Old Salt Union to Release New Album Bridge This Friday at Old Rock House

Categories: Homespun

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Doc Brookman
Old Salt Union is everything you would want in a song-driven, pop-friendly bluegrass combo. The members of the Belleville-based quintet are dexterous on their chosen stringed instruments, with short flashes of virtuosity amid more lyrically driven songs. All five members share the mic, and even if the harmonies aren't quite celestial, it adds to the communal-campfire feeling of these songs.

See also: Belleville's Old Salt Union goes from basement band to the Daytona 500

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Piano Man Josh Brophy's Debut EP Dover: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Via Facebook
When Josh Brophy sits behind the baby grand at the Fox Park piano bar Keypers, where he holds court on Tuesday and Sunday evenings, he's more likely to spin out a song by Gram Parsons or Buffy Sainte-Marie rather than, say, suffer through "Piano Man" for the umpteenth time. On his debut EP, Brophy plays six originals with a loping gait and very little flash; his songs harken back to Tin Pan Alley and the Great American Songbook but with a wry sentimentality that shows a songwriter playing with established forms.

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Tilts' Spectacular Quatro Hombres LP: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Press photo via Facebook
In the time since Tilts' first release, the 2010 EP Cassingle, the band has added some bullet points to its bio. Singer and guitarist Andrew Elstner left St. Louis to join Florida-based stoner rock band Torche, receiving mentions in the national press not only for his guitar skills but for an unfortunate run-in with a possibly rabid bat. Guitarist and backing vocalist Andy White joined the now-defunct Blind Eyes, while his old outfit Shame Club recently revived itself for a one-off reunion gig. Oh, and Elstner and White went on FOX News' late-night program Red Eye to pimp its newest release.

See also: St. Louis Rock Band Tilts Interviewed on Fox News

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John Donovan's Latest EP, Bernadette: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Press photo via Facebook
John Donovan has chosen the term "bedroom folk," among others, to describe his style, and there's plenty on the singer-songwriter's latest EP that aligns with that tag. He strokes his acoustic guitar gently and can convey emotion and depth without much volume or manipulation. As in most folk songs, the focus is on the lyrics, and Donovan proves to be an adept lyricist -- he shows striking flourishes and turns of phrase while working within the folk genre.

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Search Parties' Latest, Strange Woman / Soul Revival: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Press photo via Facebook
Perhaps it is appropriate that Search Parties' debut EP, the seven-track Strange Woman / Soul Revival, has a title more befitting a lost Doors single than pensive but forceful indie rock. Early in the album, the band uses some of the language of rhythm & blues-influenced rock & roll -- snaking guitar lines, roiling organ chords, soul-deep vocals -- to convey emotionally knotty material that might elsewhere be the provenance of emo aggression or sad-sack indie mopery. And there are traces of those and other like genres on the album, but throughout Search Parties uses muscular, rhythmically driven arrangements and Elliott Pearson's strong voice to push these songs towards the anthemic. (It may be instructive to note that Search Parties were largely unheard around town before its set of Arcade Fire songs at least year's An Under Cover Weekend; the band wasn't being coy about its influences.)

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The Feed To Release Debut LP Outsider This Saturday

Categories: Homespun

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Press photo via Facebook
There are probably more than a few fans of the Feed that had given up on the prospect of an actual full-length album. Short of a seven-song EP from 2006 with an earlier lineup and a track on 2012's Tower Groove Records comp, the band's recorded output has been nil, despite steady gigs and no shortage of original material. So the long lead-up to Outsider belies the making of the record itself; recorded over just a few days in Jason McEntire's Sawhorse Studio, the album sees the quartet ripping through material in an overdriven flurry of vintage keyboards and locked-in grooves. The self-imposed timeline produced a taut, lean album with little fat but lots to chew on.

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Various Hands to Host CD Release/Tour Kickoff Show This Friday at Plush

Categories: Homespun

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Press photo via Facebook
For more than a decade Jeff Nations has been chasing his own personal rock & roll dream with dogged persistence. He's held down happy-hour gigs at Soulard bars, dabbled in music criticism, launched regional tours and, for the past few years, led the frenetic, spacey rock band Various Hands.

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The Jungle Fire's Latest, Peace is Our Profession: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Press photo via Facebook
Since breaking out with its debut EP in 2012, which included its ready-made anthem "St. Louis Walk," the Jungle Fire has provided yearly bursts of south-side soul. The band came together as a refuge for punks, band geeks and ska survivors, all operating behind the raspy-but-powerful vocals of James Fields. Its EP releases are smartly timed for the summer months, when we're accustomed enough to the sweat and humidity and don't mind shaking our asses a bit.

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The Reverbs To Host Looking For an Echo CD Release and Listening Party This Sunday

Categories: Homespun

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Photo by Bryan Sutter
Mikey Wehling
Mikey Wehling has long been one of St. Louis' smoothest mofos, from his time with the jam/psych progressives in Messy Jiverson through his self-titled, largely instrumental solo work. His so-called "Reverb trilogy" from 2010 and 2011 consisted more of mood music snippets than straight-ahead songs -- drum machine beats and Casiotone keyboards gave grist to Wehling's skilled guitar work. Last year's Nests in Trees introduced both his human bandmates and his lead vocals to the mix, and with the addition of a few more players, the Reverbs moved away from groove-based music and more into singer-songwriter's realm, complete with Wehling's open-hearted lyrics and feathery vocals.


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Stream Union Rags' Entire No Brothers No Sisters EP Now

Categories: Homespun

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Via Facebook
When the Hibernauts called it quits with a final show in early 2012, the indie-damaged quintet left behind two pretty good records that showed a willingness to make nice, tuneful songs and then watch them crumple under swaths of noise and aggression. In Union Rags, two former Hibernauts, Jack Stevens and Bill Vehige (joined by Jeremiah "Miah" Smith), tread some of the same ground as their former group: nervy, spiked rock & roll in the tradition of Modest Mouse and Built to Spill that wears its oddball stature as comfortably as its square-shouldered toughness.

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