All our ticket prices are discounted $5 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 8AM on the day of the concert for Matinee shows, at brownpapertickets.com. For any difficulties with online purchases, please call 1-800-838-3006.
DOORS OPEN 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO EACH SHOWTIME
Friday, November 16th, 8pm, $15/$20: Séamus Begley, Oisín Mac Diarmada & Sam Harvey
Expect sparks to fly when West Kerry accordionist and singer Séamus Begley joins forces with Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada and Californian dancer/pianist Samantha Harvey. Séamus Begley is the quintessential Irish musician, an eager storyteller known for his sharp wit and famous for pumping out tune after tune at all night sessions with an energy that is sometimes alarming. Fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada, founder of noted group Téada, has been described by The Irish Echo’s Earle Hitchner as “one of the most gifted and creative traditional fiddlers playing today”. Providing masterful accompaniment on piano, Samantha Harvey, originally from Ventura, California and now living in Sligo, is also an award-winning step dancer. Samantha’s energetic dance and musical performances on stage has seen her become an increasingly prominent touring performer and teacher.
Saturday, November 17th, 8pm, Price $12/$15: Brian Curran and Eric McSpadden
As one of the early acts to play the newly-opened Beale on Broadway, Eric McSpadden and Brian Curran played acoustic blues every Thursday night, while Bennie Smith at the Broadway Oyster Bar and Oliver Sain at BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups completed the “Blues Triangle.” Brian, then in his early twenties, and Eric, an already well-known and seasoned musician, formed a unique musical partnership. While each performance was deeply rooted in traditional blues, they were never afraid to explore other styles and genres, including rock and country. The Focal Point is excited to see these two great musicians get together once again to bring their love of music to our stage. Sit back and listen to Eric and Brian perform some favorites from their over 15 year history!
Friday, November 23rd: $15/$20: Ben Bedford: Album Release Show
“Out on the rise, west of the town, where the tall Needlegrass burns to the ground. We sit inside, together apart, and a window of light shines in the dark.”
So begins Ben’s and Darwin the Cat’s day in the little old farmhouse (“The Hermitage”) on the edge of the Illinois prairie. And so too begins The Hermit’s Spyglass, Ben’s 5th studio album. The recording is a small, quiet musical meandering over earth and under sky with Ben and Darwin at the center of the story. We hear the raggedy star-dogs harmonize in the gloom and feel the frost melt from the locust branches as the sun rises above the horizon. We smell the early morning coffee as the larkspur springs and the buffalo grass sways. We watch the little falcon dive with flashes of green and purple. We meet Ben and Darwin’s neighbors in the eastern pasture: Festus the Mule and Sassy the Horse. We contemplate the golden green of the March prairie sun and the power of an imminent thunderstorm. We sit peacefully while Darwin swishes his tail and talks to the sparrows through the window as quiet reigns on the green hill. So….Come kids of all ages. Come wonder-seekers and question-askers. Join us. Sit and ponder. See as far as you can see.
The Hermit’s Spyglass is a solo vocal/guitar album. Come hear it in its entirety at The Focal Point.
November 24th & 25th: $12/$15: The Road Apples Ride Again
John Jump, Bob Breidenbach, Thayne Bradford, 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 24th, 8pm
Sunday, November 25th, 2pm (Matinee)
Friday, November 30th, 8pm, Ticket price $15/20: Acoustik Element Presents ‘Crazy Ass Guitars’ featuring: Aaron Burlbaw & Sean Canan
Guitarist Aaron Burlbaw of Acoustik Element and Sean Canan of Falling Fences and Voodoo Players team together to bring you an unforgettable night of acoustic guitars with unexpected twists. Using unconventional techniques, these fine guitarists are bringing out all the fancy guitar tricks, e.g. beer bottle slides, effects, guitar battles, and more, to play an evening of classics with a Latin vibe. Expect the unexpected in an evening of ‘ Crazy Ass Guitars’. Aaron Burlbaw, ‘Crazy Ass’ guitar’; Sean Canan, ‘Crazy Ass’ guitar; Brian May, drums; and Tim Duggan, bass.
Saturday, December 1st, 8pm, $12/$15: The Joe Park Trio: Album Release Show
Jazz guitarist Joe Park and his band celebrate the release of their first album, “Out of Nowhere.” On this collection of standards, the trio tips their hat to their favorite guitarists of the 1940s and ‘50s such as Django Reinhardt, Les Paul, and Barney Kessel. The trio will perform the songs from “Out of Nowhere” along with some of their other favorites for a memorable night of music you won’t want to miss!
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 7th-9th; $12/$15: Rough Shop 16th Annual Christmas Extravaganza
Christmas comes but once a year, and there’s much to be said for the celebrations, the gifts, and the gatherings with family and friends, which take place each December 25th. Still, in St. Louis at least, the truest spirit of the holiday has been found in the annual Rough Shop Holiday Extravaganzas held on a couple of nights in December for the past fourteen years. A mixture of holiday classics, obscurities, and delightful originals are performed by the band’s five members, aided by a growing assortment of talented guests. Confirmed guests for the 14th Annual Rough Shop Holiday Extravaganza include Auset Sarno (Auset Music Project), Merv Schrock (Ransom Note), Chris Grabau (Magnolia Summer, Cave States), Steve Carosello (Love Experts, Palaver), and Michael Ludwig (pedal steel). Could there be more additions? Possibly. After all, this is the time of year for surprises.
Expect to hear songs exploring the magic, the love, the joy, and yes, the heartbreak of the Yuletide season. With neither a trace of ironic distance nor a hint of cash-counting cynicism, Rough Shop and friends embrace the concept of Christmas music as something every bit as complex and emotionally rich as any other kind of song. Because of the success of past shows, we have added a third matinee show for the second year, which will be taking place on Sunday at 2PM. Here is the chance to kick off the holiday season in grand Yuletide style!
Friday, December 7th, 8pm:
Saturday, December 8th, 8pm:
Sunday, December 9th, 2pm (Matinee):
Friday, December 14th, 8pm, $15/$20: Farshid Soltanshahi, Dave Black & Sandy Weltman: Second Annual Holiday Show
Versatile is the key word here; these gentlemen can play anything. As for this concert, it could be jazz — it could be klezmer. It could be exotic Middle Eastern. You might even hear a few old-time country licks. It could be a blend of all this and more, in the hands of these three masters. Musicians’ musicians, all three, here to school and delight us.
Saturday, December 15th, 8pm, $12/$15: Jakes’ Leg 6th Annual Holiday Dance Party
Jake’s Leg’s annual appearance on our stage has become a Focal Point tradition. Spanning the generations, Jake’s Leg has been performing the music of The Grateful Dead for 41 years. (That’s only 11-ish years less than the Dead played Dead themselves!) This will be an acoustic performance. ALSO, the show will likely not be the perfectly silent listening experience we are known for, however, we promise that it will be great fun for all. Dancing recommended but not required.
Friday, December 21st, 8pm, $12/$15: Tommy Halloran’s Guerrilla Party
Tommy Halloran returns to the Focal Point, this time with an army of guerrillas!
Tommy Halloran’s Guerrilla Swing has been a mainstay on the St. Louis music scene for years. Voted ‘Best Jazz’ in the Riverfront Times in ’14, ’15, & ’16, the band regularly features many of St. Louis’ finest jazz musicians organized somewhat loosely under the THGS banner. Rather than rely on strict arrangements and coordinated practices, Halloran leads the band like a group of assassins, relying on the virtuosity and inventiveness of the individual musicians to create “the guerrilla sound.” With this approach the band moves easily from swing to Latin to blues to ballads, Halloran’s original songs blending easily in to the standards and old chestnuts.
For this special concert, the band (usually a quartet) will expand its borders to feature many of the stellar musicians who are also regular “guerrillas” in a night of music: old, new, borrowed, and blue! It will be loud, it will be quiet, it will be swinging and sweet. It will be a Guerrilla party for the ages.
Saturday, December 22nd, 8pm, Ticket price $12/$15: The Wee Heavies
The Wee Heavies (Aaron Schiltz, Peter Merideth, Jay Harkey, and Steve Neale) return to the Focal Point for their only full concert during the holiday season. The Heavies started singing together in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis in 2013. The mostly a cappella band has won a following with their mix of Scottish, Irish, and American folk music that combines tradition with innovation and weaves together a unique take on the songs they sing. With their voices (and occasional instrumental accompaniment) the Heavies create a sound rich in harmony with unexpected twists and an energy that has their audiences clapping, stomping, and singing along. Between songs, the lads are just as entertaining through their humorous rapport and engaging storytelling. For those looking to get into the Christmas spirit, on this special night, the Heavies will share with you some of their seasonal favorites. A Wee Bit of Christmas is a special show to see this holiday season. Come unwind ahead of the holiday onslaught as The Wee Heavies spread good cheer!
Friday, December 28th, 8pm, Ticket price $12/$15: Wild Bill Mason & TJ Muller: Twin Cornets
Description coming soon.
Saturday, December 29th, 8pm, $12/$15: An Evening with Ryan Koenig: Releasing Focal Point Recordings Vol 1
Description coming soon.
January 2019 & Beyond:
January 4th: Keltic Reign (Friday Evening Show)
January 11th: Second Annual Evening of Songs with Jack Grelle
January 12th: Focal Point Semi-Annual Benefit Show: The Missouri Rounders/The Dust Covers
January 25th: Willi Carlisle*
January 26th: Auset Music Project
February 1st: Beppe Gambetta
February 2nd: WirePilots
February 8th: New Missouri Fox Hunters
February 13th: T’Monde*
February 15th: Chimps Valentines Day Show
February 22nd: Bob Bovee*
February 23rd: The Baker Family
March 2nd: Switchback
March 8th: St. Louis Piano Summit: Ethan Leinwand / Christopher Parrish / Chase Garrett
March 9th: Andrew Calhoun
March 12th/13th: Dervish
March 16th/17th St. Patricks Day Celebration Eileen Gannon/Eimear Arkins
March 15th: The Vogts Sisters
March 22nd: Mound City Slickers*
March 28th: Tempest
March 29th: Frank Lee & Alliw Burbrink*
April 5th: Boney Goat Band*
April 6th: Buddy Mondlock
April 11th: John McCutcheon
April 12th:-14th St. Louis Tionol
April 19th: Muriel Anderson
April 29th: Christopher Parrish- 2nd Annual Duke Ellington Birthday Show
May 10th: Spencer Bohren
May 11th: Dennis Stroughmatt Band: Tribute to Ray Price and His Cherokee Cowboys
May 18th: Missouri Rounders
September 6th: Pappy with a Hatchet
October 11th: John Batdorf
December 28th: An Evening with Ryan Koenig
*Presented by Focal Point Friends of Old-time Music
**2018 Focal Point Traditional & World Jazz Series