Portland, Ore.'s Horse Feathers, helmed by frontman and singer/guitarist Justin Ringle, is not to be missed. Once a collaboration with Peter Broderick, Horse Feathers has grown into an artful orchestra complemented by fine singing and poetic lyrics.
Justin Wade Tam's fledgling Humming House is an impressive bunch.
On Thursday night, Gregory Alan Isakov performed a well-attended show at the Old Rock House. Behind him stood a projected, sepia-tinged, photo depicting a rural youth listening intently to a large, conical, medieval-looking, horn-shaped hearing device.
On Tuesday night, the Fray sold out the Pageant with ease. The fans struck out from every borough of St. Louis to see the spectacle and feel pop-rock piano music splash over them. Did someone order a Rolling Rock? No? Damn, wrong band.
Last night, St. Louis hosted Portugal. The Man on its first major headlining tour. But this was no normal tour. Its sponsor, Jägermeister, was everywhere, complete with a DJ spinning for the set changes and the all-important Jäger girls strutting about the Pageant in tight leather, handing out freebies and other swag.
Part John Prine, part Dylan, part lonely cowboy swilling whiskey out on a moonlit prairie, Jeffrey Foucault has a chameleonic sound. This quality enhances the troubadour's grace and emboldens the emotional power of the music.
Kentucky Knife Fight offers up a sound full of razor-edged riffs, incendiary rhythms and enough darkly hopeless love stories to entertain even the most heartless bastards among us. Oh, and don't forget the harmonica.
Philadelphia's Denison Witmer opened with a set of introspective tunes concerned with self-study and literary metaphors. After a few minutes of self-deprecation about his height, Witmer slipped into "Light on My Face" from 2012's "The Ones Who Wait." The track stood out as a meticulous ode to love and careful passion. Here, Witmer, with his slight nasal rasp, conjured the solo work of Get Up Kids lead singer Matthew Pryor.