Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Sunday, 24 June 2012 14:07

Concert review: Lux Ascension's 'Songs from the Crossroads' at the St. Lou Fringe Festival Thursday through Sunday, June 21 through 24

Concert review: Lux Ascension's 'Songs from the Crossroads' at the St. Lou Fringe Festival Thursday through Sunday, June 21 through 24
Written by Chuck Lavazzi
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The description in the festival program looks intriguing: “Starting from an underground tavern in Athens, 1923, the band embarks on a journey across Time and Culture, riding the waves of music. Boundaries dissolve as Eastern melodies weave in and out of Western harmonies.”

It suggests a musical mix along the lines of the Silk Road Project’s East/West fusion, possibly with a little history thrown in. Right up my alley.

What’s on stage, though, is something else again. “Songs of the Crossroads” turns out to be a series of extended jams for highly amplified bouzouki (Bryson Gerard), fiddle (Zac Milner), and bass guitar (Jacob Riley) that reminded me of both Philip Glass and some of the John Cale/Lou Reed collaborations for The Velvet Underground as well. (“The Black Angel’s Death Song” comes immediately to mind.) They carry titles like “Makam of Echos”, “Salamander’s Fire”, and “Dance of the Living”, but to my ears they were largely indistinguishable and repetitive. It sounded like Mr. Milner’s fiddle was out of tune with the rest of the band, but in all fairness that might have been a deliberate exercise in bitonality.

A brief number by Mr. Gerard on hammered dulcimer in the middle of the program was a welcome change of pace but, once again, the material felt like rather thin stuff. These guys are all solid musicians but I think they might have been better off with their own arrangements of traditional songs.

Sabina England provided some visual interest, performing a mix of dance and ASL (American Sign Language) in colorful Indian costume. Like the band, though, she limited herself to a small set of riffs that were repeated until they ceased to be interesting.

“Songs at the Crossroads” was developed specifically for the Fringe, so it’s presumably still a work in progress. And, of course, a main purpose of the Fringe is to give performers opportunities to take chances with new material and push the proverbial envelope. Lux Ascension deserves applause for their obvious talent and willingness to try something new and risky.

For more information on the St. Lou Fringe Festival, including the performance schedule, you may visit

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

88.1 KDHX Shows


KDHX Recommends


Brunch at the Stage: Tom Hall and Alice Spencer

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


Midwest Mayhem presented by KDHX

KDHX proudly presents the 10th Midwest Mayhem, KDHX’s biggest party of the year, sprawling across 600,000 square feet of the famed City Museum. Tons of bands and DJs are scheduled to perform, as well as other wild...


New Music Circle presents Tim Berne's Snakeoil

New York-based alto saxophonist Tim Berne has long been regarded as one of the Downtown scene’s most forward thinking bandleaders. Active in New York since 1974, Berne has fostered the creative talent of subsequent...

Online Users

2 users and 9923 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 essay writing service Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook