Episode 48: Dan McCabe, Cincinnati’s Premier Promoter

From 1991-1999, Dan McCabe booked local and national bands (and tended bar, and cleaned the washing machines) at the late, great Sudsy Malone’s on Short Vine, fronting his own money to book the national acts. Decades later, he’s still promoting great live music, as co-owner of MOTR Pub and the Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine. Dan shares some amazing memories from his Sudsy’s days (Morphine, Jesus Lizard, Mercury Rev… and Reverend blood on the sidewalk), and talks about why indie venues are crucial to up-and-coming bands. (Oh, this live episode also features special guest appearances from Rictile and Howard Cohen of The Cereal Killers.)

MOTR and The Woodward, like many indie venues across the country, have been shuttered by COVID-19 and need our help. All of us can #SaveOurStages by taking action (writing congresspeople, donating to an indie venue emergency relief fund, etc.) at NIVAssoc.org

MOTR Pub’s credo sounds a lot like the way 97X operated back in the day.

The building that housed Sudsy Malone’s (daytime laundromat/bar and nighttime rock club) was recently knocked down. Dan McCabe shared some Sudsy’s memories in this interview with Chris Varias (also a partner in MOTR and the Woodward Theater) on Cincinnati.com.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity I was given there to work with local music and music fans. It was fantastic. The ‘90s were pretty crazy. The ‘90s were when music became accessible. There was no longer this magical laboratory on a hill. Live music and clubs like that were where the bands would bubble up from. You would see them at Sudsy’s one day and MTV the next. It was pretty fun that way.”

Dan McCabe in the Cincinnati Enquirer article linked above

Dan also has played in several Cincinnati-based bands, most notably Roundhead. Here’s a Roundhead reunion panel from earlier this year:

Another partner in MOTR and the Woodward is Chris Schadler, who booked bands at Southgate House starting in the late 90s.

We all miss live music… and we need these great venues to still be in operation when the pandemic has passed. Please visit NIVAssoc.org and do what you can to help #SaveOurStages.

3 Replies to “Episode 48: Dan McCabe, Cincinnati’s Premier Promoter”

  1. […] CityBeat sponsored MPMF for many years, and Dan McCabe (at right in the photo above with Dan Bockrath) was responsible for booking the amazing lineup of up-and-coming bands/artists. (We spoke to Dan McCabe, now co-owner of MOTR Pub and The Woodward Theater, in Episode 48.) […]

  2. […] we chat with the folks that made 97X so special back in the day. We even interviewed Dan McCabe of MOTR/Woodward Theater fame (and Sudsy’s too… R.I.P.) and Mark Messerly of Wussy. We […]


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