Music » Critics' Picks


5:30 p.m. Saturday, September 22. As part of Taste of St. Louis, between 8th and 9th Street, and Market and Chestnut Street downtown.

Lucero's Ben Nichols has the kind of whiskey-soaked, too-many-cigarettes warble that immediately causes listeners to be either fans or detractors. But it's exactly that voice that keep his songs of heartbreak and defeat sincere rather than trite. Nichols sings like he's lived three lifetimes in his 33 years. That passion, and Lucero's liberal injection of punk to the alt-country formula, means a powerhouse live show and songs to which you can sing along and lie your head on the bar.