Archive for June 2008

Interview with Sarah Jarosz

Sarah Jarosz

Sarah Jarosz

Interview by Scott Preston

Sarah Jarosz (pronounced juh-ROSE) shares her talent and love for music through her powerful, soulful voice, songwriting, and multi-instrumental skills which include mandolin, guitar, and clawhammer banjo. Sarah currently performs as a solo artist. At the age of 16, she has already been invited to perform on stage with many great musicians including Earl Scruggs; Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder; The David Grisman Quintet; The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience; Tim O’Brien, among many others.

In March of 2007, Sarah Jarosz won an Austin Music Award during the SXSW Music conference. She is the youngest individual to win an AMA since Charlie Sexton won in the mid-80s. Sarah was awarded a scholarship to attend “a Mandolin Symposium” at the University of California at Santa Cruz in the summer of 2007 for the fourth consecutive year. Sarah has been selected for seven years as a member of the OAKE (Kodaly) National Honor Choir. In the spring of 2007, she was inducted into the National Honor Society. Sarah’s goals are to continue to grow as a musician, singer, and songwriter, to strive to be the best person she can be, and to travel the world to share her music with people from all walks of life. She says it best herself: “I see myself spending my entire life doing what I love, and that love is music.” (from

Cincy Groove: So I understand you are at the airport right now? Where are you leaving from? and where are you heading?

Sarah Jarosz: I just came from Santa Cruz where they has the Mandolin Symposium. I haven’t slept yet because of all the jamming that was going on. I am actually now in Seattle, headed to a camp called Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend. Its with Derrick Powell and Tim O’Brien, I have never been there before so I am really excited. Read more

Photos – Messerly & Ewing, 6.29.08, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH

Messerly & Ewing

Messerly & Ewing

More Photos – Messerly & Ewing, 6.29.08, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH

Photos by Scott Preston Read more

Photos – Kim Taylor, 6.29.08, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH

Kim Taylor

Kim Taylor

More Photos – Kim Taylor, 6.29.08, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH

Photos by Scott Preston Read more

Photos – Straw Boss, 6.27.08, Fountain Square, Cincinnati, OH

Straw Boss

Straw Boss

More Photos – Straw Boss, 6.27.08, Fountain Square, Cincinnati, OH

Photos by Scott Preston Read more

Interview with Don Brewer from Grand Funk Railroad

don brewer, grand funk railroad

Don Brewer from Grand Funk Railroad

Interview by Scott Preston

Grand Funk laid the groundwork for such bands as Foreigner, Journey, Van Halen and Bon Jovi with its signature hard driving sound, soulful vocals, muscular instrumentation and forceful pop melodies. The fact that Grand Funk’s legacy still reigns over the Classic Rock landscape more than thirty-five years after its 1969 birth in Flint, Michigan is a testament to the group’s influence and staying power. Mega-hits We’re An American Band, I’m Your Captain/Closer To Home, Locomotion, and Some Kind Of Wonderful still receive continuous airplay on Classic Rock radio. We’re An American Band has received notoriety in recent years being used in movie sound tracks and in television/radio advertising. The huge hit was featured in a recent General Motors national TV ad campaign and in Disney’s animated feature film The Country Bears.

Internationally acclaimed Grand Funk has toured the world, selling out in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan and South America. A 1971 performance at New York’s Shea Stadium sold out faster than the Beatles. The group’s widespread appeal is also evident in its prestigious recording achievements. Over their career, Grand Funk has had 19 charted singles, 8 Top 40 hits and two Number One singles (We’re An American Band and Locomotion, both selling more than one million each). The group has 13 gold and 10 platinum records with record sales in excess of 25 million copies sold worldwide. The most recent gold CD award was presented to the band May 10, 2002 for their greatest hits package Grand Funk Railroad The Collectors Series. (from

Cincy Groove: Is Grand Funk working on any new projects right now?

Don Brewer: We have 4 new songs we perform in the shows and we are always working on ideas and performing them live. Its really a whole new ballgame out there in the recording world. The recording industry as we knew it is gone. We are very happy to be a classic rock act and happy to be able to play live. Read more

Interview with Holly Long

holly long

Holly Long

Interview by Scott Preston

Raised in Chi-town and born into a musical family, singer/songwriter Holly Long needled her parents into piano lessons on her Great-Grandmother’s upright Hamilton at age 7. As a young child she was exposed to the sounds of Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Elton John, Beethoven and the Beatles, sprinkled with daily doses of Free To Be You and Me via her Dad’s HiFi stereo headphones. Diversely influenced, spent her youth and early adult years performing in various musicals, piano recitals and plays.

Holly Long has recorded her third full length album, Leaving Kansas, under the astute musical direction of her producer and dear friend, Anthony JW Benson. This latest sweeping effort- two years in the making- was officially released world-wide in April, 2008. Copies are available on or on itunes, Rhapsody, emusic, CDBaby, Napster and many other online outlets. (from

Cincy Groove: I understand you made an appearance on a radio show there in Knoxville, TN earlier today?

Holly Long: Yes it was WDVX, and I didn’t realize it until I got there, but it was a live format show. They had a cool little stage and people would come off the street to listen. There ended up being 50 – 60 people in this room.

Cincy Groove: Your latest cd “Leaving Kansas” was just released a few months ago correct?

Holly Long: It officially dropped on April 15. I had it for a few months before that, just selling it to friends, but thats when it was officially released. I had the cd release show in Minneapolis, MN where I recorded it. A lot of the musicians who were on the record came out and played with me at the show.

Cincy Groove: I noticed that compared to your previous albums, the recording process was a little more intense for your latest cd “Leaving Kansas”.

Holly Long: Well, my first two records were done locally, just 15-20 minutes from my house. I used L.A. engineers and producers on the first 2. Nothing against any of those people I worked with, I love them all, I just felt I had to branch out and learn more. In order to do that I felt I had to take on a different team, because I wanted to try a different style and sound. Read more

Interview with Sam Andrew from Big Brother & The Holding Co

big brother and the holding company

Big Brother & The Holding Co

Interview by Scott Preston

Evolving out of the San Francisco rock scene of the 1960s, Big Brother was in the forefront of the psychedelic music movement.

The band was formed by Peter Albin, Sam Andrew, James Gurley and Chuck Jones in San Francisco, in a Victorian mansion/boarding house owned by Peter’s uncle at 1090 Page Street in the Haight-Ashbury. That house became the site of Wednesday night jam sessions which were organized by Chet Helms who was the real “Big Brother,” naming the band, bringing James Gurley into the fold and later seeing that his old friend Janis Joplin came to sing with them.The first official Big Brother gig was at the Open Theater in Berkeley, January 1966. Within a short time they became the house band for Chet at the Avalon Ballroom and began to develop a loyal following, largely due to the charismatic, pioneering guitar work of James Gurley. The band had what Sam Andrew called a “progressive-regressive hurricane blues style,” playing such tunes as Hall of the Mountain King, Coo Coo, That’s How Strong My Love Is, and Down On Me. (from

Cincy Groove: So how did Big Brother first end up getting together?

Sam Andrew: I was walking down the street one day in San Francisco and heard some guitar playing coming out of a window. It turns out it was Peter Albin, who plays bass in Big Brother. It sounded really good so I told him “Lets start a band”. So we started playing together every week, sometimes more frequently than that. Over the course of a year we evolved into a band. We were very well known in the San Francisco music scene before Janis came on board. But after she arrived we really started having fun. Read more

Interview with Willy Morren from Daughters and Sons

Willy Morren, Daughters and Sons

Willy Morren from Daughters and Sons

Interview by Scott Preston

Photos by Amy Hartman

Willy Morren from Daughters and Sons sat down with Cincy Groove to let us know about the origins of Daughters and Sons, the bands plan for a full length LP, and what music influenced him early in his musical career. Daughters and Sons next show is June 28 2008 at the Adjust Your Eyes Festival taking place at the Southgate House.

Cincy Groove: How long has Daughters and Sons been together?

Willy Morren: Well with all the players we have right now its been about 5 months. It took us a year before that to get to the point where we are now. We started as a 3 piece and we weren’t happy with that at all. We desperately wanted some keyboards and some horns. We also were thinking about the flute, oboe. If you ever hear the theme song from the tv show Beretta, you’ll hear how flute and funk are forever linked in my mind.

Cincy Groove: Were you in any bands before Daughters and Sons?

Willy Morren: I was in a band called Nitty Irvings Family. Nitty was my nickname for the longest time and still is, I can’t seem to get rid of it. Then I took a random last name and we went out as Nitty Irvings Family. Basically a 3 piece Hendrix type band. It was something I did to keep me busy. My love has always been with funk. I grew up listening to Sly & The Family Stone, The Commodores, Earth Wind and Fire, thats all I listened to as well as everyone on my block.

So with Daughters and Sons I think we are very unique, some of our songs are hard to classify. Someone described our song “Noah’s Arcade” as Prince singing for Creedance Clearwater Revival. Find a bin for that in the record store. Read more

Interview with Beth Cheek from The Fairmount Girls and Lovely Crash

beth cheek

Beth Cheek

Interview by Scott Preston

Photos by Scott Preston, Matt Witherspoon

A veteran of the Cincinnati music scene, Beth Cheek, is getting ready for The Fairmount Girls cd release this Friday June 27 at Northside Tavern. Beth also let me in on whats going on with Lovely Crash, how she got her start in music and the ever popular Pop Rocks benefit concert which is in the planning stages as we speak.

Cincy Groove: So I understand the Fairmount Girls are having a cd release show this month? is the cd all finished?

Beth: Yes it going to be June 27 at Northside Tavern. The cd is all finished.

Cincy Groove: How long have The Fairmount Girls been together?

Beth: To tell you the truth I’m not really sure. I think I’m like the 16th person to be in the band. There have been some good incarnations and some not so good. This group we have now is really good and we have been getting some positive feedback. The kind of weird thing with this group is that everyone in the Fairmount Girls right now is also in their own bands. When this group first came together we were all very strong players in our own bands, so it took a little while for us to all meld together. I’m really happy with how we all groove together.

The group now is myself (Lovely Crash) Pat Hennessey (Tiger Lillies), Randy Cheek (The Ass Ponys), Melissa Fairmount (The Thirteens, My Wife the Tiger), and Dana Hamblen (Culture Queer). All those bands are very different and very strong. So its something we spent a lot of time on bringing all of those influences together. Read more

Photos – Jon Justice Band, 6.22.08, Fraze Pavilion, Kettering, OH

Jon Justice

Jon Justice

More Photos – Jon Justice Band, 6.22.08, Fraze Pavilion, Kettering, OH

Photos by Scott Preston

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