Kelley Deal and Mike Montgomery stay awhile at South Park Tavern
By Keith Bange
Creativity, new ideas, and different concepts are an essential core to a city’s thriving music environment. It is an obvious fact that musicians need to constantly fine-tune their sound and let themselves evolve as artists. However the venues and clubs that showcase the musicians need to work just as hard to keep things from becoming stale. Dedicating a certain night on any given week to a certain brand, style or concept can be a great way of bringing a necessary amount of variation and diversification to a venue. South Park Tavern has expanded on this ideology, and for the last two years, have been hosting the Buddha Den NTRO/XPO residency. This event showcases a newer, or less heard-of, artist on every Tuesday of the month, with a different act opening the show for the resident each week, and the month of April is set to deliver an artist-in-residence and a series of shows that could very well prove to be the most exciting, captivating and innovative thing to happen this month.
The artist that will be performing as the resident this month is R. Ring, a new project featuring Kelley Deal of Breeders fame and Mike Montgomery, who is involved with Candyland Recording Studio in Cincinnati. The two-piece acoustic act have been developing their relationship and their material over the last several months and trying to showcase themselves in different ways, as the material that they are writing and performing is much different from their usual body of work. The conception of R. Ring occurred when Deal met Montgomery at Candyland, during a recording session and Montgomery contacted Deal shortly thereafter and asked if she would like to collaborate with him on some of his songs to perform live. Deal elaborated, “He played me some of his songs, and they were full rock ‘n’ roll productions, so I wasn’t really sure how they would translate into an acoustic act. But after hearing a certain song I said ‘OK,’ and we began trying them out and it seemed to work.” After practicing and playing together for a few weeks, they took their act to the public, playing a record store date in Cincinnati, and now they are ready to bring their act to South Park Tavern.
The bands that are going to be opening for R. Ring are every bit as exciting and worth going to see as the main event. The first week offers a Q&A session with Amy Lee, president of the the South Park Neighborhood Association and performances by solo artist Scott Torres, as well as the Smug Brothers. The week of April 12 will feature a solo performance from Andy Gabbard, of Cincinnati grassroots rock band the Buffalo Killers. The third week might be the most interesting of them all, as a songwriting/recording session will occur at South Park Tavern, in which the audience will give musicians several ideas for songs – lyrics, chords and the like, and the musicians and even some audience members will record the song as it is conceived. This will be followed by a performance from Dayton music scene stalwarts, the Motel Beds. The last week of the residency will be opened by a Q&A session with Cincinnati tech wizard Chris Glass, local songwriting legend Nick Eddy and Dayton female punk rock quartet Jasper the Colossal.
One concept that R. Ring has developed for this residency, in which all of the opening artists will be a part of, is that they are encouraged to play their set in an unconventional way. Deal said, “We wanted to challenge the acts that we are playing with to try to play their music in a different way than they are used to. Not necessarily playing acoustic instruments, just something or anything beyond drum sets and giant amplifiers.” The variety of acts opening for R. Ring, and the fact that they will be playing their music in very different ways than they typically do, is sure to make this NTRO/XPO residency one of the most unique and entertaining residencies in the series’ history.
The R. Ring Buddha Den NTRO/XPO residency for the month of April is a testament to everything that a dynamic and evolving music scene is about. It brings a large variance of quality musical acts to the audience in a way that they are not used to and exposes both the audience and the musicians to a concept that is not only refreshing, but one that a local music scene like Dayton’s needs not only to survive, but to grow as well. Music starts at 10 p.m. sharp and the best part? These events are completely free. What more could a music scene ask for?
The R. Ring Buddha Den NTRO/XPO residency for April 2011 will take place every Tuesday in April, starting April 5. Doors open at 9 p.m., music starts at 10 p.m. Admission is free. For more informaiton, visit www.southparktavern.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Keith Bange at email@example.com.