Now the cat is out of the bag, and what a cat it is.
The lineup for Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry! is a decidedly star-studded affair, with members of the Roots, Spoon, Dave Matthews Band, Cage the Elephant and more pitching in. From a press release:
The Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry! lineup include special guests:
Captain Kirk Douglas (The Roots)
Rashawn Ross (Dave Matthews Band)
Britt Daniel (Spoon)
Matt Shultz and Nick Bockrath (Cage the Elephant)
Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce)
Hey look, St. Louis' own Pokey LaFarge is on that list! But oh wait, there's more:
Additional special guests as well as a backing band led by Kevin Bowers and some of St. Louis’ best musicians including:
That's a lot of local folks on that list! Kevin Bowers, who is leading the group, was recently named as a recipient of one of our STL 77 music awards
. Michael "Big Mike" Aguirre is one of St. Louis' blues stalwarts (often with his band, the Blu City All-Stars); Erminie Cannon has put in time with Bowers as well as Pink Floyd tribute act El Monstero (along with Tandra Williams); Aaron Chandler and Adam Hucke are best-known as members of the venerated Funky Butt Brass Band (also an STL 77 winner
); Andy Coco, a KDHX DJ, has put in time with the Cree Rider Family Band and the Rolling Stones tribute act Street Fighting Band, among others; Dave Grelle, whom we named the best keyboardist in St. Louis in 2014
, has worked with the Feed, Celebration Day, Street Fighting Band, Funky Butt Brass Band and more; Ben Reece (also a Feed and Funky Butt alum) most recently has been performing with his Unity Quartet
Whew! Now that's something to get excited about!
The organizers unsurprisingly agree:
“Chuck Berry was a lifelong St. Louisan who spread his unique brand of music to all corners of the globe. It is an honor and a privilege for us to work alongside the Berry family to host this celebration – the first of what will ultimately become an everlasting piece of the festival for years to come,” Mike Van Hee and Rich Toma, partners with Listen Live Entertainment, the producers of LouFest, say in a statement.
“As a native of St. Louis and massive Chuck Berry fan, nothing has made me happier than to work with so many great musicians he inspired to make this performance happen,” says the tribute's executive producer and LouFest partner, music executive Jonathan Azu. “It will truly be something special.”
Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry! is slated to take place Saturday, September 9 at 8 p.m. at LouFest on the Bud Light Stage. Pity poor Rainbow Kitten Surprise for having to compete in the same time slot against such a star-studded affair.
Tickets for LouFest are still available and can be purchased here
LouFest organizers have been pretty tight-lipped about the event's special tribute to Chuck Berry set for Saturday night, working closely with the late rocker's family to present an event worthy of the name. Even as recently as two days ago all they would say is that national and local artists would be a part of the tribute.