The treasures of cities such as Chicago, New York and San Francisco can't compare to a stroll along the banks of the Ohio River.
Sound crazy? Take a listen to "All Roads Lead to Cincinnati," a love song addressed to the Queen City from Jake Speed and the Freddies and Tracy Walker.

Commissioned by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and released on Valentine's Day, the bluegrass ditty name-drops everything from the Flying Pig Marathon and the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to Bootsy Collins.

Jake Speed, fresh off of writing a timely song for every week of 2006, worked with the chamber when he wrote songs about the cicada invasion.

Raymond "Buz" Buse III, public relations director for the chamber, contacted Speed again earlier with year about writing something aimed at getting young professionals, that "creative cluster" moving into places like Over-the-Rhine, excited about the city. As a young professional living in the city, Speed knew he was up for the job.

Not only do the song's key characters fall for each other, they fall for Cincy too. Once he'd written the duet, he asked Tracy Walker, a singer he'd admired for a long time, to cover the female role.

"It took us five seconds to meet each other and know we're two peas in a pod," he recalls.

There's also a music video, available on You Tube, which they shot in Arnold's Bar and Grill. The video required a little acting, but that suited them. "We're both hams at heart," laughs Walker.

Jake Speed and the Freddies are known for their Cincinnati-centric shows; seeing them in concert feels like a folksy lesson in local history.
"I think that Cincinnati has a lot going on that's really great and fun about the city," Walker says. "I just don't think we believe that or want to talk about it."

Speed feels the same way. However, he says that when people hear him sing about the city with such pride, "it puts a smile on their face."