Music News & Reviews

WCBE proudly presents the return of River City Extension to Columbus!

The Toms River, NJ group are touring in support of their brand new release "Deliverance"... the long awaited follow up to 2012's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger". 

They'll perform Sunday, April 12th at The Basement with Cold Fronts and Emily & The Complexes!

WCBE proudly presents the Americana group The Vespers at the Rumba Cafe on Sunday, April 12th at 7PM!

The Nashville, TN group are out on the road with their third studio release "Sisters And Brothers" and will be making a return to Columbus!

WCBE proudly presents the return of Martin Sexton to The Newport on Thursday, April 9th! 

Jim Lauderdale
Michael Weintrob

WCBE proudly presents Jim Lauderdale with local musician Erica Blinn for a special performance at Woodland's Tavern on Wednesday April 8th... doors are at 8PM and show time is at 9PM! 

WCBE proudly presents Chesapeake VA's acoustic rock/alt folk outfit The Last Bison along with Nashville's modern folk band Neulore at The Rumba Cafe on Monday April 6th at 8PM! 

WCBE proudly presents the return of two of Columbus' finest local acts for a hometown show on Saturday, April 4th at The Columbus Athenaeum

There are four official members of Houndmouth: guitarist Matt Myers, keyboardist Katie Toupin, drummer Shane Cody and bassist Zak Appleby, all of whom also pitch in with the singing and songwriting. But far more people than that contribute to their second album, Little Neon Limelight. Only artful alt-roots producer Dave Cobb, recording engineer Vance Powell and mastering engineer Pete Lyman pop up in the credits, though.

It'd be inexact to describe Matthew E. White as a reluctant frontman, but up until the advent of Fresh Blood, his excellent second album, "rock star" wasn't exactly how he saw his future in music. His plan was more quixotic than becoming a successful singer-songwriter: He was starting a label, called Spacebomb Records, in the manner of Motown or Stax or Studio One, with a band and production team in-house. (Literally — his drummer is his roommate and their attic is Spacebomb Studios.)

Working as a music journalist means that some days you get to tell people, in breathless prose, about an incredible new record you've discovered. On other days, you have to tell people that an artist you've followed and respected for years is no longer living. That part is never any fun. Listening to the hushed, elegantly spare Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith, I found myself transported back to the period right after Smith died, of apparently self-inflicted stab wounds, in 2003.

In his rockabilly history Go Cat Go!, ethnomusicologist Craig Morrison describes the typical cradle of rock 'n' roll: a community hall reconfigured to serve as a nightclub for a night. "There might be Christmas lights strung across the back of the stage, tables and chairs around the perimeter of the room, food available for purchase, and maybe booze," Morrison writes. A jittery, ambitious band plays as loudly as possible, in order to be heard over the din of all the flirting, fighting and dancing.

He asks a lot of questions, this José González.

He opened his last album, 2013's band project Junip, with a thought experiment Nietzsche could love: "What would you do if it all came back to you?" The song, "Line Of Fire," dwells in a mood of idle 3 a.m. musing; González tosses out existential/metaphysical conundrums like he's feeding bread to ducks — casually, without worrying much about concrete answers.

Two stretched concepts made the rock 'n' roll coming out of Sun Studios in the 1950s unlike other music of its kind: time and space. In a shabby little room near downtown Memphis, Sam Phillips gave the men and kids he recorded all the room in the world. "Spontaneity" was Phillips' mantra, which was particularly potent for the youngest Sun cats.

What does it take for a work of art to become an intervention? In music, any reinterpretation alters the original, if only because different fingerprints touch it. But certain lineages — folk music, for example — are built on the bones of those retellings. Whoever owns a song for a period of time connects it to her lived experience and the world in which she lives, and it changes. It might also change the world, or a small part of it.

WCBE is proud to be a sponsor of Firebase-Rock: An Evening Of Music To Benefit Afghanistan And Iraq Veterans on Saturday, February 7th at King Ave. 5!

Please join us along with Columbus Love, Four String Brewing Company for an evening of great music and fundraising with proceeds going to VETMotorsports!

WCBE proudly presents Charlie Mars on Saturday, February 7th at Woodland's Tavern

Please join us for Winter Wednesdays at Woodland's Tavern with FREE shows 6:30-8:30 from some great acts!

February 4th - Big Leg Emma

February 11th - Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers

February 18th - Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle

The songs of Elliott Smith are widely revered — especially by those who came of age in the '90s — but a new generation of listeners is only beginning to discover him. Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith is likely to expose new fans to the great singer-songwriter. Smith released five albums in his lifetime and died in 2003 from two stab wounds to the chest; he'd left a suicide note. His songs, which often dealt with depression and desperation, were beautiful and frequently quiet.

Please join us for Winter Wednesdays at Woodland's Tavern with FREE shows 6:30-8:30 from some great acts!

January 7th - Bummers

January 14th - Electric Orange Peel

January 21st - Michaela Anne

January 28th - Dangermuffin

WCBE proudly presents roots/soul/blues rocker Patrick Sweany at Skully's on Friday, December 12th! Cincinnati's Buffalo Killers will support! 

WCBE proudly presents the return of southern rockers Gov't Mule to The LC Pavilion with special guest John Scofield, the Ohio born jazz-rock guitarist and composer.

Damien Rice's creative ambition has always outstripped his personal ambition: The Irish singer-songwriter's 2002 debut O yielded many lavish orchestral flourishes, and even a foray into opera near the end, but Rice himself always seemed a reluctant star. After 2006's 9, he quietly retreated from the public eye and relocated to Iceland, barely popping up publicly since, so the arrival of these eight new songs comes as a welcome and periodically thrilling surprise.

It's rare that a record lays out a mission statement as efficiently as the new supergroup Thompson does in the first 60 seconds of "Family." Here's Teddy Thompson, singing about the perils of being surrounded by his particular relatives:

My father is one of the greats to ever step on a stage

My mother has the most beautiful voice in the world

And I am betwixt and between

Sean Lennon, you know what I mean

For a record about journeying deep inside the darkest recesses of the mind, there's nothing introverted about the Cleveland duo Mr. Gnome's new album, The Heart Of A Dark Star. Named for an evocative phrase in a Neil Gaiman book, The Heart Of A Dark Star is a bold and blustery hurricane of guitars, organs and voices, all swirling around in the night air.

First Listen: Bryan Ferry, 'Avonmore'

Nov 10, 2014

Bryan Ferry rolls back the years with Avonmore, an album with eight original songs that recall his classic mid-'70s albums with Roxy Music, as well as two covers that are by themselves worth the price of admission.

Attention Hard Working WCBE members...this one's for you!  It's a FREE event if you've donated to WCBE in the last year!

This is not Dueling Banjos: The Married Couple Edition. You won't find the careening energy of the mano-a-mano from the Deliverance soundtrack, or of the Flatt and Scruggs classic "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." Outbreaks of dazzling, speed-demon technique are few.

First Listen: King Tuff, 'Black Moon Spell'

Sep 16, 2014

Vermont native King Tuff, a.k.a. Kyle Thomas, has been prowling the corners of the D.I.Y. scene for years, both in this solo guise and as a member of several vastly different acts: the freak-folk outfit Feathers, the wunderkind pop band Happy Birthday, the doom-metal burner Witch. But until Black Moon Spell, he hadn't really pushed his persona so far in a single direction. On his third full-length album, Thomas re-brands himself as some sort of demonic teenager, out for kicks, laughs, and maybe a little mailbox baseball, as opposed to bloodshed and the apocalypse.