May 20, 2014


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 at  For any difficulties with online purchases, please call 1-800-838-3006.






CANCELLED-Friday, July 6th, 8pm, $15/$20: Devin Shepherd, Marta Cook & Brian Ó hAirt (Brian Hart)

Guth Ar Fán: Marta Cook, Brian Ó hAirt, & Devin Shepherd

Marta Cook, Brian Ó hAirt and Devin Shepherd combine their many talents to create an alluring performance that explores the many corners of the Irish tradition—from the world of the Gaelic harp to the lyrical nature of sean-nós singing, with plenty of time spent fiddling in the dimly-lit pubs of Chicago’s past. All awardwinners and highly respected in their fields, these musicians bring with them stories that give context and connection to their music while delighting audiences with a sound full of exuberance, lift, and subtlety. Fiddle, concertina, harp, voice, and feet create an event not often experienced on this side of the Atlantic. Come join them for an evening of enchanted music that celebrates the many facets of the tradition and the experience of the ever-wandering Irish—guth ar fán—a wandering voice.


Photo Nate Burrell

Saturday, July 7th, 8pm, $10/$15: The Wilhelms (CD Release)

Multi-instrumentalists Andy Ploof and John Wendland, the core songwriters in veteran St. Louis band Rough Shop, are the Wilhelms. The musical partners, who go back to the alt-country band One Fell Swoop in the ’90s, feature a repertoire of original songs and inspired covers of the folk and roots music they love.This night will mark the release of their second full-length album “Contortionist Blues” and it will be available for the first time on this special night, which will feature the Wilhelms plus assorted musical guests. A splendid time is guaranteed for all!

Saturday, July 14th, 8pm, $10/$15: Sins of the Pioneers

A multi-generational roots music band featuring some of St. Louis’ best musical veterans. Band members include Mark “Sunnyboy” Mason, Tom Mason, Wild Bill Mason, John The Conqueror Webb, Geoff Seitz, and Gentleman Jim Brennan. You may hear songs from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Louis Jordan, (LouieLouieLOUIE?) Dewey Balfa, Roy Acuff, Bob Wills, Chuck Berry, or anything else that suits their fancy — it goes on.

Friday, July 20th, 8pm, $15/$20: Focal Point Friends of Old-time Music Present: Jane & John Vidrine

John and Jane Vidrine have been playing Cajun music together since the 1980s for festivals, gatherings, and concerts around their home region of Acadiana in Louisiana, at music camps, and in France and Denmark. Their repertoire ranges from crusty old fiddle duets and unaccompanied French ballads to exciting dance-hall favorites. John’s stories will have your smile muscles hurting. A special treat for this concert at Focal Point, John and Jane will reunite with fiddler, Les Lewis who played with them in their band called Gris Gris back in New Orleans. Les was also a founding member of the legendary St. Louis string band, Cousin Curtis and his Cash Rebates.

John is from Mamou, Louisiana, where Cajun music and folk traditions are virtually a way of life. He’s played accordion, fiddle and guitar since he was very young and was influenced by legendary figures from the area including Nathan Abshire, Dewey Balfa, Marc Savoy, and others. Jane came on the Louisiana music scene in 1983 after growing up in St. Louis and being quite central to the folklife community here (MFFA, Frontier Folklife Festival, Focal Point, Music Folk). A founding member of the two-time Grammy-nominated Magnolia Sisters Cajun Band. Together they are known for their investment in their community to promote regional traditional music and for supporting young people in their efforts to bring Cajun music, language and cultural traditions into the future.

Saturday, July 21st, 8pm, $15/$20: Marge Steiner & Andy Cohen

Andy Cohen is a virtuosic blues guitarist whose repertoire consists largely of African-American music and song of the Southeast quadrant of the United States. Marge Steiner sings ballads and folk songs that she collected in her folklore fieldwork in Northern Ireland and in Canada, and anything else that strikes her fancy. Her repertoire ranges from serious to sacred to silly. Andy’s tasteful guitar work serves as a wonderful complement to Marge’s singing.

Friday, July 27th, 8pm, $15/$20: An Evening with Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor is a master storyteller and has been one of the finest southern songwriters for the last four decades. Influencing such well-known artists as Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett (both of whom have covered several of his songs), and Steve Earle, Taylor tours extensively throughout North America and Europe. He has appeared on Austin City Limits, Late Night With David Letterman, NPRs Morning Edition and Mountain Stage, and BBC Radio. A mesmerizing performer whose shows will leave you wanting more.

Saturday, July 28th, 8pm, $15/$20: 5th Annual Guitar Showcase: Brian Curran, Dave Black & THE Tom Hall

St. Louis is rich in master guitarists, all of whom seem to know each other and to trade knowledge, insights, and hot licks; here are some of the best! After four iterations of the Focal Point’s annual Guitar Showcase, these three know each other better than most. Each of them has a distinctive style — you’ll hear raggy, bluesy, honky-tonk ranging into country, swing, jazz, and traditional world tunes — but they know how to work off each other to make great music together, and they always inspire each other to greater heights.

Sunday, July 29th, 8pm, $10: Cajun Dance

Cajun dance at Focal Point with music by the Southside Creole Playboys & special guest Rob Krumm. Cajun 2-step & waltz dance lesson at 1:45pm, followed by dancing to live music 2:30-4:30pm. No experience or partner necessary, $10 admission. Come pass a good time with us. Smooth-soled shoes recommended.

November 24th & 25th: $10/$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

Friday, November 25th, 2pm (Matinee)

June 2018 & Beyond:


August 3rd: Lehto & Wright

August 4th: Kane & Steele

August 10th: Grace Basement

August 11th: Salt of the Earth

August 16th: The Honey Dewdrops

August 17th: Django Reinhardt Tribute: Joe Park, Gary Hunt, and Paul Davis**

August 18th: Chicago Cellar Boys**

August 24th: Roya and the Hightimers**

August 25th: Autumn’s Child**

August 30th: Annie and the Fur Trappers**

August 31st: Miss Jubilee**


September 1st: Charlie Halloran Jazz Band**

September 2nd: Shake ‘Em Up Jazz Band**

September 7th: Farshid Etniko World Music Trio**

September 8th: Arcadia Dance Orchestra under the direction of TJ Muller**

September 19th: April Verch & Joe Newberry*

September 22nd: Roy Book Binder

September 28th: Lucas Simpson

September 29th: Mark Dvorak


October 5th: Maire NiChathasaigh and Chris Newman

October 6th: TBA (reserved)

October 12th: St. Louis Osuwa Taiko

October 19th: An Evening with Erin Bode

October 27th: Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole


November 2nd: Michael Smith

November 9th: Auntie Em and the Tornadoes

November 10th: Andrew Finn Magill

November 17th: Brian Curran, Eric McSpadden, and Jeremy Siegel-Moss

November 24th: Road Apples Ride Again (Evening Show)

November 25th: Road Apples Ride Again (Sunday Matinee Show)


December 7th: Rough Shop Annual Christmas Extravaganza (Night 1)

December 8th: Rough Shop Annual Christmas Extravaganza (Night 2)

December 9th: Rough Shop Annual Christmas Extravaganza (Sunday Matinee)

December 14th: Farshid Soltanshahi, Sandy Weltman & Dave Black: 2nd Annual Holiday Show

December 15: Jake’s Leg 6th Annual Acoustic Christmas Dance Party

December 29th: An Evening with Ryan Koenig



January 4th: Keltic Reign (Friday Evening Show)

January 6th: Keltic Reign (Sunday Matinee)

January 26th: Auset Music Project


February 2nd: WirePilots

March 15th: The Vogts Sisters


*Presented by Focal Point Friends of Old-time Music

**2018 Focal Point Traditional & World Jazz Series

… and many more!

Concert series sponsored in part by: