The RFT Music Showcase is just over a week away -- on June 2, 79 of St. Louis best bands and artists will play at twelve venues on Washington Avenue. But there's quite a bit of great music happening in this city before then. Our RFT Showcase Team will be at nine of the best of those shows, giving away T-Shirts, posters and more (all featuring the excellent artwork of Jason Potter). Say hi to us -- we're friendly.
We'll be at 2720 Cherokee tomorrow for oddball Bobby Conn, and Lola on Friday for local futuristic hip-hop/soul duo Hawthorne Headhunters. Somewhere in there we'll squeeze in some time downtown at the newly expanded Bluesweek festivities (the subject of this week's music feature). Saturday night we'll be on hand for Devin the Dude and a stacked bill of local openers at the Firebird, Sunday we'll test out the offerings at the Big Muddy Records Chili Cookoff at Off Broadway and on Tuesday you can find us at the Old Rock House for Orgone. There's more -- the full list is below.
See you around.
Bobby Conn at 2720 Cherokee: Thursday, May 24
Hawthorne Headhunters at Lola: Friday, May 25
Bluesweek at Soldiers Memorial: Friday, May 25 to Sunday, May 27 Dream Blue: Bluesweek triples in size, attracting its strongest lineup yet.
Devin the Dude at the Firebird: Saturday, May 26
Big Muddy Chili Cookoff at Off Broadway: Sunday, May 27 It would be easy to crack an off-color, juvenile joke relating to the fact that an organization that calls itself "Big Muddy" is holding a chili cook-off, but we're far too classy for that sort of thing. Instead we'll just give you the rundown, which speaks for itself: performances by the Rum Drum Ramblers, the Hooten Hallers, Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost, the Griddle Kids, Trio Project, the Royal Smokestacks, the Skekses, the Hobosexuals, Lonesome Cowboy Ryan & Banjo Kellie, Chris Baricevic and Jack Grelle. Sponsorship by Stag and PBR (not to mention KDHX [88.1 FM]) -- and chili, by the bucketful! The measly ten-dollar cost of admission buys you a full stomach and a full day of excellent music; what's not to like? Beware the Bathrooms: Nah, come on, we're not making those jokes, remember? --Daniel Hill
Orgone at the Old Rock House: Tuesday, May 29 Call it the Sharon Jones effect: Funk bands are no longer able to make waves based solely on instrumental prowess and stone-cold groovesmanship -- they must have a vocal powerhouse to take center stage. California's Orgone knows this; the ten-person band labored as an instrumental unit for years before taking on Fanny Franklin as its lead vocalist. Franklin tempers her soulful delivery with a little modern R&B flavor, so don't expect slavish re-creations of funk's formative years. Do expect, however, loving nods to the Stax, Fania and Josie record labels with enough modern flair and muscle to keep things current. Speaking of Sharon Jones: Orgone received the blessing from Jones and her Dap-Kings when Orgone served as an opening band on the 2010 tour, including a show at the Pageant. --Christian Schaeffer
Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars at 2720 Cherokee: Wednesday, May 30
Joseph Arthur at Off Broadway: Friday, June 1
Elizabeth Cook at the Old Rock House: Friday, June 1 Review: Hayes Carll and Elizabeth Cook at the Pageant -- Twangfest 2011