Postmodern and pre-modern at once, the orchestral, piano-based ballad "Wounds Grow Grass" by Lauryn Peacock waltzes out of a wine-warmed cabaret from Berlin in the 1920s or maybe from just around the corner here and now.
Prior to Tori Amos taking the Peabody stage, husband and wife folk singers Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou turned in a vocally-impressive acoustic set. Trevor and Hannah Lou aren't your typical male/female folk-singing duo. What caught my attention right away was Trevor Moss' full voice high tenor/alto singing. There wasn’t a bit of falsetto in a single note that came out of his mouth, and he was often singing melodies above Hannah Lou's rich alto.
Grounded in her expressive voice and piano playing, "Falling Like Fools" by St. Louis musician Lizzie Weber glides upward on a rich string arrangement and vulnerable emotions.
On "The Weight of It All," call-and-response vocals and a surging, guitar-lit chorus enrich the piano-based confessions of Newfoundland-born, Halifax, Canada-based singer-songwriter Kim Harris.
Ellen Cook has been hot on the heels of the St. Louis music scene for years. Last fall she released her first full-length album, "Bang Bang Bang," which has done well locally, under her stage name Ellen the Felon.
You could call "Remember Me" by Christina Martin piano pop, but it's so much more than any two-word label. A plea, a memory, a melody that captures the slipping-away of private life while reaching out to the widest audience, it's the kind of song that unfolds new feelings with each listen.
With a deceptively spare arrangement of piano, bass, horns and drums, "Four Months to Kill" by Finnish singer and songwriter Astrid Swan has a tempting sound to match its story of love gone darkly wrong.
Ben Folds is no stranger to playing packed houses full of excited fans in St. Louis. However, last night's room was different.