It's true. Hard times beget hard times. But hard times also beget country music -- real country music, not the pop schlock that occupies a seat on the Voice.
Don't mess with his microphone. Crank it up and keep it loud. Standing well over six feet, and sporting a "Sex, Drugs and Rap" shirt, the one and only Ghostface Killah brought his aggressive yet intricate delivery to St. Louis on Saturday night, proving why he's one of the most impressive rappers of Wu Tang descent.
The Dublin, Ireland four-piece Kodaline, previously known as 21 Demands, opened with a set of breezy tunes helmed by Stephen Garrigan's nigh-falsetto vocals. The sound played multilayered and grandiose, like a more alternative rock version of Mumford & Sons, with crashing waves of piano, acoustic strumming and vibrant bass.
More than 30,000 music lovers, myself included, headed south last week to Live Oak, Fla. for the eighth annual Wanee Music Festival. Conceived by the Allman Brothers Band nearly a decade ago, the band still holds down the festival with two nights of headlining sets, flanked by their extended "family" of bands as well as other like-minded acts.
Samuel Fickie opened with a set of introspective tunes full of romantic import. His tone was lovelorn with sparkling bits of darkened humor complete with elements of local St. Louis insight twisted atop.