Monty says..."KEEP A ROLLIN"Hello dear MPMFers! We've been all over the place lately, huh? From Covington's Jockey Club to The Who tragedy at the former Riverfront Coliseum to Herzog Studios in downtown Cincinnati. I just wanted to say a heartfelt THANK YOU! for joining me on these adventures. In this edition, we'll be visiting the historical stamp left by a person integral to the transitionary period of Blues to Rock music, from here in theHeartland, Tiny Bradshaw.
His name may have been "Tiny", but Bradshaw's contribution to Rock and Roll as you and I know it today was anything but. Born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1903 (slightly younger than me...), Bradshaw began his music career in a band known as the Collegians. Eager to accelerate his trajectory, he moved to New York and was a drummer for various bands, eventually gaining enough clout to organize his own swing orchestra. Bandleaders were expected to perform musically and theatrically, bringing personality and verve to the already-hopping music they were feeding their audiences.
Popular music was progressing from Jazz and Swing oriented sounds to Rhythm and Blues, and Bradshaw kept up with the times. His sound transitioned in the early '40s and Tiny and his band hit pay dirt: they had found their niche and recorded Rhythm and Blues material for Cincinnati's own King Records from 1949 to 1955. Bradshaw's biggest and most well-known accomplishment came in the form of the groundbreaking song, "The Train Kept A Rollin", recorded for King Records on October 6, 1951. Originally a "jump Blues" song, "The Train Kept A Rollin" was soon covered by Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio, and with this, the change in popular music became apparent, as the lead instrument focus was brought more to the guitar rather than piano or saxophone.
From here, the popularity of Bradshaw's song snowballed. "The Train Kept A Rollin" was covered by the Yardbirds in 1965 (members included Jimmy Page, who's next project was a little band called Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, of synonymous and Cream fame, and Jeff Beck - all three Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarists) and subsequently went on to be performed by Aerosmith, Motorhead and Metallica among many, many others.
While the song continued to be popular, Bradshaw's particular brand of success as a bandleader was dying out. Attempts at crossing into teen-oriented music proved fruitless and Bradshaw's continuing health ailments all took a toll. Following a stroke, Tiny Bradshaw passed away in 1958 in what had become his home base, Cincinnati. I believe Tiny would be proud today if he could see how far his successors have taken his lively, energetic tune. Stop by my riverboat at the docks of the Ohio River and we'll put my original copy of "The Train Kept A Rollin" on the old record player and celebrate the way music transcends the ages. Until then, you can have a listen here and join me on July 25 for the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Tiny Bradshaw's original recording of "The Train Kept A Rollin" on King Records.
MidPoint Indie Summer Series :: July 8
9:30pm :: Big Freedia
Oh. My. Holy riverboats, captain! My first reaction to Big Freedia was an uncontrollable urge to jump up on deck and start shaking my, um, booty. (Not to be confused with that of a pirate...different things!) I cannot tell a lie, I had never heard of this "bounce" music before listening to this New Orleans-based rapper. The definition I'll give you: a wildly energetic emcee/rapper-personality giving infectious instructions over a contagious beat known as Triggerman (sampled in most bounce music), with lots of synth and mixer samples and effects. Essentially, listening to Big Freedia makes me nostalgic for my youthful Saturday nights spent at the disco-roller rink, mixed with the rush that good, clean candy-rap brings to my head. I need some space to cut loose when Big Freedia diva-fys the stage, so if someone could hold my hat and monocle, I'd be very grateful.
8:00pm :: The Cincy Brass
Sometimes, simplicity is complicated. This formula is one of the best I've ever sampled. Ten dudes + ten cohesively-played instruments + Cincy-sass + choice covers + rabid fun = an entire set devoted to getting your dance groove ON. Seriously, people. No one instrument dominates this mainly-brass-and-sax group (grounded drums are present too) and players take turns with great solos and fun lines that wind all over and under the persistent beat, and when they meet back together, these guys run like clockwork again. Efficient and exuberant, I don't foresee a single stationary person during their set. And if I find one, I will just have to dance up on you. Do you really want that?
7:00pm :: SHADOWRAPTR
A wallflower, SHADOWRAPTR is not. Instead, they dart in and out of the spotlight with every serving of instrumentation. This Cincinnati four-piece is a wonderful amalgamation of what can best be described as innovative indie-funk. They weave a musical tapestry of smooth bass lines, intricate yet simple melodies, and lead singer Stephen Patota maintains a straight-forward delivery that flows nicely with keyboardist/backup vocalist Kat Hensley's soulful intonations. Every time I think I've figured out their pattern within a song, they switch it up and serve up unexpected nuggets of awesome. Each song runs the gamut between widely-diversified genres in a polished, nonchalant way that holds your attention from start to finish. Let the dancing begin!
More artist announcements! Adam Arcuragi, Brass Bed, Capstan Shafts, The Felice Brothers, Fort Frances, Hunter Valentine, Lydia Loveless, Paper Thick Walls, Scattered Trees, Sick of Sarah, Tristen, Vanity Theft, We are Hex and Yawn!!
Download Chamberlin's Dust, Fort Frances' The Atlas and Mates of State's Marcas for FREE!
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:: ICB Audio
:: Kofenya Coffeehouse
:: Refuge Coffee Bar
:: Sitwells Coffee House
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