It may be a clichéd axiom at this point, but it remains a fact that show business is at least as much about product as it is about performance. And few contemporary musical acts know both sides of that equation as intimately as Pomplamoose, the California duo who in a few short years have carved a niche with quirky, do-it-yourself "videosongs" and a knack for pop mashups.
When she was 16, Sarah Jarosz came into the acoustic-music scene seemingly fully formed. She has continued to demand and hold our attention ever since.
Steve Dawson has received recognition and success in the Chicago music scene for almost two decades, but even with all his accomplishments he remains down-to-earth and his music true to his Idaho-based roots.
Delta Spirit can be a hard band to get a handle on.
Ellis Ludwig-Leone sits on a train directed towards a haven whose name I can't quite make out. The chug noise accompanying Ludwig-Leone's amiable chatter obfuscates most vowel sounds. He is on his way to celebrate a romantic anniversary and miscalculated the time necessary to phone in for an interview.
Empire Hall is as nice of a spot as any in St. Louis to host a party. Giant windows look out over California Avenue, and natural light spills into the space, illuminating the white pillars and shining hardwood floors of the interior. There is a subtle elegance to the space, making it the perfect spot for a wedding reception or a gallery opening.
Going to see Those Darlins comes with one guarantee: Jessi Zazu will stare you down. Yes, she's playing with your mind; and yes, she's enjoying it.
Roadkill Ghost Choir's sound has elements of rock and folk, and lyrics that have memorable characters and stories. Andrew Shepard started the band almost randomly, and RGC has so far enjoyed gigs at music festivals and TV appearances, and will head out on the road not long after LouFest to promote its new album "In Tongues."
My interview with John Gourley of Portugal. The Man was rescheduled twice, somewhat fitting considering how busy the Alaska-formed, Portland, Oregon-based band seems to be.