May 20, 2014

Concerts

FOCAL POINT OUTDOOR CONCERT SERIES

For most of the summer, Focal Point shows will be outside on the parking lot behind our building. Until vaccinations are a little further along, we will continue to maintain separated seating at these shows (bring your own chairs, like last fall). We also request that unvaccinated patrons continue to wear masks when moving around at the venue, because you may come into close proximity to others who may not be vaccinated. Also, unvaccinated patrons still pose some small risk to even those who are vaccinated. Of course, if you are vaccinated and wish to still wear a mask as additional precaution, there should be no stigma to such caution. Feel free to bring you own drinks and snacks. Let the music begin!


Eileen Gannon & Robert Ryan
Outdoor CD Release Show
Saturday, May 22nd
7:00pm
$11
TICKETS

Robert Ryan and Eileen Gannon are traditional Irish musicians who have been performing together since meeting at the Catskills Irish Arts Week in upstate New York several years ago. Eileen and Robert are both born to Irish immigrant parents, growing up in St. Louis and London respectively, and in childhood they learned their music within the immigrant community of the Irish diaspora. Eileen is the Musical Director of St. Louis Irish Arts, a school dedicated to the instruction of the music and dance of Ireland where, since moving to St. Louis two and a half years ago, Robert is also one of the school’s three fiddle instructors. Eileen and Robert regularly play concerts together in St. Louis, and have performed together across the USA, the UK, Ireland, and to many, many international audiences after the recent proliferation of online broadcasts and livestream concerts!

They are happy to announce the release of their brand new album of old Irish music, Down the Rocky Road, and invite you to join in celebrating the publication of their first collaborative CD at the Focal Point Concert Series. This recording draws inspiration from Petrie’s Complete Irish Music, a publication featuring over 1500 tunes collected in Ireland between 1850 and 1860, and from the Sliabh Luachra region of Ireland. Featuring songs, tunes, and airs from the 17th to 20th centuries, Down the Rocky Road brings to life a musical world steeped in the traditions of the past.



The Bottlesnakes
Saturday, June 5th
7:00pm
$10 Advance (+$1 service fee)
$15 Door
TICKETS

The Bottlesnakes are Ethan Leinwand on piano and Nick Pence on guitar. As a band they started out with a specialty in 20s and 30s blues from St. Louis and beyond. They would then grow to perform original music which is a unique combination of styles and influences that has been thoroughly crafted over the years. A true folk product of the current times and the St. Louis environment with a sound that is timeless and internationally accessible. We are happy to have them back for the first time since our earliest Focal Point livestream last November!



The Gas Light Quartet
Saturday, June 19th
7:00pm
$15 Advance (+$1 service fee)
$20 Door
TICKETS

The Gas Light Quartet is Clarke Buehling, Fiddlin Banjo Billy Mathews, Paul Breen and Christine Breen. They play string ragtime, rural and urban popular string band music from the
late 19th century and early 20th century!

Clarke Buehling – (banjo and Vocals) is known for his faithful renditions of early banjo tunes, many gleaned from his personal collection of sheet music published for the 5-string banjo more than 100 years ago. Clarke currently teaches banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar, he also performs with the Ozark Highballers and the First Line trad-jazz band.

Fiddlin Banjo Billy Mathews (fiddle and banjo-mandolin) has been playing and teaching a new generation the old time fiddle tunes he has learned and composed in his time traveling in the Mid-West and Upper South. Recently a collection of his 500 fiddle tunes project has been researched and transcribed by Emily Elam.

Paul and Christine Breen have played back up for Billy Mathews for over 15 years, playing on stages as Fiddlin Banjo Billy and The Old Time Players. Billy spent many hours mentoring this couple in the style of Old Time Music.



Ryan Koenig and the Goldenrods
Saturday, July 10th
7:00pm
$10 Advance (+$1 service fee)
$15 Door
TICKETS AVAILABLE SOON

Playing a show for the first time in 2021, Ryan Koenig and the Goldenrods will appear at the Focal Point! Lead by Focal Point director and regular performer Ryan Koenig, this all star group plays original, obscure, and classic country & western songs, with some polka, tex-mex, and cajun flavors.

Ryan Koenig sings lead and plays lead guitar, octave mandolin and fiddle. He also writes the songs and shapes the hats. Dr. Jess Adkins is the accordion master, known for her performances with the Opera Bell Band and as the leader of the So Grand Polka Band. Jenny Roques sings harmony and plays rhythm guitar. She is fresh off the release of her recent music video “SPELLBREAKER”. Kellie Everett sings harmony and plays upright bass. Having her in the band at this show is a real treat as her touring schedule with rhythm and blues band The Hooten Hallers increases.



Willi Carlisle
Sunday, July 11th
7:00pm
$15 Advance (+$1 service fee)
$20 Door
TICKETS AVAILABLE SOON

An Evening with Willi Carlisle brought to you by the Focal Point Friends of Old-Time Music!

Willi Carlisle is, according to The Washington Post, “powerful…both down-home and brainy.” With years of collecting folklore, playing or calling square dances, and working in the avant-garde, Willi Carlisle is a multi-faceted songwriter, performer, and instrumentalist on the banjo, guitar, fiddle, and accordion. True stories, old songs, and a crankie or two!



Miss Jubilee and the Yas Yas Boys
Saturday, July 17th
7:00pm
$10 Advance (+$1 service fee)
$15 Door
TICKETS

Based in St. Louis, MO, Miss Jubilee and the YAS YAS Boys play an energetic blend of low-down blues, hokum, and hot jazz from the 1920s and 30s. Their one-of-kind repertoire draws heavily from the female blues singers who helped define the genre. From Bessie Smith and Victoria Spivey, to the more obscure Merline Johnson and Lil’ Johnson, Miss Jubilee revives this music with a joy and effortless authenticity. Led by the powerhouse vocalist Valerie Kirchhoff, the band features barrelhouse pianist Ethan Leinwand, bassist Richard Tralles, a gutbucket horn section of Kenneth Cebrian (trumpet) and Ryan Calloway (clarinet), and Ryan Koenig on washboard.



Spencer and Rains
Saturday, July 24th
7:00pm
$15 Advance (+$1 service fee)
$20 Door
TICKETS

Tricia Spencer is a Kansas fiddler who grew up learning the tradition of old time music from her Grandparents. At an early age, she was perched up on some stage tapping her foot to the beat of fiddles, banjos, mandolins and guitars. While growing up, her free time was spent traveling to festivals and fiddling contests throughout the Midwest where she learned from the likes of Pete McMahan, Cyril Stinnet, Lyman Enloe, Dwight Lamb, Amos Chase, and Lucy Pierce. Tricia is multi-instrumentalist who has studied with some of the great masters and is highly sought after as a performer, dance fiddler, and instructor.

Howard Rains is a native Texas artist and the fourth generation to play on his fiddle. He comes from a musical and artistic family and his two obsessions are painting and playing the archaic style of fiddling of his home state. Howard plays rare, old tunes learned from friends, family, mentors, and old recordings. As much known for his painting as his fiddling, Howard has painted many of the great old time musicians, both living and gone.

Together, Spencer & Rains have performed and taught nationally and internationally, preserving and building upon the traditions of their region. The husband and wife duo are known for their twin fiddle harmony, which is a product of the influence of midwestern Scandinavian fiddlers Tricia heard as a child. At the same time, Howard’s distinct repertoire reintroduces listeners to the pre-contest styles of Texas fiddling. That same sense of harmony is in their vocals, as well, which they pull from all manner of American folk music. Both multi-instrumentalists, they are steeped in tradition and are dedicated to the preservation, performance, and teaching of old time music.

Howard and Tricia’s recordings can be found on the Old Time Tiki Parlour label where Howard also works as chief graphic designer and Tricia does hand lettering.



Cree Rider
Saturday, July 31st
7:00pm
$10 Advance (+$1 service fee)
$15 Door
TICKETS

A long time St. Louis favorite, Cree Rider brings his unique blend of modern Americana music and classic country to the Focal Point outdoor stage on July 31st. The current incarnation of the band features Scott Swartz on pedal steel and lead guitar, Simon Chervitz on bass and Scotti Iman on drums. They will be performing some brand new songs, some favorite original tunes, and some well chosen covers. There will also be additional special guests announced soon!




*Presented by Focal Point Friends of Old-time Music

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