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Open Highway Festival kicks off tonight, runs through August 9th

Those of us here at 3minrecord.com are excited for the kickoff of the Open Highway Music Festival tonight at Off Broadway. In just three short years, the festival has expanded to five nights of shows at two different venues in St. Louis. We recently discussed the festival with John Henry on Episode 10 of our podcast which you can listen to here. Here is just a quick summary of each night's shows. So many nights of great music ahead of us this week. We hope to see you at every night!

Night One: Cory Chisel's Soul Obscura
Date: August 5, 2014
Place: Off Broadway
Time: Doors at 7PM, show at 8PM
Ages: All ages
Price: $15 ($3 minor surcharge)

Night one brings Cory Chisel back to the Off Broadway stage with his new project, Cory Chisel's Soul Obscura. This night promises Stax-era soul music, and I cannot wait to see the band that Chisel has formed for this project. Come dance your booties off!

Night Two: The Baseball Project w/Water Liars
Date: August 6, 2014
Place: The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill
Time: Doors at 7PM, show at 8PM
Ages: 21+
Price: $15


Night two sees The Baseball Project make their return to The Duck Room. The Baseball Project consists of members of Dream Syndicate, The Minus 5, and some little band you may have heard of, R.E.M. The Baseball Project create well-crafted pop songs about the only sport that matters, baseball. Their performance back at Twangfest 15 was an extremely fun night and this appearance is not to be missed. St. Louis' own, Water Liars, open the show so you definitely want to get there before the show starts at 8.

Night Three: Sturgill Simpson w/The Dock Ellis Band and Brian Henneman and Kip Loui
Date: August 7, 2014
Place: Off Broadway
Time: Doors at 7PM, show at 8PM
Ages: All ages
Price: $14 advance, $16 day of show ($3 minor surcharge)

If you are not familiar with Sturgill Simpson, you will be very soon. Simpson is blowing up with his latest release, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music. For the folks that have been waiting for country music to sound like country music, Simpson is your guy. Get on out and see this artist in a small club environment while you can. Opening the show will be the one and only Dock Ellis Band and Brian Henneman and Kip Loui. If you have not seen The Dock Ellis Band you truly are missing out on one of the finest bands St. Louis has to offer. Such a great mixture of humor, songwriting, and musicianship. Brian Henneman really needs no introduction in this town. Henneman has been writing, recording, and performing tunes with his band The Bottle Rockets for well over 20 years now. Those that caught Henneman and Loui opening for Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis recently at Off Broadway know what a great treat is in store for their set on this night.

Night Four: Justin Townes Earle w/Emily Wallace
Date: August 8, 2014
Place: Off Broadway
Time: Doors at 7:30PM, show at 8:30PM
Ages: All ages
Price: $23 advance, $25 day of show ($3 minor surcharge)

Justin Townes Earle makes his way back to St. Louis for a highly anticipated show at Off Broadway on the fourth night of the festival. Although fans will be looking forward to hearing their favorite JTE songs on this night, there is the added excitement of hopefully hearing some of the new material from his upcoming release, Single Mothers. That record will be out on September 9, 2014 and is being released on Vagrant Records. Opening the show will be Emily Wallace, who John Henry said will be one of the St. Louis artists he expects to be doing big things very soon.

Night Five: Dave and Phil Alvin with the Guilty Ones w/Candye Kane
Date: August 9, 2014
Place: Off Broadway
Time: Doors at 7PM, show at 8PM
Ages: All ages
Price: $25 ($3 minor surcharge)

I should just get this out of the way before writing anything else about this show. I love Dave Alvin. I love The Blasters. I might be just a little excited for this show. The Blasters are a band I wish everyone knew about, and Dave Alvin is someone that I think everyone should go see live any chance they get. Dave and Phil started The Blasters in 1979, with Dave leaving for a solo career in 1986. Dave plays with The Blasters every once and a while, but it usually happens nowhere close to St. Louis, so this may be one of the few chances I ever get to see Dave and Phil on the same stage together. Add the fact that The Guilty Ones (Dave's current backing band) will be backing the brothers Alvin, and this will be an amazing night of music. The brothers are out on tour promoting their recent release, Common Ground: Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill BroonzyLooking at reviews and set lists from recent shows, attendees can look forward to hearing a lot of the Big Bill Broonzy material from the record mixed in with other blues covers and plenty of Blasters favorites. I really do not think I can stress how badly you should want to go to this show. Blues artist Candye Kane gets the night off to a rollicking start.

Such a great week ahead and a major tip of the hat goes to John Henry and Steve Pohlman for putting together such a great lineup. Head on over to www.offbroadwaystl.com to pick up tickets ahead of time to all the shows, they all look to be well attended so get those tickets before they are gone. See you there!

 

Preview: Cory Branan/Dave Hause to play Cicero's 12/20/2011

Not much to say other than get your booty to this show, you will not be disappointed. I first became familiar with Cory Branan's music when I saw him play at the Lucero Family Picnic a few years back. Mr. Branan is great at writing songs that will make you laugh your ass off, and yet can be so completely endearing. I have heard him say before that John Prine is a hero, and you can definitely hear the influence in Branan's songs. On top of being a great songwriter, Branan can unleash some tasty licks on the guitar as well. It has been a while since the Cory Branan/Jon Snodgrass split EP was released, and the promise of a new full length will hopefully be fulfilled in 2012.

I was introduced to the music of Dave Hause when I got to see the Loved Ones open for Less Than Jake back in 2006 at the legendary venue, Mississippi Nights. My first impression of hearing the Loved Ones live made me think of the iconic band, Lifetime. I was not surprised to hear that Hause was from the Philly/Jersey area scene. The Loved Ones 2006 record, Keep Your Heart became an instant favorite of mine. The follow up, Build & Burn, showed that the band had a wider range of influences and pushed the boundaries of being a punk band. Mr. Hause released his first solo album, Resolutions, this year and showed that no matter what the genre, he is a great songwriter. He is also a huge fan of Hot Water Music, so he has to be awesome. (I would not normally go to a show and request someone play a cover, but I would be really happy if he played his version of "Trusty Chords".)

It has been really fun to watch a lot of the singers/songwriters of some of my favorite punk bands put out projects that dwell in the folk/acoustic genres. Just goes to show that a good song is a good song, no matter the genre. Come on out Tuesday, December 20 and see a night a jam packed with amazing songs. Cicero's. 8PM. $10. 18+. Don't miss this one folks.

Shameless plug alert: If you are looking for something to do after the show, swing on over to the Royale where our very own Scott Allen and Jeff Fields will be spinning some vinyl, playing some 1's and 0's, and drinking some beverages from 10PM-close. Maybe if I ask nice they will let me play a few songs too. :)

Cory Branan - "Bad Man"

 

Dave Hause - "Time Will Tell"

Robbie Fulks at Off Broadway 10-16-11 (Preview)

I first became familiar with Robbie Fulks with his song "She Took A Lot Of Pills (And Died)" on the Bloodshot Records compilation Hell-bent: Insurgent Country Vol. 2. Shortly after hearing him on that comp., I would be introduced to his live show when he opened for Ben Folds Five at the American Theater sometime in 1997. I have done my best to never miss a Robbie Fulks show ever since. The list of venues that I have seen Mr. Fulks play at in the St. Louis area include many that have sadly closed their doors (Hi-Pointe, Lucas School House), some that have been renamed (American Theater), one that I can't remember the name of (the jazz club over by The Fox that had a short-lived series of Americana type acts), and a couple of clubs that are still going strong today (Off Broadway, The Duck Room). It doesn't really matter where Mr. Fulks plays, it doesn't even really matter if he comes through your town with band in tow or as a solo performer, he will always put on an amazing show. On top of Fulks' great songwriting, masterful guitar work, and dynamic voice, his between song banter and anecdotes are not to be missed. Fulks is great at making up songs on the spot about any funny/odd situations that may pop up during a show, his last performance at this year's Twangfest made for quite a few hilarious musical creations. It is always nice to see him take a couple of shots at the local "legend" Beatle Bob when Bob happens to attend Fulks' show. Fulks had also been known to throw in cover songs such as the unexpected covers of Cher's "Believe", ABBA's "Dancing Queen", or any of the many Michael Jackson tunes that Fulks recorded on his MJ tribute album Happy.

To simply say that Fulks' shows are entertaining only for the comical interactions with the crowd or the chance of an odd-ball cover, would be a great disservice. Yes, Fulks has penned his fair share of funny songs ("Fuck This Town", "Dirty Mouth Flo ", "Godfrey"), but to overlook the rest of his catalog that might deal with "serious" topics is just down right criminal. (And I do not mean to degrade any of the "funny" songs, a great song is a great song no matter what the level of "seriousness" is perceived to be.) On Fulks' 1998 release Let's Kill Saturday Night (still one of my favorite albums not only by Fulks, but by anyone), the wit and humor prevalent in earlier material seemed to be pushed into the backseat and the songs took a little bit heavier feel. Fulks' next release, Couples In Trouble, took on an even heavier feel, though it contains one of my favorite pop songs in "Mad At A Girl". To me, Fulks' 2005 release Georgia Hard is really a great combination of the humor found in earlier material and the more mature songwriting found on Let's Kill... and Couples In Trouble.

So, if you want to see one of the most entertaining shows by one of the best songwriters going right now, do yourself a favor and get on over to Off Broadway on Sunday, October 16 and witness the greatness that is Robbie Fulks. Doors are at 7:30PM, show is at 8PM. 12 bucks get ya in the door. I am personally hoping he will play "Little King".

Here's a taste of the awesome song "Let's Kill Saturday Night".