The Gaslight Squares Is One of This Year's STL 77

The RFT honors the musical acts we love in St. Louis in 2017

The Gaslight Squares Is One of This Year's STL 77
Photo by Matt Marcinkowski
This year ​the RFT recognizes ​St. Louis' ​stellar music scene by presenting the STL 77, ​our list of 77 acts who did big things in the last twelve months. From now through June 17, the date of our huge annual music festival ShowcaseSTL, we'll be announcing two ​honorees per weekday on our music blog. For more information on STL 77, as well as the complete lineup for ShowcaseSTL, go here.

Imagine, for a moment, the life of British trumpeter/banjoist TJ Muller. Mad about the riverboat swing music of 1920s America, he jumps aboard Pokey LaFarge’s traveling musical revue in 2013, and together they criss-cross the globe. Eventually he departs LaFarge’s band to cast his lot with St. Louis, legendary home of the traditional jazz and blues Muller loves most. Along with locals Matt Sellers (piano/accordion), Jacob Alspach (banjo/guitar), Jon Weiss (tuba) and the occasional snare drummer or trombonist, Muller forms the Gaslight Squares — and if the bricks of south city could sing, this is what they’d sound like. Merrily rustic trumpet leads, while barroom piano, choppy banjo, old-timey radio harmonies and the rustle and whoosh of dancing skirts swing through the air. Charismatic and easy on the eyes (especially with the city’s swing kids on their side), the members of the Gaslight Squares evoke more than just history: They express timeless city pride.

Recommended if you like: W.C. Handy, Charlie Creath, Pokey LaFarge, bowties