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 brownpapertickets.com. For any difficulties with online purchases, please call 1-800-838-3006.
DOORS OPEN 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO EACH SHOWTIME
Missouri Breaks combines hard-driving and traditional bluegrass with elements of rock, jazz, blues, and folk. The band’s tight vocal harmonies, solid grooves, and inventive improvisation make for a highly enjoyable musical experience.
Missouri Breaks is: Mike Aehle, banjo and vocals; Joel Ferber, mandolin and vocals; Larry Daniels , guitar and vocals; Glenn Meyers, bass and Mark Vaccaro, fiddle.
Due to weather, the band has elected to postpone this show. New Show will be Friday, June 5, 2020. Tickets will be good to the new show or you can get a refund through brown paper tickets.
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.
Kenny Lee Hall
Doors 6:45PM Show 7:30PM.
Fiddlin’ Sam and the Golden Bolo Band, the St Louis Western Swing supergroup, comes to the Focal Point on Friday, January 24. This nine-piece band, including four of the city’s best fiddle players, draws from the songbooks of Bob Wills, Roy Rogers, Milton Brown and others from Western Swing’s heyday of the ’30s thru ’50s. Bandleader Sam Golden’s faithful transcriptions and adaptations capture the romping energy and enduring melodies of both old favorites and deeper cuts. The band features faces familiar to any St Louis music fan, including Kevin Buckley, Jenny Roques, Ryan Koenig, Alena Wheeler, Abbie Steiling, Nigel Solomon, Richard Tralles, and Fred Gumaer.
Golden Bolo Company, sponsor of the Golden Bolo Band, will be at the event with one-of-a-kind custom bolo ties for sale!
Sunday, January 26th, 2pm, (MATINEE) $15/20: Tim Grimm & Ben Bedford with Jackson Grimm
Acclaimed singer-songwriters Tim Grimm and Ben Bedford will play a concert together at The Focal Point in Maplewood, Missouri on Sunday, January 26 at 2pm. They’ll be joined by multi-instrumentalist, Jackson Grimm. Tim Grimm is a bit of a Renaissance man in the performing arts world. He has for the past 20 years, blended his love for songwriting, travel, and the storytelling of acting (theatre, film and television). His most recent recording- HEARTLAND AGAIN (2019) is a revisit to the material on his very first album, released 20 years ago, this year. Bedford was named one of the “50 most significant Folk singer-songwriters of the past 50 years” by Rich Warren of WFMT-Chicago. The list also included Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Anais Mitchell, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, and John Prine. In May of 2018, Bedford was named one of the six Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk winners at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas.
With Daniel Emond on banjo, Sarah Hund on fiddle, and Ben Mackel on guitar, The Blue Eyed Bettys delight with their powerful vocals in three part harmony to create an indie-folk popgrass sound. All actors, The Blue Eyed Bettys met while doing a new play together at the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota. Playing a mix of originals and covers, they put their own Betty twist on songs by a diverse array of artists such The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Sam Cooke, Fiona Apple, Simon & Garfunkel, and more.
The Blue Eyed Bettys have played Lincoln Center NYC, as part of the Artists at the Atrium concert series. They have shared bills with Sam Bush, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Larry Cordle, Mipso, Woody Pines, Underhill Rose, and more. Listen and watch at www.theblueeyedbettys.com. Three albums available on Spotify, Bandcamp, Amazon, iTunes, and Apple Music.
“The Blue Eyed Bettys are easily the most exciting Americana act to hit Sarasota in the past year…. Their sweet harmonies drive smart originals and judiciously chosen covers.” – Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“The Blue Eyed Bettys lit up the stage… with a mix of tunes that was part traditional and mostly innovative. And it was damn good.” – Doug Thompson, Blue Ridge Muse
Why Don’t We https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAQhMdhaKAI
Kentucky Banshee https://youtu.be/ZJpbx6Y58wI
Looney Blues https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERKHVUFY5zE
Although based in Missouri, Bombara has spent much of her adulthood on the road, carving out her own award-winning mix of vintage folk and electric roots-rock. She’s been a solo artist, a bandleader, and an occasional side musician for other artists. With Evergreen, Bombara resumes her role as the leader of an amplified Americana band. These songs were largely written on the run — in friend’s basements, during soundchecks, and on the road — while Bombara and company toured the country in support of her 2017 release, Map and No Direction. As a result, there’s a strong sense of movement here, from Samuel Gregg’s versatile guitar playing to the thump of the group’s rhythm section (featuring Mike Schurk on drums and Kit Hamon — Bombara’s right-hand man and longtime collaborator — on bass). Gluing the sound together are Bombara’s unforced vocals, sharp hooks, and optimistic lyrics, which find her taking an honest look at life’s difficulties while continuing to move forward with positivity.
Saturday, February 1st, 8pm, $10/15: Tommy Halloran
description coming soon
Sunday, February 2nd, 7:30pm, $15/20:Focal Point Friends of Old-Time Music Present: Golden Shovels / Willi Carlisle
Golden Shovels: (Formally Hoot and Holler)
“Golden Shoals bridge the sometimes distant worlds of traditional bluegrass and old time music together. With one foot steeped in tradition and the other focused on fresh songwriting, Golden Shoals are helping to further the narrative of American Roots music and introducing the traditions of our past to a whole new generation of listeners.” – Kris Truelsen, WBCM Radio Bristol
What started as casual jam sessions at their house in Boston, Massachusetts would become Golden Shoals. Initially brought together by a mutual love of American folk music, it was hard to know that in seven years that love would bring them to Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany, not to mention 33 of the 50 states. Amy Alvey (fiddle, guitar) and Mark Kilianski (guitar, banjo) graduated from Berklee College of Music, where both were first exposed to playing traditional old time and bluegrass music. Boston, with its burgeoning roots music scene, was a perfect place for the duo to find their sound, but rising rent costs proved difficult to sustain. In 2016 they broke their leases and began touring nationally while living in their camper van “Irene”. The idea was to see the country in the only way they knew
how: entertain and connect with audiences with their music, while finding the next city to lay roots. They now call Asheville, North Carolina their home, but more often than not they are still on the road. Ever inspired by the enduring spirit of traditional Appalachian mountain music, their songwriting comes across as simple, honest, and fresh to the ears. The listener can expect the polished technique of conservatory training, in tandem with the grit, drive, and soul of musicians like Roscoe Holcomb or Ola Belle Reed.
Willi Carlisle is a folksinger and storyteller based in Arkansas. With years of collecting folklore, calling square dances, mentoring under old masters, and tirelessly touring festivals, honky-tonks, and house-concerts, Willi Carlisle is a multi-faceted writer, performer, and instrumentalist with a big voice, a banjo, fiddle, guitar, button-box, and more.
After his all-oldtime-mu
sic debut in 2015 with Allison Williams (Old Ties) and several Ozarks-focused folklore exhibitions, Willi released a debut EP of original songs, “Too Nice to Mean Much,” in June 2016. After a year of touring, Willi settled in with producer and director Joseph Fletcher to design his award-winning folk-music play,
“There Ain’t No More.” In the 2017-2018 touring season, the solo storytelling/folk-music show won ten awards and was performed over 100 times at festivals, colleges, and arts centers. Willi then returned to Arkansas to record “To Tell You the Truth,” a stripped-down, live album of 12 folksongs and originals that the Arkansas Democrat Gazette says “stand on their own, lyrically and musically.” In the meantime, he’s been publishing his fieldwork and music writing in places such as The Journal of American Folklore. His last year of touring will take him from Maine to California, Texas to Manitoba, Alaska to the United Kingdom, and he’s occasionally playing on stages with Grammy-Winning acts like Dom Flemons, Mary Gauthier and Los Texmaniacs or with rockers like Cory Branan and Shawn James.
With a style forged in the fire of Ozark oldtime music and his ever-growing collection of antique music, Carlisle’s musical stories hoot, stomp, and saunter with banjo-tricks, rhythm bones, crankies, and bad jokes. Carlisle has earned accolades for his versatility with performances at The Fayetteville Roots Festival, Pickin’ On Fest, Homeroutes, The Westport Roots Festival, Thacker Mountain Radio, AmericanaFest UK, The Ozark Heritage Festival, and more.
Prepare for uplifting and thought-provoking songs, stories, and a few surprises as multi-instrumentalist Gloria Attoun captivates at the Focal Point stage! This solo show focuses on Gloria’s original music and reveals her diverse musical influences. Born in St. Louis to French-speaking parents who had recently emigrated from Tunisia, Gloria grew up surrounded by the sliding vocal styles and hypnotic percussion of her North African heritage. She also developed a love of Americana music and started to play and compose at an early age.
Gloria has recorded five CDs — two solo records and three collaborations. Her song, “Wrong Side of the Road” was featured on National Public Radio’s Car Talk and she has performed at a variety of festivals and venues and shared stages with folk greats, such as Claire Lynch and Bryan Bowers. Currently, Gloria performs solo, as a duo with her husband Michael Bauemeister, and with the roots-influenced band The Texas Giants.
Workshop: Saturday, February 8th from 1 pm until 3 pm.
A certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Gloria will also facilitate a creativity workshop, ”Creativity: Next Steps”, at the Focal Point the day after the concert. ($35. Limit ten participants). For more information on Gloria’s music, art and the creativity workshop– www.gloriaattoun.com
The Ill-Mo Boys
The Ill-Mo Boys – Geoff Seitz on fiddle and vocals, Curtis Buckhannon on mandolin and vocals, and Jim Nelson on guitar and vocals – officially got together in summer of 1985 and played their distinctive brand of old-time country music for square dances and concerts at festivals, clubs, and music camps coast to coast across the country for 20 years. The instrumentation of the group – fiddle, mandolin, and guitar – gives it a sound that somewhat unique among contemporary string bands. As their name indicates, the Ill-Mo Boys drew much of their material from the surrounding region, though they never felt particularly limited by either geographic or musical boundaries. In addition to the Missouri fiddle tunes that have won Geoff Seitz many a prize in fiddle contests, the Ill-Mos play mandolin rags, blues, and early country songs learned from 78s in Jim Nelson’s stash of 78 RPM records. The Ill-Mo Boys are pleased to be able to reunite and play at Focal Point.
The Rum Drum Ramblers
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 Wilsons sweet, husky voice and feel the easy rhythm of the best early R&B singers. Or perhaps its best to describe it as a country act: theres 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 doesnt play it straight even when plugged in. In fact, the only constant across these songs is that Wilsons intuitive guitar playing bluesy, jazzy, soulful and twangy is tough to pin down. Hes 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.
Tickets available at all focal point shows or at Music Folk in Webster Groves. All proceeds from the show will be donated to the Focal Point.
The decade of the 1930’s produced some of the greatest love songs ever written. Romantic tunes were crooned on records and through the radio by heart throbs such as Al Bowly and Bing Crosby, whilst the same tunes were becoming hits on the big screen, like “Cheek to Cheek” performed by Fred Astair. This Valentine’s Day, why not enjoy some of these romantic classics performed by bandleader T.J Muller accompanied by his all star band. Why not contact T.J Muller ahead of time (email@example.com) if you would like a song dedicated to a special someone!*
(*all dedications must be submitted by Feb 7th)
Saturday, February 15th, 8pm, $25/30: Switchback St. Louis Album Release Show featuring a Full Five Piece Band!
Paul Brock Band features four of Ireland’s leading musicians: Paul Brock on accordion from Ennis, Co.Clare; Tipperary-born Denis Carey on piano; Clare-born and now St. Louis based Eimear Arkins on fiddle, song, and dance ; and Manchester’s Shane Farrell on banjo, fiddle, bodhran, guitar, mandolin, and song. A beacon of passion and precision, integrity and diversity, Paul Brock Band is steeped in the Irish musical tradition and yet manages to seamlessly, effortlessly blend and fold in elements from American old time and bluegrass, French-Canadian, and other Celtic traditions to create something accessible, recognizable, beautiful, and entirely unique. This ability is exemplified in the band’s most recent album, Green Grass Blue Grass, featuring 14-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs. American music critic Bill Margeson has hailed the collaboration as a “masterpiece”. The band and its members have been the recipients of numerous awards including ‘Best Instrumental Band of the Decade’ ( Irish American News).
Friday, February 21st, 8pm, $12/15: The Hot Club of St. Louis
Description coming soon.
Saturday, February 22nd, 8pm, $15/20: John Calvin Abney
description coming soon
We, at The Focal Point, highly suggest that you do not miss this opportunity to hear, listen-to and see Lunasa up close and personal . Kick off the coming of Spring (as well as St.Pat’s season) with a traditional BANG! There are only 110 seats and there isn’t a single bad spot in the house. Get tickets as soon as you read this. Because they will be gone in a blink of an eye .
Lúnasa is composed of Kevin Crawford (flutes, low whistles and tin whistles), Trevor Hutchinson (double bass), Ed Boyd (guitar), Seán Smyth (fiddle and low whistle) and Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes and low whistle).
The band is internationally acknowledged as being the finest traditional Irish instrumental outfit of recent times. They are renowned for their stunning shows honed by superb musicianship and a constant touring cycle. They have performed over 1,500 shows across 36 countries since they formed in 1997. Lunasa has appeared at internationally renowned venues such as The Hollywood Bowl, National Concert Hall (Dublin), Sydney Opera House and Moscow International House of Music. They have been invited to appear at the White House.
Their inventive arrangements and bass driven grooves have steered Irish acoustic music into surprising new territory. The recordings have been hailed as some of the best and most important world music albums anywhere, while their blend of intelligence, innovation, virtuosity, and passion has brought them to the forefront of Celtic music.
Of the band, legendary Irish fiddler Kevin Burke says, “Maintaining the unique, intimate qualities of a musical tradition while at the same time meeting and fulfilling the demands of the contemporary music world is a difficult juxtaposition to achieve, yet Lúnasa have managed to accomplish exactly that.”
Wednesday, February 26th, 7:30 pm
Thursday, February 27th, 7:30 pm
The music of John C. Van Orman & Adam Helwin blends textures and texts of antique and modern soundscapes, familiar enough to be warm and welcoming, adequately exotic to be fresh and surprising. Two singers accompanying themselves on guitars, harmonium, concertina, hurdy-gurdy, and other instruments, they share traditional and contemporary songs of a world populated by cowboys, sailors, hoboes, and many sorts of lovers.
Coming in 2020:
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 8th: The Vogts Sisters
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!