Fred Friction -- on-air talent for KDHX and legend of St. Louis night life -- played emcee for the evening, which featured three eclectic acts. Opening the show was Fat Tramp Food Stamp, a five-piece act featuring male and female vocalists, unique percussion and a sound that juxtaposes roots music and reggae-tinged disco. Next on the stage was a true throwback trio, the Loot Rock Gang. With a sound straight out of the 1930s, the stand-up bass and dobro combo was at times complimented by fiddle and harmonica. All served to support great harmonies in classic and original compositions.
The mellower sounds came to an abrupt end, however, when the crowd closed in and Brown Bottle Fever hit the stage. Zach Pemberton (harmonica and lead vocals) and B.W. Skelton (guitar and vocals) combine for a stripped down, Southern blues sound that grits and grinds atop a stomp-box rhythm. Their live music is more about passion than polish, but the album reveals a refined sound with clear traces of John Lee Hooker. While their first CD release came in 2010, the pair have referred to "Two Piece Prison" as their first real album. Fans and the band stomped late into the night, as the beer and whiskey flowed freely.
All photos by Colin Suchland.