Twanging Around

Twangfest turns ten and throws itself a big ol' shindig

Twangfest has made it to the ten-year mark by stretching the definition of alt-country and by staying true to its core mission: playing loud, live music for fans of loud, live music. Kip Loui says that the various tensions in planning a concert by committee, with conflicting opinions and strained schedules, hasn't always made creating each Twangfest an easy task, "but here it is, the tenth anniversary of this thing. We're either dedicated or stupidly stubborn. Probably both."

So where will Twangfest end up over the next decade? Will it host the long-fabled Uncle Tupelo reunion? Probably not, but Amy Silvers gives a succinct and admirable mission statement. "We'd like to continue down the path we've carved out over the last ten years, bringing people four nights of great music and mixing the familiar with the unknown."

High Notes

Bottle Rockets: Explosive CD release!
Bottle Rockets: Explosive CD release!
Steve Wynn: Dream a little dream.
Steve Wynn: Dream a little dream.

Twangfest runs Wednesday through Saturday, June 7 through 10. All of the shows are held at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-4444), except for Wednesday's show, which is at the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street; 314-241-2337). Tickets are $10 for Wednesday (available at the door only) and $18 for each Blueberry Hill show. The music starts at 8 p.m. each night. Visit www.twangfest.com or www.blueberryhill.com for more information.

Wednesday, June 7
8 p.m.: Walter Clevenger and the Dairy Kings
9 p.m.: The Avett Brothers
10 p.m.: The Yayhoos. While the members of the Yayhoos have a collectively impressive résumé — i.e., Eric Roscoe Ambel co-founded Joan Jett's Blackhearts, and Dan Baird found fame with the Georgia Satellites — together they craft some of the best bluesy, woozy roots-rock this side of the Black Crowes (or the Rolling Stones, in their heyday). The bar-band good times continue on June 20, when the quartet releases a new album, Put the Hammer Down. — Annie Zaleski

Thursday, June 8
8 p.m.: The Transmitters
9 p.m.: Glossary
10 p.m.: The Deadstring Brothers
11 p.m.: The Dirtbombs. Somehow the hard-playing, hard-touring Dirtbombs have never visited St. Louis until this week, which is reason enough to check them out. With two drummers, two guitarists and one fuzzed-out bass, this Detroit band makes a glorious noise — be it scattershot garage, slowed-down soul or the occasional Bee Gees cover. This un-twangy band may, somewhat ironically, be the best one on the Twangfest bill. — Christian Schaeffer

Friday, June 9
8 p.m.: The Sovines (reunion)
9 p.m.: Kevin Gordon
10 p.m.: The Bottle Rockets. The Bottle Rockets will celebrate their third appearance at Twangfest with a record-release show for their latest CD, Zoysia. With its ever-changing lineup finally stabilized, the band headed to Memphis to record in the legendary Ardent Studios, where ZZ Top and Big Star recorded their best records. The mix of guitar grit and bright pop must have rubbed off on the BoRox, as Zoysia finds the band heading more toward straight rock & roll while maintaining their alt-country roots. (CS)

Saturday, June 10
8 p.m.: Mic Harrison
9 p.m.: Lucero. Vocalist Ben Nichols has a growl beyond his years, one that seems cured in a mix of cheap whiskey and handfuls of gravel. The band backs him up with ringing guitars and a mighty rhythm section, leaving the impression of a band that is worthy of your attention but never begging for it. There are a lot of established names on this year's bill, but Lucero should be one of the leading lights for the next ten years. (CS)
10 p.m.: Scott Miller and the Commonwealth
11 p.m.: BR549

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