If you’re from Missouri or Illinois, I’m sure you’ve heard of or have seen Aaron Kamm and the One Drops. They are an act that no reggae, blues, or jam band lover should miss! AKOD have been around for over 4 years and have 3 studio albums out titled The Bomb and the Beast, grow, and gnu-gnu. I have all 3 albums, so if you want to check them out just ask me! Aaron Kamm himself plays guitar in which he shreds the most intense blues solos and is lead vocals with his soulfully smooth voice. The One Drops include the talented Andy Lee Dorris on bass and the Sean Raila on drums who plays beats faster than you can say “one drops!” They tend to play a couple times a month in St. Louis making them a key staple to the ever growing St. Louis music scene. They also have played several smaller festivals in Missouri and Illinois, and hit up Edwardsville, IL, Columbia, MO and Carbondale, MO at least once a month. I’ve seen them way too many times to coun, but my favorite time seeing them was in southern Missouri at Bearcat Getaway campground after a long day of floating. This is one band that I definitely would watch in 2013 since their shows are getting more and more packed by the month. So if you like reggae, blues, jam, and love to dance, then I suggest you get yourself to one of their shows soon! If you want to a taste of their sound, click here!
I had a great opportunity to attend the Saturday of Loufest and got to get inside an hour before it opened since I was helping work a booth. Loufest is more of an indie and new music type of festival. They have 2 main stages and another stage in the kids area. Since I was helping with a booth in the kids area, I was able to see every band at the kids stage. This stage’s line-up consisted of local middle school, high school, and college age bands playing all day.
I was able to catch most of the bands on the main stages throughout the day as well. The first band that I saw was a local St. Louis duo Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult who go by Sleepy Kitty.
These two originate from Chicago and one fun fact about them is that they have been voted STL’s “best poster designers.”
After taking a break and picking up my fellow Summer Camp friend Joe, we headed back up to Loufest that evening and caught Dinosaur Jr. and Girl Talk. I have ALWAYS wanted to see Dinosaur Jr. so I was ecstatic when they came out and started rocking my face off.
Then my friend and I left Dinosaur Jr. a little early so we could find a good spot in Girl Talk’s crowd to be in the middle of the party. I’ve seen Girl Talk a couple times before so being in the middle and dancing with total strangers who are just as excited to dance as hard as you is always ideal. If you know anything about Girl Talk, you know the brains behind the operation is the one-man band/sample machine Gregg Gillis. He always has someone pick people out of the crowd beforehand who are dressed eccentric or out of the ordinary to spend their whole time dancing on stage to his fast beats. That’s why at this show there were two Where’s Waldos and many others who were dressed strangely on stage. Also, before the show, he always picks two individuals from the crowd to use leaf-blowers with toilet paper rolls attached to the end to shower the audience with toilet paper. There wasn’t a moment where everyone or myself weren’t dancing!!
If you like hot jazz or the Squirrel Nut Zipper’s, there’s a band that travels frequently through the Midwest that you MUST see! They’re called Davina and the Vagabonds. These classy folks tour year round, but they are mostly known in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota.
The lead singer and pianist of this classy band is Davina and I must say, she is a powerhouse and has the perfect voice for hot jazz. The Vagabonds include Michael Carvale (vocals/upright bass), Connor Mcrae (vocals/drums), Dan Eikmeier (vocals/trumpet), and Ben Link (vocals/trombone). Davina and the Vagabonds put together amazing songs that are not only musically pleasing, but also lyrically pleasing. Davina was even the 2009 International Songwriting Competition winner, easily proving that her poetic lyrics are a work of art. Not only do they play their own songs that are lyrically and musically well put together, but they also play covers of other classic musicians such as T-Bone Walker and Sam Cooke. Here’s a clip of them playing the T-Bone Walker song “I’ll Always Be In Love With You” in St. Louis on June 14th. Another reason to catch one of their shows is to see Davina’s awesome facial expressions! They’re fantastic. So if you live in the Midwest and interested in something different for a change or just like hot jazz, make sure you check out Davina and the Vagabonds!