St. Louis aldermen have temporarily slowed the progress of a measure that would reserve Memorial and Labor Day weekends for a new music festival in downtown St. Louis for at least the next 10 years.
The city's tourism committee heard two hours of testimony on the measure today. Chairman Joe Vollmer delayed the vote by a week to give its members time to digest the bill. A good portion of the 29-member Board of Aldermen sat in for at least part of the hearing.
In the late 1980s, Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar and Mike Heidorn were students at Belleville High School, playing 60s era cover songs in their parents’ garages. But somewhere around the time they became known as Uncle Tupelo, they transitioned into a new sound. Today it’s called Alt Country, but at the time they just knew it was different.
Despite a musical career that has spanned decades and provided inspiration for the civil rights movement, until recently the only information available about the Staple Singers was from interviews, articles and songs.
A new biography by Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot changes all that by providing the back story of the musical family in book form for the first time. With a nod to two hit songs, the book is titled “I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom’s Highway.”
The Jungle Fire is a seven-piece soul group that has been playing the local scene since early 2011. The sound comes from the musical backgrounds of its members: jazz, classical, punk, alt-country and hip-hop.
Those players start with songwriter and guitarist Dan Johanning, who brought the band together. The rest of the group consists of drummer Matt Berra, bassist Justin Haltmar, organist and vocalist Adam Barr, tenor saxophonist John Wright, flutist Kristen Luther and lead vocalist James Fields.
Divided & United is the name of a new, two-disc collection of songs from the Civil War. The selections tell tales of fear, loneliness, exhaustion and triumph. All recordings featured on the album, which was produced by Randall Poster, are new takes on old songs; historian Sean Wilentz wrote the liner notes for the record.
The collection features lesser-known songs of the Civil War, some by a songwriter named Henry Clay Work. According to Wilentz, Work was a key member of a group of composers that wrote the history of the era through song.