Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes nailed it early in the evening: "Small venue. Sold out. One hundred degrees. No better place to be."
Since 1995 Milagro Saints have made southwestern-tinged, alt-rock jams. Not the obvious choice for a band started in New York City, based in Raleigh, N.C., and fronted by a British expat, but it works.
New York City's Milagro Saints are touring this week to celebrate Woody Guthrie's 101st birthday with their EP, "Mighty Road Songs." Comprised of their interpretation of six Woody Guthrie songs, the band's passing through St. Louis tonight en route to the annual free folk festival in Guthrie's hometown of Okemah, Okla.
"Nobody ever interviews the drummer," Ha Ha Tonka's Lennon Bone joked at the end of our conversation. Which is a shame because sometimes, when drummers are starting at the backside of the rest of the band, they're cultivating their own projects.
Twangfest's third night took a string-heavy turn into traditional country territory. Local band Half Knots opened the night with a set of heartbroken songs given melancholy power by Danny Kathriner's soft tenor vocals.
In his three-decade career, Marshall Crenshaw hasn't taken traditional routes. He's a Michigan-born singer-songwriter with a penchant for complex chord structures and pub rock-flavored pop while portraying other musicians. In the early years of his career, he played John Lennon in a production of "Beatlemania," then found himself onscreen as Buddy Holly in the 1987 film "La Bamba."
"I want to take this hall with me. You're so lucky," Rosanne Cash told the audience at the Sheldon near the end of her set, which began with her calling the century-old venue "one of the best-sounding halls in the whole country."
The music business isn't known for long-lasting pairings. Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison are an exception, moving their relationship that's lasted over twenty years into the studio for their collaborative album, "Cheater's Game."
The lights didn't suit Patti Smith.