News from WNKU
8:36 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

WNKU Welcomes the Ohio River Throwdown

ON SALE NOW...WNKU welcomes the second annual Ohio River Throwdown back to Riverbend Music Center and PNC Pavilion this September.  The all day festival was created to celebrate the roots of American music on the banks of the Ohio River where some of the most legendary Blues, Country, Bluegrass, R&B and Rock N Roll records had their birth!  Three stages, Twelve bands, One day only at Riverbend Music Center on Saturday, September 6...all made possible in part by WNKU.

Every ticket purchased for the 2014 Ohio River Throwdown will include Craft Beer and Bourbon Tastings provided by Ohio Valley Beer and Wine, Moonshine tastings provided by Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, a FREE Cookout presented by Blue Grass Quality Meats and Kroger as well as FREE BBQ sampling from SMOKER EZ BBQ and HOGWILD SMOKERS.  Gates will open at Noon.  Tastings, Cookout and Sampling will be available from Noon until 1:30pm (or while supplies last).

Reserved Pavilion tickets $78.00*, $68.00*, $58.00*; General Admission Lawn tickets $58.00* and GA Lawn 4-Pack $174.00* are on sale now at www.Ticketmaster.com, www.Riverbend.org, the venue box office and all Ticketmaster outlets.

*All ticket prices include parking and are subject to applicable service fees when purchasing at outlets other than the venue box office.  Lawn 4-Packs available while supplies last and not available on day of show.  All events rain or shine.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros formed in 2007 after singer Alex Ebert met fellow singer JadeCastrinos outside of Little Pedro’s in downtown Los Angeles. In 2009 the 10-member troupe released their debut album, Up From Below, which featured the hit “Home” as well as fan favorites “40 Day Dream” and “Janglin”. The band has spent the past few years touring the world while winning over audiences at festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Leeds, Austin City Limits and more. Their follow up album, Here, was released in May 2012 and featured the tracks “Man On Fire” and “That’s What’s Up.”  The album debuted at #1 on the Independent Music Chart and #5 on Billboard Top 200 Chart the week after its release. Relix Magazine hailed it as “an album full of undeniable folk-rock hooks, gospel overtones, infectious lyrics, orchestral swells and a whole lot of love.” Entertainment Weekly declared, “…they’ve got so much heart, they can crush hipster irony with one squeeze of the accordion.” The album was listed at number seven on Rolling Stone’s “Best Albums of 2012″ List.

Grace Potter
Grace Potter

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals’ self-made 2005 debut album, Nothing but the Water revealed a musically sophisticated young band inspired by the music of the late ’60s/early ’70s and fronted by a then-21-year-old dynamo whose nuanced singing, organ playing and songwriting belied her age. The follow-up, 2007’s This Is Somewhere, confirmed that the band had no interest in following trends but was instead in pursuit of timeless expression as it forged its identity. On 2010’s self-titled third album, GPN, toughened by a half decade of nonstop roadwork, flexed their rock ’n’ roll muscles and confirmed that they were in it for the long haul. Now, seven years after hitting the radar, GPN take an exponential leap with the widescreen opus The Lion The Beast The Beat. With this musically combustible and conceptually dazzling work, the Vermont-based band forcefully takes its place alongside the best of its peers while building on the rich legacy of its inspirations.

Jason Isbell

After spending six years with Southern rock outfit Drive-By Truckers, singer/guitarist Jason Isbell left the group in 2007 to pursue a solo career. Isbell had already honed his songwriting skills during his tenure with the Truckers, and he funneled those talents into Sirens of the Ditch, a bluesy, punk-infused lesson in guitar tones and Southern swagger that marked his solo debut in summer 2007. Backed by a new band dubbed the 400 Unit, Isbell took his songs on the road and soon began penning another album, which he recorded with the 400 Unit in 2008. Released the following year, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit was another step away from his work with Drive-By Truckers, relying as much on sad, melancholic country ballads as the familiar Muscle Shoals sound. After performing more than 200 shows annually for several years running, Isbell took a breather in 2010 and returned home to northern Alabama. There he would produce Here We Rest, Live from Alabama, and an album of haunting atonement and redemption, the sparse and impressive Southeastern, which appeared in 2013.

Trampled by Turtles

Progressive bluegrass band, Trampled by Turtles are from Duluth, Minnesota, where frontman Dave Simonett initially formed the group as a side project in 2003. Taking inspiration from bluegrass, folk, and other genres that didn’t rely on amplification, Trampled by Turtles released their first record, Songs from a Ghost Town, in 2004. In a genre steeped in tradition, the album stood out for its contemporary sound, essentially bridging the gap between the band mates’ background in rock music and their new acoustic leanings. Blue Sky and the Devil (2005) and Trouble (2007) explored a similar sound, but it wasn’t until the band’s fourth release, Duluth, that Trampled by Turtles received the full support of the bluegrass community. Duluth peaked at number eight on the Billboard bluegrass chart and paved the way for a number of festival appearances. When Palomino arrived in 2010, it was met with an even greater response, debuting at the top of the bluegrass chart and remaining in the Top Ten for more than a year. The release of 2012’s Stars And Satellites saw the band play to more fans than ever, sell close to 100,000 albums, and have their first concert feature, Live at First Avenue, broadcast on Palladia. Wild Animals, Trampled by Turtles’ seventh studio album, themes of impermanence run deep, both lyrically and sonically. The quintet’s hybrid folk sound continues its evolution pushing the band further into the grey area between genres that defies pigeonholing.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

New Orleans native Trombone Shorty is the bandleader and frontman of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, a hard-edged funk band that employs hip-hop beats, rock dynamics and improvisation in a jazz tradition. In 2010, Trombone Shorty released the Grammy-nominated “Backatown,” followed in 2011 by “For True,” which topped Billboard Magazine’s Contemporary Jazz Chart for 12 weeks.  His third outing for Verve Records, “Say That To Say This,” co-produced by Shorty and R&B titan Raphael Saadiq, was released in September 2013. In January 2014 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue performed on the 56th Annual Grammy Awards with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, Madonna and Queen Latifah, and the band has made guest appearances on Conan, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Arsenio, and Austin City Limits.

Lucero

Adding a Southern flavor to their love of the indie folk-pop of Ida, Memphis alt-country rock group Lucero was formed by leader Ben Nichols in the late ‘90s. After releasing a single on the Landmark label, Lucero signed with the alternative country label Madjack for their 2001 self-titled debut and momentum started to build with their 2002 release, Tennessee. With critics picking up on their rock and Replacements edge, the 2003 release That Much Further West earned them positive reviews and a spot on Rolling Stone’s Hot List. The band formed its own label, Liberty & Lament and released in spring of 2005, Nobody’s Darlings featured the most Southern-fried sounds from the band yet. Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers and 2009’s 1372 Overton Park sent Lucero on the road for support tours. The Band remained busy touring during 2010 and 2011 and toward year’s end, they re-entered the studio to begin work on Women & Work, their debut offering for ATO Records. Lucero’s upcoming release, Live From Atlanta, is an extensive assortment of songs proving that Lucero is a band for everyone. Parts country and parts folk with an added heaping of punk rock, the six-piece cover the musical gamut.

Justin Townes Earle

Once compared to a man who wears many suits Justin Townes Earle has experienced more than most, both personally and professionally, in thirty-two short years. Between releasing four full-length-critically-acclaimed albums, constant touring, multiple stints in rehab, being born Steve Earle’s son, amicable and not-so-amicable break-ups with record labels, and facing the trials and tribulations of everyday life, it’s safe to say JTE has quite the story to tell. After two and a half years since his last release, Justin Townes Earle is back and pleased to announce his fifth studio album (and first ever on Vagrant Records). Entitled Single Mothers, the record will be released nationwide on September 9th, 2014

Secret Sisters

Country-folk duo Secret Sisters formed in the late 2000s around the talents of siblings Lydia and Laura Rogers. Combining effortless harmonies and a shared love of country music’s rich history, the sisters honed their talents wherever they could, eventually catching the ear of legendary producer/songwriter T-Bone Burnett. Burnett was so impressed that he created a label (Beladroit) for the sole purpose of releasing the Rogers’ eponymous debut. Recorded with a team of iconic Nashville session players on period ‘50s equipment, Secret Sisters arrived on October 12, 2010. The Secret Sisters initiate many new traditions on their second full-length album, Put Your Needle Down. The duo has certainly come a long way from their critically acclaimed 2010 self-titled debut and an even longer way from their childhood in Florence, Alabama—just outside of the legendary music mecca Muscle Shoals. Embracing a myriad of styles and focusing on songwriting this time around, their growth becomes evinced within both the music and the title.

Hurray for the Riff Raff

New Orleans-based indie folk outfit Hurray for the Riff Raff were formed by singer/songwriter/banjo player Alynda Lee Segarra, a Bronx-raised Puerto Rican troubadour. After honing her skills on the washboard with a gang of train-yard musicians called the Dead Man’s Street Orchestra, she picked up the banjo that a close friend had given her and began writing her own songs. While Lee, drummer/violinist Yosi Pearlstein, and bass player David Maclay served as the foundation for Hurray for the Riff Raff’s signature blend of folk-blues and Southern gothic Americana, the trio was often rounded out by a rotating cast of accordion, guitar, organ, and musical saw players. The band self-released its first two full-lengths, 2008’s It Don’t Mean I Don’t Love You and 2010’s Young Blood Blues. An eponymously titled third full-length arrived in 2011 on the Loose Music label. Look Out Mama arrived in 2012, followed by a move to ATO Records in 2014 for Small Town Heroes.

Johnnyswim

Johnnyswim is the husband-and-wife duo of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano, the latter of whom is the daughter of disco and R&B legend Donna Summer. The pair met in Nashville in 2005, instituting a songwriting partnership not long afterward. They clicked together musically and personally, beginning a romantic relationship along with their creative connection. Choosing the name Johnnyswim, they released their debut EP, 1-4, in 2008. A second EP, called 5-8, appeared in 2010, supported by tours along with residencies in New York and Los Angeles. Home, Vol. 1, a third EP that emphasized their country roots, arrived in 2012. By this point they started getting attention from various hip quarters, including fashion icons Tommy Hilfiger and Louis Vuitton, which in turn attracted the interest of labels. Soon, Johnnyswim signed with Big Picnic, distributed by Sony/RED began working regularly, appearing on TV shows ranging from VH1’s Mob Wives to NBC’s Tonight Show, and they continued to work on their full-length debut, Heart Beats, which was scheduled for release in early 2014.

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds is a seven-piece powerhouse that puts a modern spin on classic soul. The band is led by Arleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow), whose astoundingly powerful voice and sly demeanor make for a spellbinding presence onstage. She is backed by the mighty force of The Dirty Birds, a flock of seven men who masterfully lay down thundering grooves and soaring melodies. While each of the Birds are capable of lighting up the stage with jaw-dropping displays of musicianship, it’s clear they’re all focused on delivering the band’s infectious music as a single entity. Since they started touring in 2011, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds has played 150 shows each year. Simply put, the band’s live show is explosive.

American Aquarium

American Aquarium began releasing albums in 2006, drawing influence from bands like Whiskeytown and the Drive-By Truckers in the process. Formed in Raleigh, NC, the band focused on the songwriting of B.J. Barham, who fleshed out his lineup with pianist Zack Brown, bassist Bill Corbin, guitarist Ryan Johnson, drummer Kevin McClain, and pedal steel player Whit Wright. Despite an active touring schedule, the group also visited the recording studio regularly, and released a pair of independent albums before partnering with Last Chance Records for 2009’s Dances for the Lonely. One year later, American Aquarium returned with Small Town Hymns. In the business of music, many are called and many may try, but few cross the threshold of being able to say they are truly committed for the long haul.  With the release of their latest studio album, Burn.Flicker.Die., American Aquarium is proving that they have graduated to that class of professional musicians that have made an undeniable commitment to their music and their fans.

No BS! Brass Band

No BS! Brass takes the New Orleans brass band into uncharted territory, fearlessly combining elements of James Brown, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson, and Led Zeppelin into their fiercely original sound. Trained in the conservatory and hardened in the garage, No BS! Brass is a powerful brass band that embraces the spirit of New Orleans into its original East Coast modern funk. Based in Richmond, Virginia, this band has quickly earned a reputation as a premiere band to see for heart-pounding energy and uncontrollable dancing. Getting their start in early 2006, The members of the band knew that the sound and music of No BS Brass! Had to live up to the name.  In putting together the compositions and arrangements, the “b.s.” has been stripped to give the audience something solid, unique, organic, real, and powerful.