Crave Lexington Food and Music Festival
12 p.m. Sept. 13-14 at Moondance Amphitheater, 1152 Monarch St. in Beaumont Circle. Cravelexington.com
There is no mistaking the mission behind an event dubbed Crave Lexington. A celebration of local food, as well as the chefs and culinary experts that create it, the event's sophomore outing this weekend will host more than 50 vendors from Lexington and throughout the region at Moondance Amphitheater.
The foodies among you are directed to the event's website for particulars on the edibles, the numerous cooking demonstrations and package dinners offered by the Crave committees along with the costs involved. The event itself is free, but the wares of the food vendors involve a modest ticket price.
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Let us devote our space here to the last half of the event's self-described duties — the music. Crave will boast two extended bills of live performances Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. The rosters are heavy with local favorites that include the bluegrass variations of the Blind Corn Liquor Pickers and Bluegrass Collective, the funk/hip hop grooves of Tribe Called Lex and the ever resourceful honky tonk soul of Coralee and the Townies. Peppering the mix will the Nashville indie rock of The Features and St. Louis soul man Brian Owens.
Of particular interest at this year's Crave rave are two larger, multi-cultural groove ensembles that will conclude the music lineups each day.
Saturday's bill winds down with C the Beat, a 10 member Lexington troupe led by veteran keyboardist Lee Carroll, whose extended performance dossier includes full-time membership in Coralee and the Townies. But for C the Beat, he enlists a pack of popular local groove merchants (Willie Eames, Dave Farris, Tripp Bratton and others) to create a global mix of reggae, ska, AfroCuban music, Afrobeat, fusion, funk and more. Do not expect this to be a sit down show.
Closing out Crave on Sunday will be Cincinnati's Baoku and the Image Afrobeat Band. Led by Nigerian-born Baoku Moses, the band promotes multigenerational Afrobeat music. There are suggestions of early '70s Fela Kuti-style grooves as well as the more traditionally minded modern jams of Antibalas. Despite the check list of inspirations, Moses and company perform all original material that should send the Crave audiences home in a sufficiently sunny mood. VIDEO: See a performance by Baoku and the Image Afrobeat Band
For close to two decades, the multinational Gaelic Storm has been forging a faithful audience for its modern brand of Celtic music. While many have seen the group and not even known it (as the onscreen band performing An Irish Party in Third Class in Titanic), the California-bred troupe has released a succession of albums that have topped the Billboard World Music charts. With a new anthology record (Full Irish) to promote, Gaelic Storm visits the EKU Center for the Arts, 521 Lancaster Ave. in Richmond on Sept. 17 (7:30 p.m.; $23.50-$38). For more info, call (859) 353-6382 or go to. Ekucenter.com.
Paul Weller in Cincinnati
One of the forefathers of British post-punk music, Paul Weller, makes a very rare regional performance Friday at Bogart's, 2621 Vine St. in Cincinnati. Known initially as the formative '70s voice of The Jam and the more soul-infatuated '80s frontman of The Style Council, Weller has released a succession of fine solo albums including 2010's outstanding social glam-attack Wake Up the Nation. Friday's show comes on the heels of a new anthology record devoted to the last 15 years of Weller's music, aptly titled More Modern Classics (7:30 p.m.; $30). For more ticket info, call (513) 872-8801 or go to Bogart's.com.