Tag: Old Rock House

Hard Working Americans at Old Rock House in St. Louis 8/25/2015

Sometime during the year 2013 folk singer-songwriter Todd Snider was talking with one of his good buddies Dave Schools, who also happens to play bass in a band called Widespread Panic, about his love for jam music and wanting to do something like that one day. Snider says he never expected it to come to fruition, but Schools said he was interested. Snider contacted keyboardist Chad Staehly from Great American Taxi and told him that Dave Schools was on board. By the end of 2013 they had Chris Robinson Brotherhood and former Ryan Adams and the Cardinals guitarist-extraordinaire Neal Casal lined up. Schools grabbed his friend Duane Trucks, who just so happened to be playing drums with Widespread Panic at the time conveniently enough. In no time they had assembled themselves a southern rock jam super group and decided to call themselves the Hard Working Americans. Within a year they released an album and began touring. Their self-titled debut album consists of all cover songs chosen mostly by Snide. Newest member Jesse Aycock now tours with the band as second guitarist and pedal-steel player and is set to appear on the next album.

Hard Working Americans STL 2

It took them awhile to get here, but the Hard Working Americans finally made it to Saint Louis with a stop at the Old Rock House on Tuesday evening as part of what is being dubbed the High Up On It Tour.  For the last week or so leading up to the show there were warnings being sent out on social media that this was going to be a sold out show.  Chicago’s The Steepwater Band opened the show on this particular evening, though there are a variety of openers offered throughout the tour. As we arrived we found a very long line of folks waiting to get in and no parking in the nearby lots. So we did what we know best… went a block up the street to 4 Hands Brewing to let the line die down, park the car, and enjoy a few delicious local beers before watching some of the finest Hard Working Americans out there. I did hear many people talking about The Steepwater Band kicking some serious ass and that made me sad for missing them.

 

As we arrived just after 9PM the door man was informing the woman in front of me that there were only seven more tickets available and the band wasn’t supposed to start for another 30 minutes.  We walked in and found that a majority of the near capacity crowd had made their way outside to enjoy one of the most beautiful patios that Downtown St. Louis has to offer, with a great view of the Gateway Arch and plenty of seating… plus you can still hear kind of even see the bands playing inside.

Hard Working Americans STL 1

Hard Working Americans took the stage around 9:30 and opened the show with a song they were tackling for the first time live, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Around and Around.” The crowd that had stepped outside to smoke between bands scurried their way back inside to pack the dance floor and balcony.  The band received a smattering of applause after they finished the song and immediately went into “Mission Accomplished”, a song that Todd Snider wrote for his 2008 solo album Peace Queer. The set included many of the cover songs recorded for their 2014 self-titled debut album including a great version of “Run a Mile” that allowed Neal Casal to really let loose and shine for the first time of the night. This will be an ongoing theme throughout the evening. This was followed up by “I Don’t Have a Gun”, during which Snider addressed the crowd for the first time by saying “Thank you for giving us a chance to make music. We are hard working Americans just like yourselves. And we came a long way to tell you very, very, little.” They finished out the song after a spacey little jam and a crowd singalong of the course, repeating “I don’t wanna hurt nobody.”

 

One of the Hard Working Americans few original tunes, “Dope is Dope” received a great reaction from the capacity (I assume they sold seven more tickets by now…) crowd. This will also be a constant theme throughout the evening. This song features humorous lyrics about a guy getting in trouble by his mama because she finds his “har-on” but he tries to tell her that its only marijuana… she isn’t buying it though because “Dope is dope and you’re high up on it.” Magically during this song the entire room began to smell like a Peter Tosh concert.

Hard Working Americans STL 4

“Welfare Music”, a song recorded for their debut album that was originally performed by Crystal City’s own The Bottle Rockets, was done very well. Todd Snider is a well-known advocate for all things Bottle Rockets, and always seems to sneak a song or mention in during his St. Louis stops. The band was really firing on all cylinders at this point and the crowd was very in tune with every note and word. Snider introduced the band after “Someday Past the Sunset”, a Chris Robinson Brotherhood song that they just began playing last week. He then again thanked the crowd for letting them play music for us. “Straight to Hell”, another cover song that appears on their album became a crowd singalong during each course and seemed to get louder each time.

 

All I can say now is that shit got crazy. The next like thirty minutes or so turned into a non-stop jam… songs segueing in and out of one another before going to an entirely different song and finishing with teases of what was already played… It started with “Throwing Goats”, went in and out of “Blackland Farmer” like three different times, segued into “Born to be Wild” for a few minutes, had a spacey jam that freaked the fuck out of the random guy in front of me that turned to me and said “NEAL FUCKING CASAL MAN!”, before ending with a Todd Snider fan favorite “Is This Thing Working” wrapped up inside a Will Kimbrough song “Another Train.” It was the jam band that Snider dreamed about starting… and it was working perfectly! Not surprising that this little ditty ended the set.

Hard Working Americans STL 3

As per usual at the Old Rock House, the encore break was short as there really isn’t a backstage or green room easily accessible from the stage. The first song of the encore was another original, “Purple Mountain Jamboree.” Randy Newman’s “Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)” followed and let Jesse Aycock showcase his pedal-steel skill. The night ended with a raucous cover of Hayes Carll’s anthem-like “Stomp and Holler”, leaving the jam packed crowd wanting more.

If you left this show disappointed, then I don’t think you were actually at this show. This was one of the best shows I have watched in some time.

SETLIST
Around and Around
Mission Accomplished
Run a Mile
I Don’t Have a Gun
Dope Is Dope
Mountain Song
Welfare Music
Someday Past the Sunset
Down to the Well
Straight to Hell
Throwing Goats>
Blackland Farmer>
Born to Be Wild>
Blackland Farmer>
Jam>
Blackland Farmer>
Guaranteed>
Another Train>
Is This Thing Working>
Another Train
E: Purple Mountain Jamboree>
E: Mr. President>
E: Stomp and Holler

Hard Working Americans STL 5

Hard Working Americans STL 6

Hard Working Americans STL 7

Hard Working Americans STL 8

 

Hard Working Americans STL 8

REVIEW: Blitzen Trapper at Old Rock House 9.18.2013 – St. Louis, MO

Blitzen Trapper at Old Rock House 9.18.2013 – St. Louis, MO

Words / Pictures / Videos by Bradley Darby (@DarbySTL)

Blitzen Trapper - ORH STL - 9/18/13

Quick story for you… I’ve been contributing posts to Concert Confessions for something like four years now. Throughout this entire period, our founding father Reverend Justito had continuously told me that I need to listen to this band called Blitzen Trapper. He told me once… he told me twice… hell, he even told me thrice. And I heard him, but I didn’t listen to him. There is no good reason to explain why I never did give this Blitzen Trapper a fair shake… The Rev and I have an incredibly similar taste in a good chunk of our favorite music. Then came the Wakarusa 2012 lineup announcement sometime around January of 2012, and there they were making their Wakarusa debut. The time was upon us… minutes after combing the lineup, to YouTube I went to type in those two words that had been staring me in the face for the last few years. I started with a few songs from 2008’s Furr… SON OF A BITCH I REALLY LIKE THIS BAND! Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter Eric Earley’s lyrics immediately sounded like something that could have been released by Tom Petty or Ray LaMontagne or maybe even Bob Dylan. The music gave me a strong Wilco vibe, but with more twang and not so much jam. Why had I not taken Papa Concert Confessions advice a hell of a lot earlier?! (Note: See all of our previous Blitzen Trapper coverage right here)

Wakarusa come, and Wakarusa go… and I got the chance to see Blitzen Trapper for the first time. That performance was absolutely great in my eyes, but we will come back to that in a bit. Let’s talk about the Portland, Oregon quintets recent stop in St. Louis at the Old Rock House in support of their soon to be released seventh album called, VII where they worked a smaller yet respectable crowd into a frenzy for about 90 minutes with their blend of Oregonian Alt-Country… Or as Earley called it in a recent interview , “Rocky Mountain Whoop Ass.” The set kicked off with the opening track to Furr, “Sleepytime in the Western World” after informing the crowd that they were “here to play rock music… and sensitive music.” Our first new song of the night titled “Thirsty Man” followed, which was one of seven songs from new album featured in the set. Stand outs tracks were “Heart Attack”, “Feel the Chill”, and “Shine On” which is “just straight gospel” and my pick for the first single. One noticeable trait with the new songs was a more upbeat sound, almost a bit of a funk, but still nothing too far off the path of the typical Blitzen Trapper alt-country/rock/Americana/whatever genre you want to call it. You can grab that new album, VII, on September 30th or just pre-order it here (they are also selling it on tour right now)

Blitzen Trapper - ORH STL - 9/18/13 2 BlitzenTrapper 2013-09-18 ORHSTL

“This one is a country song” said Earley before “Taking It Easy Too Long” from 2011’s American Goldwing.  Each song drew a smattering of applause from the crowd that packed in mostly on the main floor. After each break the band would thank the crowd and mentioned that St. Louis is always one of their loudest cities. Earley addressed the crowd prior to “God and Suicide” and noted that “your all going to look back and think how polite this band was”. At one point the setlist featured a back to back to back knockout trio of fan favorites “Black River Killer”, “Love the Way You Walk Away” and finally the title track to their pivotal 2008 release Furr, which Earley called a “pretty song.” The crowd erupted yet again as they continued to play another of the seven tracks from Furr that would appear tonight, “Lady on the Water.”

The set closed out with two more new songs and finally “Fire & Fast Bullets” before the band graciously thanked the crowd for their raucous applause and support. After leaving the stage, front man Eric Earley returned to the stage and performed a few acoustic songs, both songs that really showcase Earley’s songwriting, “The Man Who Would Speak True” and “Stranger in a Strange Land” which features some of my favorite lyrics from any Blitzen Trapper song. The rest of the band came back out to join him on stage for one final song, “Evening Star” from 2010’s Destroyer of the Void. After the set you could find all five of the guys scattered around the venue chatting with fans, taking photos and signing autographs… which brings me back to the Wakarusa set we briefly touched on earlier. I was talking with guitarist Erik Menteer and drummer Brian Adrian Koch after the set for a minute and mentioned seeing them at Wakarusa for the first time and told them how much I enjoyed the set and had looked forward to a non festival show. Both of them were very impressed to hear that, because apparently that was what they referred to as one of their worst shows and even went on to say something about how the “hippies fucking hated us so much.” I definitely don’t remember getting that vibe from their set, but they were one of my highlights going into and coming out of the festival that year… to each his own I guess, but you may be tough to find someone who was in attendance at the Old Rock House last Wednesday that would be able to say they didn’t enjoy the performance put on by the boys of Blitzen Trapper. Check out tour dates below and go see these guys.

——————————————————————————————————–

FOLLOW @DARBYSTL ON TWITTER / LIKE DARBYSTL ON FACEBOOK

——————————————————————————————————–

SETLIST

Sleepytime In the Western World (Furr)
Thirsty Man (VII)
Fletcher (American Goldwing)
Astronaut (American Goldwing)
God and Suicide (Furr)
Ever Loved Once (VII)
Not Your Lover (Furr)
Taking It Easy For Too Long (American Goldwing)
Heart Attack (VII)
Shine On (VII)
Earth (Fever Called Love) (VII)
Neck Tatts, Cadillacs (VII)
Black River Killer (Furr)
Love The Way You Walk Away (American Goldwing)
Furr (Furr)
Lady on the Water (Furr)
Feel the Chill (VII)
Big Black Bird (Black River Killer)
Fire & Fast Bullets (Furr)
E: The Man Who Would Speak True (acoustic) (Destroyer of the Void)
E: Stranger In A Strange Land (acoustic) (American Goldwing)

E: Evening Star (Destroyer of the Void)

——————————————————————————————————–

UPCOMING BLITZEN TRAPPER TOUR DATES:

Sep 24 The Bottle Tree Birmingham, AL
Sep 25 40 Watt Club Athens, GA
Sep 26 The Haw River Ballroom Saxapahaw, NC
Sep 27 Black Cat Washington, DC
Sep 28 Arch Street Tavern Hartford, CT
Sep 29 Royale Boston, MA
Sep 30 Union Transfer Philadelphia, PA
Oct 01 Higher Ground Ballroom South Burlington, VT
Oct 03 Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY
Oct 04 Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, NY
Oct 05 Lee’s Palace Toronto, ON
Oct 07 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
Oct 08 Turner Hall Milwaukee, WI
Oct 09 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
Oct 10 The Aquarium Fargo, ND
Oct 12 The Filling Station Bozeman, MT
Oct 13 Top Hat Missoula, MT
Nov 05 The Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA
Nov 06 Troubadour Los Angeles, CA
Nov 08 Pappy & Harriets Pioneertown Pioneertown, CA
Nov 09 Porter’s Pub La Jolla, CA
Nov 10 Club Congress Tucson, AZ
Nov 12 The Parish Austin, TX
Nov 13 Club Dada Dallas, TX
Nov 15 The Bluebird Theater Denver, CO
Nov 16 The State Room Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 19 The Bartlett Spokane, WA
Nov 20 The Leavenworth Festhalle Leavenworth, WA
Nov 21 The Wild Buffalo Bellingham, WA
Nov 22 The Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, BC
Nov 23 Neptune Theatre Seattle, WA
Nov 30 Doug Fir Lounge Portland, OR

Blitzen Trapper ORH STL 9-18-13 3

Blitzen Trapper drumkit

Drunk Blitzen Trapper

THIS IS WHAT I WAS SEEING BY THE END OF THE SHOW. Special Thanks to 4 Hands Brewing Co. for the buzz

 

blitzen trapper sign

 

Blitzen Trapper ORH STL 9-18-13 3

 

INTERVIEW: 15 MINUTES IN TRAFFIC WITH JEFF AUSTIN

15 MINUTES IN TRAFFIC WITH JEFF AUSTIN (of Yonder Mountain String Band) 

Interview by Bradley Darby

@DarbySTL / DarbySTL on Facebook

JeffAustin_bySeñorMcGuire_2

 Jeff Austin, who you may know as the mandolin man and one fourth of the jamgrass powerhouse that is the Yonder Mountain String Band, recently took some downtime with Yonder to hit the road with a few close friends. Austin’s current project, Jeff Austin and The Here & Now, consists of banjo picker extraordinaire Danny Barnes, as well as the husband and wife / legendary bluegrass combo of flat picker Larry Keel and Jenny Keel on the bass.

The tour kicked off in Chicago a few nights ago and has recently stopped in Kentucky and Ohio. They also stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Thursday before wrapping up at the Mumford and Son’s Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Guthrie, Oklahoma this weekend.

You can download a FREE 4 SONG EP HERE. Be sure to check out one of the few Jeff Austin and the Here and Now shows or catch Jeff later this fall when the Yonder Mountain String Band resumes their schedule. All the dates are listed below, may I suggest the Harvest Music Festival in Ozark, AR in October. Not only do you get Yonder, but you get to see Tedeschi Trucks Band, Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang, Railroad Earth, JJ Grey and MOFRO, as well as Friends of Concert Confessions, Dirtfoot and many many others. Get the full lineup here.

I recently had a chance to catch up with Jeff Austin to discuss his new adventure while he was sitting in traffic with Danny Barnes en route to their show at the Bluebird in Bloomington, Indiana. We also discuss a lot of things St. Louis (this was originally done as preview piece for STL show on another site) and Jeff’s passion for delicious food.

 ————————————————————————————–

Me: Thank you for taking a few minutes to talk to me about The Here and Now. Its a great project that I’m very excited to see on Wednesday.

Jeff Austin: I’m pretty excited too. It’s some of my heroes and they happen to be some of my friends. Every day is just great, I’m really looking forward to it.

 

Me: You’ve been involved in many different solo projects over the years, from the 30dB shows (with Brendan Bayliss from Umphrey’s McGee) to various Bluegrass Balls to the Grateful Grass show (with Keller Williams and Keith Moseley) How did the Here and Now come about?

Jeff Austin: The first time the 4 of us played together it was two years ago out in Oregon. I got asked to do a set of Jerry Garcia music on the anniversary of his death. They said play whatever you want, hire whoever you want, and I kind of went… Shit, this could be a  fun lineup to try and get together. Everyone was able to do it and it was just a blast we had a great time. The musical conversation was really neat, it was very easy to have, the call and the response and all of that it was just beyond cool and to ignore that would be irresponsible. We’ve all been busy, it took a little while to get it together, but earlier this year we played together in Colorado and it was off to the races… we put together a tour and it came together.

 

Me: I am very happy you’ve chosen St. Louis as a stop to bring this project to. You’ve been at the Old Rock House a few times before with the Bluegrass Ball, is that a venue you personally wanted to come back to or did it just happen that way?

Jeff Austin: I really enjoy that venue, I think its perfect for this project. Its not too big, but its not small. Its got that intimate vibe to it. This is a Wednesday night and a new project, so its all about new things. I’m telling you, I like St. Louis… I really, really like St. Louis and I wanted to kind of  make sure this was somewhere we went on our first run. It worked out perfectly and the people at that venue are really nice and accommodating and open to musicians coming in. I was really glad when it worked out.

 

Me: A few of the other shows are just duo shows with you and Danny Barnes. How does planning a set list with just you and Danny differ than a set list with the whole Here and Now band?

Jeff Austin: The Keels had a prior engagement at that Lock’n Festival that they have to fly out to. One of the things with Danny and I just doing that show, and I’m looking at him right now, with just the two of us it will be a lot of open ended stuff and kind of, off the cuff. Seeing how the emotion of the evening kind of writes the set list for us. Some of the songs we probably haven’t even rehearsed like ‘Hey you know this Hartford tune’ or whatever. That will be really cool, it’ll be really kinda in the spur of the moment thing and see how the crowd reacts and how we’re having our conversation with each other.

 

Me: Is the Here and Now going to be a rotating cast of musicians, similar to Sam Bush’s New Grass Revival, or is this the group of four you plan on moving forward with?

Jeff Austin: Well it has the potential there that we could write songs, have a horns section, who knows? It could turn into anything. It kind of really is based on the idea of Here and Now, what’s happening in this moment and what works. Not just because I’m writing material I want to play for people, but you know… I have so much freaking fun with this lineup that I may be hard pressed to pick up traveling with anyone else. Its pretty damn fun.

 

Me: What does the future of the Here and Now look like? Is there going to be an album or is this mostly a live thing?

Jeff Austin: The plan right now is that I have a laundry list of material I want to put on a record I was hoping to have out this fall. There are certain songs being played, that I can’t think of any other lineup playing them than the folks I am traveling with, so as i’m thinking of the studio version of it I absolutely want to see these guys play on it. But it could be a rotation of songs where i want a  horn section or drums or strings or this and that. It will vary a little bit but the core of it will be built around the way that this project is sounding… thats what I hope

 

Me: That sounds awesome.

Jeff Austin: There are songs that I didn’t write in a bluegrass vane but I played them in a bluegrass vane and when I put them out, I want to play them the way that I wrote them. To be able to go into a studio to do those songs that way, its going to be interesting because its not going to be a bluegrass album by any stretch of the imagination. It will just be a record. I guess if you had to categorize it Americana? I don’t know, but i’m looking forward to that process. i’m in the part right now of getting the lineup of songs, editing, and all that kind of stuff and going full steam ahead.

 JA_2013_FBCover

Me: I’ve read recently that in your freetime one of the things you love doing is running a food blog, “Table for One”, right?

Jeff Austin: It’s not only a food blog its going to be turning into a webisode kind of thing. I’m actually in the editing process right now with that as well. I did filming a number of months ago, and I have four days of a shoot coming up in September. My hope is by mid or late October to drop the first webisode of Table for One. I have some high aspirations for that so that hopefully it could maybe turn into, or launch, a show at some point, but yeah its a huge passion of mine. Just telling the story of people who are passionate about what they do and how that affects me and how it affects people. I find that story intriguing.

 

Me: Back in Spring 2012 we spoke briefly and you told me about the Thai Kitchen Cafe down on Delmar. Is there anywhere in St Louis you are looking forward to checking out when you get back in town or somewhere you went last time you want to give a shout out to?

Jeff Austin: Thai Country Cafe.. I LOVE that place. One of the heartbreaks on the road for me was when they took the duck noodle soup off the menu, and then they put it back on. I was so happy… so happy. I love that place. Uhh… I am not sure. I’d like to make it a point to get back there. The beautiful thing about having not done a tour like this is with these friends is that I get to take them to new food joints that I love and I want to share. This morning in Chicago we went to Hot Dougs Sausage Emporium. I’ll tell you what I like at the Rock House is right down the block that tiny little joint, that one room diner. That place blows my mind. When the Del McCoury Band was just down there doing a couple nights… me and a couple of those guys, we will text each other when we know we’re in a restaurant that someone else likes. I got a couple photos of just them at the counter or the menu on the wall.

 

Me: Well Jeff thats really all I had for you, is there anything else you want to tell us about? What else is going on in the life of Jeff Austin?

Jeff Austin: I’d say check out www.JeffAustin.com, I am going to try to post something everyday from the tour whether its a little video of us playing, song ideas or food updates or whatever but I’m going to start that up tonight here and do little things everyday. Kind of a little road diary type of thing.

 

Me: Thanks for the time Jeff, we’ll see you on Wednesday!

—————————————————————————————–

READ MY MARCH 2012 INTERVIEW WITH JEFF AND DAVE JOHNSTON FROM YONDER MTN STRING BAND HERE

—————————————————————————————–

JEFF AUSTIN and THE HERE & NOW on Tour:

9/04 Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

9/05 The Shrine – Tulsa, OK *Jeff Austin & Danny Barnes duo show

9/06-07 Cottonwood Flats – Mumford & Sons Gentlemen of the Road – Guthrie, OK

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND

10/09 Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

10/10 Charlotte, NC – Amos’ Southend

10/11 Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre

10/12 Silk Hope, NC

10/13 Chattanooga, TN – Track 29

10/16 Oxford, MS – The Lyric Oxford

10/17-19 Ozark, AR – YMSB Harvest Festival at Mulberry Mountain (3 nights)

10/23 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom

10/24 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue & 7th St Entry

10/25-26 Chicago, IL – House of Blues (2 nights)

10/29-30 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl (2 nights)

10/31 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts

11/01 Boston, MA – House of Blues

11/02 Portland, ME – State Theatre

12/27-29 & 12/31 Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater (4 nights)

jeff austin

Soul Asylum Kicks Off 2013 Tour With a Party In St. Louis!!!

Soul Asylum The Old Rock House 1/30/13
Words/Photos By BeezNutzStl

I have always liked Soul Asylum, they remind me of good times in my childhood. I never got to see them during the 90’s and missed them every time since. They had just came out with a new album last year. When I heard they were coming to one of my favorite places in St. Louis, I jumped on the chance to go. The Old Rock House is the perfect place for a band like them, big enough to sell a bunch of tickets. Yet small enough so its a big party, it’s a awesome venue for music. Featuring 3 Levels, 2 Bars, and 2 Bathrooms makes it comfortable to see a show. They have always been extra nice to me, and its always a good time there.

DSC02677

Soul Asylum fronted by founding member Dave Pirner took to the stage a little before 10 p.m while a lot of the crowd was finding the way inside. They started the set with ” Somebody To Shove ” off of the mutli-platinum album ” Grave Dancers Union ” which came out in 1992. It was hard to believe it had been that long, they played a diverse set list and had the crowd feeling the music. I saw so many smiles it was unbelievable. Prior to the show I had bought and listened to the new album and they did a few of my favorite songs from it. The new album is called ” Delayed Reaction ” and it is instores now if you would like to hear it.

DSC02621

Up next they tried a new song on us ” Gravity ” which is from the new album ” Delayed Reaction . They really sound good together on this new stuff and the band plays off each other well. Dave was rocking some thrashed up jeans that looked as if they must of came from the 90’s and drummer Michael Bland was rocking a sick mo-hawk. They all looked really cool, and just as you would expect them to.

DSC02617

Dave’s voice sounded great live, just like you remembered it on the radio. They played the songs ” Pipe Dream ” and ” Into The Light ” which are both new songs. It was cool to hear the difference in the old and new material. I would recommend getting the new album. I am glad I did, made the show more enjoyable to me.

DSC02601

Dave is quite the joker on stage, he has a lot of fun with the crowd. Which should make for a interesting rest of these exhausting tour dates. They followed the new stuff up with some classics ” Black Gold ” was up next and had everyone singing along, dancing and it felt amazing to be part of. Next he said they just came up with a new song on the bus that day, and played ” Runaway Train ” the crowd ate it up. It was so great to be in that room at that moment, so many people just had this euphoric look on their faces. It was priceless, nowhere else I would rather be.

DSC02629

After a few more song they left the stage briefly, they came back up and Dave started talking about how he wrote the next song about our state. The crowd laughed and we knew that ” Misery ” was up next. That song is from the album ” Let Your Dim Light Shine ” which came out in 95. They chose to end the set with another song from that album ” Just Like Anyone ” which closed out the night and sent people paying their bar tabs.

DSC02645

After the show I was feeling incredible. Soul Asylum really made it into a party and played a great show. Everyone left happy, I waited around after the show and talked to Dave. We talked about his ripped up jeans, music, and just a bunch of fun things. He was really easy to talk to and enjoyed being around his fans. He posed for pictures and signed autographs for as many people that wanted one. He went out of his way to be cool to everyone he met. I hope I see them back here soon, I can’t wait to see them again.

DSC02664

Make sure you go check out the new album ” Delayed Reaction ” you will be glad you did. You can find it online, instores or at one of the many, many shows they have booked across America this year. For a list of tour dates you can find Soul Asylum here:

http://www.enterthesoulasylum.com

Go check out the new album ” Delayed Reaction ” You will be glad you did.

1339764012_cover

Soul Asylum 01/30/13 The Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO.

1. Somebody To Shove
2. I Will Still Be Laughing
3. Can’t Even Tell
4. Lately
5. Whatcha Need
6. Oxygen
7. Leave This Town
8. Gravity
9. Pipe Dream
10. Into The Light
11. The Streets
12. Without A Trace
13. Black Gold
14. Runaway Train
15. Closer To The Stars
16. Made To Be Broken
17. Stand Up And Be Strong
18. Misery
19. Just Like Home.

Till next time.

BeezNutZStl

DSC02656

Thank You to : Wes, The Old Rock House, Dave, Soul Asylum, Airika, Bradley and everyone that came out. Thanks.

Infamous Stringdusters Embark on Old Rock House – St. Louis 11/14/12

An Evening with the Infamous Stringdusters – Old Rock House 11/14/2012
Words / Pictures by Bradley Darby

 

Described by some critics as “a future supergroup,” “a phenomenon” “intricately improvisational,” and “flawless”, the Infamous Stringdusters have been tearing up the bluegrass circuit for the last five years, releasing four studio albums as well as a live album while garnering a Grammy nomination along with three International Bluegrass Association awards and playing to packed venues and festival tents. The Stringdusters were just in the home of Chingy during Labor Day weekend for what was scheduled to be the late night portion of Del Yeah! Bluegrass Festival, however the festival was rescheduled due to inclimate weather. The Stringdusters played anyways to a near sold out crowd. That night they announced they would be coming back through town for one of the final shows on their Fall tour in November… that night was November 14th.

 

The first set started at 9PM with “The Place That I Call Home” with vocals by fiddle player Jeremy Garrett. While the band continued to play in the background, stand up bassist Travis Book took the mic to welcome the crowd and ask “Who here has seen the Stringdusters, whos done this before? Who knows what’s up? Then you know you are here to do whatever you want… dance, sing, drink, talk, whatever it is. Its your Wednesday night and we’re just so glad to be here tonight. Two sets of music, we’re gonna be at this awhile, settle in.” Book stayed on the mic as they went directly into the Danny Barnes tune “Get It While You Can.” It was clear at this point that the Dusters had already settled in quite nicely as the third song was a stunning instrumental that was very heavy on the fiddle, thanks to Jeremy Garrett.

A brand new song that debuted in late October, “Road to Boulder,” was led by dobro player Andy Hall. Their version of “In God’s County”, a song you may remember from The Joshua Tree by U2 was next. The Stringdusters are no stranger to that one, it was recorded for 2010’s Things That Fly. Travis got back on the mic to address the crowd again as he showed his appreciation for the Old Rock House and mentioned that this was the final week of the tour. Props were also given for the light guy, Bret Angstep, who was doing an absolutely fantastic job to make the stage look incredible. “How Far I’d Fall For You” was introduced by Book as a “party love song.”

A Del McCoury classic, “Travelin’ Teardrop Blues” segued right into banjo picker Chris Pandolfi leading the group and slaying dragons with his banjo for another instrumental. Following a brief pause to allow the crowd time to gather their thoughts it was time to cater to the hippie demographic with a cover of “Free” by Phish. Andy Hall was back at the mic for a stellar version of “Well, Well” that clocked in at 10 minutes and included what I’m pretty sure was a tease of the theme song from Top Gun by guitarist Andy Falco. The first set closed out just before 10 P.M.

After about a 35 minute break the second set started off in the hands of Travis Book yet again for “It’ll Be Alright” and was followed by another Andy Hall tune, “Rain.” The energy in the room just ten minutes into the the second set was definitely being felt by the band as they expressed how much fun they were having. The next song, “17 Cents” was dedicated to “people who struggle to make ends meet at the end of every month, damn near everybody i know ” said Book. A cover of “Walking on the Moon” by The Police had a nice bluegrass-reggae feel to it. Another tasty diddy of an instrumental went right into “Aint No Way of Knowing” followed by “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” with Andy Falco playing the part of Dylan.  “Deep Elem Blues” featured Travis Book laying down some nasty bass. He then told us about the new deluxe edition of Silver Sky, a re-release of their most recent album with bonus tracks and a live disc that is available only at independent record shops nationwide. You can’t order it on their website, really… I tried. They then played the first track from that album “Don’t Mean Nothin.” An excellent cover of The Grateful Dead’s “He Gone,” which is one of the bonus tracks featured on Silver Sky Deluxe Edition, was dedicated to Peter Dedario who was apparently responsible for the strings on Falco’s guitar. The set ended with what turned out to be a nearly 10 minute jammed out version of “Gettin’ Down The Road.”

After thanking the crowd they informed us they would be doing an encore and that they would normally walk away but theres no where to go. We were informed of The Show Hive, a section of the their website where sound engineer Dave Becker posts pictures and audio of every show. Even full, FREE recordings of most shows! The Dusters take on The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek” started the encore, quite possibly a tribute to Levon Helm who passed away earlier this year. Their International Bluegrass Award winning song “Fork in the Road” closed the show out and as they thanked the crowd Book informed us that “you guys rocked!”

 

To say that I have grown quite fond of the Infamous Stringdusters over the past few years would be a fact. To say that after seeing them live for the first time last June (then again in August and October, then again three times this year) made me a fanatic would be an understatement. This band is incredibly talented and you need to do yourself a favor if you like bluegrass music the least bit and give them a chance… NOW.

—Setlist—
SET I
The Place That I Call Home
Get It While You Can
Instrumental
Road to Boulder
In Gods Country
How Far I’d Fall For You
Travelin’ Teardrop Blues
Instrumental
Free
Night on the River
Well, Well

SET II
It’ll Be Alright
Rain
17 Cents
Telluride
Something Wind
Walking on the Moon
No Resolution (Instrumental)
Ain’t No Way of Knowing
Don’t Think Twice
Deep Elem Blues
Don’t Mean Nothin’
My Destination
He Gone
Gettin’ Down the Road
——————
E: Up On Cripple Creek
E: Fork in the Road

Jackie Greene Plans Fall Trek and New Album After Social Media ‘Death’

Jackie Greene at Old Rock House in St. Louis – 2010

Recently Americana singer/songwriter/troubadour of the road Jackie Greene disappeared from the face of the earth by most accounts when he deleted all of his social media profiles to disconnect from the world. (See: “the evaporation of the genuine self” blog entry) Greene is on the verge of dropping the follow up to 2010’s Till The Light Comes, due later this year and has just announced his fall tour dates for the U.S. and Europe, though I’m not sure how he plans to promote the tour or his new album without online social media. (Note: As you will read in his blog entry, Greene is now back online but with a new perspective on the way it should be used)

Most shows are being billed as Jackie Greene Acoustic Duo, and many of the shows on the other side of the pond are supporting Deep Dark Woods, so be sure to check your favorite venue for complete details for your local show. I personally am still kind of butt hurt that there’s no St. Louis love on this tour, but you should do yourself a favor and check out Jackie this fall. I mean the dude’s good buddies with Bob Weir, and some have called him the songbird of his generation…

Jackie Greene, Bob Weir, Chris Robinson Acoustic Trio at Wakarusa 2012

 

Aug 18 Fairytale Town Sacramento, CA
Aug 19 Paradise Perfroming Arts Center Paradise, CA
Aug 25 The Haunt Brighton, United Kingdom
Aug 26 The Band Room Kirkbymoorside, United Kingdom
Aug 27 Sneaky Pete’s Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Aug 29 Borderline London, United Kingdom
Aug 30 St Bonaventure’s Club Bristol, United Kingdom
Sep 02 Communion @ Notting Hill Arts Club London, United Kingdom
Sep 04 Het Huis Verloren Hoorn, Netherlands
Sep 05 Magic Mirrors Brussels, Belgium
Sep 06 Paradiso Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sep 08 Merleyn Nijmegen, Netherlands
Sep 09 Rotown Rotterdam, Netherlands
Sep 15 Lodi Grape Fest / Lodi, CA
Sep 27 Sons of Hermann Hall / Dallas, TX
Sep 28 Fitzgerald’s / Houston, TX
Sep 29 The Parish / Austin, TX
Sep 30 Tipitina’s / New Orleans, LA
Oct 02 Proud Larry’s / Oxford, MS
Oct 03 Workplay / Birmingham, AL
Oct 05 Smiths Olde Bar / Atlanta, GA
Oct 06 3rd and Lindsley / Nashville, TN
Oct 07 The Grey Eagle / Asheville, NC
Oct 09 Visulite Theater / Charlotte, NC
Oct 11 The Pour House / Raleigh, NC
Oct 12 Brooklyn Arts Center / Wilmington, NC
Oct 13 Jewish Mother / Virginia Beach, VA
Oct 14 Growlers / Roanoke, VA
Oct 25 Ram’s Head On Stage / Annapolis, MD
Oct 26 World Cafe Live / Wilmington, DE
Oct 28 The Met / Pawtucket, RI
Oct 31 Music Hall of Williamsburg / Brooklyn, NY
Nov 02 Bearsville Theater / Bearsville, NY
Nov 04 StageOne / Fairfield, CT
Nov 06 Wescott Theater / Syracuse, NY
Nov 07 Triumph Brewing Co / New Hope, PA

Split Lip Rayfield – Old Rock House in St. Louis 5/26/12

 

Words/Pictures/Video by Bradley Darby

 

Everyone’s favorite bluegrass band that features a gas tank bass invaded the Old Rock House stage in St. Louis once again for yet another stellar show. Split Lip Rayfield, the 3 piece touring machine from Kansas, brought their blend of punk and metal inspired bluegrass music back to the Old Rock House stage. The last time they stopped in was last fall with the Legendary Shack Shakers and Mountain Sprout, one of my favorite shows of 2011, also at the Old Rock House. Jeff Eaton, the man behind the gas tank bass pictured above, known as the Stitchgiver, is actually from a little town called Gumbo, Missouri which is just a few hours from St. Louis. There is always a welcoming crowd for the Split Lip boys when they come through the Gateway to the West and this was no exception, and we even got to witness a small bluegrass mosh pit at one point!

They started the night off with “Flat Black Rag” and then mandolin/guitarist Wayne Gottstine took things over for “All The Same”. It was then onto Jeff Eaton’s first featured song, “Love Please Come Home”” before Wayne took the mic back for “Moving to Virgina” and “The River.”

Wayne switched from mandolin to guitar for “Never Make It Home” while Jeff armed himself with his trusty kazoo for a rocking solo . During “Kiss of Death” we even had the aforementioned mosh pit break out right in front of the stage featuring two booze infused fans going at it while Eaton slapped away at the Stitchgiver. Banjo picker Eric Martis then introduced Jeff to the crowd as Nikki Syxx, to which the crowd cheered… one fan booed loudly, and Martis replied “only one guy had the right response!” (Good job Ben!) At this point the crowd was growing restless as Eaton took over again for the always depressing “Pinball Machine”, one of my personal favorites.

Each Split Lip show features a toast to their fallen friend, and former guitarist, Kirk Rundstrom and tonight was no different. After “How Many Biscuits Can You Eat?”,  another great tune during which Jeff Eaton is damn near incoherently growling about eating biscuits in the morning we were asked to raise a glass to Kirk, and then it was “I’ll Be Around”, the title track to their most recent album and only released after the passing of Rundstrom. The last song of the night was “Redneck Tailgate Dream”  before they stepped off the stage to catch their breath.

 

After about a minute off the stage, the guys came back out and said they had one more for us… and then went right into the face melting “High Price of Necromancy” and then the fan favorite and sing a long, “Used to Call Me Baby.” They finished out their one song encore with “Dont Believe That You’re Someone” and finally “Outlaw.” One song left huh? What a bunch of liars!

Overall, it was another great evening out with Split Lip Rayfield and I look forward to seeing them again next week at Wakarusa as well as at the end of June when they hit the BloomHeavy River Romp Festival in Grassy, MO (just 2 hours south of St. Louis)

 

BEATS ANTIQUE STARTS TOUR IN ST. LOUIS AT OLD ROCK HOUSE 04/04/12

Beats Antique The Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO 04/04/12
Words/Photos/Video by BzNtz

Over the past few years I have heard a lot of things about this group called Beats Antique, but still years later I knew almost nothing about them. I heard they put on a great live show, I saw numerous friends like their facebook page. So on this cold and rainy St. Louis night I decided to see for myself. I started the night at work, when I asked my friend Tori to switch me shifts. It meant she had to stay an extra 2 hours for me, and I would have to work 10 hours straight the next day. I wanted to see a show so I did what I had to do and I was out the door by 8 p.m.

I cruised by the gas station and picked up a six pack of beers, headed to my girlfriends house picked up memory cards, then I realized I forgot my I.D so I drove by my house to grab that. Finally after an hour of running around I hit the highway and cruised down to the Old Rock House located in downtown St. Louis. The Old Rock House is a great place to see a show they have a nice staff, multiple levels, great sound and lights. The capacity is around 400-500 and there is not a bad place in the house, even the bars feature tvs with a live feed of the show.

First thing that happened when I got there was this fire performer started performing right behind me, the only reason I turned around was because I could feel the heat from the flame. He was very into his act and got right down on that dirty night club floor and played with fire. After a few tricks he put out his fire and the crowd was back to normal again. There was a lot of girls, many of whom were wearing belly dance outfits and were very much entertained by the DJ blasting out beats and bass.

The Dj did his thing and had the crowd feeling no pain. Everyone was dancing, drinking and having a good time. There was a stilt walker going through the crowd. I found it entertaining to watch him go up and down the steps. I ran into a few familar faces in the crowd, but still I had no clue of what awaited me this evening. Next to the stage was St. Louis own Scarlett Sinferno who is part of the Venus In Flames Fire Troupe. She is a very skilled and awesome fire performer and she captivated the crowd with her hot moves. Letting the flames race across her body all while dancing and keeping pace to the music is fun and impressive to watch. I have see her perform countless times over the past few years and I always enjoy it.

Soon enough the DJ was wrapped up his set and made room for the headline act of the evening. Prior to the show I had not listened, watched or known anything about Beats Antique. I always prefer the live experience as opposed to seeing it on Youtube, or listening to a cd, or even the radio. All of those are fine, but I prefer my first experience with a group to be live if at all possible. I noticed the drums, and the DJ set up on stage, but other than that I knew very little of what was to come. The house music played for about 30 minutes before the lights went black and Beats Antique took the stage. As they band took their places a slow melodic song started playing as Zoe came out and put on a stunning dance show featuring a Asian style mask.

After her show stealing dance, Zoe disappeared into the back while Tommy ” Sidecar ” Cappel pounded away a beat on the drums while David Satori kept busy with a vast variety of instruments. They blended the sounds together and had everyone lost in the music that was being performed live and in person. The energy level was very high as the music vibrated the room. The crowd had filled the entire floor and everyone was dancing and losing control.

Zoe would return every few songs and sometimes would play a big drum, she was something a lot of the people in the crowd came to see. She also had multiple wardrobe changes to add effect to the show. The crowd ate it up, and could not get enough of her. She moves very seductively at times and other times she just seems possessed by the music. It was fun and fascinating to watch.

Beats Antique has been around since 2007 and have released 6 albums since then and have been on numerous tours in the US and abroad. They are certainly a band to watch in 2012 and future years. I would imagine the next tour will be at a slightly larger venue, and to a much larger crowd. The beers were flowing and the music kept pumping, the crowd keep it going and kept moving.

I was certainly impressed, and they proved to be a strong live act. After more than an hour on stage it was time to leave, and the crowd showed how much they loved them and screamed until they returned to the stage. David donned a Zebra head, while Zoe went with a lion head. They both jumped around and had a bunch of fun with the crowd and the final song of the evening. It was unexpected and great to see a band have such fun on stage.

After the band had left Zoe reemerged to take photos with fans and hug everyone in the front rows. She was very excited to see her fans and the fans were just as excited to be talking with her and taking photo’s. It was a great end to a great night. They put on a exceptional show and left a positive impression on all that attended. This is one show not to miss in 2012.

Till next time…….

Thanks to: The Old Rock House, Beats Antique, Dub Queen Stephanie, Scarlett Sinferno, and everyone else who came out and rocked on a Wednesday night.

Beats Antique is on tour! Check them out at a date or festival near you, for more information or to buy music visit: http://www.beatsantique.com/

Date Venue Location

Apr 05 Blue Note Columbia, MO
Apr 06 Granada Lawrence, KS
Apr 07 Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa, OK
Apr 09 The Canopy Club Urbana, IL
Apr 11 The Intersection Grand Rapids, MI
Apr 12 Royal Oak Detroit, MI
Apr 13 Exhibition Hall (supporting Bassnectar) Madison, WI
Apr 14 The Brick Minneapolis, MN
Apr 15 Coachella Indio, CA
Apr 22 Coachella Indio, CA
Apr 24 Newby’s Memphis, TN
Apr 25 The Jupiter Tuscaloosa, AL
Apr 26 The Moon Tallahassee, FL
Apr 28 House Of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 02 9:30 Club Washington, DC
May 03 The National Richmond, VA
May 04 Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, NC
May 05 Neighborhood Theater Charlotte, NC
May 08 Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY
May 09 Westcott Theater Syracuse, NY
May 10 Port City Music Hall Portland, ME
May 11 The Met Pawtucket, RI
May 12 Brooklyn Bowl Brooklyn, NY
May 13 Brooklyn Bowl Brooklyn, NY
May 17 Symbiosis Gathering Nixon, NV
May 18 Symbiosis Gathering Nixon, NV
May 19 Symbiosis Gathering Nixon, NV
May 20 Symbiosis Gathering Nixon, NV
May 21 Symbiosis Gathering Nixon, NV
May 25 Sasquatch Music Festival George, WA
May 26 Sasquatch Music Festival George, WA
May 27 Sasquatch Music Festival George, WA
May 28 Sasquatch Music Festival George, WA
May 31 Wakarusa Ozark, AR
Jun 01 Wakarusa Ozark, AR
Jun 02 Wakarusa Ozark, AR
Jun 03 Wakarusa Ozark, AR
Jun 07 Desert Rocks Moab, UT
Jun 08 Desert Rocks Moab, UT
Jun 09 Starscape Festival Baltimore, MD
Jun 09 Desert Rocks Moab, UT
Jun 10 Desert Rocks Moab, UT
Jun 22 Wanderlust Festival Bondville, VT
Jun 28 Electric Forest Rothbury, MI
Jun 29 Electric Forest Rothbury, MI
Jun 30 Electric Forest Rothbury, MI
Jul 01 Electric Forest Rothbury, MI
Jul 06 Wanderlust Festival Copper Mountain, CO
Jul 08 The Doo Dah (w/ Ziggy Marley) Telluride, CO
Jul 15 The Forcastle Festival Louisville, KY
Jul 26 Wanderlust Festival Tahoe City, CA
Aug 09 The Festival of Gnarnia Beech Mountain, NC
Aug 25 Live at Squamish BEATS ANTIQUE (LIVE SET) (FEAT. SIDECAR TOMMY & DAVID SATORI) Squamish, Canada

POLICA COMES TO ROCK ST. LOUIS 02/27/12

Polica Old Rock House, Saint Louis, MO 02/27/2012
Words/Photos/Videos by BeezNutz

Just a few days before this show I had no idea who Polica was. Thanks to boredom and a quick youtube search I decided I would go check it out. This interesting new 4 piece band made up of two drummers, bass and a singer are from Minneapolis, MN. Recently they have released a new debut album titled ” Give You The Ghost ” and have been on tour promoting that release.

The day of the show I ended up cooking dinner, running errands and falling behind on my plans of seeing a show. I got back on track and ended up at The Old Rock House in downtown St. Louis ready for a good time.

After a $10 cover, I was in. The crowd wasn’t huge but people kept showing up as the evening progressed. I had missed the openers, and showed up just in time. Around 9:30 Polica’s singer Channy Leaneagh came out, brought a bass to the stage and dropped off the set list and then disappeared.

A few minutes later she reemerged followed by bass player Chris and drummers Ben and Drew. That was one of the things I found exciting about this band was Channy’s soulful, smooth vocals over funky bass lines, and crazy beats provided by dual drummers. I had not seen a band like this before and decided to check it out and I am glad I did.

They thanked the crowd for coming out and opened their set with ” The Maker ” which is the 6th track off the new album ” Give You The Ghost “.

They sounded great as a group, and as the music grew louder the crowd grew in closer securing better spots close to the stage.

Choosing to go with the last track from the new album next, ” Leading To Death ” was something that you just need to see live. It is very cool to see both drummers feeding off each others beat while the vocals take you away on a musical journey.

They followed with the songs ” Darkstar “,” Fist On The Floor ” and ” Raw Exit ” keeping the set moving. Then came ” Lay Your Cards Out ” which is one of the singles from the new album was a highlight of the show for me. It was one of the videos I watched before coming out and it really shined bright live.

Moving into the songs “ Violent Game “, ” Smug ” and ” Happy Be Fine ” which were all great but not as good as ” Form ” which was another highlight of the night for me. They put a lot of effort in putting on a great show for the crowd. In return the crowd seemed very into the performance as well, yelling loudly and cheering between each song.

One of the other videos I had watched online prior to this show was ” Wandering Star “.I think Channy’s voice was really great on this song, and sounded amazing live. She truly has a remarkable voice and certain songs like this really showcases her talent.

After playing a crowd request that I didn’t get the title of? They chose ” Amongster ” which is the first track on ” Give You The Ghost ” to end out and close their great set for the night.

The show was remarkable and with the bands plans for a busy summer makes this a band to watch in 2012! Don’t forget you heard about them on Concert Confessions don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Till Next Time……

Check out Polica online at:

www.facebook.com/thisispolica

thisispolica.com/

1. Maker
2. Leading To Death
3. Darkstar
4. Fist On The Floor
5. Raw Exit
6. Lay Your Cards Out
7. Violent Game
8. Smug
9. Happy Be Fine
10.Form
11.Wandering Star
12.Amongster

REVIEW: Split Lip Rayfield with Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Mt Sprout – St. Louis, MO 11/12/11

Words and Photos by Bradley Darby

After a show scheduled for February was cancelled just days after being announced, Split Lip Rayfield vowed they would be coming back to St. Louis later this year. Their last trip through the Gateway to the West was in May of 2010 opening for Reverend Horton Heat, also at the Old Rock House. I was a little disappointed to have to wait another 9 months to see these guys in STL again. I must say, the wait was well worth it, as the rescheduled show also featured Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Mountain Sprout on the bill.

Throughout the day the Old Rock House sent ample warning to folks planning to attend the show that tickets wouldn’t last. They were certainly correct, as the show was announced as sold out just after 9pm, right as Mountain Sprout was finishing up the first set of the evening. There was also a wedding reception going on in the upstairs lounge, which made the crowd on the main level overwhelming, but when it was announced the show had sold out they opened the balcony and the crowd spread out to make it tolerable.

The highly energetic hillbilly music machine that is Mountain Sprout took the stage just after 8pm to begin the night. The crowd was already packing in and the Arkansas quintet worked and swayed their way through a 40ish minute set with some of the finest beards this side of the Mississippi. Banjo picker/vocalist Grayson Van Sickle sings lyrics of alcohol, smoking reefer, and turkey buzzards while his supporting cast of Blayne Thiebaud, Adam Waggs, and Daniel Redmond melt faces with their chosen instruments, fiddle, guitar and stand up bass respectively. The set contained one of my favorites, “Dry County” which was prefaced by Van Sickle telling us about parts of Arkansas where you cant buy beer…. but assured us that “where we live you can even buy beer on Sundays, and that’s why we live there!” They ended the set with the always popular, “Screw The Government” and definitely did their job warming up the now sold out crowd. Word has it there is a December return to STL in the works, possibly at The Shanti in Soulard. Make it a point to check that out.

Just after 9PM, it was time for the Legendary Shack Shakers to get to business. Now, to be honest with you I knew nothing about this band, outside of the album Swampblood that I had purchased based solely on the album cover a while back. I really really enjoyed that album and had been looking forward to seeing this group almost as much as Split Lip Rayfield…… and they certainly did not disappoint!

 

Col. J.D. Wilkes and the boys have been hailed by some, like Hank III, as “the best damn front man and band in America.” Jello Biafra, of Dead Kennedys fame, has called Wilkes “the last great Rock and Roll front man.” The Colonel was just that, a true front man. He was all over the stage throughout the set and exuded a punk rock attitude… sometimes strumming the banjo and sometimes singing or screaming his words through a harmonica mic while running around the stage like a maniac without a shirt on. When the time came for Wilkes to introduce us to the rest of the Shack Shakers, he addressed the crowd as “Ladies and gentlemen, whores and whore mongers” and proceeded to inform us that bassist Mark Robertson was the “King of the Lemon Party”….. if you don’t know what that is, you are better off. (ADULT CONTENT: If you really wanna know, Google: LemonParty.org but remember I warned you!)  Brett Whitacre beats the drums and former Tomahawk member, and friend of Mike Patton,  Duane Denison shredded faces with his guitar. Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers collectively provided an intense hour long set with songs ranging from rockabilly to psycho bluegrass to punk country all in a matter of minutes. It was truly an experience, and one I will never miss…. I already look forward to my next night spent with the Shack Shakers, and you should start making plans to get your opportunity as well.

After a brief hiatus it was time for Lawrence, Kansas’ Split Lip Rayfield to take their turn after two very solid opening acts had prepared the capacity crowd. They started the night off with “Flat Black Rag” from their 1998 self titled debut album, a short but great one to get the crowd pumped up on some fast paced, get your body moving bluegrass. Jeff Eaton provided the rhythm throughout the evening with the Stitchgiver, a bass fashioned out of the gas tank from a 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis, a piece of hickory, and some weed whacker string that causes him to re-tape his fingers after damn near each song. A short while later they went into their rendition of George Jones’ “Easy Street” followed by “Moving to Virginia” and the always popular “Redneck Tailgate Dream.” Wayne Gottstine plays the mandolin and take the role of lead vocals on many songs, including “Never Make It Home”, which also features a mean kazoo solo by Eaton.

After a few new songs from a new album that is set to be released sometime in 2012, banjo player / guitarist for the time being Eric Mardis dedicated tonights show, just like every SLR show, to Kirk Rundstrom, former Split Lip Rayfield guitarist  that died in 2007 after battling cancer, and asked the crowd to “Raise a glass for Kirk.” There is actually a documentary film being shown on limited screens nationwide about the final tour with Rundstrom called Never Make It Home: Kirk Rundstroms Final Tour. They then slowed it down with “I’ll Be Around” the title track from the 2008 album, followed by one of my personal favorites “The River”, also from that album. The final song of the set was Jeff Eaton’s “How Many Biscuits Can You Eat?”, a crazy fast song that features Eaton growling barely coherent lyrics into the mic. After walking off the stage, they came back out rather fast and said they had one more for us…. no big surprise to hear the crowd sing along, “Used To Call Me Baby” from Never Make It Home, released in 2001. When the song was done, Split Lip quickly huddled and then told us “we love playing for you guys, thank you so much you guys were great to play for” and as the crowd continued to go nuts they started their final song of the night, “Outlaw.”, which only seemed to leave the crowd pumped up and wanting even more.

On the same night in St. Louis, two bands that typically would draw crowds away from each other played only 10 minutes apart, and both bands were able to fill the house. Split Lip Rayfield was officially a sold out show, and Chicago progressive bluegrass band, and another favorite live band of mine, Cornmeal played at 2720 Cherokee to a few hundred people as well. I can attest to the Split Lip show being one of the better SLR shows I have had the pleasure of seeing over the last few years, a count that is somewhere around the ten mark by now thanks to music festivals. I am sure Cornmeal brought the house down as well, I just hope next time they are booked on the same bill or separate nights. Keep the great shows coming St. Louis!!!

 

 

Meat Puppets Taking North America ‘Up on the Sun’ This Fall


“After this year brought the release of “Lollipop”; The Meat Puppets 13th studio album, the boys are still in the swing of releasing things, and are set to reissue of their classic 1985 album “Up on the Sun” Today (September 13th). And no need to start calling up your local record stores to see if they have it, The Meat PuppetsOFFICIAL WEBSITE has a whole web store set up where you can pre-order and purchase all of your ‘Up on the Sun’ related gear. Whether you dig the grooves on your vinyl, compactness of your discs, or the speed of your digital downloads-TheMeatPuppets.Com has all of those goodies for you ready to ship out. All sorts of packages including ‘Up on the Sun’ themed posters and tee shirts(Even I don’t have THAT shirt!) are available there for you.. Great gifts for all occasions, send your child back to school wearing a band tee that shows he or she has some taste! And for readers on the east coast who have patient waited reading concert reviews in anticipation: The next leg of the Meat Puppets US touring kicks off this Wednesday September 14th in Louisiana at Chelsea’s. All confirmed Meat Puppets tour dates are listed below highlighted with links where you can find yourself some tickets, most shows are ranging in price from $12-$15/ticket. I’m already confirmed for two of these dates, as I’ll be at the NYC show 11/4 and Teaneck, NJ on 11/6.. There’s a show in Philly I’m trying to swing as well, but not sure if thats doable via public transportation in 24 hours. Either way, get your face melted this Fall with the brothers Meat.

Follow the Meat Puppets on twitter ‘@TheMeatPuppets’ and check out their official website TheMeatPuppets.Com, and ‘Like’ the Meat Puppets on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/meatpuppets And tell the boys Jay Porks sent ya!

09/14 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Chelsea’s

09/15 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s

09/16 – Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder

09/17 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar-Ybor City

09/18 – Orlando, FL @ The Social

09/20 – Raleigh, NC @ Cat’s Cradle

09/21 – Charlotte, NC @ Visulite

09/22 – Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle

09/23 – Knoxville, TN @ Barley’s Tap Room

09/24 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl

09/25 – Athens, GA @ The Melting Pot

09/27 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge

09/28 – Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree

09/29 – Little Rock, AR @ Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack

09/30 – Fort Worth, TX @ Will Rogers Auditorium

10/01 – Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn

10/02 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s

10/28 – Fayetteville ,AR @ George’s Majestic Lounge

10/29 – Memphis,TN @ Hi Tone Cafe

10/30 – St. Louis, MO @ The Old Rock House

11/01 – Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel

11/03 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s

11/04 – New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge

11/05 – Boston, MA @ Middle East

11/06 – Teaneck, NJ @ Mexicali Live

11/08 – Akron, OH @ Musica

11/09 – Ann Arbor, MI @ The Blind Pig

11/10 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme

11/11 – Chicago, IL @ The Double Door

11/12 – St Paul, MN @ The Turf Club

12/31 – Tempe, AZ @ The Clubhouse “

Marc Broussard w/ Scars on 45 – Old Rock House – 8/3/2011 – St. Louis

Bayou Soul Singer-Songwriter Shares His Heart at Old Rock House

Words and video by Bradley Darby

It had been almost three years since Marc Broussard had last played here at The Duck Room, a venue he had played for his previous three trips to St. Louis. Broussard had taken a break from touring to spend time with his family and record a new self titled album, released earlier this year.  The news only got better when it was announced just a week before that Broussard would be stopping by St. Louis’ favorite new and used record shop, Vintage Vinyl, to perform and meet fans before the show at Old Rock House.

Broussard played a short three song set including “Lucky” from the newest album as well as an acoustic version of the fan favorite “Home” in front of a few dozen fans. He then took time to sign autographs and take pictures with fans, and at one point even took a woman’s phone and talked to a friend that was unable to make the show. See the full performance below. It was then over to the Old Rock House for the main event of the evening.


There were two opening acts for the evening.The first was a Canadian brother and sister duo known as Sarah & Christian Dugas, who I unfortunately did not get to see. The second opening act has been garnering a lot of attention as of late as one of their songs was apparently featured on an episode of Grays Anatomy. Scars on 45 are an indie rock group that hails from the UK. The group consists of four blokes as well as a girl named Aimee that shares vocal duties with guitar player Danny. Scars are completed by bassist Stu, drummer Chris, and Nova on the piano. The Brits did a great job with their 45ish minute set, and converted quite a few folks into new fans on this night. All they had available was an EP called Give Me Something, and they tackled all four of those songs in addition to a few more. A full length album should be out in January. You can get more information about Scars on 45 at their website, or you can catch them in STL opening for Matt Nathanson at The Pageant on October 18.

Straight out of Carencro, Louisiana and bayou born and raised, Marc Broussard was up next. If you haven’t heard of Broussard, you should do yourself a favor and indulge in his blend of the best elements of soul, classic R&B, and Bayou infused blues rock. He self released his first album, Momentary Setback, in 2002. That was followed up in 2004 by his major label debut Carencro, named after his hometown. In 2007, it was S.O.S. (Save Our Soul), a cover album featuring his takes on songs from Sam Cooke to the Pointer Sisters to Al Green. After releasing a 5 song EP, Broussard released Keep Coming Back in 2008 and most recently he released a self titled album in June of 2011. The first time I heard the man sing, opening for Matt Nathanson at a small defunct club called Hi-Pointe in 2003, I was shocked to see this voice coming out of a 21 year old white boy. Now at the rip old age of 29, its quite obvious he has learned a lot in the last ten years of his career.


He kicked the night off with a few upbeat songs, “Come Around” and “Hard Knocks.” It was then time to romance the ladies with the ballad “Lonely Night in Georgia”, one of my favorite songs of his. Broussard then played his anthem of self-discovery, and one of his oldest tunes “The Wanderer” before calling up opening act Sarah & Christian Dugas to help out on backing vocals for two new songs, “Lucky” and “Yes Man.”

Marc then introduced us to each member of the band as the played a brief solo before exiting the stage, leaving Broussard alone with his acoustic guitar and a room full of people. First up in the acoustic set was “Come In From The Cold”, the only song on S.O.S. that is NOT a cover. Broussard then played “Let Me Leave” before asking the crowd what they wanted to hear, and no shocker at what was being yelled at the stage…..the fan favorite hidden acoustic song about his son from Carencro called “Gavins Song.”


After continuing the solo acoustic portion of the show with “Hope For Me Yet”, he asked us “do you want the band to come back up?” and as the band started coming in from the outdoor patio and collected the Jager shots poured by a gentlemen who’s sole responsibility seemed to be mixing Jagermeister with A&W Root Beer, the crowd shouted back NO!!! At this time Broussard sent the band back off the stage and he then played “Saturday” followed by another great ballad of his, “Beauty of Who You Are.” It was at this time that Marc told us that it gets boring playing  yourself, and asked the band to come back out to finish up the set. The boys then tore through a few more songs including a cover of Al Greens “Love and Happiness” and finally his biggest hit to date, “Home”, which he had played at Vintage Vinyl acoustic, but now we got to enjoy a rocking rendition with the full band. For the encore, Broussard came back out and slowed it down to sooth the souls with another song from S.O.S., “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”, originally performed by Donny Hathaway, a song that really showcases his vocal chops.


After making his was through a ten year, four album catalog, most of which seemed to come from his 2004 major label debut Carencro, Broussard left the stage. He hung around on the patio to meet some fans, as its no secret Marc has always been a man of the people. It was yet another great performance from one of the hardest working men in the singer songwriter game. Broussard is not only a great songwriter and vocalist, but a fantastic performer. Get more information about Marc here, or just go see him when he plays a club near you, because you need some bayou soul in your life.

 

I Got Funked in the Earhole by Orgone!

Words, Videos, Photos By: Bradley Darby

California funksters Orgone made a stop at the Old Rock House on Saturday night and brought along some friends from Chicago known as The Right Now to support them. It is safe to say that things got a little funky at the Old Rock House on Saturday night, just ask the break dancers or the hundred or so people moving their body to the oh-so-sexy grooves that both bands laid out for three and a half hours.

Orgone also paid a visit to Vintage Vinyl on Saturday afternoon, setting up and playing a 30 minute set for a small gathering of people, some there to see the band and some just shopping for records with a soundtrack. I had the opportunity to record this intimate show, and you can check it out below.

Meanwhile back at the Old Rock House, an eight piece soul group known as The Right Now kicked things off. Vocalist Stephanie Berecz has an amazing, soulful voice that you would expect to hear on a R&B diva and grabbed the attention of everyone in the room by the start of their third song, that is, if her stunning looks hadn’t done so by the first. Backed up by her 7 piece band dressed in shirts and ties, sans the drummer, The Right Now took the crowd by storm. The horn section provided us with some choreographed dance moves when they weren’t tooting their own horns. The set included a Chaka Khan cover of “Ain’t Nobody” as well as a few standout tracks “Ain’t Going Back”, “I Am Who I Say I Am” and “Can’t Speak For You.” Their full length debut, Carry Me Home is available now….I picked a copy up at the show and I am very impressed, I look forward to seeing them again in the near future. Get more information at www.therightnow.com where you can stream a few songs and find plenty of into. You can also stream the full set here.

The Right Now

Up next was the eight headed uber-funk beast from the west coast, Orgone. Hailing from the City of Angels, Orgone is a funk/soul/afro-beat group that features six “regulars” as well as a rotating cast of as many as eleven additional musicians to help out. Always containing a rhythm section with drums, percussion and bass, as well as a horn section, keyboards, and guitar. Saturday they chose to go with an eight man lineup. They also brought along a very special guest in Nicki J. Crawford from Louisiana to provide vocals on a few songs. The energy this band can exude at one of their shows is unparalleled, and it can be seen in either guitarist Sergio Rios as he is constantly dancing around with his curly hair isn’t flopping around. As the first song started, a break dancing circle began directly in front of Rios, with around five or six dancers passing off the break dancing torch to one another. At time a drunk girl would stumble into the middle and attempt to dance, but not long after she would be run out by the break dancer as they continued to bust a move throughout the entire set.

Orgone wasted no time jumping right into some filthy funk with “Mantanza” from their most recent album, Cali Fever. After “Its What You Do”, Sergio Rios addressed the crowd for the first time by saying “Whats up St. Louis! we have a lot of fucking love for St. Louis” and then he introduced Nicki J Crawford for the first time for “Funky Nassau”, from The Killion Floor, that featured a fantastic percussion solo by Stewart Killen. After one more song, “You Got to Give It Up”, Crawford left the stage and the rest of the band played one of my personal favorites, “Hambone” as well as “Sweatshop.” Just under two hours after they set sail on the journey that is an Orgone show, they ended the set with a song that included no horns, a nice change of pace, and it sounded just as good as the rest.

Watching Orgone jam out some soulful funk while just feeding off of each others energy is an experience. I would highly suggest you check them out if given the opportunity. You can get more information on Orgone by checking out their website www.orgonespace.com

Orgone Setlist

The Right Now Setlist

Curren$y flys the Jet Life Tour 2011 over St. Louis

I first heard about Curren$y a few years back in some Hip Hop magazine. Did a few youtube searches and got schooled. Curren$y is a busy man.

First signed to Master P’s No Limit Records as part of the 504 boys in 2002. The New Orleans native wasted no time after appearing on Master P’s ” Good Side Bad Side ” album Curren$y packed up shop and left No Limit. Next stop Cash Money Records under Lil Wayne’s label Young Money Records. Soon after he grew tired of being on the back burner. Once again he set out for greener pastures. And from the looks of the album releases, tour dates, mixtapes and features it was a good move.

From the discography on Wikipedia he has released 7 studio albums since 2009 and that is not counting the 14 mixtapes in between. I read an article somewhere online saying he made over $750,000 in touring last year.

Which brings us to Friday, May 27th the first day of Memorial Day weekend. The venues across St. Louis were booked with all sorts of shows. Even a free Rib America deal with Collective Soul and the like. Personally I needed a hip hop show in my life so The Jet Life Tour was a easy pick.

What made it also an easy choice for me was the venue. The Old Rock House is one of my favorite venues in St. Louis. Great Sound, Great Staff, and Great layout makes it exceptional to see a show.

A few days before the show the venue posted the show was going to sell out. Not being one to like being stuck outside I bought a ticket 20 Dollars and some change.

I had the whole day off work, and spent the whole day trying to recover from this cold I have. When recovery didn’t work, I tried the next best thing. Alocohol! I went to the Liquor store and grabbed a sixer of Heineken and other necessities. After procrastinating as long as possible I left for the show.

I showed up later than I would of liked and parking was slightly hard to find. I found a good enough spot and celebrated with a beer and meditations.

A short walk later I was at The Old Rock House. I get in the venue and The Notorious B.I.G is bumping through the club. Everyone is having a good time. The bar was packed, and the atmosphere had a certain nice cloudiness to it.

The female Dj behind the turntables did a great job getting the crowd in a good mood. I decided to head upstairs to the bar and grab a beer. When I made it back downstairs the rap duo Monster Beats were hitting the stage. Actaully due to how great I was feeling I am only half sure they were “Monster Beats”. Whoever they were they put on a solid show.

Up next that brought up Corner Boy P. I dug his raps and cool laid back stage presence. He also was rocking a pretty fresh shirt. Corner Boy P played for about 10-20 minutes. The crowd was into him as well and got a lot of love from the sold out St. Louis crowd.

As Corner Boy P was finishing up he was joined by FIEND of No Limit Records fame. They rocked the smokers song ” Welcome to Amsterdam “.

“Got my passport ready, my Euros up, I’m international I don’t give a Euro-FUCK”. I dig that line from Corner Boy P, and that ended his set. However Fiend stayed onstage and ripped down his set for another 20 minutes.

While I honestly didn’t know much about Fiend. The rest of the crowd was very into his set. “Sweet Mary Jane” was a cool song he rocked.

After rocking other songs such as “Tennis Shoes and Tuxedos” it was time for Fiend to close out the set. There could of been more acts. I know Young Roddy and Trademark performed but a lot of the night I spent outside. My cold was kicking my ass.

When I came back inside they were announcing it was time for the “Hot Spitta” Curren$y to take the stage. He came out to the packed house and got right to work.

He came out rocking a fitted Ice Cream hat and long sleeve Ice Cream shirt and worked the stage spitting hot bars all night long. He let everyone know he got that “Drug Flow” right away!

Good times were flying thick in the air. It was clear how Curren$y is blowing up. The crowd was yelling back lyrics all night.

Being the Jet Life tour, it surely lived up to the hype. The next beat was unmistakable. Everyone in the crowd had five on it. Curren$y matched the crowd smoke for smoke with his own ” I Got Five On It ”

The theme of the night was definitely ” Jet Life ” and the Jet Life sign is made with your Thumb and Pinky very much like the surfers ” Hang Loose ” hand gesture. If you didn’t know about it coming in as you will see in this next video. You knew about it when you left. Jet Life!

Curren$y was enjoying his night and seemed to have a lot of fun on stage.

Then he asked the crowd to hold up the fly sneakers they were rocking, there was some Bo Jacksons, Jordans and a bunch of other I can’t remember I didn’t get any good pictures or video. Which sucks because it was a great part of the show. ” Roasted ” was a great song to follow. Everyone in the crowd could relate to this one as by this point everyone was ” Roasted “.

After a solid hour performance it was time for the ” Hot Spitta ” to leave. He decided to end the night on a crazy note by jumping off stage into the crowd and walking through the amped up crowd to make his exit.

Everyone rushed him so fast, and it was all love as he moved through the crowd towards the exit. He even stopped for a quick smoke break on the way out.

The smoke cleared eventaully……

and everyone hung out on the patio to enjoy the beautiful, warm, clear night outside!

I had a great time at this show and like most shows I had a late night craving for some greasy fast food. What better way to end the night then with 8 dollars of White Castle.

Till next time.

Stephen Kellogg Solo and Down Low at Old Rock House in STL 4/28/11

Words and videos by: Bradley Darby

Stephen Kellogg

Acoustic singer-songwriters have always had a special place in my heart. I can’t explain it, but I have always been a sucker for the Marc Broussard’s, Jack Johnson’s, Matt Nathanson’s, and Todd Snider’s of the world. An acoustic guitar can go a long way when partnered with some witty stage banter and clever lyrics sung deep from the soul of the person who penned them. Its good to put the dancing shoes away every now and again and just chill out with a glass of Makers Mark, ride out your buzz while soothing to a crooner like Stephen Kellogg.

Kellogg normally spends his days as the leader of Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers (SK6ers), a Massachusetts based four piece that I have not only had the pleasure of seeing in the past at this same venue, (click for review from Sept. ‘10) but have also had a chance to catch many times over the past few years. But this was my first time experiencing Kellogg in the intimate solo acoustic setting. He plays a mean acoustic, channels his inner Dylan to shred the harmonica, and writes beautiful lyrics, about love, fatherhood, staying young, loneliness, and family…. not to mention everything else a 10 year vet of the grassroots music scene with over 1000 shows under his belt has endured.

The opener for the show was Tift Merritt, a 36 year old singer-songwriter with a country vibe which some people compare to Joni Mitchell or Emmylou Harris. (link to “Good Hearted Man” from 2004’s Tambourine) Merritt has released two albums on Lost Highway Records in addition to a few independent and live albums. Unfortunately I was unable to catch Tift, but she did come out to sing a song with Stephen Kellogg during his set (more on that later) and I was really digging her voice. There seemed to be many folks in attendance to see Tift, as a few songs into Kellogg’s set there were a few choice seats that opened up. You can get more information about Tift at her website.

Stephen Kellogg took the stage right about 8:45 with what appeared to be four mini chests or nightstands behind him with a few random pictures on them and a single strand of lights running along the curtain behind him, SK started his set with “Lonely in Columbus” and “A (With Love)” both from 2009’s The Bear. “Anthem of Our Discovery” from the 2005 self-titled album followed, but was stripped down even more than expected for an acoustic show. It was a nice change of pace for a song that usually gets the energy going at a SK6ers show. Kellogg then put the harmonica on for the first time as he asked the crowd if anyone served in the military. After 5 seconds of dead silence, he dedicated “4th of July” from 2007’s Glassjaw Boxer to soldiers serving everywhere.

A few weeks before the show Kellogg had announced via his Facebook page that he was going to take requests for this tour via the Facebook event page for each show. Well a highlight of the evening came when he announced that tonights Facebook request was “Girlfriend As Pretty As You” from the 2005 EP One Night in Brooklyn, a song requested by me via the event page. He then read off a few one liner quotes, some of which were from the mouth of former Dunder-Mifflin Regional Manager Michael Scott. Sadly I was not able to jot these down as I was getting another Makers Mark from the bar. Kellogg then played a new song about falling in love with his wife at the age of 18 called “1993.”

“Start the Day Early” and “Such a Way” both from the self-titled album, and two of my favorite SK6ers songs followed. Kellogg then welcomed Tift Merritt to the stage and together they traded verses for the classic Kenny Loggins tune “Dannys Song.” Merritt and Kellogg’s voices complemented each other very well and I was sad to see Tift go after only one song.

It was time for some crowd participation, as Kellogg divided the crowd into two sections and gave each their own 3 words to yell when called upon. He then played the uplifting “Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts” from The Bear, asking the crowd to yell “Rhea, Pearlman, Joanie, Chachi, Liberachi”, which as far as I know has no relevance to the song. The first set ended with “Milwaukee” from Glassjaw Boxer, another favorite song that references Kelloggs tour manager and cousin Jessica, who has also acted as merch girl and the SK6ers biggest fan for 10 years.

Kellogg then left the stage through the crowd and almost immediately came back on for the encore. After thanking the crowd, and pointing out a picture of his Grandma on the table behind him, it was two songs from The Bear to close the night out. First up was the title track which SK explained that the name had came from a lesson he learned as a child, and as Kellogg sang “sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. Sometimes you’re gonna win, and sometimes you’re gonna lose. But you know, in the end, theres no apologies” you could tell it was a lesson about not giving up no matter what the circumstances. The last song of the night was “Satisfied Man” which tackles eternal teenage love, zombies, the birth of a child, death and afterlife all in a 3 minute song that is actually pretty damn beautiful.

Needless to say, Stephen Kellogg has a way with words. The dudes a lyrical poet, and he can provide enough banter to keep the show flowing between songs when not backed by the Sixers. I would highly suggest checking this show out if you get a chance, but don’t slack on tickets as most shows on the tour as selling out well in advance. Check www.stephenkellog.com for more information and watch for a new album from SK and the Sixers this fall.

Catch him out on the West Side next week. 5/12 Seattle at The Triple Door, 5/13 Portland at Mississippi Studios, 5/14 San Francisco at Swedish American Hall, 5/16 Los Angeles at Bootleg Theater.

 

SETLIST: (click song for Youtube video from this show)
Lonely in Columbus (The Bear)
A (With Love) (The Bear)
Anthem of Our Discovery (Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers)
4th of July (Glassjaw Boxer)
See You Later, See You Soon (Bulletproof Heart)
See Yourself (The Bear)
Girlfriend as Pretty as You (One Night in Brooklyn)
Start the Day Early (Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers)
1993 (new)
Such a Way (Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers)
Danny’s Song w/ Tift Merritt (Kenny Loggins cover)
Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts (The Bear)
Milwuakee (Glassjaw Boxer)
E: The Bear (The Bear)
E: Satisfied Man (The Bear)

The Bluegrass Ball w/ Jeff Austin, Drew Emmitt, The Travelin’ McCourys, Head For The Hills, Allie Kral – Old Rock House – 3/13/2011

Words and Photos by Bradley Darby

When it was announced that there would be a two day bluegrass concert, and that mandolin players Jeff Austin from the Yonder Mountain String Band and Drew Emmitt from Emmitt-Nershi Band would be sitting in with Head for the Hills (Saturday) and the The Travelin’ McCourys (Sunday), well it was certain that this was a don’t miss Bluegrass Ball. Then to make it better, days before the show they announced that the lovely and talented Allie Kral from Cornmeal would be joining on the fiddle as well. This was a rather limited event as it was only a four day run, featuring two nights at The Abbey in Chicago and two nights at Old Rock House here in St. Louis.

Sunday nights lineup featured Head for the Hills first. The previous night the order was reversed, so the Travelin’ McCourys played first, well you see where I am going. Head for the Hills are a bluegrass quartet from Colorado consisting of Adam Kinghorn on banjo and guitar, Joe Lessard on fiddle, Matt Loewen on bass, and Mike Chappel on the mandolin. They played for just under an hour and did a great job with tunes such as Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”, “Love Please Come Home” and others.

After a short break The Travelin’ McCourys started things off with a traditional bluegrass instrumental. You may know the name McCoury from bluegrass legend Del McCoury, well the Travelin McCourys actually comprise of four of the five members of the Del McCoury Band. The Travelin’ McCourys feature Del’s sons Ronnie and Rob McCoury on the mandolin and banjo respectively, as well as Jason Carter on fiddle, and Alan Bartram on the upright bass. When touring as The Travelin’ McCourys, Cody Kilby fills in for Del on the acoustic guitar, who is best known for playing with Ricky Skaggs.

The McCoury boys did their thing for about an hour and their set featured “Hard on my Heart”, “Devil in Disguise” and “Body and Soul” as well as a Jimmy Martin cover “Hold Watcha Got.” They dedicated the set to Del McCoury and said “he’s an idol and role model to some of us and a dad to others.” At around 9:45 they said they would be playing one final song, and then they were going to bring some friends out to get the Bluegrass Ball underway.

After a 20 minute break, The Travelin McCourys came back out and kicked things off by introducing Allie Kral from Cornmeal to kick the party off, ladies first of course. Together they jammed out a little instrumental that was heavy on the dueling fiddles courtesy of Kral and Jason Carter. When the smoke cleared, Ronnie McCoury introduced the final two gentlemen who were patiently waiting their turn to slay dragons with their mandolins, Jeff Austin from the Yonder Mountain String Band and Drew Emmitt from the Emmitt-Nershi Band.

Austin started things off with “Wheelhouse”, a Danny Barnes song. Then another traditional that showcased Rob McCourys banjo. They then played “Fiddling Around” a song that was made famous by Dierks Bentley on his most recent album. After a few more songs, Austin thanked the rest of the Bluegrass Ball and the crowd for “giving me a trip I will never remember!” Then he asked the crowd for some requests and they broke into a John Hartford song, followed by some Hank Williams.

The entire time it was Ronnie McCoury, Jeff Austin, Drew Emmitt on mandolins, Rob McCoury on banjo, Jason Carter and Allie Kral shredding the fiddle, Alan Bartram on upright bass, and Cody Kilby on guitar feeding off of each other. Just watching the eight of them together was something special. Where else are you going to see two fiddles, three mandolins, an upright bass, a banjo, and a guitar all picking on some bluegrass tunes together while a packed house that included Beatle Bob looked on?

Then everyone except the three guys with the funny looking little guitars took a break and Emmitt, Austin and McCoury, who actually switched to a mandola, took over for three songs including another song written by Danny Barnes, “Death Trip”, a song frequently played by Yonder Mountain String Band. They then pretended to leave the stage but were quickly joined by the rest of the Bluegrass Ball for “Steam Powered Aeroplane”, another John Hartford song.

You figured that would be the end up the evening, but they actually brought out the four guys from Head for the Hills and again thanked the crowd for giving them “four days we will never forget.” Jeff Austin then introduced the final song of the night, “Fire On The Mountain” but Austin quickly said that it was “not the one you are thinking of” but dedicated it to Owsley Stanley and together the 12 of them played the old traditional bluegrass tune featuring the lyrics “Fire on the mountain, run boy run!” while the folks holding string instruments bitch slapped you with their bluegrass.

All in all the night was a raging success. The crowd was pleased, and from what i gathered from folks that had attended both shows, it was a satisfactory weekend. I only wish I had been able to attend both nights, but this was a night I will never forget, or as Jeff Austin said, I will never remember.

For more pictures visit here

Paul Thorn 12-11-2010: Old Rock House – Saint Louis, MO

Paul Thorn 12/11/10

Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

Words by Jenkins

 

Usually I have a pretty good idea what to expect from a concert in advance.  I’m familiar with the band, their catalog, the crowd, hell – maybe I’ve even been to a couple of their shows before.

On the other hand, sometimes I don’t at all know what I’m in for and have no idea what my expectations should be.  Saturday, Paul Thorn played at the Old Rock House in Saint Louis – and Saturday was one of those nights.

In case you aren’t familiar with him, Paul Thorn is a bluesy folksy songwriter full of southern rock and southern drawl.  He is uniquely gifted at writing songs that are both somber and silly.  He occasionally is a guest on the Bob & Tom radio show, and for a lot of people (myself included) their first exposure to Paul is “A Great Day”, which is included on a Bob & Tom compilation.

To be honest, there aren’t a lot of fine details about the show for me to share here.  I don’t know the setlist, I only recognized two songs, I sat at a table that I  couldn’t possibly see the stage from, and as such I don’t have any recordings or video clips to share.  That being said, there is still plenty to say about Paul Thorn and company.

I’ll start with the venue.  I don’t know for sure, but if I had to guess I’d say that the Old Rock House (ORH) seats more or less 250 people.  I had never been there before, and while I love seeing concerts in small, intimate venues, any time seating is general admission or first-come-first-serve it makes me nervous – frankly, I’m feeling a little too old to fight and squeeze my way to the front of a crowd these days.  The group I was with arrived shortly before doors opened; once doors opened we made a mad dash to find a seat and just barely snagged one of the last 4 seat tables.

The ORH is a historic building and a neat place, but in my opinion it isn’t suited particularly well for concerts.  If you’re not one of the first 75 people there, you can pretty much forget about finding a place to sit on the floor or near the front of the balcony; if you’re not one of the first 120 you can forget about sitting at all, and the stage is practically out of your  line of sight.  There is a large screen at the balcony level that projects video of the concert from the floor – it’s not as ideal as being able to actually watch the stage, but it’s certainly a better option than staring at the heads or asses of the people sitting or standing in front of you.

The band took the stage promptly at 9:00 and played for more-or-less two hours.  The set included what sounded like a mix of old and new material, rocking and mellow tunes, and heartfelt and humorous stories.  From the point of view of someone brand new to Paul, the song selection felt fairly well balanced with something for everyone.  The set was overall more serious than humorous, but even some of the more serious songs were sprinkled with wit.  The band was tight and sounded well rehearsed, and I don’t recall hearing any out of place notes or mistakes the entire night.  The band struck me as being great musicians; they performed with skill and enthusiasm and sounded like a band that should be playing for a much bigger crowd at a much larger venue.

Midway through the night Paul took the stage alone for a short solo acoustic set which ended with Paul performing a song with just his keyboard player.  I’m a sucker for the quiet, intimate acoustic set, so by default this was one of the highlights of the night for me.

After the short acoustic set the band returned to the stage and performed to what seemed to be a much more interested and energized crowd.  The crowd was involved, interested, and singing along for the rest of the night.

At several points during the show Paul stopped to talk to the crowd.  Sometimes he talked to specific people that caught his eye,  sometimes he had stories to tell about the origin or idea behind a particular song, other times he just felt like shooting the breeze.  He made several cracks about relationships, talking about how he could tell when couples were really in love and when they were just pretending (and then talked about the number of people pretending in the audience that night).  At the end he talked about two ladies in the crowd that had followed the band for the last few shows around the midwest and brought them dinner each night, and gave them each a Dunkin’ Donuts paper hat signed by all of the band members.

One of the things that really struck me about Paul actually had very little to do with the music:  Paul came off as being one of the most sincerely grateful and gracious musicians around.  He interacted with the crowd the entire night, telling stories, cracking jokes, and talking to fans.  He genuinely seemed thankful for every single person in the room that night and worked hard to make sure they knew it.

Let’s talk about that crowd for a moment.  We were probably the youngest four people in the house that night – the average age was waaaay higher than 30.  I figured that the crowd would be a little rambunctious given the number of cowboy hats and leather jackets (and even a leather cowboy hat), but it was worse than I had anticipated.  It could have been much much worse, but it doesn’t take many jackasses to create a distraction.  Silly me, assuming that an older crowd wouldn’t be pushing their way to the front of the room, butting in front of people, squeezing into spots that were way too small for them.  Silly me, assuming people wouldn’t be standing in spots that blocked the view of half a dozen people around them.  Silly me, assuming that people almost twice my age wouldn’t spend the night groping each other in public.  I’m getting too old for this shit – I say that a lot – but not usually at shows with an older crowd.

Admittedly, my knowledge of Paul Thorn was limited to “A Great Day” from the Bob and Tom show (a damn funny song that everyone can appreciate and should hear at least once).  I came in only knowing one song that he played on some radio show years ago and had no idea what kind of “real musician” I was going to see.  I don’t know why he isn’t bigger than he is – he’s definitely better than 300 seat bars and clubs.  Regardless, if he keeps putting on shows like he did on Saturday night, I’ll go see him wherever he plays when he comes through town.

Highlights of the night (in no particular order):  Burn Down the Trailer Park, Mood Ring, Pimps & Preachers, I Don’t Like Half the Folks I Love, I Guess I’ll Just Stay Married, That’s Life

Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers – Old Rock House – 9/29/10

Written by: Bradley Darby

Stephen Kellogg
Stephen Kellogg

Old Rock House continued their assault on my bank account Wednesday night, as one my favorite live acts in the past few years, Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers (SK6ers) came through St. Louis on The Amazing Fall Tour. This is a band I had discovered by accident, when they opened for O.A.R. at The Pageant in 2005. The reason I say by accident is due to the fact that my friends and I had gotten so inebriated by the time we got to The Pageant, we only saw the openers before blacking out during O.A.R. (Writers note: I hate ‘that guy’ but this was my first time seeing O.A.R. after legally being able to drink at one of their shows, so I went for broke, I am still convinced this show may not have actually happened)

Stephen Kellogg fronts the group, and also plays guitar and harmonica. He is joined by regulars Kit Karlson, better known as “Goose” who plays keys, bass, and tuba. Brian “Boots” Factor plays drums, mandolin, and the banjo. Though they don’t exclusively stick to these instruments, you can frequently find them switching it up for a song or two, a practice they get from one of their heroes, The Band. They were joined on this tour by electric guitarist, pedal steel player, bassist Sam “Steamer” Getz, who we learned was called Steamer because of his ties to Cleveland. Insert inappropriate joke here.

SK6ers have played over 1000 shows together dating back to 2003 when the group was formed in Western Massachusetts. By early 2005 they had made a big enough impression that O.A.R. decided to offer them a support slot on their spring tour, a move that SK6ers views as one of the biggest breaks early in their career. They have also supported folk hero Keller Williams, Martin Sexton, and Matt Nathanson. They have released four full length albums, in addition to a live EP / DVD combo called The First Waltz (also a tribute to The Band), a few solo EPs by Kellogg, and their most recent release, Live from the Heart, a double disc live album that captures their 1000th show as a band from New York City which was recorded in June 2010.

Keytar
Keytar

The set began with “Fathers Day”, a beautifully written song Kellogg wrote after the birth of his kids, from 2007’s Glassjaw Boxer. He followed it up with “My Old Man” from The Bear, released in 2009, a song he wrote with the rest of the band about their dads. After a few selections from their 2006 self-titled album, “Maria” and “Start the Day Early” they brought out members of the two opening acts, Roy Jay and Small Ponds, to help out with “Big Easy”, a song that features Marc Roberge from O.A.R. on the studio version. The band was on fire and having an absolute blast on stage in front of the 100 or so people there to see them.

After band introductions, the Sixers walked off the stage one by one and left Stephen Kellogg by himself. He played an awesome acoustic version of “Satisfied Man” from The Bear. The following song was the highlight of the evening for me as the rest of the band came out and with a few guitar and a mandolin and performed “Friend of the Devil” by the Grateful Dead. One of my favorite songs ever, covered by Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, and it included a mandolin solo. I could leave this show right now a satisfied man, but they were only about half way through the set.

SK6ers

SK6ers

The set ended with “See Yourself” and “Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts” both from The Bear, followed by an oldie but goodie, and always a crowd favorite, “Uninspired Gambling” from an early solo release Lucky Eleven. The set was closed out with “Milwaukee”, which also appeared on Glassjaw Boxer. After a very brief departure, the band came back out and again took their place in front of a backdrop reading ‘STL GATEWAY TO THE SK6ERS’ and treated the crowd to three more songs, “Such A Way”, “Wagon Wheel”, a cover of a classic Old Crow Medicine Show song, and “4th of July.” This was the perfect ending to a fantastic set….or so we thought.  After yet again another brief departure, and no sign of the all ages crowd departing, the guys came back out to close the night out with “Thirteen”, a song that is almost a staple in a SK6ers live show.

This was my sixth time enjoying the band live, and each time I have left wanting more. This show offered a mix of his entire catalog, not to mention covers of The Dead and Old Crow Medicine Show. They are on stage doing what they love, having an absolute blast doing it. You may get some funny stories about the songs, you may get some funny stories about the younger days adventures and shenanigans of Goose and Boots, but you know you will be seeing a fantastic songwriter open his heart up on stage each and every night, with two of his best friends sharing the stage.

You can get more information about Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers here.

SETLIST:

Steamer, Boots, SK, Goose
Steamer, Boots, SK, Goose

1. Father’s Day
2. My Old Man
3. Maria
4. Start the Day Early
5. Big Easy (feat members of Roy Jay and Small Ponds)
6. The Bear
7. See You Later, See you Soon
8. Satisfied Man  (SK solo)
9. Friend of the Devil (Grateful Dead, acoustic)
10. See Yourself
11. Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts
12. Uninspired Gambling
13. Milwaukee
 

Encore:

14. Such a Way
15. Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show)
16. 4th of July
2nd Encore:

17. Thirteen

 

Jamie Lidell says Funk You at Old Rock House – 9/9/10 St. Louis, MO

Jamie Lidell 09/09/10

Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

Words by Brad Darby

Jamie Lidell, a singer / songwriter from the UK who currently resides in New York City, made a stop at Old Rock House to bring his unique blend of electronica, funk, and pop through St. Louis on his fall tour. Touring with a full band, including drums, bass, keyboards, guitar and a synthesizer, Lidell packed a decent crowd into the venue on a rainy Thursday night.

jamie lidell

jamie lidell

Jamie Lidell’s style incorporates electronica music, provided by a synthesizer and some keys, with his ever so soulful voice. He is influenced by the likes of Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder and Prince, and it shows in his performance. Prior to the show at the Old Rock House, I had looked up a few articles about him and watched a few live videos so I knew what to expect. Most of the articles compared him to Prince, although I didn’t get that vibe live. What I did see was a man that had a stellar voice, soulful and smooth, but just rough and raspy enough to cut down to your core. He could go from an upbeat funk song one minute to being soft and soulful, singing about love lost the next.  In addition to the full band, he uses vocal looping, including beat boxing, to create a background for his beautiful lyrics. He is a showman as well, sporting a bright colored, flashy jacket like something you would see your estranged car salesmen uncle wear to the horse track on a Thursday afternoon.  While I didn’t get the Prince feeling watching him live, I did get a definite Jamiroquai vibe, with the exception that I don’t really care for Jamiroquai. Lidell has developed a solid following in the states over the past few years, and was featured as an artist to watch at the 2006 Coachella Festival.

Jamie Lidell and the band played for about an hour and a half, playing tracks from Lidells three most recent albums. Lidell crooned “Little bit of feel good goes a long way, I need your touch to get me through my day. Watching you sleeping I pray, Please don’t make my feel good go away” during “Little Bit of Feel Good” from 2008’s Jim, which won the award for best Pop/Rock album at the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards. During “Enoughs Enough”, the first single from his most recent release Compass, which is co-produced by Beck, it was tough to find someone not moving their body to the groove. There was one tune missing however, that people seemed to notice, the first track from Compass, “Completely Exposed.”

After the final song of the set, the band thanked everyone for coming out and stood behind three or four shirts to create the illusion they were backstage. After a moment, they got back to their places, Lidell declared “Thanks very much St. Louis, its been fucking brilliant” and into the encore they went. First was “All I Wanna Do” which was very heavy on the vocals. This slower song showcased the soulfulness of Lidell’s voice.  During this song, he sounded a lot like Otis Redding or Sam Cooke, it was a fantastic song and performance, perhaps my favorite of the night. The final song of the night was the title track to the 2005 album Multiply, performed acapella. This song seemed to be a fan favorite, as many people were singing along.

I must say, I went into this show with no expectations. I had heard a handful of songs, and enjoyed them, but didn’t know what to expect live. Sometimes a singer/songwriter can be very boring live, just sitting on a stool or standing and playing their boring breed of acoustic music. Other times you get someone who knows how to manage a stage and an audience, has an actual stage presence, and talent. Jamie Lidell definitely fits into the latter category. He is a true showman.

Catch this funky-soulful performer on his trek across the country if you get the chance. You can get more information about Jamie Lidell at www.jamielidell.com

Chiddy Bang & XV – 8/12/10 Old Rock House – St. Louis

Chiddy Bang 08/12/10

Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

Written by: Brad Darby (SaucerfulOfSecrets)/Videos By BeezNutz

Thursday August 12, Chiddy Bang came through St. Louis on The Swelly Life Tour, named after their debut album which will be released in a few weeks, and played to a sold out crowd of 375 at Old Rock House. I went into this show not expecting a lot as I hadn’t heard much from Chiddy Bang, but after obtaining free tickets via an Old Rock House Twitter contest, decided to check it out.

Opening the evening was Donnis, who I unfortunately was unable to catch.  I walked in right as 25 year old Donavon Johnson, better known by XV, took the stage. I had never heard of XV, who also goes by Vizzy, but a few songs in and Vizzy had me hooked. XV gets his moniker from the Roman numeral for fifteen, the age he began rapping, and claims Wichita, Kansas as home.  He has released more than twelve mix tapes in the last four years and is set to release his major label debut, The Kid with the Green Backpack, in late 2010-early 2011.

XV played for about an hour and squeezed in quite a few songs including a song called “Awesome” which started with him asking people up front how they were feeling tonight until the fourth or fifth response was ‘awesome’. This was probably one of my favorite songs he did, and not just because he throws a Pink Floyd reference in. He also did “Everlasting Gobstopper”, which samples audio clips from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. When he asked the crowd if anyone was a fan of the Pixies, I became rather excited. He then did a song called “Nevermind” that samples “Hey” by the Pixies from their 1989 album Doolittle. The song most people seemed to recognize was “Fall Out The Sky”. This is a song from his highly acclaimed Everybodys Nobody mix tape, released last year.  Vizzy definitely got my attention and I haven’t been able to take his mix tapes out of regular rotation for the last week.

YOUTUBE – XV – Fall Out The Sky

Chiddy Bang was the headliner for the night, and had quite a performance to follow. Chiddy Bang hails from Philadelphia, where it’s always sunny and there is a 73% chance you will have batteries thrown at you, or you are booed for having a spinal cord injury during a NFL game. Chiddy Bang consists of Xaphoon Jones, who plays drums and produces the samples, and Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege, who provides the rhymes. They are a rather unique group, as they are kind of alternative hip-hop. You can get a definite Pharell Williams, Gorillaz vibe from them, and a majority of the crowd seemed to be kids you would see at a local skate park, watching Rob Drydek or shopping at a Pac Sun store.

My favorite song from this set was called “Never”, which is on their debut album The Swelly Life. During the song they brought out XV to help out. He stayed out for one more song before heading off.  At one point during their set they brought out Cheeseburger Don, Chiddy’s little brother who was celebrating his 21st birthday and who Jones described as the “resident bad motherfucker.” They asked the crowd for random topics, which Cheeseburger Don wrote on cue cards. It was then time for Chiddy to freestyle to the topics that Don held up on the cards.  The topics presented were: 21st Birthday, dildo, jean shorts, STL, sharks, taxes, and of course weed.  Chiddy did a fantastic freestyle for about three minutes and hit on each topic, going back to touch on some a second time. There were two songs that the crowd really seemed to dig, one was called “Truth” and featured a sample of “Better Things” by Passion Pit, as well as references to Full House’s resident bad motherfucker, Jesse Katsopolis, as well as Bill Nye the Science Guy. The other was “Opposite of Adults” which samples MGMT’s “Kids”. Chiddy Bang has been selling out shows all over the country for the last few weeks, and there is no doubt as to why.

The energy that Chiddy Bang, as well as XV,  brought to Old Rock House on this August evening was pretty incredible. It was tough to find a time when a majority of the 375 packed in the venue weren’t swaying from side to side or throwing their hands up. I hadn’t been to many hip hop or rap shows, as a matter of fact I’ve only seen Ice Cube, Eminem, and N.E.R.D. before this show, but I definitely left this show with two new artists that I wont soon forget.

XV will be back in St. Louis at The Pageant on October 1st with the Up In The Air tour, featuring Mike Posner. His debut album should be in stores by early 2011 or you can get more info here, including some mix tapes.   Chiddy Bang will be releasing their debut album September 13.





The Bridge 8/3/2010 Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

The Bridge 08/03/10

Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

Written by: Bradley Darby

The Bridge 8/3/10 Old Rock House - STL

On a very hot and sticky Tuesday evening, funky blues-rock band, with some definite soul and jazz influence, The Bridge came through St. Louis to play an intimate show at the Old Rock House. As the Cardinals were getting their balls boxed 18-4 to the Houston Astros and continued to make the legendary Bud Norris look like a hall of fame candidate and earn his seventh win just a few blocks away, some fifty or so folks decided to be funked up by The Bridge at one of the areas best new music spots.

This marked the third time in less than a year that The Bridge had come through STL, with the first being last October 30 opening for Cornmeal at The Duck Room. This was the night that I had first heard this band, and what a long strange trip it’s been over the last four times seeing them. After a last minute stop on their way west in January at Off Broadway supporting local punk country group Fattback, whose vocalist Dave Hagerty was just tragically killed in a car accident last weekend, it was finally time for The Bridge to headline their first show in St. Louis at the ORH. It was a small crowd, but the crowd was definitely feeling the music down in their souls and feet, as you could see on the dance floor.

The Bridge claim Baltimore, Maryland as home and have been playing shows around the Northeast for the past nine years. Their main sound is blues rock, but there are certainly very heavy soul and funk elements mixed in, as well as some good ole roots rock. The band was formed in 2001, and released their first album in 2005 titled, “Cross Street Market”, followed by a self-titled album in 2007 and their most recent release, “Blind Mans Hill” in 2008.  The band features vocalist Cris Jacobs, who also plays a mean guitar and writes songs along with Kenny Liner who plays the mandolin, and provides some fantastic beat-boxing and background vocals. Dave Markowitz slaps the bass and also provides vocals, Mike Gambone beats on the drums, Patrick Rainey is on the sax and Mark Brown rounds out this six piece band on the keys and organs.

The Bridge 8/3/10 Old Rock House - STL

The Bridge 8/3/10 Old Rock House - STL

The strong point of the band is vocalist Cris Jacobs and his unique sound. When I first heard him, I was a little skeptical of his style but upon more listening discovered that he fits with this band like a much needed Tetris piece.  It will also throw you for a loop when Kenny Liner puts down the mandolin to beat box, but this isn’t your typical beat-boxing, it actually fits in with their sound. You can see a small demo video here from their show at The Duck Room last October. This band just makes it work. They play off of each other very well and appear to be having the time of their lives at each show. The last time I had the pleasure of seeing them was in June at the Wakarusa Music Festival in Ozark, Arkansas. Their set started at 12:30 in the afternoon on day two of the festival. At the start of their set, there were approximately 50-60 people watching them. By the end of their hour long set, well over a hundred people had wandered over and most were moving their feet or hips in a way that most would classify as dancing.

While I have seen this band a few times, I am still not familiar with all of their material. After Tuesday I am now the proud owner of two of their studio albums as well as about six or seven audience recordings snagged from the Live Music Archive. The highlight of the evening, however, was the nearly thirteen minute long version of “Good Rhythm” from their debut album. This would have been the final song of the set before the encore, but based on the ever so odd layout of Old Rock House, the band proclaimed they were just going to play another song or two and call it a night instead of dealing with leaving the stage and coming back out. They then closed the set out with a perfect version of “Flats of the Old Avenue” leaving only Jacobs on guitar and vocals, Rainey on the sax, Markowitz on bass and Liner on mandolin. The last song was something they said would be appearing on their next album, which should be out in early 2011. When they were done the crowd continued to cheer as the informed us they were done and there wouldn’t be another song.

This was the fourth time in less than twelve months I had gotten to see this band, and I can promise when they announce their next date I will not only be in attendance, but I will be near the front with a whiskey in one hand dancing the funk out. Make sure you check this band out, because next time they come around its going to be a show you won’t want to miss, unless Bud Norris is pitching against the Cardinals and you have money on the Astros that is. www.thebridgemusic.com

The Bridge at Wakarusa 2010

The Bridge at Wakarusa 2010

The Bridge at Wakarusa 2010

The Bridge at Wakarusa 2010





© 2018 Concert Confessions

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑