Special show at Hamilton’s RiversEdge today will honor a beloved former chef

RiversEdge will be the venue Thursday for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
RiversEdge will be the venue Thursday for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

A former front man for the Black Crowes will bring his current band into Hamilton today for a special show at Hamilton’s RiversEdge amphitheater.

The band he’ll lead in Hamilton for the free concert will be the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, but he’s more famous as the former lead singer and lyricist for The Black Crowes.

Fan interest is stirred all the more because the Hamilton performance may be the group’s next-to-last performance ever in this country.

With a large crowd expected for the free show, and some fans indicating they’re coming from several states away, organizers plan to install a large high-definition television so people farther away, in other parts of Marcum Park, can see the performance.

“I believe it’s going to be their second-to-last show for a long time, if not ever, in the United States,” said Adam Helms, the city official who puts together the concert series.

After a concert in Milwaukee and shows in Europe, the band is expected to break up.

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The show will be known as “Jared’s Jam” because it is sponsored by Hamilton residents Jack and Karen Whalen as a memorial to their son, Jared, a 1993 Hamilton High School graduate.

Jared Whalen was a highly regarded chef at such restaurants as The Maisonette in Cincinnati and the Coach House Tavern & Grille in Hamilton. He died in August of heart failure.

The free show also will feature Dumpstaphunk, with the venue opening at 5:30 p.m.

When Hamilton announced its summer lineup for concerts at the RiversEdge amphitheater in late May, officials weren’t able to announce what band would be playing on Independence Day because contractual terms still were being worked out.

But Helms at the time predicted, “I think when we announce who it is, people are going to be really excited by the fact this band is coming to RiversEdge on July 4.”

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Some of The Black Crowes biggest hits included "Remedy" (1992), "Hard to Handle" (1990), and "She Talks to Angels" (1990). The group was named Rolling Stone magazine's critics' and readers' polls as Best New American Band in 1991, and a Grammy award that year for Best New Artist.

Chris Robinson Brotherhood was one of Jared Whalen’s favorite bands, said Brandon Saurber, Hamilton’s director of Strategy & Information.

Despite some bad weather some Thursday nights so far this concert season, attendance continues to grow for the series, which has had larger audiences year after year, Helms said.

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On a cool night for the season on June 13, with rain and wind, there still were more than 500 in the audience for a concert, Helms said. A show by a Prince tribute band was packed, he said. Three groups playing RiversEdge this summer will warm up for the Rolling Stones.

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