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Traditional blues done right! Done tight.

Our purpose is to have fun, explore all the blues styles and share an engaging hi-energy performance that connects with the audience. A that plays modern, original and the old delta, porch-style blues.

Dirty River, one of the best Cincinnati blues bands, plays the whole gamut of blues including originals. The first blues bands featured on Cincinnati radio live and put together, hosted and performed the earliest and largest outdoor blues festivals to be held in Cincinnati. We have also been televised playing Cincinnati's "River Fest."

Available for Weddings, Parties, Special Occasions, Corporate, Civic and Private Events as well as Clubs and Festivals!


The first Dirty River band started in the very early eighties, co-founded by Ted McConnell and Jenelle who both were long time close friends and had a love for the blues and great tunes and doing good music together right. That band did songs by The Police, ZZ Top, The Grateful Dead, Donald Fagin, Blodwyn Pig, Ten Years After, Savoy Brown, Sonny Terry/Brownie McGee, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bonnie Rait, The Allman Brothers Band, Huey Lewis, Pat Benatar, Taj Mahal, and Aretha Franklin plus many originals as well as many of the old blues classics, packing college clubs and all the places they played to maximem capacity with a sound that was their own and drove audiences crazy to dance and scream.


Considered a blues, blues-rock act from the beginning, playing high energy power blues,  it disbanded in 1985 under their own success. Everyone went on to other things. Ted co-wrote and produced Kathy Wade's first CD, who is Cincinnati's jazz stylist. She loved blues and frequently sang with us; she was one of Dirty River's first female vocalists. She become famous for jazz.


Jenelle joined Gradual Taylor for a year and met some terrific talent that would later have a great impact on her. Gradual himself became a friend and they still jam around town together, Ernie Waits, singer and bass player once played for Taj Mahal tried a couple times to get a bands together as foundation that never quite worked out, Jim Orwig, the keyboard player who took just three months to be discovered by the Menus and give that band a glory and fame and then the singer...more about her later.


After Dirty River and Gradual formed another band of a classic rock variety playing out frequently garnering success locally that lasted a few years but the blues kept calling...there ain't nothing like the blues.


Dirty River rose from the waters again with an all-new line up in 1989. The band played locally and was the house band at many locations including The Township Fields and Tavern, Burbank's, Gay 90's and others. This band included players that for the most part are still playing today-the Tucker brothers: Mike plays as "Cash only and the Bad Aires" (was with "Rithie and the Students" and then "Them Bones"), Jay had a long stint with The Kelly Ritchie Band and then played with Jeff Bonta who never left his band with wife Devonna (and the Demos) who was our bottleneck slide guitar player and Greg who for a brief period played bass before moving to Pittsburg.


Also in the band was Sondra Cosale who Jenelle knew from when they both played for Gradual for that summer in 1986 and then saw again while Jenelle was running the jam at Miss Caties for the Blues Society and the pitch was made for her to be in the new Dirty River and she accepted.


Dirty River organized and hosted first Blues Festival, Township Fields And Tavern, 5/16/92 In early 1992, Dirty River put together an outdoor music festival celebrating the best blues that Cincinnati had to offer for the March of Dimes, co-sponsored by the Blues Society which hadn't started their festivals yet. This festival included some of the best local talent and stars of the day such as The Blues All-Stars ("Big Ed" Thompson, Ricky Nye, John "Hammer" Sampson), "Sweet" Alice Hoskins, as well as ourselves of course and many more.


Dirty River Televised, Cincinnati , 9/03/92 Dirty Rivers' final gig that year was representing blues music at "RiverFest." The performance was featured and televised live.


Dirty River covers the whole gamut but always within the blues.

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