• Review

Review: Rhythm & Brews Festival

As Festival season comes to a close fans gathered at the newly renovated Riverfront Live, to finish out the three-day festival Rhythm and Brews put on by Sweetwater Brewing. With Sunday brining in some of the most exciting acts of the weekend. From Sublime cover band, Badfish to hometown jam-grass group the Rumpke Mountain Boys closing the weekend out with two sets beginning at Midnight. 

Right on the river, Rhythm and Brews had a very ‘shakedown street’ vibe. With artists and vendors all around, the scene echoed that of a Phish or Grateful Dead show, with each tent and vendor just looking to get their tickets for the next show. 

The afternoon really kicked off when fiddle player and member of Old Crow Medicine Show Chance McCoy took the stage main outdoor stage for the third time of the weekend. With a mix of electronic beats, looping guitars and fiddle, McCoy created a sound that was entirely unique to himself, even with some new takes on O.C.M.S. tunes. 

Inside following McCoy was Cincinnati roots and Americana act Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle. A band that tells a story in their music and was one of the more captivating performances of the evening. Buffalo Wabs are an ode to a genre and sound that is all but gone, with Southern roots the band uses pain staking lyrics that tell stories of chain gangs and the more tumultuous aspects of life in America.

As the sun was setting, Badfish (A Tribute to Sublime) took the outdoor stage and gave an incredible performance of not only the Long Beach ska band’s hits but diving into some of Sublime’s deeper cuts. From ‘Slow Ride’ to the bands cover of the Grateful Dead’s ‘Scarlet Begonias’ it was easy to get lost in the performance and feel as though you were actually experiencing a Sublime show. 

What was personally one of the most exciting and enjoyable performances of the night was local indie act Motherfolk. In matching pink shirts and black skinny jeans, Motherfolk brought their catchy hooks, enthusiastic stage presence and dueling lead singers back to Cincinnati and did not disappoint. Leaning on more of the songs from their 2017 record ‘Fold’ Motherfolk has evolved in their sound over the years and honed their stage presence and now seems poised to break out with their upcoming record. 

The final performance on the main stage would be Kansas City’s The Floozies, an electronic, funk, jam based duo that were undeniably fun. Forcing audience members to dance with their funky beats and entertaining lights show. 

Immediately following the Floozies was Ernie Johnson from Detroit, despite the name the Cincinnati based, funk-jazz group was invigorating to those who stayed later Sunday evening. The band was incredibly tight with jams that were reminiscent of bands like Lettuce, with a heavy horns section and driving base lines, Ernie Johnson from Detroit blasted audience members with their sound. 

Finally ending the day was for many the most anticipated act of the evening, the Rumpke Mountain Boys. A quartet of bluegrass jammers based in Cincinnati, who played two sets Sunday evening, the Rumpke Mountain Boys who coined the term “trashgrass” brought their brand of the bluegrass to an audience of dedicated fans. With jams that had feet stomping and people dancing it was very fitting to have a band as seasoned and skilled as Rumpke close out the weekend.