Best Old Band - 2006
The "Best Old Band" is a bunch of "the oldest teenagers in the world," singing a bunch of old songs and paying tribute to one of the most worshiped old bands of all time. For St. Louis and dozens of cities across the Midwest, the Schwag is goin' down the road the Grateful Dead paved decades ago, floating on the free-flowing spirit of the music. By their own count, they've played more than 2,000 concerts since forming in 1992. Let's face it, any hippie with a guitar can jam and call it a concert, but the Schwag's about more than that. Every few months they organize a Schwagstock at Camp Zoe, near Salem. More than a two-day outdoor concert, it's a hearty festival with food, crafts and drum circles that consistently draws thousands. For all the organization that's involved in setting up these massive concerts and the comparatively smaller ones they put on around town, they do it without a script, sans set list. And that's what ensures that this great old band never sounds, well, old. They may use songs that originally flowed from another band's pen, but they make what's old new again for generations of people lucky enough to catch the spirit of Jerry and the boys the second time around.