A very, very busy weekend; in addition to everything listed here, there's Record Store Day, which I'll cover separately.
There are big bands, and then there is the Educated Guess. Helmed by Singer, songwriter and arranger Charlie Brumley, the St. Louis group often sprawls to a dozen or more musicians on stage, but it's not the numbers that matter. It's the soaring, orchestral, soul-pop vision, captured on new recordings like the Motown-spirited "Baby, If You Want It."
Bluesman Joe Dean -- though advertised as being from Bowling Green -- was actually born in St. Louis in 1908.
I'm back from hiatus, bearing some very, very sad news -- vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Anne Tkach lost her life in a tragic house fire on Thursday.
The late Anne Tkach, who passed away on April 9, 2015 at the age of 48, was a beloved part of the St. Louis music community. She was best known as a bassist and singer for the bands Hazeldine, Nadine, Rough Shop, Magic City, Bad Folk and many more. But as the song "Dear Mama" shows, she could also write a beautiful melody and lyric when so inspired.
The no-budget, no-pretension, no-gimmicks DIY rock of American Wrestlers (aka St. Louis musician Gary McClure) has yielded some surprising results: 1) A signing to the heavyweight indie Fat Possum Records and 2) the irresistible statement of purpose called "I Can Do No Wrong."
The latest music from Spectator, led by Megan Rooney and Jeff Albert, picks up where the St. Louis band left off three years ago, with its first EP "In the Brick." The weightless melodies and jazzy rhythms are there, but on a track like "Muddy Water," a sense of beautiful foreboding and psychedelic exploration surges forth.
Another of the early St. Louis bluesmen whose lives are largely unknowable, Sylvester Palmer was nonetheless a very well-regarded piano player.
Diarrhea Planet isn't the type of band to pull their punches and it's not the type for subtlety.
Bluesman Little Mack Simmons was born in Arkansas and grew up playing harmonica with his friend James Cotton. As a teen he moved to St. Louis where he worked for the railroad and played blues music with friends such as Robert Nighthawk on the club circuit.