A night of Americana music and art at Oddbody’s

By Matt Clevenger

Photo: (l-r) Blue Moon Soup’s Jon Bauman, Robbie Marion, Brendan Moore, and Justin Moon; photo: Suzy Perler

A quartet of well-known bluegrass and folk acts will join local artists at Oddbody’s Music Room in Dayton Saturday, Nov. 12, to celebrate Americana music and art at the first Bootlegger’s Ball.


Presented by Dayton Hydroponics, Vapor Haus, and AlchemyHouse Presents, the all-night event includes much more than just an ordinary concert. The Way Down Wanderers, Blue Moon Soup, Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle, and Cliff Starbuck will perform while local artists Michael Bokoven, Tricia Calvert, and Pierre Nagley display and discuss their works in a gallery-style setting. Food and craft vendors will also attend, and Vapor Haus plans to set up a special enclosed vaping lounge outside.

“Hopefully, it starts a long tradition,” says event organizer Michael Porter, executive producer for Alchemy House Presents. “If this is successful, we’d like to turn this into an annual festival.”

“Bands will perform from 7 p.m. until approximately 2 a.m. “The music is going to start between 7 and 7:30, but we’ve been saying 7 p.m. just to make sure people get there early,” Porter says.

It’s going to be a combination concert and art gallery,” he says. “We’re going to have food vendors, and we’re also going to have an enclosed vaping lounge outside, where people can go buy liquids for their e-cigarettes and kind of hang out, like in the old days at a smoking lounge. Seven hours—that’s a long time to be at a concert, so we want to make sure that you have the comforts of being able to smoke or go outside, and there will be food.”

Groups will provide a mix of both local and regional Americana music. The headlining act, The Way Down Wanderers is from Peoria, Illinois; Blue Moon Soup is from Yellow Springs; Cliff Starbuck is from Columbus and Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle are from Cincinnati.

Special decorations and stage props will add to the event’s unique atmosphere. “It’s more than just a concert,” Porter says. “We’re going to have stage props, and a working replica moonshine still. Not making moonshine, but it’s going to be a water feature basically, and we’ll also have a giant chandelier. It’s going to be something that will tickle all the senses that one can have: sight, sound, smell, and touch.”

“It’s not just going to be your typical concert, where you’re standing in front of a stage and dancing.” he continues. “You’ll be able to move around. There’s a bar; you’ll get to look at visual arts and talk to the artists. So, it’s just way more interactive than your typical concert.”

The artwork on display that night will also be available for purchase. “One of our main artists is Michael Bokoven, and then we’re working on a few others right now,” Porter says. “The pieces there will be for sale, and the artists will be present to discuss any kind of commission work or anything like that.”

Commemorative tickets with special-edition artwork are also available for a limited time.

“You can order online, either at Oddbody’s or through our website,” Porter says. “If you purchase now, we have commemorative tickets that we mail to you. They’re decorative; it’s not just a plain old Ticketmaster ticket, it’s got some artwork on it.”

The Bootlegger’s Ball is being organized by AlchemyHouse Presents, a local company with a long history and an interesting story of its own. “AlchemyHouse is over 15 years old,” Porter says. “They managed Boombox and they also managed the Werks when they first started out.”

Originally founded by Tom Blessing, the company started out in 1997 as a senior project for a degree at Antioch University. “The intention was to start an entertainment incubation and development company,” Porter explains. “It has turned into a global media company… Management and production is based in Springfield, and the booking aspect is based in Kent, Ohio.”

“I’ve put on a few shows here in Dayton, especially at Oddbody’s,” he says. “We’ve always wanted to do a bluegrass theme. Then my friend came across the Way Down Wanderers and introduced me to their music. It just kind of seemed like everything was falling into place, and we might as well start this.”

The Bootlegger’s Ball will run from 7 p.m. to approximately 2 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, at Oddbody’s Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Rd. in Dayton. Tickets are $15 pre-sale or $20 at the door. Limited edition commemorative tickets.  For more information, please visit TheBootLeggersBall.com or Oddbodys.com.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Matt Clevenger at MattClevenger@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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