Hard Working Americans may just be the best supergroup you've probably never heard of. The powerhouse sextet is a side project for its impressive roster that includes alt-country singer/songwriter Todd Snider; guitarist Neal Casal of Chris Robinson Brotherhood and (formerly) Ryan Adams' band the Cardinals; bassist Dave Schools of Widespread Panic, as well as its recent interim drummer Duane Trucks (nephew of Butch and brother of Derek); keyboardist Chad Staehly of Great American Taxi; and guitarist Jesse Aycock.
Although they aren't the first pairing that comes to mind when thinking of a big-name tour, Steely Dan and Elvis Costello share a lot in common. Both change genres and lineups more than most folks change socks, and both are consummate showmen, as seen at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on Wednesday night.
The world is filled with musical talent buried beneath the pressures and excuses that daily life continually provides, but true passion cannot be subdued.
Around 2005, I stumbled upon the New Pornographers via one of those ubiquitous sampler CDs stuck in the middle of every music magazine of the aughts. The song "Use It" lead me to seek out the rest of the band's third album "Twin Cinema." It was love at first listen.
Jam veterans Widespread Panic returned to St. Louis on Tuesday night for the first of two shows at Peabody Opera House as part of its fall tour. As a diehard fan of the band for nearly 25 years, I was of course excited to spend some time with them once again in my home city at such an intimate venue.
"I'm just a weird guy trying to make everybody happy," Ryan Adams proclaimed halfway through his set on Sunday night. A crowd had gathered near the front of the Peabody Opera House stage, and those trying to see the show from their seats seemed visibly (and in one case, physically) disgruntled. After some pushes and grumbles from the crowd, Adams stepped in.
Lucius cannot be contained. The last time the five-piece indie-rock ensemble, fronted by the stunning vocal harmonies of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, was in town their energy and sound seemed to push at the tiny confines of the Duck Room walls, begging for a larger venue. It was an unforgettable show.