With any Shovels and Rope show, it's not just about two skilled performers throwing genre rules in the trash with a multi-instrumental onslaught that defies logic. Two people shouldn't be able to make that much robust, fevered noise without backup, but they do.
Ryan Lott had never been to St. Louis. The Brooklyn, N.Y. dweller, and brain behind Son Lux, spent upwards of seven weeks holed up in Indiana. Presumably, he worked fastidiously on "Lanterns," Son Lux's third release, and developed an insatiable appetite for corn and Pacers basketball.
At age 35, alt-country singer/songwriter/guitarist Jason Isbell is finally having the shining moment of his somewhat tumultuous 13-year career. His fourth solo album, "Southeastern," came out last year to much critical acclaim, lauded by many as one of the best of 2013.
I double-parked a red Jetta toward the back of Off Broadway's parking lot as I tossed the butt of my smoke through the cracked window. Hold Steady fans of various ages milled through the parking lot and headed on across Lemp Ave. with a hungry gate that could only be satiated by bar rock. I crunched across the gravel of Off Broadway's entrance/porch and found myself amidst other like-minded music fans, basking in the warmth of Tim Barry's acoustic folk.