Blues: Meet the 2013 RFT Music Award Nominess

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click to enlarge Blues: Meet the 2013 RFT Music Award Nominess

The Bottoms Up Blues Gang

You don't have to sew a patch onto your leather jacket or undergo rigorous hazing to join the Bottoms Up Blues Gang. Simply live in St. Louis, play an instrument, and speak pre-war blues like a second language; you will be riding alongside ganglords Kari Liston and Jeremy Segel-Moss in no time. The band's open-door policy and revolving-door membership works because a plethora of like-minded local musicians (including expert harmonica-slinger Adam Andrews) are beyond comfortable riffing on the duo's songbook. The Gang's tunes could pass as age-worn classics, especially when coming from the pipes of Kari Liston, a charismatic frontwoman with the voice of an angel, expelled from heaven for debauchery. -Ryan Wasoba

click to enlarge Blues: Meet the 2013 RFT Music Award Nominess

The Jeremiah Johnson Band

With a deep Southern twang and a fully electrified sound, the Jeremiah Johnson Band could have been major country-blues-rock stars in an age when the Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and ZZ Top still roamed the earth at full chart-topping power. And who knows? Johnson and company may yet become national stars. "Southern Drawl," with its Marshall Tucker Band flutes and nods to simple pleasures like baseball and fishing, is an irresistible single, as catchy (and twice as tough) as anything you'll hear on country radio today. -Roy Kasten

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