The Lot Festival, Saturday 8/29, featuring Jon Hardy & the Public

I can’t say that I’ve attended every year, but the Lot Festival, which started up in 1998, is one of my favorite ways to wind down the summer. Sponsored by Metropolis St. Louis (and co-sponsored by KDHX), it’s a low-key, hype-free, locally produced, outdoor concert on the parking lot of the Schlafly Tap Room. It’s free and all ages.

This year there will be booths with art and non-profit organizational folks, local restaurants with food, guest DJs and a solid line-up of Saint Louis bands: Luca Brasi, the Hibernauts, Jon Hardy & the Public, Soulard Blues Band, the Dock Ellis Band, Hazard to Ya Booty, the 75s, and the Blind Eyes.

I’m especially fond of the group that goes on around 9:20 pm, Jon Hardy & the Public, a band that hit my radar in 2007 with the album Working In Love, one of the finest records to come out of Saint Louis since, I dunno, Nellyville. They’ve also become a hellacious live act, with a hard and soulful horn section, keyboards, a deeply grooved rhythm section and Hardy’s street-tough baritone front-and-center. In the band, two southern genres come together–soul and power pop—and then burst apart with emotional songwriting.

Hardy and Co. recently released a four-song EP of Randy Newman songs, which is available for exclusive, free download here, and just cut a cool video for the title song, “Little Criminals.” They’re working on songs for a new record (release date unknown), and were kind enough to stop by the Magnolia Avenue Studios of KDHX to play some music and chat about where things stand.

Below you can listen to a sneak preview, the new song “Worst I Ever Had,” and catch the whole session on 88.1 FM or streaming live @, this Wednesday morning at 9:00 am CST, on my show Feel Like Going Home. And don’t miss them down at the Lot Festival on Saturday evening.

Jon Hardy & the Public – “Worst I Ever Had” – Live @ KDHX

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