May 20, 2014


All our ticket prices are discounted for advance purchases.  For example, $10/$15 means ten dollars in advance or fifteen dollars at the door. Unless otherwise specified, advance tickets are available until noon on the day of the concert for evening shows, and 10AM on the day of the concert for Matinee shows, at  For any difficulties with online purchases, please call 1-800-838-3006.


Friday, September 20th, 8pm, $10/15: Sweetie and The Toothaches 

Sweetie and The Toothaches aim to please by bringing you the surefire authentic sights and sounds of the 1940s -1960s jump blues scene.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and there’s no doubt that you’ll be moving your body when you hear the powerful vocals of Emilie “Sweetie” Richard and her sensational Toothaches!  Be prepared to be blown away as this Saint Louis show band hits you square in the mouth hole with their brand of sinfully sweet songs, hot and ready rhythms, heavenly harmonies, and savory solos! It’s safe to say that after you get a taste of this full-bodied jump band, you’ll be sure to leave with a permanent sweet tooth.  See you all on the boogie field!

Saturday, September 21st, 8:00pm, $15/20: Focal Point Friends of Old-Time Music Present: The Ozark Highballers

The Ozark Highballers are a four piece string band from Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Since 2014 the Ozark Highballers have brought their music to square dances, farmers markets, festivals, workshops, as well as plain old street corners and front porches. Their music reflects the spirit and drive of the rural Ozark string bands of the 1920s and ’30s. This old-fashioned ensemble features the dynamic melody duo of Roy Pilgrim on fiddle and Seth Shumate on harmonica, accompanied by the intricate string tickling of Clarke Buehling on five-string banjo, and the driving chords and bass runs of Aviva Steigmeyer on guitar. The Ozark Highballers have performed and taught at the Brooklyn Folk Festival, Stepehen Foster Old-time Week,  Bluff Country Gathering, St. Louis Folk & Roots, CROMA,  Ozark Folk Center, and have recently received the Artist 360 grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. 

Wednesday, September 25th, 7:30pm (Doors 6:45), $25/30: Songbird Cafe

Hope Dunbar

Clint Alphin

Pint & a Half

Friday, September 27th, 8pm, $10/15: The Red-Headed Strangers

The RHS (named, of course, after the legendary Willie Nelson album) bring a staggering knowledge of classic country, traditional American, old Irish, and progressive songwriting to the table. Maureen Sullivan takes the lead with their amazing vocal harmonies. Add in piano, drums, and tons of strings from Brian Sullivan, Dan Sullivan, Tim Sullivan (yes, that’s four Sullivan siblings), Mark Mason, Tom Coryell, and Brian Wiegert. Then you have a true, down-home, honkytonk family band!

Saturday, September 28th, 8pm, $15/20: Brian McNeill

Brian McNeill is a Scottish composer, singer, songwriter, producer, author, and dynamite performer who has made a multitude of friends and fans here in St Louis!  Brian originally learned music on violin, but now plays fiddle, violamandolinbouzoukicitternconcertina, and hurdy-gurdy.  He played fiddle with Battlefield Band from its formation in 1969 until 1990.  

From 1996 until January 2008, Brian was head of the traditional music department at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow.  As a novelist he has published three books, The Busker (1989), To Answer the Peacock (1999), and In the Grass.  He has also produced an acclaimed audio-visual show about Scottish emigration to America, The Back o’ the North Wind.  Brian’s songs tend to get right to the point; they often feature lyrics based on Scottish historical themes, and he continually has celebrated the culture of his fellow Scots, including those who have emigrated to North America. 

Friday, October 4th, 8pm, $15/20: Fiddlers Four, featuring Geoff Seitz, Thayne Bradford, Roger Netherton and special guest Brian McNeill

Four St. Louis fiddlers; four unique styles with four approaches!  This year we have a couple of Fiddlers Four veterans and a couple new to the event.  Let’s start with old-time roots musician, violin maker and founder of the Fiddlers Four showcase, Geoff Seitz.  Next is Roger Netherton, who has been known to play any style from bluegrass to old-time to jazz to … anything else.  Our third is Thayne Bradford.  He tends to play with just about everyone who’s anyone on the local scene but excels in Western Swing, Cajun/Zydeco, and country blues.  And last but certainly not least: Scottish Fiddler, teacher, author, and founding member of the incomparable Battlefield Band, Brian McNeill! … who’s actually not “from” St. Louis at all.  But he has been visiting for a month at a time every year for a very long time through SPAE (Scottish Partnership for Arts & Education) to teach local school kids to fiddle in the Scottish style. So we have come to think of him as equal parts honored guest and local. There will be solos; there will be crossover; there will be ensembles; there will be distinguished guests – and the absolute finest fiddling you’ve ever heard at one time, on one stage!

Saturday, October 5th, 8pm, $15/20: The HigLeeWils

Songwriters and musicians Emily Higgins, Larry Lee, and David Wilson are The HigLeeWils.

Emily Higgins is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and member of both The HigLeeWils and Auntie Em and the Tornadoes.  The HigLeeWils currently perform songs from Emily’s four solo albums, Singing River, The House at the End of the Road, On the Square and recently, 91 Acres, a commissioned collection of original songs describing the land reclamation efforts of a Douglas County, Missouri landowner and the beauty of the property.   Emily is producer and host of “The Mulberry Tree,” a weekly music program airing Sunday evenings on KSMU, Springfield, Missouri’s NPR affiliate station.

Larry Lee was a founding member of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils (writer and vocalist of “Jackie Blue”), and toured with Jimmy Buffet’s Coral Reefer Band.   He has produced multi-platinum records for artists such as Alabama, Restless Heart, and Juice Newton.  Larry has also been inducted as a member of the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame.

David Wilson has produced, recorded for, or performed with some of acoustic music’s veteran musicians and songwriters: Radio Flyer (1985 Bluegrass Band Winner at the KFC-City of Louisville Festival), John Hartford, Jean Ritchie, The Dillards, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Undergrass Boys, Blackberry Winter, Barton and Para, The Gallier Brothers, Brewer and Shipley, and other notable artists.  David also continues to teach fiddle and mandolin classes at numerous festivals around the country.

Together, The HigLeeWils deliver their original music with strong and true harmonies and natural musicianship to audiences who appreciate acoustic music delivered through the time-honored tradition of using a single mic.

Wednesday, October 9th, 7:30pm, $20/25: Focal Point Friends of Old-Time Music Present: Compton and Newberry: A Return to the Roots of Bluegrass

Mike Compton and Joe Newberry mine one of the more neglected segments of country music history: the period during the ‘30s and ’40s when brother duet music was transitioning into what is known today as bluegrass.  Both masters of the bedrock instruments of old-time music, they collaborate with a vision that is both modern and ageless.  As virtuosos of old-time mandolin, banjo, and guitar, they dig deep into early country music and blues.  Given their seemingly limitless library of brother duets, audiences can expect to hear their favorite tunes along with traditional instrumentals, mother ballads, and award-reaping originals.  Their combined pedigree has enabled them to reach millions of people, including the more than four million regular listeners of A Prairie Home Companion and also the devoted fans of the Grammy Award-winning O Brother, Where Art Thou and Cold Mountain soundtracks.

“There are powerful people in every walk of life. Mike Compton is the General George Patton of the mandolin.” –

Mike Compton is a Grammy Award-winning, IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year nominee, mandolinist for the Nashville Bluegrass Band, and longtime steady sideman to the late John Hartford.  He has entertained from Carnegie Hall to the White House — and lots of good folks’ houses in between.  The New York Times calls him “a new bluegrass instrumental hero.”  He has made music with such diverse notables as the iconic Dr. Ralph Stanley, British rock legend Elvis Costello, guitar virtuoso David Grier, and producer T-Bone Burnett.  He has performed on 100+ CDs in a variety of genres with some of the most beloved artists of our day.  At heart, Mike Compton is a preservationist, continuing the music that Bill Monroe innovated on the mandolin and which set the standard for two generations of bluegrass mandolin players.

“His lyrics read like a cross between Longfellow and Johnny Cash…The muse is sometimes gentle and other times rough. But she never strays too far from Joe Newberry’s side.” Indyweek

Joe Newberry is a prizewinning guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist known far and wide for his powerful banjo playing.  He won the songwriting prize for “Gospel Recorded Performance” at the 2012 IBMA Awards for his song “Singing As We Rise”, and was co-writer (with Eric Gibson) of the 2013 IBMA Song of the Year, “They Called It Music.”  A longtime regular guest on A Prairie Home Companion, he was a featured singer on the Transatlantic Sessions 2016 tour of the U.K., and at the Transatlantic Session’s debut at Merlefest in 2017.  Growing up in a family full of singers and dancers, he took up the guitar and banjo as a teenager and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers.  He moved to North Carolina as a young man and quickly became an anchor of the incredible music scene in the state.

Friday, October 11th, 8pm, $15/20: John Batdorf

Back in the early seventies, John Batdorf was the talent-heavy half of the duo Batdorf and Rodney.  He wrote some wonderful songs back then, among them “Home Again,” “Don’t You Hear Me Callin’,” and “Let Me Go.”   John has recently begun performing again as a solo artist.  He invites the listener into his soul as he shares a couple of hours of open and trusting songs about transforming despair into hope, hate into love, and fear and ignorance into tolerance.  His pitch-perfect tenor voice and superb guitar accompaniment make his shows a treat to hear and watch!

Wednesday, October 16th, 7:30pm, $25/30: Focal Point Friends of Old-Time Music Present: Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers

Larry Sparks is a dedicated leader in the field of bluegrass music and is among the most widely-known and respected touring musicians in bluegrass and gospel music today.  Larry began his career in the mid-1960s as guitarist with the Stanley Brothers and later became lead vocalist for Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.  Larry went on to form his own band in 1969 (The Lonesome Ramblers) and over the years he has released many albums, delighting countless fans with his soulful vocals and unparalleled musicianship.  This year he will be celebrating 50 years with Larry Sparks and The Lonesome Ramblers.

Among the many prestigious venues where Larry has performed are the Grand Ole Opry, Austin City Limits, and many other PBS appearances.  He and the Lonesome Ramblers have toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Larry has been recognized as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year.  Larry was also awarded Album of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year with his album Larry Sparks 40, featuring several artists such as Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Ralph Stanley,    Ricky Skaggs, Tom T. Hall, and many more.  In addition, Larry received the honor of being inducted into the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame.  He has also been inducted into The George D. Hays (founder of the Grand Ole Opry) Hall of Fame.  Larry was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall Of Fame October 1st 2015.

Larry’s 50th Celebration CD in bluegrass music was released August 5th 2014 and features bluegrass legends Ralph Stanley, Curly Seckler, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Alison Krauss, and Judy Marshall. The single from the CD (titled “Bitterweeds”) went to number one on Bluegrass Today AirPlay Direct. His latest CD is Larry Sparks Vintage

Throughout his long career Larry has stuck with what works.  He has followed his vision and he has made an enormous contribution to the music.  Larry Sparks has kept his music real.

Advance tickets to this event have sold out. We will be putting in extra seating and WILL BE MAKING A BLOCK OF TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. Door tickets will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis when the doors open at 7:30. For any additional information please feel free to call the focal point 314-328-4810

Friday, October 18th, 8pm, $10/15: Focal Point Friends of Traditional Jazz, Blues & Ragtime Present: Ethan Leinwand – Barrelhouse Blues Piano

Ethan Leinwand is a St. Louis-based barrelhouse blues pianist and preservationist. A student of the music’s rich history and varied regional styles, Ethan presents personal interpretations of many of the great (and forgotten) old-time masters. He specializes in St. Louis pre-war piano blues, Texas barrelhouse, Deep South barrelhouse, early Chicago boogie-woogie, and good-time hokum stride. His influences include: Little Brother Montgomery, Black Bob, Jimmy Yancey, Henry Brown, Peetie Wheatstraw, Robert Shaw, Cooney Vaughn, and Carl Sonny Leyland.

During his concerts, Ethan educates as he entertains.  He tells the story of this under-appreciated African-American folk art; from the artists who created it, the environments whence they came, and its importance in shaping the history of American music. 

Ethan performs throughout the United States and Europe, and is gaining recognition as one of the country’s leading exponents of barrelhouse blues piano.  He has taught at The Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop (WA) and lectured at The West Coast Ragtime Festival (Sacramento, CA). Other notable appearances include The UK Boogie Festival, The Brooklyn Folk Festival (NY), The LaRoquebrou International Boogie-Woogie Festival (France),  and The University of Chicago Folk Fest (IL).

Saturday, October 19th, 8pm, $15/20: Letho and Wright

Lehto & Wright is a Minnesota-based folk-rock band.  Reminiscent of bands like Jethro Tull, Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, and Tempest, they have a sound that is a unique blend of traditional and modern styles.  By taking cues from the British Isles and American folk traditions and interpreting them with contemporary guitar-based arrangements, Lehto & Wright have taken a unique approach to the world of folk music.     

As a duo, John Wright and Steve Lehto perform their material in an acoustic, unplugged setting. From American spirituals to Irish tune sets, their accomplished twin guitar/mandolin approach has all the intensity and power of their full-blown band with half the volume.  As a trio, Lehto & Wright push the boundaries of Celtic and progressive folk rock, utilizing all the tools of the full band to achieve the effect of a six-piece band with only three musicians.

The Focal Point is delighted to welcome these old friends of ours back!  

Wednesday, October 23rd, 7:30pm (Doors 6:45), $20/25: Songbird Cafe


Brian Henneman,

Kip Loui

Dana Michael Anderson

Jimmy Griffin


Friday, October 25th, 8:00pm, $12/15: The Creek Rocks

The Creek Rocks are a folk group from the Ozarks led by banjoist Cindy Woolf and guitarist Mark Bilyeu.  These longtime musical collaborators worked together on Cindy’s three CDs of original songs starting in 2005, they married in 2013, then established The Creek Rocks in 2015.  Mark is a founding member of the popular Ozarks family band Big Smith, with whom he toured and recorded for sixteen years.

Their debut release, Wolf Hunter, is an album of sixteen folk songs from the Ozarks, arranged by The Creek Rocks and gathered from the collections of folklorists Max Hunter of Springfield, Missouri (Mark’s hometown) and John Quincy Wolf of Batesville, Arkansas (Cindy’s hometown).  Joining them on the album are bassist Jason Chapman of The Chapmans bluegrass band and percussionist Jay Williamson, also of Big Smith.  Cindy and Mark sometimes enlist a a host of talented musician friends to back them up, but will be performing as a duo for this performance.

Saturday, October 26th, 8pm, $15/20: Shari Kane and Dave Steele

As an acoustic blues duo, Shari and Dave throw a four-handed guitar party of original and time-honored blues, gospel, swing, and ragtime. Steeped in Dave’s smoky vocals, percussive rhythm and innovative lead lines and in Shari’s crisp picking style, rootsy leads, and stinging slidework, their music has been described as street swing and stomp blues, like a testament to sounds once heard on the streets of Harlem, the juke joints of Mississippi, or from the jug bands of Memphis.

Thursday, October 31st, 7:30pm, $15/20: Focal Point Friends of Old-Time Music Present: Molsky’s Mountain Drifters

A laser-tight trio with an ear for lovely, lilting traditional melodies, Molsky’s Mountain Drifters brings tradition steeped in possibility.  The grace and wisdom of longtime fiddle player and Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist Bruce Molsky, Berklee College of Music’s Visiting Scholar in the American Roots Program, described as “an absolute master” (No Depression), melds with the electricity of guitarist Stash Wyslouch and banjoist Allison de Groot to bring new ideas to traditional music. 

Allison de Groot is the kind of artist whose virtuosity is built on her strength as a player, performer, and composer, and is known for her “great clawhammer banjo technique, exquisite tone, timing, and taste.  She has deep roots in the old-time tradition and yet she’s fearless when it comes to breaking new ground.” (Tony Trischka)

Stash Wyslouch is one of bluegrass’s great young genre-bending pioneers, “a brilliant and free-thinking mind.” (Chris Eldridge, Punch Brothers)  Coming over from the punk-metal world, Stash brings great sensitivity and real emotion to the trio, plus superb guitar and vocal chops.

These striking musicians have come together for a new sound within the traditional music genre through their audacious approach. “I was looking for a new voice,” says Molsky, “a new avenue of expression using old-time mountain music as the jumping-off point, but not being constrained by hardcore traditionalism. Allison and Stash are showing me the way, just where the music is headed, in directions I never would have imagined when I started my own journey into the mountains a long time ago.” 

Friday, November 1st, 8pm, $10/15: Focal Point Friends of Traditional Jazz, Blues & Ragtime Present: Dizzy Atmosphere

Collectively influenced by an range of American (Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang, Stuff Smith), French (Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli), and Latin (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Xavier Cugat) recording artists, Dizzy Atmosphere performs a wide variety of repertoire.  They are the embodiment of  insouciance.

Jon Ferber has performed and recorded with Swing Set, the Orbits, the Lettuce Heads, the Erin Bode Trio, and the Western Satellites.  His guitar style is deeply rooted in the swinging sounds of Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt.  Richard Tralles has performed and recorded with Miss Jubilee and the Yas Yas Boys, Diesel Island, Swing Set, the Vendors of Substance, and Box of Nerves.  His swinging sensibilities and sweet vocal style jive with the band’s vibe.  Earthy and swinging Christopher Voelker’s violin lends and air of casual elegance to this trio’s sound.  He has also performed as a featured guest with Swing Set, Coco Rico, Fleur de Lou, and Hot Club of St. Louis. 

Saturday, November 2nd, 8pm, $15/20: Mark Deutsch

A professional musician since the age of twelve, Mark is a visionary artist with a background in nonlinear mathematics, sacred systems, and cosmology.  As a classically trained bassist and sitar player, he gained extensive experience in orchestral and world music ensembles, jazz combos, and solo sitar performance.  While studying North Indian classical music with the legendary sitar and surbahar master Ustad Imrat Khan (younger brother of Ustad Vilayat Khan), Mark began delving deeper into the universal fundamentals of music and its underlying frequency structures.  This in turn led him to his quest to develop an instrument that could reproduce his findings.  This work culminated in 1999 with Mark being awarded a US patent for his groundbreaking new instrument: Bazantar – a six-string acoustic bass fitted with an additional twenty-nine sympathetic strings and four drone strings. The result is a remarkable instrument that weaves a mesmerizing soundscape of resonance and evokes all the power of Western classical music with the depth and nuance of Eastern traditions.

Sunday, November 3rd, Time 7:30, $15/20: Focal Point Friends of Old-Time Music Present: The Baker Family

The Baker Family is a high-energy family bluegrass band located in south- central Missouri.  Their repertoire includes high-energy bluegrass, gospel, and classic country music.  They have performed at numerous bluegrass events in Missouri and throughout the United States from Maine to California.  The band members are: Trustin Baker on fiddle and vocals, Carina Baker on mandolin and vocals, Elijah Baker on upright bass and vocals, and Carrie Baker on guitar.   Last Spring the Baker Family played to a sold-out room at the Focal Point; we are excited to have them back.

Wednesday, November 6th, 7:30pm, $10/15: Iron Gibbs – Square Dance

Description coming soon!

Friday, November 8th, 8pm, $/: Rogers and Nienhaus

Description coming soon!

Saturday, November 9th, 8pm, $10/15: The Peoples

Description coming soon!

Thursday, November 14th, 7:30pm, $12/15: Focal Point Friends of Traditional Jazz, Blues & Ragtime Present: Lovestruck Balladeers 

The Lovestruck Balladeers bring traditional music into the 21st century with all the energy of a train disaster.  They might whip out a lost melody from a forgotten mandolin folio or they might play a Mexican waltz.  They might push into a renegade re-arrangement of a swing standard or get down with a country rag.  They are the five scorpion sons of a West Virginia dance hall, a Little Italy tourist attraction, and a Oaxacan birthday party.  Together, or on their own paths, this stellar band of traveling musicians has traversed the country and the globe, carrying traditional styles into modern times.  The versatile quintet features twin fiddles, clarinet, guitars, a mandolin trio, upright bass, banjo, piano, and vocal harmonies.  Their repertoire is a rare repository of American and international music seldom heard beyond the walls of low-lit dance halls found at the edge of the known world.  The past never sounded so palpable.  Hailing from across the United States and Canada, The Lovestruck Balladeers are: Jake Sanders, Aaron Jonah Lewis, Dennis Lichtman, Sean Cronin, and Dalton Ridenhour.

Friday, November 15th, 8pm, $15/20: Adrian Legg

Adrian Legg is a guitarist’s guitarist and a musician’s musician, winning Joe Satriani’s praise and supporting him on tour, and his solo performances are marked by their technical brilliance, evocative melodies, and adventurous spirit.  Adrian has won a lion’s share of awards, including Guitarist of the Decade by Guitarist Magazine (UK).  Furthermore, Adrian is a master clinician, having taught at Musicians’ Institute and the National Guitar Workshop recently, and with numerous instructional books and DVDs to his credit.  He has also been a frequent contributor to the NPR program All Things Considered over the years.  In early 2015, Adrian Legg released a new album, Dead Bankers.

Saturday, November 16th, 8pm, $15/20: Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole

In the Heart of North America is a story that remains to be told, the story of the French creoles who founded the Illinois country over three hundred years ago along the Wabash and Mississippi River corridors.  Today they remain with their songs, stories and language, and one music group continues to carry the torch of this enduring culture: Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole.  It’s an old-time country stringband with an exotic twist: fiddle-driven songs and tunes you ALMOST know… a great night with brilliant music!

Saturday, November 22nd, 8pm, $10/15: Focal Point Friends of Traditional Jazz, Blues & Ragtime Present: The Rum Drum Ramblers Return

The backward-glancing trio Rum Drum Ramblers is most commonly thought of as a blues band, and certainly, the young men in the group seek to revive a certain strand of acoustic, prewar blues music. But after listening to its second album, Mean Scene, one could argue that the Ramblers is a soul band; just listen for a few minutes to guitarist and singer Mat Wilson’s sweet, husky voice and feel the easy rhythm of the best early R&B singers. Or perhaps it’s best to describe it as a country act: there’s so much twang-bangin and swift-pickin’ on “Nothin’ New” that Buck Owens is probably tipping his ten-gallon hat to these fellows from the great beyond. But then, terming the Rum Drum Ramblers as country (or blues or soul) would ignore the jazzy underpinnings that Joey Glynn pumps out of his sonorous upright bass and the forceful blowing of its guest horn players. Better yet to put genre tags aside and let the Ramblers interpretation of American folk idioms fan you like a humid breeze.

The Ramblers don’t mind if a little sawdust gets mixed in with their whiskey, and that looseness spreads a freewheeling flavor over the dozen tracks on Mean Scene. Trash-can percussion and second-line horns adorn the lazy shuffle of “Get Behind the Wheel,” and the electric fuzz of “All the Little Days” proves that the band doesn’t play it straight even when plugged in.  In fact, the only constant across these songs is that Wilson’s intuitive guitar playing — bluesy, jazzy, soulful and twangy — is tough to pin down. He’s a stylist who has ingested decades worth of popular (and unpopular) music, and he and his equally flexible bandmates spit these influences back out in familiar but thrilling fashion.

Saturday, November 23rd, 8pm & Sunday November 24th, 2pm (MATINEE), $10/15: The Road Apples Ride Again

John Jump, Bob Breidenbach, and Ed Cabanas, original members of the early Road Apples, ride again for TWO shows this November! Join them for an evening and an afternoon of original and Americana roots music.  These accomplished musicians each perform with a number of different groups and are among the most well-known and respected in the area.  Expect to hear a lot of great music and enjoy the camaraderie of these long-time friends.

Saturday, November 23rd, 8pm

Sunday, November 24th, 2 pm (MATINEE)

Wednesday, November 27th, 7:30pm (Doors 6:45), $25/30: Songbird Cafe

The Burney Sisters

Sheena Persons and Sheila Rochelle (AKA Missouri Mile)

Friday, November 29th, 8pm, $10/15: Focal Point Friends of Traditional Jazz, Blues & Ragtime Present: Annie & The Fur Trappers Vinyl Release Party

Annie and the Fur Trappers is a St. Louis traditional jazz and blues band which formed in 2016. The band includes clarinet, trumpet, trombone, tuba, banjo, guitar, piano, washboard, and saxophone.  Annie and the Fur Trappers is dedicated to performing and preserving the music of the 1920s and 30s today.  The band plays traditional jazz, delta blues, ragtime, and swing music.  Their version of “Delta Bound” was selected to be displayed at the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience in Meridian, Mississippi.  Annie and the Fur Trapper’s original song “You Break It, you Buy It” was selected for the St. Louis Blues Society’s 17 in 17 compilation album.  Annie and the Fur Trappers have performed at a variety of music festivals including the Big Muddy Blues Festival, The Whitaker Jazz festival The Apple Butter Festival, HONK!TX, Musikfest, The Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl, and The Rosebud Cafe Music Festival, to name a few. 

            The band is excited to be celebrating the release of their second studio album, Muskrat Ramble, on vinyl.   The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Paul Niehaus IV at Blue Lotus Studios.  The album includes a number of blues, traditional jazz, and swing favorites.  The vinyl was pressed by Standard Vinyl.

Saturday, November 30th, 8pm, $10/15: The Gordons & The Dust Covers

We, Gary and Roberta Gordon formed our mission in 2011 when our friend and neighbor Vic Hamer came to our music store selling African jewelry.  There was no turning back when we saw the tears in his eyes.  “Give Me Water Lord” is a tiny totally non-profit organization with only 6 board members who are self-appointed servants of humanity. There is absolutely no middle man, any and all kind donations of directly to drill water wells in desperate areas in Kenya.  Drilling can exceed 300 feet through granite with average cost of $25,000.00 for drill bits, casing, pump and protective well house. Vic Hamer personally oversees the drilling to insure no funding is misused. “Give Me Water Lord” was recognized by the Federal government to be tax exempt and through kind donations we have drilled wells in Kasarani (2012), Kisumu (2013), Kitengela (2014) and Kima (2016).  

In 2014 we also began a “Dairy Cow Project” buying a pregnant cow giving to a school who cares for the cow. The school can use the milk and also sell it to cover school fees for orphans or handicapped children. The calf when born is then given to another school.  A children’s feeding program was started in 2015 where 250 children receive one meal a day. There are countless orphans.  Some parents simply cannot care for them and give them to orphanages.  In 2015 a “School Sponsorship Program” was started to pay school fees for 23 children since that time.  We provide corn shellers, inoculate cattle and help anyone in our path when on well drilling missions. Everyone in Kenya is in need but we can help many with clean water.  Please help us drill our next 2 wells in Narok and Ambosela in the next 2 years hopefully.

Sincerely, Gary and Roberta Gordon

The Gordons:

Influenced by the great music of their era, this husband and wife duo were baptized by bluegrass music and have made wonderful folk music ever since.  Accompanied by Gary’s tasteful Gallagher guitar and dobro Roberta plays the American born Appalachian Autoharp.  With many recordings to their credit since 1976 harmony singing is their signature. 

The Dust Covers:

With the tempo of a train, the chill of its breeze, and the rumble of its momentum this locomotive of a of a band summons the excitement and energy of early blues and old-time.  On the life long journey of finding and sharing, not only the intersection but, the road shared by these two genres The Dust Covers harken to sounds pre-recorded music.  Their ruckus resonators and gentle touch weave splendidly through their vocals and harmonies.

Sunday, December 1st, 7:30pm, $15/20: Focal Point Friends of Traditional Jazz, Blues & Ragtime Present: Todd Albright

Todd Albright is a country blues twelve-string guitar player and vocalist based in Detroit, Michigan.  Grounded in the pre-war era of the blues tradition (1880-1939), Todd is a mindful purveyor of blues history.  His repertoire upholds musical pillars such as Blind Willie McTell, George Carter, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Leadbelly.  His life’s work continues the distinguished tradition of the very roots of American music as told by the African-American musicians who created it. 

Todd’s vigorous, gritty, and soulful performances are accompanied by stories of the masters and a deep intuitive sense of respect for craft, providing audiences with a meaningful experience while creating a transcendent moment.  One of the top blues guitarists in the world, Todd is the only contemporary twelve-string player in his genre.

Todd began playing the blues while still a teenager, some twenty-five years ago.  Initially, he was drawn to the sound of the finger-picked style and has since immersed himself in the foundational music and narratives of American culture.  Over the years, Todd has shared the stage with artists such as Roy Book Binder, Charlie Parr, Paul Geremia, and Dakota Dave Hull. 

Todd’s first full-length LP, Fourth Floor Visitor, was released by Jett Plastic Recordings out of Detroit, Michigan in 2017.  His latest album, Detroit Twelve String: Blues & Rags, is out now on Third Man Records (2017). 


Friday, December 6th, 8pm, Saturday, December 7th, 8pm & Sunday December 8th, 2pm (MATINEE), $10/15: Rough Shop Annual Christmas Extravaganza

Description coming soon!

Friday, December 6th, 8pm

Saturday, December 7th, 8pm

Sunday, December 8th, 2 pm (MATINEE)


Friday, December 13th, 8pm, $15/20: Dave Black & Sandy Weltman 3rd Annual Holiday Show

Description coming soon!

Saturday, December 14th, 8pm, $12/15: Jake’s Leg 8th Annual Holliday Show

Description coming soon!

Friday, December 20th, 8pm, $10/15: The Joe Park Trio Plays The Music of Wes Montgomery

Joe Park has become a regular at the Focal Point over the last few years.  Park hosts the Annual Django Guitar Summit each August where he brings together some of St. Louis’ finest guitarists to perform together in the style of the great Django Reinhardt.  This December The Joe Park Trio will be paying tribute to another iconic jazz guitarist: Wes Montgomery.  Universally acknowledged as one of the greatest guitarists in the history of Jazz, Montgomery virtually defined modern jazz guitar in the 1950s and 60s.  The Joe Park Trio is: Joe Park on guitar, Guy Cantonwine on bass, Drew Weiss on drums.

Saturday, December 21st, 2pm (MATINEE) & 8pm (EVENING), $10/15: The Wee Heavies Christmas Show

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Saturday, December 21st, 2 pm (MATINEE)

Saturday, December 21st, 8pm (EVENING)

Friday, December 27th, 8pm, $10/15: Focal Point Friends of Traditional Jazz, Blues & Ragtime Present: TJ Muller Third Annual Holiday Show

Description coming soon!

Saturday, December 28th, 8pm, $10/15: An Evening with Ryan Koenig: Releasing the Focal Point Recordings Volume 2: Ryan Koenig & The Goldenrods

Description coming soon!

Coming in 2019:

January, 3rd: Keltic Reign

January, 10th: Jack Grelle

January, 17th: Missouri Breaks

January, 18th: Bob Bovee*

January, 24th: Sam Golden


February, 8th: Focal Point Benefit

February 14th: The Chimps Valentines Day Show

February 15th: Switchback FULL 5 PIECE BAND (Album Release Show)

February 21st: Joe Park & The Hot Club of St. Louis**


March 6th: Riverbend Bluegrass*

March 14th: Eileen Gannon & Eimear Arkins Annual St. Patrick’s Day Show

March 20th: Nick Gusman

March 28th: Spencer and Rains*


April 4th: Buddy Mondlock

April 17th: Dana Cooper

April 19th: John McCutcheon!

April 24-26: 22nd Annual Tionol 


May 15th: Manus McGuire

May 23rd: Colon Sphinctor Band Reunion Show


July 25th: 7th Annual Guitar Summit


August 7th: Greg Silsby & Mike Zanger

August 28th: 3rd Annual Django Guitar Summit – Joe Park and Friends**


December 26th: An Evening with Ryan Koenig: Releasing the Focal Point Recordings Volume 3


*Presented by Focal Point Friends of Old-time Music

**Presented by Focal Point Friends of Traditional Jazz, Blues & Ragtime

… and many more!

Concert series sponsored in part by: