In terms of bluegrass and old-time music concerts, the greater St. Louis is kind of a "hit and miss" market. Every year, we can expect these truths:
The Sheldon will hold concerts featuring one, maybe two major acts. Marty Stuart & The Fabulous Superlatives were there last month. The Carolina Chocolate Drops are coming next month.
The Pageant will bring in the Old Crow Medicine Show or the Yonder Mountain String Band or maybe both.
The Old Rock House will bring in contemporary acts who appeal to younger bluegrass fans. This year has seen the Sam Bush Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Hot Buttered Rum String Band, and The Bluegrass Ball featuring The Traveling McCourys and their guests. (They also brought in Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, though that show was originally planned for the Sheldon.)
Other venues will bring in other very talented though lesser known acts. Off Broadway has hosted Chatham County Line and The Steeldrivers. Focal Point brought in Craver, Watson, Hicks, and Newberry. The Folk School hosted Town Mountain and others. Dailey & Vincent performed at The Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, and Sierra Hull thrilled the crowd at Bobby's Frozen Custard in Maryville.
Various festivals -- most of them well outside the St. Louis area -- will book acts who cannot find a gig at a venue in St. Louis.
It can be difficult for bluegrass and old-time artists to get a gig in or around St. Louis. The Gibson Brothers, this year's IBMA Award winners for Entertainer of the Year, played a house concert in Clayton! (That's the bluegrass equivalent of Beyonce doing a show in your high school gynasium.) So, my questions are...
Since I posed the questions, I'll get things started...
My Favorite: Two-way tie. The Sam Bush Band at the Old Rock House, and the Gibson Brothers at the Wood House Concert. I'm huge fans of both artists. The two concerts were as different as they could be, but they were both memorable.
Get 'em a Gig: Three-way tie. It's been too long since Tim O'Brien last performed in St. Louis; Peter Rowan, too. Let's get those boys back in town. Also, I'd like to see The Jump Steady Boys, an old-super group comprised of Mike Compton, Bruce Molsky, Joe Newberry, and Rafe Stefanini. Mike, Bruce, and Joe have been through town, but they need to come back and bring Rafe with them.