Cassie Morgan 
Cassie Morgan is never going to knock you down with a wail or a shout. The folk singer would rather knock you out with a whisper or a sigh. Her quiet, measured approach belies the wit and heart in her songs, where rural values and modern ennui go hand in hand. "Ain't I Your Honey?" from this year's Weathered Hands, Weary Eyes, slinks along like a bluesy seduction, but Morgan needs little more than a slide guitar and her sweet (but barbed) voice to make it stick. Desolation has never sounded so appealing. (CS)
9 p.m., Flamingo Bowl Palm Room

As a youngster, Teresajenee (a.k.a. Jennifer Sanders) would fall asleep at night listening to the dulcet tones of KEZK (102.5 FM). In fact, soft rock and gospel influenced her the most. But her new album, The Ecklectic, encompasses tender piano ballads, kicky electro-driven dance numbers, slow-burn R&B, and gospel- and string-tinged soul. What anchors the album is her expressive voice, which can coo like a new mother or wail like a church soloist. Think Lauryn Hill or Erykah Badu — and that just scratches the surface. (AZ)
10:45 p.m., Lola

Best Vocalist (Male)

Frozen Food Section
Frozen Food Section

Thom Donovan 
Thom Donovan led Lapush through several releases of British-influenced pop and rock before going solo. On this year's Cast a Light, Donovan touches on girl-group pop, acoustic blues, modern rock and genteel balladry, and he's able to make the whole collection hang together through clear and confident vocals. He can be breathy and tender on one track and assertive and cocksure on the next, an apt stylist with a good grasp of rock & roll's many moods. (CS)
9:15 p.m., The Dubliner

Justin Kinkel-Schuster (Theodore)
Theodore's Justin Kinkel-Schuster steers his vocals from the classic mournfulness of the lonely ("I Won't Be a Stranger") to distorted rage ("Death's Hand") sometimes in the same tune ("Half Pint"). Timeless and ageless, his voice chronicles the breadth of history and emotion, all while standing up to his band's burbling tuba ("Evergreen") — or emitting a high, lonesome wail that channels a haunted past ("The Water Is Wide"). — Robin Wheeler
9:45 p.m., Over/Under Bar & Grill Patio

Adam Reichmann 
Locals of a certain age can still be heard bemoaning the dissolution of Nadine, one of this city's consistently best, constantly evolving bands. Adam Reichmann's poetic lyrics and quavering vocals were at the heart of Nadine's sound, and rumors have long circulated that he would re-emerge with a solo album. While the disc remains to be seen, Reichmann has been performing more and more in the past few months, and he has a slot lined up at this summer's LouFest. If we're lucky, 2010 could be the year for Reichmann's resurgence. (CS)
10:15 p.m., Flamingo Bowl Palm Room

Bob Reuter
Bob Reuter is entrenched in St. Louis music, and he's as rough and scratchy as the records he plays on his KDHX (88.1 FM) radio show. For nearly four decades he's told the stories of people who are as interesting and varied as he is, with a fired-up blues yelp peppering the heart of a folk singer. When he's not performing solo, his vocals drive the band Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost. (Wheeler)
midnight, Hair of the Dog

Caleb Travers 
In recent years Caleb Travers put aside his alt-country fixations in favor of Tom Petty-influenced rock music. It was a smart move: The singer and guitarist has always been able to tap the rich vein of Americana-styled music, but now he's begun looking for ways to make it move. His not-so-secret strength is his voice, which is rich and deep enough to convey the pathos found in country's dark corners — and powerful enough to sell the dream of American rock & roll. (CS)
7:15 p.m., Over/Under Bar & Grill PatioBest Local Album

Bottle Rockets, Lean Forward (Bloodshot)
From a rocking opening ode to the joys of getting lost ("The Long Way") to a eulogy for a kid lost to war ("Kid Next Door"), the Bottle Rockets' Lean Forward gives a solid rock wallop to its usual topics of bumpy romance ("Shame on Me"), the reality of the working man ("Nothin' but a Driver") and resigned optimism ("Hard Times"). The four-piece keeps the beat tight without skimping on the guitar flourishes as Brian Henneman balances everything out with everyman vocals. (Wheeler)

Bunnygrunt, Matt Harnish & Other Delights (Happy Happy Birthday to Me) 
For its first full-length in four years, Bunnygrunt ramps up the scuzzy pop sound that Matt Harnish and Karen Ried have been refining for fifteen years. At this stage, it would be easy for the band to stop caring and phone it in, but Matt Harnish & Other Delights is as sweet and biting as a vodka-spiked Slurpee. Well-traveled guitarists Jason Hutto and Mario Viele add to the squall, but Harnish and Ried's swapped vocals, cheeky lyrics and off-key harmonies are what keep the Bunnygrunt brand from growing stale. (CS)
11:30 p.m., Rue 13

Grace Basement, Gunmetal Gray (Undertow)
Grace Basement leader Kevin Buckley made the band's debut, New Sense, by himself, but for the followup he enlisted the help of his bandmates as well as friends from the local Irish-folk scene. The resulting album, Gunmetal Gray, still bears Buckley's meticulous stamp (stacked self-harmonies, perfectly executed fiddle runs), but it also has the looseness of a basement jam session. Gunmetal also finds the singer/songwriter branching out toward heavier topics (addiction, loss, war), even though the band never wavers in its allegiance to well-crafted, smartly played pop music. (CS)
8:15 p.m., Lucas Park Grille Patio

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