Music Showcase Schedule

The complete low-down on this year's nominated acts

 Best Blues Artist

Bennie Smith
The royal pantheon of blues guitar is full of Kings, but here in St. Louis, the ruler bears the more workmanlike name of Smith. Bennie Smith has been plying his trade since the 1950s; over the years he's worked with more stars, legends and great-but-obscure singers and musicians than can be named in a short paragraph. He continues to perform several times a week in local nightspots, cementing the reputation he's built as a guitarists' guitarist, the master who journeyman guitar players go out to hear on their nights off. — Dean C. Minderman
9 p.m., 609

Bennie Smith
9 p.m., 609
Jennifer Silverberg
Bennie Smith
9 p.m., 609
Johnny O & the Jerks
9 p.m., Halo Bar
Johnny O & the Jerks
9 p.m., Halo Bar
Delmar Loop

Henry Townsend
Given that he played music back in the day with Robert Johnson and has recorded in every decade since the 1920s, Henry Townsend is a true rarity, a blues original whose ties to the music's Delta roots are direct and personal. Now a nonagenarian, the man nicknamed "The Mule" limits his performances to very special occasions these days — but as a true blues survivor, he's earned the enduring esteem of the entire St. Louis music community. (DCM)

Big George Brock
Singer, harmonica player and showman extraordinaire Big George Brock is enjoying something of a late-career renaissance — thanks to two recent CDs that have caught the ears of both older blues purists and younger listeners whose first exposure to blues was via the likes of R.L. Burnside and his Fat Possum labelmates. Brock's take on the music reflects his Mississippi roots, with a raucous spirit and spontaneous feel that recall the excitement of the years when the blues first became electric. (DCM)

Soulard Blues Band
Now working on its second quarter-century together, the Soulard Blues Band has had a remarkable run as one of St. Louis' most durable and popular blues acts. Fans have stuck with them through many personnel changes and stylistic shifts, and their continued patronage has always been rewarded by a fine crew of singers and players assembled by bassist and bandleader Art Dwyer. With former lead guitarist Tom Maloney now back in the fold, and former lead vocalist and one-time Blues Brother Larry Thurston returning for the occasional gig, the current edition of the band more than lives up to its hard-earned reputation. (DCM)
6 p.m., 609

Marquise Knox
At fifteen years old, St. Louis blues phenom Marquise Knox hasn't been performing very long — but he doesn't let that get in his way. "I call myself the king of the St. Louis blues," says the young musician. "Some people think they all big and bad with the hip-hop, but that's not where it's at, all that stuff fell down from the blues." People are listening, and in the past two years Knox — who sings, plays guitar and blows a mean harp — has developed a healthy following in the blues clubs around town. — Malcolm Gay

Best Club DJ

DJ Kid Delicious;
Mathematics is essential to being a great DJ; matching beats per minute is crucial, lest mixing become an exercise in futility. Lucky for DJ Kid Delicious, math is innately woven into her artistry. While she's particularly well-versed in progressive house, Delicious also deftly infuses tribal beats, making ululations as common as techno loops. Always upbeat without being too atmospheric, she juxtaposes sounds without jumbling elements, making for a seamless flow of danceable digs. In a world of DJs eager to mix it all, Kid Delicious shows what a little scrutiny and structure can do. — Kristyn Pomranz
9 p.m., Pin-Up Bowl

Flex Boogie;
Look no further than South Grand hotspot Urban if you're seeking soulful, funky DJ nights — at least on the weekends, when the "Soul in the City" concept brings more than a little heat to the city. Chief among the Urban DJ posse is Flex Boogie, whose mixes are perfect for working up a dancefloor sweat or chilling out after one too many martinis. Expect disco swerves and downtempo dub, hip-hop breaks tinged with jazz, and hot cuts from artists ranging from A Guy Called Gerald to Gilles Peterson in Boogie's sets. — Annie Zaleski

Mike Gow
It's a vast understatement to say that DJ Mike Gow has had a pretty good year — especially if one considers that he became the first St. Louis electronic DJ ever to release a mix CD in stores. Gow's Residents: Vol. 1 featured impressive artists such as N'dea Daveport and Joi Cardwell, but more importantly helped show the rest of the world that high-quality trance and ethereal house doesn't only originate on the coasts (or remain limited to Gow's many nights spent entertaining patrons at Miso on Meramec). (AZ)
8 p.m., Pin-Up Bowl

Adrian Fox
Cute-as-a-button Adrian Fox proudly repped for the RFT (oh, heck, all of St. Louis) at this year's Winter Music Conference in Miami, thanks to his triumphant win at our annual DJ spin-off in March. But he also shared the decks with Boy George when the latter came to town last fall, and is one of the city's best purveyors of upbeat techno, tribal house and diva-driven soul; self-proclaimed faves include Frankie Knuckles, Kevin Saunderson and Danny Tenaglia. (AZ)

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