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.
In some ways, the union of Valerie Kirchhoff and Ethan Leinwand feels pre-ordained. She has worked the local jazz-and-blues scene as the titular Miss Jubilee (with and without the Humdingers), while he moved to town a few years back to be near to the source of pre-war, low-down piano blues. Together as the St. Louis Steady Grinders, the pair digs into a rich, under-appreciated catalogue of piano rags and blues from the 1920s and ’30s. And while their tutelage has brought them acclaim in town (thanks in part to last year’s self-titled album), the pair has started booking gigs overseas. It appears booking agents in the United Kingdom and Austria have taken a liking to their iteration of St. Louis’ blues.
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Victoria Spivey, Stump Johnson, Late nights at BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups