Music » Critics' Picks

Al Stewart

Thursday, January 16; Generations

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Though there's no doubt that acts such as J.D. Blackfoot, Rush and Sammy Hagar enjoy a certain popularity elsewhere, there's also no denying the special (deeper?) relationship they share with the classic-rock army of St. Louis. Fans of Al Stewart are concentrated here, too, in sufficient quantity to keep St. Louis on Stewart's touring shortlist. Lucky us: The enigmatic troubadour doesn't do much roadwork these days, preferring to fly into a supportive town for a single gig.

Those who follow the British folkie don't need a lot of new material to cheer on, either. (Nevertheless, Stewart will pepper his setlist with newer cuts about, of all things, wine -- in fact, he's written an entire record about it.) His hardcore devotees will appreciate his jazzy, whimsical recent tracks, but they'll also be quite vocal in their requests for selections from Stewart's three-decade-plus back catalog. Some will want to hear radio hits such as "Year of the Cat" and "Time Passages." Others will pine for the sprawling history lessons of "Nostradamus" and "Roads to Moscow." Completists will long for album-cut curios "Terminal Eyes" and "Clifton in the Rain." A certain someone will shout out requests for "The Dark and the Rolling Sea" -- and yes, he's fully aware of how nerdy he'll appear.

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