Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Country Rock, St. Louis Style

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Country Rock, St. Louis Style

Article excerpt

Mention country rock these days and you're bound to get a range of reactions; the term is so loose that it contains a wide array of artists: The Band, Bob Dylan, Marshall Tucker, Molly Hatchet, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Mott the Hoople, the Knitters, the Jayhawks, Uncle Tupelo ....the list goes on and on -- some great, some duds. What they all have in common is one thing: twang.

Twang can manifest itself as an vocal accent (regardless of whether it is natural or affected), a guitar sound, or an attitude, and all country artists, whether they like it or not, have it. It's this lazy drawl that makes them "country rockers" instead of just rockers.

This weekend at Off Broadway, you can help celebrate the power of St. Louis twang with Mach II of a Grain Belt revue, a CD release party for a loose confederation of bands who worship at the altar of the drawl. The disc is "Out of the Gate Again."

It's actually a two week celebration, because the following weekend there will be six more of the bands performing at other clubs around town. So 12 of the 16 bands on the disc will be performing these first two weeks of August.

The most impressive aspect of this festival (besides, of course, music) is the organization involved in pulling this baby off. Think about it. Jeff Swift, Kip Loui, and Rick Wood are organizing a group of musicians, which is as overwhelming as trying to gather up a flock of chickens with their heads cut off. Musicians aren't the easiest lot to organize (although in this case, if you get guitarist John Horton to commit, the rest falls into place. Horton is a member of at least four of the bands.) Assembling all these groups together in one place at one time shows the solid infrastructure that these bands have created. It's a do-it-yourself movement in the spirit of punk.

"We're really going to depend on the bands themselves to get the discs out there and into the stores," says Loui of Belle Starr. …

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