A little bit of Texas heat found its way into the Old Rock House on an unseasonably cool St. Louis July night. Billy Joe Shaver, the original “Honky Tonk Hero,” took the stage, bringing his history, unique brand of song and storytelling to an audience of neo-urban cowboys, greasers, hipsters and anyone faithful to '70s outlaw country.
The early bird gets the worm, but it was the early crowd that filled the tables at the Old Rock House long before the first strum of guitar on Thursday. On stage, the congestion of the floor was matched by the clutter of the eight-piece Mingo Fishtrap, set to open the show. The Austin-based band broke the ice with comforting instrumental introduction, but by the time they dropped the first groove, the floor space had already disappeared from sight.
Shying away from her folk-rock beginnings where little more than the sounds of acoustic guitar and the cello were heard, Katie Herzig is now turning into a techno-pop enthusiast adding synthesizers and drums.
The last time Chicago's Wild Belle was in St. Louis was during LouFest 2013. Unfortunately, I could not attend, as I was too busy head banging to Jim James solos at the opposite stage. But I'm glad I forwent that show in order to see them in a smaller venue like the Old Rock House. For one thing, I was closer to the stage, but it was also a much more intimate show for both band and audience alike.
Ask me how much I know about East Coast hardcore hip-hop and I might as well just not answer. I know where the East Coast is. I'd say I'm as familiar with hip-hop as your average music lover might be. It's that hardcore designation that escapes me.