Macy's Music Festival
7:30 p.m July 27, 28 at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati. $48-$88. Macysmusicfestival.com.
Now that this year's Forecastle and Bunbury festivals have had their youthful say, it's time to make room — a lot of room, in fact — for one of the region's oldest, largest and most genre-specific music events. It's a gathering so large that a football stadium is required to house it.
The two-day Macy's Music Festival will again turn Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium into a playground for old-school R&B.
The featured performers Friday night will be Charlie Wilson, Kem, Ledesi, Eric Benet, Dennis Edwards and the Temptations Revue, and Alex Boyd. Saturday's roster includes festival mainstay Frankie Beverly and Maze, Jaheim, The O'Jays, Monica, Midnight Star and Zay Foggs.
The festival reaches a milestone this weekend. Because its roots date back to 1962 and an event called the Ohio Valley Jazz Festival, the event is now 50 years old.
True to its initial name, jazz was the primary focus during the festival's early years. Soul and R&B were incorporated into the lineup during the '70s and began to dominate a decade later, as the event changed names with a succession of sponsoring organizations. It has been the Macy's Music Festival since 2005.
Over the decades, the festival has presented performances by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, and Earth, Wind and Fire.
Even though the Macy's Music Festival is now an exclusively R&B-oriented event with certain acts playing every year (outside of Beverly, the regulars include Kem, Ledesi and The O'Jays), the festival's cumulative attendance has averaged nearly 50,000 patrons over the past 12 years.
Never heard of Adrian Legg? You're not alone. For more than two decades, the British guitarist has quietly forged an international fan base by combining numerous guitar picking styles and musical genres into a sound all his own. His new indie album, Slow Guitar, is a splendid primer for the uninitiated. It sports new studio and concert versions of tunes that Legg has played for much of his career.
He performs Monday for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 East Main Street, on a bill that will include a band of fellow Brits called The Dunwells. (6:45 p.m. $10. (859) 252-8888. Woodsongs.com.).
Brothers Joseph and David Dunwell shuffle duties on guitar and banjo and lead a vocal charge that AOL Music says is reminiscent of Crosby, Stills and Nash. What a coincidence. Guess who will be playing in Cincinnati the same night Legg and the Dunwells will be at WoodSongs? Read on and find out.
Folk and metal revivals
Two mainstay pop attractions representing two stylistic extremes head to the region in the week ahead.
■ On Monday, the veteran folk trio of Crosby, Stills and Nash performs at Riverbend Music Center's PNC Pavilion in Cincinnati. The three members — David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash — released a new concert recording last week titled CSN 2012. It leans heavily on CSN staples (Crosby's Guinevere, Stills' Carry On and Nash's Teach Your Children), but it includes a few forgotten gems (including two Stills tunes, As I Come of Age and Johnny's Garden) and an unexpected cover (Bob Dylan's Girl From the North Country). (8 p.m. $39-$86. Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com.)
■ Commandeering Louisville's KFC Yum Center on Wednesday will be a show so loud you will probably be able to hear it from your back yard. It's the pop/metal double bill of KISS and Motley Crue. (7 p.m. $66-$151. Ticketmaster.).