Bill Thompson

Music writer

My career path was set when the Beatles walked onto the stage of "The Ed Sullivan Show," although it took me more than 40 years to get there.

Long after that fateful night in front of a small television in Piqua, Ohio, the delightful Janinne Thompson and I  moved to Cincinnati and had two equally delightful daughters: Kate, who lives in Washington, D.C., and Jane, who lives in Martinsburg, W.Va.

I worked at the Enquirer for more than 30 years as a copy editor. About five years ago, I started writing music stories for the paper. After semi-retiring in April 2012, the folks at WNKU-FM have graciously allowed me to continue pursuing that teenage dream on their website at  



10:06 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Holly Williams makes name for herself

Holly Williams plays the Southgate House Revival in Newport Thursday night.

Holly Williams isn’t as well known as other singer-songwriters with the same last name. And it’s unlikely that she is ever asked whether she’s related to Lucinda or Dar, even though her sound is closer to them than to the three Hanks in her family.

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7:42 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

McNally's 'Small Town Talk' pays tribute to Bobby Charles

Shannon McNally will play Molly Malone's in Covington Wednesday night following an in-studio visit on WNKU at 5:30.

Two recent projects have raised Shannon McNally’s profile over the past year or so, but collaboration is just one of the singer-songwriter’s strengths.

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10:09 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Buddy and Jim define harmony

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale play the Southgate House Revival Thursday night.

It sounds like the set-up for a bad gag: How many harmony singers does it take to (fill in the blank)?

The good news, however, is the emergence of Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale into card-carrying stars is no joke.

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8:16 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Dada works 'Puzzle' 20 years later

Joie Calio, Michael Gurley and Phil Leavitt of Dada.

In real life, 20 years is a long time. In rock ’n’ roll, it’s more like dog years: few bands stand the test of that much time unless they’re in the midst of a Hall of Fame career.

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10:22 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Hall of Famer, Jorma Kaukonen, returns to Cincinnati

Jorma Kaukonen plays the 20th Century Theatre Sunday night

Like many Americans, Jorma Kaukonen is thankful to have a job these days.  He is even more thankful that it is the same job he has had for more than 50 years.

It might be hard to imagine, but Kaukonen, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, will turn 72 next month.

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10:26 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Move over Rocktober...November is more Notable for Live Music.

Walk the Moon play the Madison Theater on Nov. 1st.

Everyone knows that November has 30 days.

What’s surprising about the month this year is that more than 25 top-notch performers will visit Greater Cincinnati.

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11:06 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

For a third time, Watkins is still charming

Sara Watkins will play at St. Xavier Performance Center Saturday night with her brother Sean and Tyler Chester. Provided photo

There’s a temptation to marvel at the list of musicians that Sara Watkins has played with during her career and come to the conclusion that she is a lucky woman.

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10:48 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Top-flight acts in town this week

Leon Russell will open for Bob Dylan at PNC Pavilion Sunday. Provided photo

It’s another fine week for live music. In addition to Wednesday’s double-header of Anders Osborne at the 20th Century and Mary Chapin Carpenter with Tift Merritt at the Taft Theatre, here are four more shows worth consideration. 

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10:54 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Tift Merritt enjoys traveling alone

Tift Merritt will visit the WNKU studio Wednesday afternoon before her show at the Taft Theatre that night. Photo by Parker Fitzgerald

Ten years ago, Tift Merritt released her first album, “Bramble Rose,” to a chorus of “the next Lucinda Williams” or “the next Emmylou Harris” or “the next fill-in-the-name” of your favorite female Americana singer-songwriter.

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3:27 pm
Sat August 18, 2012

Anders Osborne finds redemption

Anders Osborne will visit the WNKU studio Wednesday afternoon before his show at the 20th Century in Oakley that night. Provided photo

Anders Osborne grew up in Sweden, so it’s uncertain whether schoolchildren there were familiar with the  “three R’s (reading [w]riting and [a]rithmetic).”  

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