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Blending blues, rock 'n' roll, punk and early American music with modern forms, Austin, Texas-based duo Ghost Wolves is no stranger to MOTR Pub. The band has made the Cincinnati music venue a repeat stop during its almost eight years of touring. This time is a little different. The group returns to MOTR Friday fresh off the release of its three-son…
 
Erika Wennerstrom, the lead of Heartless Bastards, released her debut solo album, “Sweet Unknown,” in March of 2018 on Partisan Records. Wennerstrom’s solo songs are built on the same blues and folk foundations as her songs with the Bastards, but her flirtations with both psychedelic sounds and pop sensibilities are both ambitious and clear on “Swe…
 
Set List: Dennis Quaid - interview - Shouting Matches The Waiting Room Taylor Janzen's WCPO Lounge Acts session was recorded on May 31, 2019 in the WCPO Digital Lounge in Cincinnati, OH. WCPO Lounge Acts features intimate in-studio performances and interviews from outstanding musical artists. Mixed by Brian Niesz. Hosted by Emmalee Smith.…
 
No Bones about it... Raised on gospel and country in rural Missouri, Bones Owens ’ sound is far more hard-hitting than the music of his upbringing. With a simple band setup of drums and a guitar, led by Owens’ powerful vocals, it’s exactly the kind of music you’d expect to hear on the stages of Nashville. Bones released his debut EP, Hurt No One, i…
 
To listen to Triiibe is to know their causes: love, peace, community, prosperity, faith, self-sustainability. Triiibe, an acronym for True Representation of Intellectual Individuals Invoking Black Excellence, is comprised of three talented members: Pxvce (pronounced “peace”), Siri Imani, and Aziza Love. Together, they create their own brand of “art…
 
Oft-compared to the ethereal warblings of Florence Welch and Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries, Natalie Carol’s voice is unforgettable. As the frontwoman of Valley Queen, she’s the driving force behind a sound that is quintessentially California. To round out their lineup, she’s accompanied by Neil Wogensen (bass/vocals), Shawn Morones (guitar/v…
 
In 2014, Brooklyn-based duo Weeknight released its debut album " Post Everything ." Nearly five years later, the band's founders, Andy Simmons and Holly MacGibbon released Weeknight's second album "Dead Beat Creep" on Feb. 1. The second album features band mates Russell Hymowitz and Jasper Berg, who joined the band in 2017. With Hymowitz on base gu…
 
Jules Hale, the frontwoman of Washington D.C.-based Den-Mate, is a force to be reckoned with. She’s previously described the character behind “Charlotte,” the opening track on Den-Mate’s most recent album, as the "insecure mannerism that we all revert to when we are feeling misheard, misguided and misunderstood,” but to hear Hales sing, you wouldn’…
 
Everyone loves a good post-breakup anthem. We’ve all been heartbroken in one way or another, and it seems to help when someone far more musically gifted is able to put those feelings into music and lyrics. Somehow, hearing a musician play out their own heartbreak in a way that mirrors yours can be cathartic, even if you’re not post-breakup. Allyse …
 
Bridging the gaps between punk and indie rock, Grace Vonderkuhn is smart, sharp and deeply melodic. The frontwoman of a three piece outfit for the past two years, Vonderkuhn brings formidable vocals and guitar slayage to every song, with a magnetic energy that can’t be ignored. The band’s first EP was recorded on an 8-track cassette recorder and su…
 
Country music singer Jeremy Pinnell traveled hundreds of miles before returning home to perform at the Octave in Covington. The Northern Kentucky native spent the last four weeks driving out west and then back again for the western leg of his 2018 summer tour. The tour promoted Pinnell's second full-length studio album "Ties of Blood and Affection,…
 
Formed in 2009 right here in sunny Cincinnati, Vacation is a formidable foursome bringing you a classic, grunge-influenced sound. Comprised of guitarist John Hoffman, drummer Dylan McCartney, vocalist/guitarist Jerri Queen and bassist Evan Wolff, they self-describe their sound as “grit pop.” It’s an apt description, as their sound is distinctly bas…
 
Picture it: you’re taking in a show from a cool local band. The lead singer rocks a blonde mullet and one long earring, and the petite keyboardist dances and harmonizes along. The music is upbeat, danceable pop, filled with synthesizers. If you think you’ve been transported back to the 1980’s, guess again. It’s 2018, and this is Moonbeau, a Cincinn…
 
It would be easy to be skeptical of an all percussion foursome, but fear not: The Kraken Quartet brings a lot to the table. Comprised of Chris Demetriou, Andrew Dobos, Taylor Eddinger and Sean Harvey, the Austin-based band met in college, and over the years they’ve found interesting and unique ways to layer their instruments to create an all-encomp…
 
If you’re looking for tunes to soothe your soul, look no further than Freedom Nicole Moore & The Electric Moon. With clear influences of soul, funk, and indie sounds in their music, this Cincinnati-based group with have you singing along in no time. That said, good luck matching the smooth warmth of frontwoman Moore’s voice. With introspective lyri…
 
Blending overlapping layers of electronic sounds, upbeat rhythms, and minimalist vocals, Us, Today is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Recently, they added an enthralling lighting element that makes their performances visual standouts as well--see their performance in the WCPO Lounge for proof. Their eclectic sound is reflected in--and lar…
 
More than just another band, Cincinnati’s own A Delicate Motor is a music composition and performance project like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Launched by Adam Petersen, the group utilizes keyboard, vocals, and completely unique percussion loops to create ambient sounds that the give same improvised, untethered vibe of good jazz music, with t…
 
Like a warm cup of coffee, Maryland folk musician Michael Nau’s music will simultaneously relax you with cozy folk vibes and invigorate you with vibrant, expressive lyrics. Formerly the frontman of Page France and Cotton Jones, Nau sounds like your really talented friend playing for you in the living room. In fact, Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread w…
 
If you ever find yourself looking for something deeply cinematic or intensely moody, Fotocrime has just what you need. If there were a universal soundtrack to represent film noir, Fotocrime would be it. If you like your music on the dark side, but maintaining a high level of mastery when it comes to song writing and style, Fotocrime is just the tic…
 
Set list: "Slow Down" - interview - "Lives for a Season" "The Morning" “Created with love in Over-the-Rhine.” That’s how Jess Lamb’s music is described on her website. If you’re thinking it might sound more like the description of a piece of art than a style of music, you probably haven’t heard Jess Lamb’s music. And if you’re in Cincinnati and you…
 
Set list: "Another Chance" "Rising Star" - interview - "A Million Pearls" "Champagne" When it comes to musical trades, it seems like Shara Nova has set out to prove that she can be jack of all trades, master of… all. With an upbringing surrounded by evangelical music followed by formal education in operatic voice and classical composition, Nova, no…
 
Northside-based percussionist Ben Sloan is beating on a standard drum kit, but the oscillating chords, birdcalls and Star Trek-esque bleeps sound anything but typical. "It's more like you're curating a set of sounds," the UC College-Conservatory of Music graduate said. "It's on the cusp of being a full composition and then also just improvising wit…
 
In a meteoric rise to popularity, electronic rock duo Missio had dozens of record labels come calling the same day Sirius XM's Alt Nation picked up their breakthrough single"Middle Fingers" a year ago. Just a couple months later, RCA Records released the Austin, Texas-based pair's debut album "Loner" in May 2017. "At first glance, most people will …
 
Fresh off the Feb. 2 release of their fifth full-length album, Fruition stopped by the WCPO Lounge with a stripped-down, acoustic set that tackled heartbreaking love lost with just a dash of hopefulness. For the band, "Watching It All Fall Apart" represents far more than a collection of break-up songs. Like a dying tree that falls in a forest, new …
 
She made a big statement with her debut EP "Life/Death/Life" last fall, but now the Queen City's own neo-soul artist Lauren Eylise is sharing her "unapologetically feminine and soul-stirring vibes" with an R&B-loving crowd Thursday night at Downtown's Aronoff Center. The songwriter and her band, the Part-Time Lovers, are celebrating Valentine's a d…
 
From first listen, Adron's hypnotically voiced songs grip you with their unconventional blend of Brazilian samba, Bossa nova and Tropicália in multiple languages punctuated by birdcalls, whistles and rainfall. Her music may sound odd to some, but therein lies Adron's appeal. Folk sounds have elbowed their way into the mainstream over the past decad…
 
Since 2000, this five-piece group out of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has been picking its own version of bluegrass imbued with a rule-breaking spirit and a concert light show to rival any rock 'n' roll act. "We bring bluegrass to people who aren't familiar with it. Often I’m told, 'I don’t even like bluegrass, but you guys are great,'" mandolinist and lea…
 
The holidays are a great time to come together, reconnect with friends and family, share sumptuous meals, exchange gifts and, after all that face time, get far, far away from home and check out some awesome music. This year, we are doubly blessed. Local favorites Pearlene are celebrating the 10th anniversary of one of the best albums ever written a…
 
Breaking up can be soul-crushing. But for Alex Cohen writing, and singing, about it one way to help ease the pain. The frontwoman of four-year-old Brooklyn-via-Austin indie rock band Alex Napping channeled the hurt, confusion and distress of a painful romantic split into the band’s excellent second album, "Mise En Place," which came out on the Fath…
 
If you’ve never seen Philadelphia’s Low Cut Connie live, let’s just say your nights have been kind of boring so far. The excitable boogie-woogie rockers have been crisscrossing the country for the past seven years baptizing ever-increasing crowds with their patented high-energy tunes, propelled by wildman singer Adam Weiner and his trusty upright p…
 
Acclaimed Cincinnati songsmiths Young Heirlooms take you on a nostalgic journey with their sentimental, heartfelt original tunes. Music and lyrics composed by Kelly Fine and Chris Robinson are based on family history, personal experience, and adventures on the run. Set list: Silverglade Bury Me (With My Hammer) - interview - Jellico Over & Over…
 
We all have vices, but few among us neatly package them into a sonic tour of our indiscretions. But thank the Lord for Suzanne Santo, who's fronted the duo HoneyHoney alongside Benjamin Jaffe for a decade. When her solo debut "Ruby Red" dropped in August, it sent listeners see-sawing through 11 tracks alternatively filled with vice and redemption. …
 
With a layered and deeply texture sound, San Fermin stands out in the current indie pop scene with its eight-member ensemble that utilizes trumpet and saxophone and violin and guitar and trombones and synth. The project is the brainchild of composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, who writes and arranges all of San Fermin’s music. The Brooklyn-native formed Sa…
 
Indie synth pop trio DYAN took a few years to settle into their own songwriting from scoring film and TV projects, but once they did, people paid attention. The title track of their July 2016 debut album "Looking for Knives" topped a half-million plays on Spotify's Viral Chart within a month's time. Frontwoman Alexis Marsh (vocals/guitar/bass) had …
 
At a time when raucous, highly produced pop, amplified arena rock and jittery electronic jams are the musical currency of the day, Azniv Korkejian is a tranquil pond. The Hollywood-by-way-of-Aleppo folk singer is a throwback strummer whose tour de force single “Solitary Daughter” contains what might be her mission statement: “I don’t need your comp…
 
ClockworkDJ, born Garrett Uddin, got his start more than 16 years ago DJing at his high school dances. He moved his way up to playing parties and clubs while attending the University of Cincinnati and eventually landed a world-class gig as rapper Mac Miller's DJ. He has traveled around the world in the years since, but Uddin is brimming with excite…
 
Unhurried, buzzy guitar melodies noodle their way through 11 songs on Keeps' debut album "Brief Spirit," which Cincinnati's own Old Flame Records dropped in March 2016. Gusti Escalante and Robbie Jackson, both on guitars and vocals, bonded over their shared fear of falling into Music City's pop-country trap when they met on freshman move-in day at …
 
Lillie Mae has yet to climb out of her mid-20s, but the singer/songwriter has already spent more than a decade fiddling her way through the honky tonks of Music City’s Lower Broadway and backing Jack White. Just a couple months ago, she stepped out on her own to drop her debut solo album “Forever and Then Some” on April 14. “What isn’t interesting …
 
In 2006, brothers Chris Wood (upright bass) and Oliver Wood (guitars) joined forces after years of playing (respectively) with Medeski, Martin and Wood and King Johnson. They eventually added a third member in drummer and all-purpose instrumentalist Jano Rix. "Chris and I had such a great time playing together and realizing that we’ve been doing th…
 
For most punk rock bands making their home in Washington, D.C. now would probably be a particularly opportune time to rage against the machine. Especially if your previous work had a decidedly political bent and you prided yourself on taking a stand against injustice and inequality, which is why the first full-length album from D.C.'s Priests, Janu…
 
For their WCPO Lounge Acts session, Surfer Blood performed an acoustic set of songs new and old. Indie-rockers Surfer Blood saw a huge buzz breakthrough with “Swim” in 2009 before hitting a rough patch as frontman John Paul Pitts’ dealt with personal drama and the tragic loss of 27-year-old guitarist Thomas Fekete to his battle with cancer. The Feb…
 
Garage punk group Le Butcherettes debuts new material for WCPO Lounge Acts. Mexican-American songwriter Teresa Suarez Cosio made a name for herself performing splattered in blood, most often fake but apparently once a real pig’s blood at a Mexico City gig in 2009. It paid off, though, quickly leading to tours with big-name acts like The Flaming Lip…
 
The Colorado-based quartet Slow Caves offers a relaxed and surfy update to '80s synth, '90s jangle and early 2000s indie rock on its EP Desert Minded, which dropped in March on Cincinnati's own Old Flame Records.Danish-born brothers Jakob and Oliver Mueller handle vocals and guitars, rounded out by their childhood friends David Dugan on guitar/bass…
 
This New York City trio rounds out Lounge Acts' Bunbury trifecta hot off the May 25 release of their synthy smooth single “So I Met Someone.”“After a lot of dark, synth heavy disco-rock numbers, we wanted something with a different kind of energy,” VHS Collection told Billboard. “Our sound naturally evolves every few months, and we don't see any ne…
 
Minnesota-born singer/songwriter Cobi performs new material for WCPO Lounge Acts. His debut solo single “Don’t You Cry For Me” hit No. 1 last June.With a bluesy sound and inevitable Hozier comparisons, Cobi croons “Please help me chop this tree down/Or hold me from underneath/Words never once cut me down/Oh don’t you cry for me.”The emotionally cha…
 
There are big ships and small ships, but the best of all is Frenship! This Los Angeles-based electro-pop duo met selling stretchy ladies’ garments at Lululemon and experimented with their sound before honing in on the ’80s-inspired, high-energy dual vocals that now define them.James Sunderland and Brett Hite’s single “Capsize” went viral in June 20…
 
Colin Rigsby of colorful pop band Vesperteen performs live and chats for WCPO Lounge Acts.What is it about Columbus that’s inspired so much joyous, colorful pop music lately? From world-beating duo Twenty One Pilots to up-and-comers Vesperteen, our neighbor to the north is doing something very right. Fronted by drummer/singer Colin Rigsby, Vesperte…
 
Whether it’s finishing work on his long-awaited third solo album or finding the perfect spot for a new recording studio, Brian Olive is a man of infinite patience. That explains why the sessions for his upcoming effort, Living on Top, took close to three years, as the retro sound-loving former member of beloved Cincinnati garage rock icons The Gree…
 
The power duo has met its match in Nashville’s Smooth Hound Smith. The duo consisting of guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Zack Smith and singer/percussionist Caitlin Doyle makes a righteous noise with a boot-stompin’, tear-in-your-beer fervor that earned them a spot opening for the Dixie Chicks last summer.Drawing comparisons to everyone from fellow…
 
Yoni Wolf of the alternative hip-hop group WHY? performs for WCPO Lounge Acts.If Yoni Wolf had been born 20 years earlier he might have fallen into the same slipstream as poet/singers like Leonard Cohen, or been greeted as a kind of politically agnostic Bob Dylan. The longtime leader of Cincinnati-bred hip-hop/folk group WHY? definitely deals with …
 
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