Archive for the ‘Album Review’ Category

Album Review: Pokey LaFarge’s "Riverboat Soul"

Thursday, July 15th, 2010


Pokey LaFarge has come a long way since I first saw him 5 years ago playing on street corners and in dirty bars for tips. Now he is playing international tours across the US and Europe. His newest album Riverboat Soul still features his surprisingly authentic old-time blues and dixieland, but now he has a fantastic backing band, the South City Three, to fill out his sound with upright bass, harmonica, and slide guitar. This album is his first on Free Dirt Records and features some nice guest spots from Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show on fiddle and Tommy Oliviero of Bawn in the Mash on mandolin. I am pleased to see a St. Louis boy making such great music and having some success at the same time.

Your next chance to see Pokey in St. Louis is on September 25 in Tower Grove Park or October 8 at Off Broadway.

Album Review: Joe Stickley and Sean Canan’s "Loaded to the Gunwales"

Friday, July 9th, 2010


Joe Stickley and Sean Canan have been around the St. Louis scene for years as members of Blueprint and Bockman, but in the last year they have become known for their rousing sets every Sunday night at John D. McGurk’s Pub in Soulard. The pub’s influence shows as Joe and Sean fill Loaded to the Gunwales with Irish songs filtered through’s their americana style. Most songs are traditional, but you would be hard pressed to pick out the two original songs without looking at the liner notes.

The album’s power springs from Joe and Sean singing simple and timeless songs. These songs are filled out by guest appearances on fiddle, accordion, and washtub bass. It isn’t the type of album that runs you over like a semi-truck, but it will seep into your brain on repeated listens. This disc is another in a long stream of good albums from these guys so don’t forget to check them out Sunday nights at McGurk’s.

On Friday July 9 Joe Stickley and Sean Canan will play a live set on KWUR at about 2:30pm. Listen in!

Album Review: Bunnygrunt’s "Matt Harnish and Other Delights"

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

On Matt Harnish and Other Delights these veterans of St. Louis rock music are still pumping out their jangle pop twee punk hits. Maybe “hits” isn’t the right word to use, but their songs are so damn catchy that they should be. The male and female twin attack vocals lead the way in every song and are backed expertly by loud guitars and catchy power chords. The title and album reference the classic Herb Alpert LP, but the music stands on it’s own. It is fast, fun, and catchy as hell. Standout tunes include “S. Kingshighway Bubblegum Factory” and “1000% Not Creepy.” Check out the album on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records.

And don’t miss their alter ego, Blondiegrunt, who plays only Blondie covers!

Album Review: The Hooten Hallers, "The Epic Battle of Good and Evil"

Thursday, June 10th, 2010


Bluesy duo the Hooten Hallers hail from Columbia, MO. With just drums and guitar they play a mixture of blues, honky tonk, and rockabilly. Their debut album “The Epic Battle of Good and Evil” hits a lot of different styles ranging from rocking Black Keys-esque blues to weird distorted country that might come from Hank Williams on acid. They even have a great little song about driving down Hwy 55 smoking reefer and drinking 40′s. Don’t miss them live because they give a great live show with gritty guitar licks from John Randall and plenty of ridiculous falsetto harmonies from drummer Andy Rehm.

See them live June 10 at the Firebird or July 10 at Off Broadway for the 2nd Annual Great Crawfish Boil.

Album Review: Syna So Pro, "Make Two People Happy"

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

St. Louis local Syna So Pro, a.k.a. Syrhea Conaway, is a self proclaimed “one woman musical enigma.” She lives up to the title by making experimental symphonic pop by looping vocals, synths, guitar, bass, violin, and beats into a soaring, ethereal landscape. Her newest album Make Two People Happy works best when played VERY LOUD and in it’s entirety, but here are a few highlights for radio play. Check out a bouncy little number, “Santhem“, and a nice rocker with swirling vocal, “If You Really Want It”. Finally, “All The Time” is a bit of a firework show to cap off the album with all her best tricks.

Check her out at the Firebird on June 4 or the RFT Music Showcase June 5.