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.
"Darkest Eyes," a new tack from the Defeated County, featuring Langen Neubacher and a host of St. Louis musicians -- including Irene Allen and Jenn Malzone on harmonies, Kevin Koehler on second rhythm guitar, Bryan Ranney on mandolin, Glenn Burleigh on pedal steel and Simon Chervitz on bass -- has an air of misty backwoods mystery that pulls you in as the song unfolds.
The story of Bob Reuter and his transformation into the lead, howling spirit of Alley Ghost is well known by now. But what you might not know is that on his band's new 7" -- "Dana Dew" b/w "Brought Me to the Wire" -- he has never sounded more relentless, more alive and kicking, more like St. Louis' Poet Laureate of the North Side, South Side, Dark Side, Whatever Side Rock 'n' Roll Is On.
"Mountain Sun" is a new track by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Beth Bombara. With banjo, slide guitar, brushed drums and piano, it's only modest on the surface. Fans of Alela Diane and Laura Veirs will find a kindred spirit in this St. Louis musician.
This review must begin with a note spelling out to readers that I am at fault for the confusion over Surfer Blood's start time. When I strolled in, I thought Surfer Blood was at the top of its set. In reality, a top-five band of mine had begun to enter its last song ("Drinking Problem") directly into the ears of every rabid fan in the Pageant's pit.