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To the stars and beyond

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Geek metal crew Starset is bringing their interstellar message to Bogart’s Starset’s Dustin Bates with his unidentified musical objects. Photo: Kevin Estrada By Alan Sculley Many rock musicians start bands hoping they’ll have enough success to never have to work a typical day job – or in some cases, avoid college and the studying it […]

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He saw the sign

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Jonny Lang live at Cincinnati’s Taft Jonny Lang performs at Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre Jan. 14.   Photo by Daniella Hovsepian By Alan Sculley Jonny Lang says his new album, “Signs” is an example of just letting an album be what it wanted to be musically. “I don’t know what will come next,” Lang said in […]

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Lend me your earplugs

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2017’s albums worth avoiding Missio’s “Loner” By Alan Sculley It’s a misnomer to call this column the worst albums of 2017. As in any year, there were plenty of positively wretched releases, but they mostly were by obscure acts whose albums thankfully came and went without notice. There’s no need to pile on about albums […]

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Rock hard

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10 Years live at Oddbody’s 10 Year (l-r) Jesse Hasek, Kyle Mayer, Brian Vodinh, Chad Huff, Matt Wantland. Photo: Elizabeth Wiseman By Alan Sculley   Two years ago, Brian Vodinh thought he had made his final album with 10 Years, the group he founded in 1998 and had led through seven studio albums and such […]

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98 Degrees in December?

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98 Degrees’ comeback at Cincinnati’s Aronoff Photo: 98 Degrees (l-r) Drew Lachey, Nick Lachey, Jeff Timmons, Justin Jeffre. Photo: Ellas Tahan By Alan Sculley   Don’t expect a bunch of lasers, explosions, or other high-tech special effects in the holiday shows of 98 Degrees this holiday season. That’s the word from singer Drew Lachey. “With […]

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Holiday classic rolls-in

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Mannheim Steamroller on stage at Schuster Performing Arts Center Photos: Matt Christine Photography. Mannheim Steamroller performs at the Schuster Center November 29 By Alan Sculley Fans of Mannheim Steamroller and its career-making series of Fresh Aire albums figure to have a pretty merry next few months. First off, the annual holiday tour that finds two different Mannheim […]

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Not wasting any time

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Justin Townes Earle highlights new album at Memorial Hall Photo: Justin Townes Earle performs at Memorial Hall this Friday By Alan Sculley It’s no secret that as he grew up, Justin Townes Earle did not have an ideal relationship with his father alt-country/roots music artist Steve Earle. But there are benefits to being the son […]

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Good vibrations

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Mike Love still loving Photo: The Beach Boys currently (l-r) John Cowsill, Brian Eichenberger, Scott Totten, Mike Love, Jeffrey Foskett, Tim Bonhomme, Bruce Johnson. Photo: Udo Spreitzenbarth By Alan Sculley Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love has released an autobiography that covers the long and, at times, tumultuous history of the group, not to mention more than […]

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Live with ZZ Top

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ZZ Top brings their live album to Rose Music Center Frank Beard (left), Billy Gibbons (middle), and Dusty Hill (right); photo: Ross Halfin By Alan Sculley This September, ZZ Top fans will get the chance to enjoy something the group as rarely done in a career that now stretches more than 40 years – a […]

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Reaching rock ‘n’ roll divinity

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Cold War Kids on fame, fans, and the desire for something more Photo: Cold War Kids, led by Nathan Willett By Alan Sculley Cold War Kids singer/guitarist Nathan Willett feels his group has occupied a rather rare and enviable niche in the music world so far during its career. The group is widely considered an indie […]

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I and Love and You (and Avett Brothers)

Audible-Folk

Avett Brothers to play at Great American Ballpark Photo: from left to right: Joe Kwon, Scott Avett, Bob Crawford, Seth Avett By Alan Sculley The Avett Brothers have been on quite a musical journey of evolving their sound over the past decade, going from a trio playing acoustic guitar, banjo, and stand-up bass to what […]

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Back to blues

Aud-Rock

Two rhythms and blues: Joe Bonamassa’s new album with a twist Photo: Bonamassa rockin’ it on stage; photo: courtesy of Fraze Pavilion By Alan Sculley Blues-rocker Joe Bonamassa has made a habit of having a specific  musical direction in place before recording many of his solo albums. For his current studio album, Blues of Desperation, […]

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Something Warped this way comes

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Warped tour continues twisting to Cincinnati Photo: Attila plays at Riverbend Music Center July 19, part of this year’s Warped tour lineup By Alan Sculley It was early afternoon during the opening week of this year’s Warped tour when tour founder and organizer Kevin Lyman called in for an interview to discuss all things Warped. […]

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‘The impossible kid’

Audible_Beats

Aesop Rock raps his life fables in Cincinnati Photo: Ian Bavitz, who performs under the moniker Aesop Rock, takes on Cincy July 16; photo: Ben Colen By Alan Sculley As Aesop Rock tours behind his latest album, The Impossible Kid, he realizes, as a rapper who is now 40 years old, he doesn’t have much company […]

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Not forgettin’ or forgotten

Audible_Pop

Michael McDonald croons his way to Fraze Michael McDonald performs at Fraze Pavilion July 12; photo: Timothy White By Alan Sculley As Michael McDonald gets set to tour this summer and release Wide Open, his first album of new original material in 17 years in September, he is getting a boost of exposure through what […]

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Gravity-defying ’grass

Bluegrass

The Infamous Stringdusters travel on to Cincy Infamous Stringdusters’ (l-r) Travis Book, Andy Hall, Andy Falco, Chris Pandolfi, and Jeremy Garrett; photo: Scott McCormick By Alan Sculley Coming off of a 2016 album, Ladies & Gentlemen, that was a bit of a musical detour, The Infamous Stringdusters knew it was time to re-establish what the […]

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Irish Homecoming

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Celtic Woman at Clark State gala The four women of Celtic Woman (L-R) Tara McNeill, Mairead Carlin, Éabha McMahon, and […]

BOOM goes your twenties!

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Dare to deny the passage of time at the Mathile Theatre (L-R) Jonathan (Bobby Mitchum) seeks help through his first […]

The woes of legal weed

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Getting your “pot card” In addition to federal and state law, local ordinances may limit growers, dispensaries, and individuals. By […]

The graying of green

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Ambiguity and contradictions still plague marijuana laws Despite the new law going into effect, much remains to be done for […]

Girl, we couldn’t get much higher

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Evil Eye Gypsy brings psychedelic rock to South Park Tavern Evil Eye Gypsy (L-R) Cat Shift, Sherree Emmons, Aaron Snyder, […]