Before getting into this, I wanted to let you know I did question whether or not it was appropriate to create a post exclaiming April was awesome when the same month brought storms that ravaged the majority of the Southeast and caused some serious damage in St. Louis and St. Charles County, which is where I live. What has happened is terrible. The lives lost in Alabama are shocking and disheartening, but it is events like I am about to talk about that help me to deal with tragedy, so I press on.
If you are a regular reader, you know that April = Awesome and was stacked with an amazing assortment of concerts. I was on-tap to enjoy at least four; however, before the calendar flipped to May, I was fortunate to have gone to 6 shows, two of them because of Twitter.
For those that do not know The Civil Wars, you should. They were coming to one of my all time favorite venues, the Old Rock House, but before I realized I was not alone in my obsession for Joy Williams and John Paul White’s breath-stealing harmonies, the show sold out. I fretted about it for a few days, and then started posting tons of The Civil Wars tunes on Twitter to console myself for missing this opportunity.
Without expectation, a friend from Twitter, Adam Houston, who I had recently met in real life (IRL as the cool kids call it), popped into my feed letting me know he had an extra ticket. Originally another one of our friends had claimed it, but her husband could not attend, so she offered it up. I jumped on it like Tigger jumps on Pooh. Aside from a gaggle of Wooh! Girls and their Bro boyfriends that thought it was completely acceptable to talk and cackle through the performance, it was amazing.
After seeing Company of Thieves (Yes I chose them over the Decemberists and Wakey! Wakey! and they did not disappoint) this Wednesday, I thought my concert going was over for the month, then I received a rather ominous DM (Direct Message for those that still scoff at Twitter).
Matt Riding is someone I have been following since the beginning but had never met IRL. He is a major player in the Social Media circuit, and while the bulk of our on-line conversations have been about music, we have had some professional exchanges as well. With that post coming in in the middle of the workday, I was a bit concerned that something had gone wrong and needed immediate attention, as Matt isn’t one to randomly DM me. I skeptically replied…
As it turns out, Matt had a spare ticket to Tift Merritt and Stephen Kellogg at, again, the Old Rock House. Admittedly I had never heard of Stephen Kellogg, but I have a few of Tift Merritt's CDs, so I was all over it. They both played acoustic, no band, just voice and 6 strings, and it was unbelievable.
If you seriously want to go to an amazing acoustic show, go to the Old Rock House for one of their Listening Room Series. The venue is PERFECT for singer/songwriters. When they first opened, I played there, solo, every Sunday for a few months, and I was always amazed at the sound of the room, even pushed it fully unplugged a couple of times. While rock shows are also great there, I am excited to see they are also using the room to display its natural gifts.
The video I shot off my phone was weak, but I found this one YouTube so you could get an idea of what Tift was like live.
All this talk of singer/songwriters and acoustic music reminded me that my friend Patrick Bloom is coming in town from Iowa to play the St. Charles Coffee House with me this Saturday, May 7th. It’s a pretty hefty drive to come down from Iowa, so I really want to pack this place. If you are reading this, please come to the show and bring some folks. I guarantee the music will leave your heart feeling warm and loved, and the coffee will keep your mind up for hours (Note: fear not they do have a nice selection of beer and wine).
See you all on Saturday!