Cincinnati Pops Presents American Originals

 Cincinnati Pops presents American Originals

I’m really excited about the American Originals concert presented by the Cincinnati Pops at Music Hall. The line up of incredible artists includes one of my personal favorite bands “Over the Rhine” who are a local favorite.  This is truly going to be a historic night with so many talented artists creating a truly unique musical experience.


America’s legendary song-writer Stephen Foster created the first pages of the American Songbook in Cincinnati while working as a book keeper at his brother’s steam-boat shipping company in the mid-1800s. American Originals celebrates the remarkable legacy of Stephen Foster as well as the music of 18th century America that created the foundation of our nation’s musical ethos. These concerts bring together some of the most significant singers in the wave of roots/traditional music that is sweeping across the country, giving their own spin on these classics.


Roseanne Cash

Leading the cast is Rosanne Cash, whose decades-long career has helped define American music. Her latest album,The River and The Thread, is nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Best Americana Album and is being called “The best of her career” (USA Today). “I think Stephen Foster is an enormously important figure in the canon of American music.‘Hard Times’ alone is worth a whole genre!” said Ms. Cash. “I think I draw inspiration from Foster in a very long and slightly convoluted line,but tracing things back to him makes sense to me.”
Also on the concert is American singer-songwriter Joe Henry, a critic’s darling also known for producing Grammy-winning albums for such artists as Hugh Laurie, Elvis Costello, Over the Rhine and more. “I have never before had the opportunity to perform with a full orchestra, and have longed to; and I very much look forward to striking a balance between the broad expanse of such instrumentation and the intimacy of the material,” said Mr. Henry.
 Over the Rhine

Hometown heroes Over the Rhine, the duo comprised of Karin Berquist and Linford Detweiler and named for the Cincinnati neighborhood that houses Music Hall, add wistful vocals and haunting guitar to Foster’s beloved tunes. “Sometimes when sitting at the piano, we try to imagine Stephen Foster having a musical conversation with another more modern musician. We’ve certainly felt echoes of his writing in several of our songs over the years,” the duo said in an interview.


Dom Fleming
Dom Flemons’ (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) latest album was named one of NPR’s top 10 folk albums of 2014. Mr. Flemons’ music has gained praise for digging deep into the American repertoire, ranging from ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern folk music, string band music, jug band music, fife and drum music, and ballads idioms with showmanship and humor, reinterpreting the music to suit 21st century audiences. “Stephen Foster’s music is the bedrock of American popular music. It’s also a complex representation of life in post-Civil War America,” said Mr. Flemons.



A favorite guest of Garrison Keillor (A Prairie Home Companion), The Goat Rodeo Sessions and festivals across the globe, Aoife O’Donovan adds her folk talent to “American Originals.”
Rounding out the cast is The Comet Bluegrass All-Stars. The house band at The Comet, located in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood, the All-Stars have a robust following. Performing original music as well as bluegrass standards, the All-Stars have performed with the Pops on several occasions, including at the Closing Ceremonies of the World Choir Games. “
All of these artists lend their talents to new arrangements of Stephen Foster’s most popular tunes.
The songs will showcase the lush sounds of the Pops while re-imagining these classics for the 21st century. The concerts will be recorded live, including participation from the audience, for release on the Orchestra’s Fanfare Cincinnati label in late 2015.

Molly Wellmann Bourbon Tasting and Pre-Concert Entertainment

Cincinnati’s renowned craft cocktail creator and entrepreneur Molly Wellmann has curated a small-batch Kentucky bourbon tasting, exclusively for fans of the Cincinnati Pops.

Prior to the concerts on Friday and Saturday, January 23-24 (doors open at 6:30), guests are invited to Corbett Tower at Music Hall as Ms. Wellmann leads an interactive sampling of premium bourbons from artisanal Kentucky distilleries.
*Tickets for the bourbon tasting, which includes a flight of three bourbons and light appetizers, are available for $20 (does not include concert ticket).
****Pre-concert entertainment begins in the Music Hall lobby one hour prior to all three performances. Hear from three of Cincinnati’s favorite local band: The Ridges (Friday), Young Heirlooms (Saturday) and Hickory Robot (Sunday).

 You do not want to miss out on this once in a lifetime concert event!



Cincinnati Pops Presents American Originals January 23-25
Friday January 23 8pm
Saturday January 24 8pm
Sunday January 25 2pm


*Tickets start at $25
Tickets are available by phone at (513) 381-3300, on the Internet at,
or in person at: CSO Box Office at Music Hall, 1241 Elm Street, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Disclosure: I was given media tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

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