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.
A few years ago, Andrew Ryan was more likely to be found behind the drum kit than in front of a rock & roll band. But as the guitarist, singer and songwriter of Andrew Ryan & the Travelers, he’s taken the move from beat-keeper to band-leader in stride, and the group’s debut album Across Currents
shows the band’s knack for Americana colors and Telecaster twang. Ryan wrote many of these songs during out-of-town stints as a construction worker, and the time away from home gives shading to his songs about people caught between commitments and desires. Ryan’s whispered vocals demand intimacy, and the Travelers’ supple instrumentation — especially Marie Marotti’s backing vocals — help to fill out the corners of these songs.
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Whiskeytown, Great Lake Swimmers, Okkervil River