Terry Perkins

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer based in St. Louis. He has written for the St. Louis Beacon since 2009. Terry's other writing credits in St. Louis include: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis American, the Riverfront Times, and St. Louis magazine. Nationally, Terry writes for DownBeat magazine, OxfordAmerican.org and RollingStone.com, among others.

The Kent Center
Provided by Stages

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As its 27th season nears its end, Stages founders Jack Lane and Michael Hamilton reflect on how the company evolved from a fledgling theater company that held rehearsals in small rooms at the top floor of the Reim to one that has a full-time staff of 30 (plus 40 part-time instructors) and now is housed in a state-of-the-art, 22,000-foot facility in Chesterfield.

Tom McDermott
Provided by Mr. McDermott

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: If you’re a fan of the HBO television series, “Treme,” you know that over its first three seasons, the show’s episodes have been filled with an array of musical artists from the New Orleans music scene, including Doctor John, Allen Toussaint, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Irma Thomas and Kermit Ruffins to groups like the Rebirth Brass Band, Galactic and the Treme Brass Band.

Cosmic Cow (from Left) Ken Kase, Steve Mortellaro and Eric James
Provided by the band | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Cosmic Cow specialize in music recorded in the 1980s – by bands as diverse as the Clash, Talking Heads, Simple Minds, Elvis Costello, the Pretenders, Billy Idol and Devo. During a typical set, you’re likely to hear the trio of musicians play everything from “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Whip It” to blasts from the musical past by Timbuk3 (“The Future’s So Bright”), Soft Cell (“Tainted Love”) and Tommy Tutone’s “Jenny (867-5309).

Musician Brian Owens
Brian Owens | Jarred Gastreich

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Brian Owens is a talented, homegrown singer/songwriter with multiple performance dates scheduled this week in Wilmington, Del., Philadelphia and at the Sheldon in St Louis.

His Sheldon performance on Thursday, Aug. 8, marks the debut of Owens’ “Masters Series” – in which he will pay tribute to the music of legendary singer/songwriters such as Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Bill Withers and Johnny Cash. Thursday’s concert will focus on Gaye.

Gypsy Jones
Provided by the band | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: For someone who grew up with an intense case of stage fright, vocalist Brianna Sabatini has most definitely overcome her issues with singing in public. Sabatini now is the lead singer for Gypsy Jones, a powerhouse rock band that can shift gears smoothly from spot-on covers of musical legends like Janis Joplin, Etta James and the Rolling Stones to contemporary stars such as Adele, Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone.

Photo provided Sarah Ulrich at right
Photo provided Sarah Ulrich at right

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Sarah Ulrich’s first working band came together back in the 1980s when she was a teenager and focused on what she now calls “very eclectic, new wave, dirge-y music.”

But these days, Ulrich has a much different musical direction as the lead singer for Sarah Jane & the Blue notes, a band that focuses on music from the 1920s to 1950s and the era of swing, jazz, big bands and the great American songbook.

“Mud Bug” Mike Szwedo, “Bayou” Mike Waters, “Big Chief” Paul Jarvis, "Hurricane" Jimmie, “Rascally” Randy Reece
Provided by the band | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: For multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Paul Jarvis, playing music has always been part of his life. But it took a show on KDHX radio to turn his musical interests toward the brand of Louisiana music called Zydeco – and turn him into “Big Chief” Paul Jarvis, the leader of the popular area band, the Zydeco Crawdaddys.

Anita Jackson in performance
Provided to the St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Anita Jackson grew up hearing music at home and dreamed of becoming a performer. And the music that she listened to the most — the music her mother loved best — initially pointed her aspirations toward Broadway instead of the concert stage.

"My mother was a musical theater fan," Jackson said, in an interview. "She loved Barbra Streisand and played the music from ‘Funny Girl’ and her other musicals. And she also loved everything from ‘Chicago’ to ‘Dreamgirls.’So that was what I wanted to do!"

Provided by the band | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When it comes to delivering irresistible, non-stop funk that gets audiences up out of their seats and shaking it on the dance floor, few bands are better than FatPocket. Founded in 2004 as a six-piece group with a mutual love of finding that magical groove where R&B, blues and jazz come together, FatPocket has grown into a nine-piece ensemble that has plenty of instrumental firepower – and soulful vocals to match.

L-R: Kevin Schofield, Mae Soule, John Short, Toby Mechem, John Covelli, Khamali Moore, Bob Buckman (background), Mark Casey.
Provided by the band | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Mississippi River connects St. Louis with New Orleans geographically. But there’s also a strong musical connection between the two cities that goes back to the days when riverboats carried passengers – and musicians who transported jazz, blues and ragtime influences – up and down the Big Muddy.

Dean Christopher
Provided by Mr. Christopher

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Dean Christopher grew up in the rock and roll era, but the music that captured his heart came from stars of a previous generation. More specifically, Christopher fell in love with the personalities and music of that flamboyant group of entertainers known as the Ratpack – especially Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson has several reasons to look forward to the League of American Orchestras Conference that will be hosted here June 16 – 20.

“This is actually the first one I’ve ever attended,” Robertson says during a phone interview last week. “My work schedule is usually done many years in advance, and it’s just never worked out that I’ve had the time to attend the conference. So I’m definitely looking forward to this one!”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Interesting visitors came to St. Louis in 1966. Then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall dedicated the Gateway Arch. Major League Baseball hosted its All-Star game at the newly opened Busch Memorial Stadium. (The temperature on that July day hit 105. And when a Globe-Democrat reporter asked legendary National League manager Casey Stengel what he thought of the new stadium, Stengel said, “Well, I'll tell ya, young fella, it sure seems to hold the heat real good.")

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The third annual Missouri Chamber Music Festival returns June 13-17, with A Celebration of Schubert and Stravinsky” in three concerts in Webster Groves. More musicians are involved and David Robertson is featured, but not as a conductor.

Pokey LaFarge showed up at the Mud House in March for a pop-up concert.
Jarred Gastreich | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In January 2011, The Beacon asked me to pick three St. Louis area musicians to watch in the coming year. One was Pokey LaFarge.

Mavis Staples sings I'll Take You There on Jools Holland's TV show.
Provided by Bluesweek | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - It’s Memorial Day weekend, and time for a new musical tradition here in St. Louis: the Bluesweek Festival.

Now in its 4th year, the Bluesweek Fest began in late August 2010 with performances in front of Peabody Opera House and a musical lineup that focused solely on St. Louis-based bands.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - The St. Louis area has produced dozens of musicians who have grown up here and served their musical apprenticeships, then moved on to work in other cities where they gained international fame.

Jazz legends such as Miles Davis, Clark Terry, Lester Bowie, Oliver Lake, David Sanborn and others all paid their dues here, then left. The same happened with rock and pop stars such as Michael McDonald and Jeff Tweedy.

Xavier Davis and Regina Carter at Children's Hospital
Terry Perkins | 2012 | St. Louis Beacon

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - Jazz violinist Regina Carter had played to much larger audiences the previous evening, when she received standing ovations from capacity crowds at Jazz at the Bistro during both sets she and her group performed.

But on this early Thursday afternoon, Carter was devoting all her energy as a musician to pleasing an audience much smaller in number and stature.

The group shot after the Jan. 25 show features, left to right, Steve St. Cyr, Lynne Reif, Mike Schrand, JJ Loui and Marc Chechik.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Nashville, Tenn., music scene is filled with talented musicians and songwriters all trying to get their big break in the city that’s become synonymous as the epicenter of country music.

There are plenty of music venues in Nashville – from the venerable Grand Old Opry to classic bars like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. But one of the most interesting is the Bluebird Café, an intimate 100-seat club in a suburban strip mall that features some of Nashville’s best known singer/songwriters as well as up-and-coming artists performing in the round.

Francesca Williams and sculptor Don Wiegand stand before a shrouded mockup of the proposed statue of Tennessee Williams.
Sheila Rhodes

When Francesca Williams put on scuba gear for her first lesson on Saturday, Aug. 14, she was on the 37th day of an attempt to do 50 new things in 50 days to celebrate her 50th birthday on Aug. 28.

50 by 50

Since she kicked off her 50-things marathon on July 10, Francesca Williams had already tried shooting a hand gun, flying in a glider, getting ordained as a minister, writing 50 haikus in a day, attending a strip club, eating a fried Twinkie and spending the day at a nudist resort.

 Fans enjoy Alejandro Escovedo on the blue stage on Sunday at LouFest.
Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon

LouFest -- it's a two-day music festival featuring 18 bands scheduled to run from noon until 10 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28 & 29, at Forest Park's Central Field.

Yes, a music festival in Forest Park, which has been home to the annual hot air balloon glow and race and in recent years to a couple of one-day wine and jazz events.

But a two-day music fest featuring alt-rock bands like Built to Spill, Broken Social Scene, Airborne Toxic Event, Jeff Tweedy and She & Him? Right here in River City ... er, St. Louis?

St. Louisan Big George Brock has performed at past Bluesweek festivals.
File Photo | Bluesweek

The history of St. Louis blues festivals -- like the lengthy, proud tradition of St. Louis blues music -- is a story that can be confusing. It's also a story that has plenty of different perspectives and fascinating characters, just like many of the famous blues songs born here on the banks of the Mississippi.

Jim Manley
Devin Rodino

Interview with Jim Manley

HOME: All the guys in the band are from St. Louis, but all of us have played throughout the country at one time or another. I did a show called Trumpet Party in Amsterdam that was a blast! (no pun intended!)

AGE: Wild Cool & Swingin' started about 12 years on Wednesdays at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

INSTRUMENTS: We are a nine piece group - featuring Charlie B on the vocals ... backed by a four-piece horn section and keys, guitar, drums and percussion.

This Saturday, Aug. 7, at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups, the St. Louis jazz and blues community will gather together to raise funds for one of its own - Gabriel. A fire in June severely damaged the East St. Louis home of the man who has been a legendary DJ, musician, record producer, club owner and concert promoter in the metro area for more than half a century.

Music runs from 5-10 p.m. at BB's, and there's a $10 minimum donation at the door. The lineup includes Cryin' Shame, Silvercloud, Ron Edwards, David Dee, Uvee Hayes, Marquise Knox, Arthur Williams and special guests.

John Logan, Hudson Harkins and Mike Graham make up Hudson and the Hoo Doo Cats.
Provided by the band

HUDSON HARKINS of Hudson & the Hoodoo Cats

HOME: Born and raised in Austin, Texas. Lived there 39 years until moving to STL in November 1995. We also spend about six weeks a year based out of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

AGE: The band is 20 years old this year. John Logan has been with me for 16 years and Mike Graham for 11 years.

Susan Cowsill and her band at a house concert.
Terry Perkins | For the St. Louis Beacon

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, the music business continues to splinter and transmogrify in the face of continuing technical advances and resulting changes in the way consumers obtain music. Digital downloads -- legal and illegal -- have transformed the music industry from a business model ruled by major corporate conglomerates into a free-for-all environment that's increasingly unpredictable, volatile and independently focused.