Once again in 2018, the RFT recognizes St. Louis' unparalleled musical talent by presenting the STL 77, our list of 77 acts who did big things in the last twelve months. From now through June 16, the kick-off date of our huge two-day music festival ShowcaseSTL, we'll be announcing two honorees per weekday on our music blog. For last year's STL 77 picks, go here; for the complete lineup for ShowcaseSTL, go here.
Ryan Koenig's 2017 solo LP, Two Different Worlds
, found the throwback country iconoclast crafting heartfelt story-songs on which his creased-leather voice takes center stage. The musician's simple Facebook bio underscores his collaborative approach to music, however: "Been playing music for some time now, with people I've known for some time now. Trying to have been a friend to a friend everywhere I have been." Those pals certainly stepped up after a December 2017 accident left him with hefty medical bills. A YouCaring fundraiser brought in over $30,000, which gave the musician enough of a cushion so he could recuperate at home and get back to doing what he does best: play music with his buds. Koenig is, of course, a core member of Pokey LaFarge's band, which gave him a chance to play on Jack White's Blunderbuss
; he also performs with fellow vintage country purveyor Jack Grelle and has over a decade under his belt with ramshackle blues-folk act Rum Drum Ramblers.
Recommended If You Like:
AM radio stations playing classic country, a laid-back afternoon at the Newport Folk Festival