitar riff of Green River come through the amps. As the band changed guitars, Fogerty asked did anybody attend Woodstock? he said, “I did, I took in the experience and went home and wrote this song.” As the sounds of “Who’ll Stop The Rain”. Fogerty when on to play hit after hit from the Creedence Clearwater Revival catalog along with his solo hit “Centerfield”. He did play his newest song from the 2013 album Wrote a Song for Everyone called “Mystic Highway”. Fogerty did not disappoint any of the crowd. Read more