Justin Townes Earle on Billie Holiday and the Song "White Gardenias"

Categories: Story Outtakes

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Joshua Black Wilkins

In this week's print edition, senior RFT Music writer Roy Kasten interviewed Justin Townes Earle about his forthcoming album, Single Women, a record that proves that getting married, staying clean and loving your mother aren't the artistic death-knells they might seem.

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Tom Hall and Alice Spencer Cover Randy Newman

Categories: Story Outtakes
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Sara Finke

In this week's print edition, senior RFT Music writer Roy Kasten profiles the latest project by veteran blues guitarist Tom Hall and St. Louis ex-pat Alice Spencer, who perform a handful of shows in town this week. Going under the name T&A (a moniker they first used for occasional gigs in Soulard in the '90s), the musicians, who first worked together (and continue to do so) as part of the Geyer Street Sheiks, stretch out from classic blues and jazz material into covers by songwriters like Randy Newman, whose "Last Night I Had a Dream" is one of the highlights from the duo's new album "The Kitchen Record."

Stream the song and read what Spencer has to say about it below.

See also: Return to Form: Tom Hall and Alice Spencer of the Geyer Street Sheiks Reunite

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Scott McCaughey on Henry Aaron: "So much of it was manufactured. It wasn't him."

Categories: Story Outtakes
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Joe Mabel
Scott McCaughey
When Scott McCaughey isn't producing, recording and writing songs for his bands the Minus 5, the Young Fresh Fellows and the Baseball Project, he's probably following the major league box scores and stats and working up his fantasy baseball strategies. He may have gone so far down the rabbit hole of our national pastime that he could very well forget all about our national music, rock & roll.

See also: The Minus 5's Scott McCaughey Talks Baseball, Uncle Tupelo and Trusting Your Friends

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"Blooms" by Chris Mills and the Distant Stars: Listen to the New Track

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Press Photo
In this week's print edition, Senior Writer Roy Kasten tackles the musical career of Collinsville, Illinois native Chris Mills and his latest album Alexandria. Mills, now based in Brooklyn, New York, will be appearing at Off Broadway on Thursday, January 23.

In this outtake from the interview, Mills details the evolution of "Blooms," one of his catchiest new songs, and shares a stream of the track after the jump as well.

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Scott Kempner of the Del-Lords on Songwriting, Dion and the Day the Music Died

Categories: Story Outtakes
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Frank Funaro, Scott Kempner and Eric Ambel of the Del-Lords

A band as influential as the Del-Lords always has stories behind the stories. But leader Scott Kempner, who first made a name for himself with New York band the Dictators, found some of his best stories late in life, when punk rock was decades behind him but his songwriting was still waiting for the right vehicle. The Del-Lords provided that spark, as did an unexpected midlife friendship with one of Kempner's personal heroes, Dion Francis DiMucci. Kempner loved the records Dion made in the '60s, but Dion admired the Del-Lords' leader's recordings just as much.

Roy Kasten interviewed Kempner and guitarist/producer Eric "Roscoe" Ambel for the print edition this week, as the Del-Lords visit St. Louis on its reunion tour for a show at Off Broadway on Friday night. In these outtakes from the feature, Kempner tells the tale of working with Dion on one of the band's best new tracks, the Buddy Holly-inspired "Every Day (That I'm With You)."

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Escape From New York: Charles Bradley on Moving Forward in Music

Categories: Story Outtakes

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Press Photo
Charles Bradley is a hell of a soul singer and a hell of a story. In this week's print edition, Senior Writer Roy Kasten interviews the New York soul man and Daptone Records artist about the making of his new album, Victim of Love, and his long road to musical redemption. Bradley makes his first headlining appearance in St. Louis at the Old Rock House on Sunday, May 5.

Listen to the lead track "Strictly Reserved For You" -- which starts with declaration "I'm tired of the city life/I'm tired of the city people/Trying to get in my business" -- and read Bradley's take on the origin of the song after the jump.

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More Than a Missing Link: Widowspeak and the Dear Records Connection

Categories: Story Outtakes

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In this week's print feature, Widowspeak lead singer/songwriter Molly Hamilton spoke both about Almanac, her band's excellent new album, and the band's Pacific Northwest roots. Hamilton is from Tacoma, as is current bassist Dylan Treleven. Original Widowspeak drummer Michael Stasiak grew up in Lakewood, Washington. Musically speaking, the City of Destiny is often overshadowed by its neighbors in Seattle and Olympia, but it has its own proud musical heritage. In the 1960s, the Wailers and Sonics helped paved the way for half a century of punk and garage rock. Instrumental surf kings the Ventures, known for "Walk Don't Run" and the original Hawaii Five-O theme, originated in Tacoma's nontropical environs. More recently, Girl Trouble has kept alive the original Sonics/Wailers spirit with its garage-surf ditties and onstage abandon, and Oberhofer has received some modest hype.

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Video: New Grace Basement Song, Featuring Dave Anderson of Tritone Guitars

Categories: Story Outtakes
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Roy Kasten
Dave Anderson in the shop
In this week's RFT, Senior Writer Roy Kasten tells the story of Dave Anderson, owner/operator of Tritone Guitars, a music community-focused repair shop (and teaching and session-work business) in St. Louis. Anderson currently plays guitar (and mandolin, banjo and pedal steel) with Tenement Ruth, Magnolia Summer, May Day Orchestra and Grace Basement. More »

Rock & Roll Myths Debunked and Proven in New Book Co-Authored By St. Louis Music Writer

Categories: Story Outtakes

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Co-author and Missouri native Daniel Durchholz
Ever wondered if Pink Floyd purposefully synced Dark Side of the Moon with the Wizard of Oz? Or if Johnny Cash actually had the Folsom Prison blues? Gary Graff and Daniel Durchholz tackle these questions and more in their newest book Rock 'n' Roll Myths: The True Stories Behind the Most Infamous Legends.

The book examines stories that have intrigued music junkies for decades and keeps the gossip circulating. "One of the things that people like about rock stars is that they are this mysterious person that you want to know more about and that you are drawn into in some fashion," says co-author Daniel Durchholz -- a Missouri native who considers himself a KSHE 95 kid. He grew up going to concerts at the old Keil Opera House, old Ambassador Theater and the American Theater (now the Orpheum). He started writing for the Riverfront Times in the late 1980s (see his archived work here).


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Blind Pilot's Israel Nebeker on Songwriting and "White Apple"

Categories: Story Outtakes
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Ben Moon
In this week's RFT, Senior Music Writer Roy Kasten chronicles the story behind Blind Pilot, a rising Portland folk-pop band touring behind its sophomore album We Are the Tide (produced by Tucker Martine, best known for his work with the Decemberists and Laura Veirs). The band performs at Plush (3224 Locust Street, 314-535-2686) on Friday, March 3.

In this story outtake, lead singer and songwriter Israel Nebeker gives a glimpse into his songwriting process and shares a stream of the track "White Apple."

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