Dayton Music Insider

This blog is for all the fans of live music, from the casual listener to the weekend warrior, so they can easily find great music in Dayton area.

This Weekend’s Top Pick: Ladyfest


Labor Day weekend signals the time when the lovely ladies of Dayton come out to play at  Ladyfest Dayton ! This yearly festival is community-based and not-for-profit, that features female musicians, artists, authors, poets, and educators.

The first ever Ladyfest was held in Olympia, Washington in August 2000, and since has branched into urban centers around the world. Each new festival is organized locally and independently of other Ladyfest events,

primarily by volunteers, and most proceeds are donated to non-profit organizations. Last year Ladyfest Dayton raised over $6000 for We Care Arts. This year the proceeds are going to the YWCA Women’s Shelter.

The event takes place Friday September 2nd and Saturday September 3rd, and is held once again at the  Yellow Cab Tavern , where you can enjoy food and craft beer, and of course live music! There is literally a band every half hour, along with a great collection of  visual art, film, comedy, dance, and even on-site mammograms and hep c testing! Wow! I encourage all of you in the Dayton area to check out this truly wonderful event!

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This is a much coveted long weekend, so there is much to do and recovery time built in! Plus the weather is gorgeous, so get out there an enjoy your weekend. Keep reading for more information on other awesome shows and some special notes to fans at the end!

Thursday September 1st

Showcase Thursdays are starting up at Yellow Cab Tavern. This on-going event is also known as the Musicians Coop, is a long running Dayton institution that showcases local musicians. It will be held on select Thursdays from 8pm to midnight.

YC Showcase Thursday_3.jpg

8:30pm Wolf Cryer

9:00pm Georgia Goad and Jill Dodson

9:30pm Kyleen Downes

10:00pm Alex Delange

10:30pm April Angel

11:00pm James Thomas

     > Find out more about this Dayton tradition finding a new home here.

First Thursday is also a time to come on out to Jazz Central  on East 3rd Street. The Jazz Central Big Band starts wailing at 7:30 and keeps rolling through the evening with Kelly McLennan, Tom Kubis, Billy Byers, and Sammy Nestico. Music 7:30-10:30pm $5 cover.

Friday September 2nd


Downtown Dayton always has a special energy on First Fridays, especially at Ladyfest which gets going at 6pm this evening.

Also downtown, you can rock out to  passionate indie rock from The 1984 Draft and 90s era Weezer tunes from The Pinkertones at  Blind Bob's Bar. $5 cover. 9pm.

Over at  Trolley Stop , enjoy the original, tribal, worldbeat, African Roots music of  BAOKU. It will have you dancing, even on the patio! $5 cover. 9:30pm.

Celtic music fans will be gathering at  The Dublin Pub for happy hour, then a performance by the Miami Valley Pipes and Drums starting around 7 p.m., and live music by Dulahan starting at 9 p.m.

Another early music option in the District is the  Linda Prevo Band at Oregon Express starting at 6:30pm. Get some great pizza and beer, and show them some love!

De'Lish Cafe on North Main Street, across from the Victoria Theatre features Friday Nights Unplugged with live soul, jazz and R&B music from 9-11 p.m. with no cover charge, plus $5 drink specials all night. Score!

Out by UD, check out local bands  Grenades!? and A.M. Nice w/ Ryan Jones at  Jimmie's Ladder 11Styles mix rock pop dance and post punk pop, which sounds loud and fun! 9pm. Usually a $5 cover applies.

O.A.R. performs at Fraze Pavilion on Friday September 2nd

Yes! I'm excited for Toad the Wet Sprocket and Rusted Root at Rose Music Center. Those bands take me back to my high school days for sure! Great music and people! Reserved Pavilion Seating starts at $23.50. Ticket prices include parking and are subject to applicable fees and day of show increase. 6pm Doors. 7pm Show.

Over at Fraze PavilionO.A.R and special guests The Hunts  are performing. The Ohio State boys are back, and ready to put on a rockin' roots and reggae inspired show. $50 Orchestra. $35 - Lawn & Terrace. All tickets increase $5 day of show  7:30pm showtime.

In Yellow Springs, get funky with  Magnolia Supernova  at Peach's Grill. There will be an acoustic warm up set by one of the band's members, and then the full group gets going around 10pm. No cover!

South of town, for jazz fans, please check out the  Lizi Hayes Jazz Review at The Blue Note Bistro in Miamisburg. I'm hearing great things about this young lady and this venue. Music runs from 9pm - midnight. Reservations are strongly recommended if you want to sit. Fans area also encouraged to come early for dinner!

Saturday September 3rd

LadyFest continues at Yellow Cab Tavern starting at 5pm!

At Blind Bob's, check out headliner California Widow , performing with Coming Up For Air and  Scarecrow Sideshow. Rock fans will enjoy! $5 cover. 9pm.


Dayton favorites are also playing in the District this evening. Puzzle of Light is performing at Trolley Stop, and Blues man Doug Hart is at Tumbleweed. Both groups are seasoned performers and know how to keep a crowd happy! Usually a $5 cover at both locations.

Freeport , a pop-punk group from Dayton is celebrating their album release at Rockstar Pro Arena. They've also got Weathervein, Violent Kind, Mascots, and We Are The Movies to round out a whole night of live music. Doors 6pm. Presale $10. All ages show!

Out in Fairborn, please support the  LorinStrong Benefit Concert at W.O. Wrights, across from Wright State. - Lorin was recently diagnosed with Anaplastic Astrocytoma Stage II Brain Cancer. This benefit is being held to help Lorin with medical expenses. Local bands Truk, Common Thread, and Spanish Tony Sanchez will be performing, starting at 7pm. Donations will be accepted at the door. For any person who makes a donation at the door, the venue is provide a free drink ticket!

West of town, over at the Courtyard Lounge in Englewood, there is antoher worthy benefit show. Beards For Babies  is donating proceeds from their event to Dayton Children's Medical Center. Hard rockers Letters To The Blind kick the night off at 9pm, followed by Engraved Darkness and Horlet, who will perform till the metal gods are pleased!

Dead Ahead Ohio , a Grateful Dead tribute band from Lakewood will kick off our fall season with a special free show at the Old Crow Bar in Middletown. They are kicking off the holiday weekend with great music, food and giveaways.

Sunday September 4th


Admission to the festival is free. Good, beverages and merchandise will be sold. Bring blankets or chairs, but please leave outside food, drink, tents, coolers and pets at home.

Reggae Fest Entertainment Schedule:

1 p.m.:  Jonny Dread (Yellow Springs)
2 p.m.:  Johnny Payne and the True Believers (Detroit)
3 p.m.:  One Love Reggae Band (Detroit)
4 p.m.:  Demolition Squad (Dayton)
5 p.m.:  Seefari (Wilberforce)
6 p.m.:  All-Star Reggae Jam (featuring Scales of Justice reunion).
After Party at Jimmie's Ladder 11!

Special Shout Outs!

I loved seeing one of Dayton's most prolific musicians, Paige Beller , featured this week as Daytonian of the Week! Well deserved!

I wanted to do a special super-fan shout out, as I have been known to do every once in awhile. I'm a seasoned veteran of the musical festival scene, but this summer Bryan Gfroerer and Kris Sommers really taught me how to step up my game! Thank you gentleman, for showing me the fine art of preparation, camping cuisine, and generally how it's done! Not to mention, getting me on Jam Cruise this year!

Jack Ballengee-Morris released his new album this week. Photo by Libby Ballengee

Last but not least, I'm thrilled to announce my own nephew, Jack Ballengee-Morris had finalized and released his debut album  West Virginia Refugee Clearly I'm biased, but truly this is a remarkable young man, who has a tremendous skill at songwriting and performing. For digital copies, click here. Stay tuned for an album release tour coming soon!

As always, thank you for supporting live music!

Your Dayton Music Insider,

Libby Ballengee

Note to Readers:  The information above is for September 2nd-4th, 2016. If I don’t list a price, I’m not sure what the price is. Typically cover charges for local shows are $5. Please click the hyperlinks to find out more about the bands, venues and events, including start times, directions, and ticket availability.   Check out the latest shows I’m promoting  @theVenusChild . You can keep up with my adventures on Instagram  here or follow me on Twitter  @LibbyBallengee Cheers!



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