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 brownpapertickets.com. For any difficulties with online purchases, please call 1-800-838-3006.
DOORS OPEN 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO EACH SHOWTIME
Friday, November 17th, 8pm, Price: $10/$15: The Dust Covers
The Dust Covers, made up of four like-minded musicians, bring a ragged but sharp edge to the blade that is American music. Before the recording industry in the 1920s, genres were not used to differentiate styles in the same way they are today. The Dust Covers are a testament to this fact and exemplify the old approach, playing rags, old-time fiddle tunes, and some of the most lonesome blues being played today. Brian Curran, Adam Andrews, Colin Blair, and Nick Pence make up this powerhouse string band. You are in for a special night of ‘songs you don’t know by dead guys you ain’t never heard of.’
Saturday, November 18th, 8pm, $10/$15: Focal Point Friends of Old-time music Presents: Tricia Spencer and Howard Rains
The husband and wife duo of Tricia Spencer and Howard Rains are skilled multi-instrumentalists, and have gained a well-earned reputation for their distinct twin fiddling and close-knit harmony singing. Tricia Spencer is a Kansas fiddler who grew up learning the tradition of old-time fiddling from her grandparents and the likes of Pete McMahan, Cyril Stinnett, Lymon Enloe, Dwight Lamb, Amos Chase, and Lucy Pierce. Howard Rains plays rare, old-style Texas fiddle tunes that he learned from friends, family, mentors, and rare old recordings. Spencer & Rains have performed and taught their unique style of music nationally and internationally, playing old time fiddle tunes and singing old songs in the style of their home states while also exploring other traditional American regional styles.
Friday, November 24th, 8pm, $10/$15: Miss Jubilee: CD release!
Hailing from St. Louis, MO, Miss Jubilee has been entertaining audiences since 2007 with their exciting blend of authentic hot jazz & blues spanning the 1920s-1940s. Fronted by a high-energy female vocalist and backed up by a horn-fueled rhythm section, Miss Jubilee is not just a favorite among swing dancers and aficionados of traditional jazz & blues, but also fans of all ages who enjoy uplifting and energetic music!
For this concert, we will be setting aside space for dancing!
… AND this will be your first opportunity to get your hands on Miss Jubilee’s new CD, Throw Me In The Alley !
Saturday, November 25th, 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 — the list goes on.
Wednesday, November 29th, $20/$25: Songbird Cafe:
Australian Legend Bill Chambers
Doors 6:45 – Show 7:30
Friday, December 1st, 8pm, $10/$15: Sweetie & The Toothaches
Sweetie & The Toothaches aim to please by bringing you the surefire authentic sights and sounds of the 1940’s -1960’s 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, December 2nd, 8pm, $10/$15: Leroy Pierson & Curtis Buckhannon
St. Louis is fortunate to have in its home base an artist with as many talents as Leroy Pierson. Not only is he a gifted performer with special talents on guitar and vocals, but is also a noted scholar of early black music history, both blues and Caribbean-based reggae music. If that wasn’t enough, Leroy’s skills as a record producer and radio announcer clearly point to a musical Renaissance man.
Equally accomplished, and equally home-grown, Curtis Buckhannon — ‘cousin Curtis’ to his fans and friends– is a virtuoso performer on the mandolin, well-known in old-time music circles as a founding member of the Ill-Mo Boys, Cousin Curtis and the Cash Rebates, and as a duo with brother Dennis. His work appears on a number of excellent cds, and he is highly sought after at dances.
In a rare double appearance, Curt and Leroy show what happens when intelligent ears and open-minded musical genius from different backgrounds get together: strange little cakewalks and country tunes from the American south which get their charm from a blending of Black and White cultures and styles. This show will be a true delight, and for many, an eye-opener!
Focal Point is proud to number Curtis and Leroy among our oldest and truest friends.
Friday-Sunday December 8th-10th, $10/$15: 14th Annual Rough Shop 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 13 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), Danielle Aslanian (One Take Band), 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 which will be taking place on Sunday at 2PM. Here is the chance to kick off the holiday season in grand Yuletide style!
***Make Sure to Purchase tickets for the correct day***
Friday, December 8th, 8pm
Saturday, December 9th, 8pm
Sunday, December 10th, 2pm
Friday, December 15th, 8pm, Price: $15/$20: Farshid Soltanshahi, Dave Black, and Sandy Weltman 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 16th, 8pm, Price: $10/$15: Jake’s Leg Annual Acoustic Christmas Dance Party
Jake’s Legs’ 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 22nd, 8pm, $10/$15: Diesel Island Christmas(ish) Show
Diesel Island has been bringing their rock-infused take on classic country music going on 15 years now. Featuring Brian Henneman from the Bottle Rockets as well as Kip Loui, Richard Tralles, Carl Pandolfi and Spencer Marquart, the quartet will feature original songs from their debut CD as well as crowd favorites and a few holiday classics. A family friendly show, but no one will ask if you spiked the egg nog. Bring yer dancing shoes!
Saturday, December 23rd, 8pm, $10/$15: Cree Rider Family Band’s Annual Christmas Hangover Featuring special guest: Misisipi Mike Wolf
St. Louis’ own Cree Rider Family Band stays true to its own instincts to create a modern honky-tonk country sound that is rooted in tradition, but firmly planted in the here and now. Vocals and harmony are a focus, but the full band expertly complements each song. Known for their energetic and engaging live shows, the Cree Rider Family Band has been called a subversive country band that wears its heart on its sleeve.
The Cree Rider Family Band will be joined by Cree’s long-time friend and collaborator Misisipi Mike Wolf. Born on the gulf coast of Mississippi, but now hailing from San Francisco, CA, Misisipi Mike is a songwriter in the vein of John Prine and Merle Haggard. His music has been featured on nationally broadcast radio and television and he has been twice voted as “Best Singer/Songwriter” by readers of the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Friday, December 29th, 8pm, Price: $10/$15: T.J. Müller Banjo Revue
Join T.J. Müller and his cohort of banjo players for an evening of fun, upbeat music. You will hear all your favorite Great American Songbook classics, with some seasonal Christmas tunes thrown in for good measure! The band will showcase some of St. Louis top jazz banjo players as well as the great accompaniment of tuba and stride piano. Reminiscent of the music of Gaslight Square, Your Father’s Moustache and Shakey’s Pizza, it’s guaranteed to leave you with a smile!
Photo by Jack Grelle
Saturday, December 30th, 8pm, Price: $10/$15: An Evening with Ryan Koenig
To say that Ryan Koenig loves country music is not enough. Whether he is on the road with his full-time gig as a multi-instrumentalist with Pokey LaFarge or at home inside western themed trinket-covered walls of his St. Louis bungalow, you will most likely find him affectionately immersed in the genre’s fashion, history, and culture. Koenig’s recently released album, Two Different Worlds, is an expression of his love of country music as well as a reflection of the deep understanding and appreciation he has for even the smallest piece of the country music puzzle. But Koenig could never stand to be two-dimensional. He is a charismatic artist with depth and an unmistakable voice that has been honed by years of study and life experience. His songs touch upon gentrification, mortality and the dichotomy of romance and violence, which are interspersed throughout classic country tales of heartbreak and longing. Ryan will be joined by several guest musicians including Nick Pence, Kellie Everett, Mat Wilson, Joey Glynn, and several other surprise guests. Please join us in welcoming Ryan Koenig to his debut performance in the listening room.
Friday, January 5th, 8pm, Price: $10/$15: Keltic Reign with opening set by The Laws Sisters
On the first weekend of last year, St. Louis’s own, Keltic Reign, played to a packed house, and it was most definitely a very fun way to ‘kick’ in the New Year, Celtic style! Sisters, Holly and Ashby Laws will once again shine on their own with the first set before being joined by the the rest of the band. Band leader and mom to the girls, Mitzi MacDonald will bring you songs from her native homeland of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, as well as songs from Ireland and Scotland. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Randy Getz and the rest of the band, will make sure your toes are tapping! Sit back and enjoy, and Let the New Year Begin!!
Friday, January 12th, 8pm, Price: $10/$15: Jack Grelle: An Evening of Songs
Jack’s willingness to travel around genre-lines is a testament to the urgency and restlessness of his artistry. This rambling spirit has brought him to over 13 countries and 3 continents with a tour schedule that averages 150 shows a year. He has shared the stage with Joe Ely, Billy Joe Shaver, Chris Stapleton, and Pokey Lafarge. LaFarge, who has personally invited Grelle to open shows on numerous occasions, referred to Jack as a “Midwestern poet” and “a timeless Renaissance man.” Jack has also enjoyed the opportunity to sit in with Dale Watson and his Lonestars.
Jack’s songs range in topic from celebrating the life of his recently-deceased grandmother to romance in South America, and he shows an integrity and courage that mirror his punk rock upbringing by tackling such topics as freedom in femininity and the tragedy of police killings that plague the African-American community. Jack is a strong, idealistic artist who does not accept limitations. These qualities recently led him to step outside of his normal role as he assembled a backing band to tour the Midwest with Lavender Country, the music of Patrick Haggerty, a life-long gay rights activist who made the world’s first gay country album. Grelle’s drive continually leads him to new challenges, and he consistently exceeds expectations. Jack last appeared at The Focal Point in 2015 when he shared the stage with Ryan Koenig when opening for The Yellow-Bellied Sap Suckers. We are thrilled to welcome Jack for his debut solo performance in our listening room.
Saturday, January 13th, 8pm, Price: TBA: Salt of the Earth
Description coming soon!
Friday, January 19th, 8pm, Price: $10/$15: Focal Point Friends of Old-time Music Present: Bob Bovee
Bob Bovee is a kindred soul: No one handles old-time cowboy and humorous songs better than him. His vocals are hauntingly rough. His guitar and harmonica are as good as you will ever hear. Whether performing in concert, playing for a barn dance, or on a recording, Bob leaves you wanting more.
Friday, January 26th, 8pm, $15/$20: St. Louis Piano Summit: Ethan Leinwand, Christopher Parrish, and Chase Garrett
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: Jimmy Yancey, Henry Brown, Little Brother Montgomery, Peetie Wheatstraw, Aaron ‘Pinetop’ Sparks, Albert Ammons, Black Bob, Cooney Vaughn, Professor Longhair, and Carl Sonny Leyland. Originally from Middletown, CT, Ethan has spent time living in New Orleans and Brooklyn. He moved to St. Louis in the summer of 2014, and, connecting with the city’s thriving blues community and its deep piano blues heritage, he quickly became a mainstay. In addition to his solo work, Ethan plays in multiple projects including Miss Jubilee, The Bottlesnakes, and The St. Louis Steady Grinders. He’s become a regular at the Focal Point, and it’s always a pleasure to see him! More at http://www.ethanleinwand.com/
Christopher Parrish first visited St. Louis this past June to play at the Second Annual St. Louis Piano Festival. By the end of September, he’d moved here permanently and had been featured in the Riverfront Times’ “Best of St. Louis 2017” issue as “Best St. Louis Story.” Since his move from Indianapolis, St. Louis has warmly embraced what he has to offer both as a lively interpreter of traditional ragtime and blues piano and as an exciting improvisational player covering a broad range of styles. Both contemplative and witty – sometimes simultaneously – his playing routinely quotes from a variety of musical genres, including a generous sampling of classical themes, and always rewards close listening. In addition to his solo playing, his other projects include The St. Louis Ticklers and an occasional role in Annie and the Fur Trappers. The Focal Point is delighted to welcome him for his first appearance on our stage – we hope the first of many! More at https://www.facebook.com/CParrishMusic/
Chase Garrett, voted “Best Local Act” in Iowa City, IA by the Daily Iowan in 2011, began playing piano professionally at age seventeen and within a few years was performing at blues and boogie-woogie festivals across the U.S. and Europe. Having been heavily influenced by artists such as Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner, Otis Spann, and Meade “Lux” Lewis, his style has grown into an infectious and diverse mix of boogie woogie, blues, swing, and stride that is sure to satisfy any audience. Chase has dedicated himself to the piano not only as a pianist, but also as a technician, an instructor, an event organizer, and a producer. He has brought world-class pianists to the Englert Theatre in Iowa City, IA for his annual Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Stomp concert series and has taught master classes and piano performance at colleges, blues weeks, and swing camps across the U.S. Audiences can expect to hear a mixture of Chicago blues and boogie woogie, Kansas City Swing, and some Classic Jazz from New York City. Chase currently resides in St. Louis, MO. Please join us in welcoming him to the Focal Point! More at http://chasegarrett.com/
Saturday, January 27th, 8pm, $10/$15: Auset Music Project
Description coming soon!
April 12th & 13th: $25/$30: Legendary British Folk Revivalist, Martin Carthy -Solo- (Opening set Eimear Arkins)
Martin Carthy (MBE) is an English folk singer and guitarist who has remained one of the most influential figures in British traditional music, inspiring contemporaries such as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, and later artists such as Richard Thompson, since he emerged as a young musician in the early days of the folk revival.
If the English folk revival of the 1960s had a single “father” and guiding spirit, then Martin Carthy was it. Carthy’s influence transcends his abilities, formidable though those are — apart from being one of the most talented acoustic guitarists, mandolinists, and general multi-instrumentalists working the folk scene in the 1960s through today, he’s also a powerful singer with no pretensions or affectations, and is an even more prodigious arranger and editor, with an excellent ear for traditional compositions. In particular, he is as much a scholar as a performer, and frequently goes back to the notes and notebooks of folk song collectors such as Percy Grainger, scouring them for fragments that could be made whole in performance — no “second hander,” he uses the earliest known transcriptions and recordings of many of the oldest folk songs known in England as his sources, and works from there. By 1966, at the time he was cutting his first two albums, Carthy was already an influence on Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, and by the end of the 1960s was de facto mentor to virtually every serious aspiring folk musician in England. At least three major English folk-rock bands, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and the Albion Band, were formed either directly or indirectly with his help and influence.
Martin is an old, dear friend of the Focal Point family and patrons alike. It has been far too long since he’s been able to make it back the midwestern United States. We are all very excited, humbled, and reminiscent about his return! Furthermore, it’s no accident that Martin’s visit nearly coincides with long-time Focal Point proprietors Eric and Judy Stein’s 50th wedding anniversary! If it weren’t for Eric and Judy, it is quite possible that our little theater and arts center would not exist. After its founding in 1975 by Bill and Janet Boyer (former owners of Music Folk in Webster Groves, MO), the Focal Point was handed down to a short succession of directors. In 1983 it was picked up by long-time fan and supporter of the traditional arts, Judy Stein, who ran the artistic side while her husband Eric took the technical aspects. Together, and with the help of a few friends, they expanded and grew the Focal Point into a world-class folk music destination, bringing in such acts as Martin Carthy, Dave Swarbrick, Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Dave Van Ronk, and John Renbourn, to name but few. In 2011, Judy took a semi-retirement from the venue and passed it to a new group of friends, but stays active as a part time volunteer and advisor while Eric Stein remains our head sound engineer and can still be found at the mixing board from time to time. With these concerts, we are celebrating not only the Focal Point’s long, rich history but the couple who made us what we are today.
Eimear Arkins comes from a small village on the West Coast of Ireland called Ruan in County Clare but she has been living in Missouri for the last number of years. She is an award winning musician, singer and dancer with eleven Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann titles to her credit. Eimear has toured extensively with the international music organization Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann on concert tours throughout Ireland, Britain, North America and Canada. For the past six summers, Eimear has performed with the internationally renowned show Brú Ború and was part of the troupe that represented Ireland at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. In August 2015, she traveled to World Expo in Milan with St. Louis Irish Arts where she promoted not only Irish culture but the expression of Irish culture worldwide.
Eimear has toured and performed throughout the US and in Ireland with Cherish the Ladies, Téada, The Nashville Celts and The Paul Brock Band. Eimear has been a regular teacher at St Louis Irish Arts since 2011 and has given workshops at festivals all over the world including Catskills Irish Arts Week, New York; Viljandi Pärimusmuusika Festival, Estonia; St Louis Tionól; Canadian Celtic Celebration, Canada and Festival Interceltique de Lorient, France.
Thursday, April 12th, 7pm
Friday, April 13th, 8pm
Friday, January 26th: St. Louis Piano Summit, featuring Christopher Parrish, Ethan Leinwand, and Chase Garrett!
Saturday, March 24th: Michael Smith!
February 2018 & Beyond:
February 2: An Evening of Bebop with the Dave Stone Group
February 3: Missouri Rounders
February 10: Kay Brothers
February 16: Switchback
February 17: Kevin Burke
February 23: Frank Lee & Allie Burbrink*
March 2: River Bend*
March 3: The Road Apples (Saturday Evening Show)
March 4: The Road Apples (Sunday Matinee 2:00)
March 10: Buddy Mondlock
March 16: St. Louis Steady Grinders
March 17: St Patricks Day Celebration with Eileen Gannon and Eimear Arkins (2 shows 3pm & 8pm)
March 23: Andrew Calhoun*
March 24: Michael Smith
March 31: Roger Netherton & Teddy Breihan
April 7: Willi Carlisle*
April 12: Martin Carthy (Opening set Eimear Arkins)
April 13: Martin Carthy (Opening set Eimear Arkins)
April 20-22: 21st Annual St. Louis Tionól
April 28: Tempest
April 29: Duke Elligton’s 119th Birthday Concert – Christopher Parrish
May 5: Dick Hensold
May 11: The Western Satellites
May 12: Calvin Street Band
May 18: Dennis Stroughmatt – Tribute to Ray Price and His Cherokee Cowboys
December 15: Jake’s Leg
*Presented by Focal Point Friends of Old-time Music