The Focal Point
Traditional & Original Music Concert Series & Arts Center
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This year marks Focal Point's 40th year of existence,
Dennis Stroughmatt et L'Esprit Creole!
In the Heart of North America is a story that remains to be told, the
story of the French creoles who
Our old friends, multinational
(Norway/ Cuba/ California/
Missouri!) Celtic rockers, this year
celebrating 26 years on the road! They
dazzle crowds with a blend of Scottish,
Irish, Norwegian and original songs and
tunes on fiddle, double-necked electric
mandolin, drums, guitar and bass. Their
energy is infectious, their musicianship
is impeccable, their knowledge of their
sources is extensive, and their sound is
indescribable! You will most likely get
up and dance.
Three Crooked Men!
Three Crooked Men is an old-time
string band based in St. Louis MO:
Michael Banvard, fiddle; Sean Barth,
banjo; Keith Dudding, guitar and
mandolin. In typical St Louis
understatement, their website merely
lists these instruments, and adds that
they sing 'old country songs.' I feel it
necessary to add that these guys are
QUITE GOOD and that they do in fact
know quite a bit about old-time
stringband sounds! You can get a
sample of their knowledge and love for
the music by tuning in to Keith's
weekly radio show, "Down Yonder"
where he has been educating and
delighting local listeners for a long
learned to play the fiddle from her late
father Garry Harrison who was an
influence in the world of old-time
fiddling for over 30 years. All of the
band members are equally wellestablished
in world of old-time
music:Abby Ladin is well-known to
old-time music enthusiasts, and not
only for her rock-solid bass playing and angelic singing. Smith Koester gives
new life to the sounds of the past with
his old-time fretless banjo. A player of
superlative ability, his driving
syncopation delivers both rhythm and
melody hand-in-glove with the fiddle.
Also acclaimed for his skills as an
instrument builder, Andy Gribble and
his guitar have a sound all their own.
Rocky and the Wranglers!
Rocky & the Wranglers include Roy St.
John, John Webb, Toren Jones, Ed
Synan, and Michael Liss - five
seasoned musicians who have spent
their lives loving, living, and playing
popular music. Rocky and the
Wranglers have an exciting and
inspired set list of the Blues and its
Rock n Roll relatives, drawing on
perennial favorites and lesser-known
Blues Masters, as well as Roy's original
songs. NOTE: This one will be a
special show in memory of our old
buddy, Otis Woodard! Please remember
to bring non-perishable food items
and/or clean, used clothing to donate
to Otis's beloved charity ministry and
Missouri River Irish
|Friday - Sunday,
May 22 - 24
Born in Trim, Co.
Meath, to a Travelling family steeped in
traditional music; both Paddy's father
and grandfather were uilleann pipers.
Paddy himself took up the pipes at the
age of ten, playing his first major
concert at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin,
when he was 14. Paddy's flowing,
open-fingered style of playing can be
traced directly from the style of such
great Travelling pipers as Johnny
Doran. Although often compared to
Doran, his own style is a direct result of
his father's tutelage and influence.
NOTE: in this visit to Focal Point,
Paddy will be accompanied by St Louis
heroes Eileen Gannon on harp, and
The Ozark Highballers!
Highballers are a four piece string band
from Fayetteville, Arkansas. This oldfashioned
ensemble features the rolling
chords and bass runs of Aviva
Steigmeyer on guitar, the rhythmically
intricate string tickling of Clarke
Buehling on finger-style banjo, and the
dynamic melody duo of Seth Shumate
on harmonica and Roy Pilgrim on the
fiddle. Their music reflects the spirit
and drive of the rural string bands of
the 1920s and ’30s, particularly those of
the Arkansas Ozarks.
Al and Emily Cantrell!
A Nashville based acoustic duo featuring Al & Emily Cantrell on vocals, Al on fiddle & mandolin, Emily on guitar, piano, ukulele and "fiddlesticks" (playing the straws). The songs are largely Emily's with some great songs by friends Jim Schulz and Kostas. Then some fun stuff including western, western swing, "radio days", traditional fiddle, classic bluegrass and country, Emily is a Tennessee native, Al an Oregonian. They met in Colorado in the '80s and began playing bluegrass together. The musicianship is delightful, Emily's voice is a soaring, flexible instrument, and their songs are well-chosen. $10 in advance; $15 at the door.
The Root Diggers!
St Louis's own
Appalachian and Ozark string band
consisting of Allen Spencer - Mandolin;
Colin Blair - Fiddle; Steve Pupillo -
Guitar; Jeremiah Evans - Banjo; Alena
Wheeler - Fiddle, and Mark Lang-Bass
Fiddle. These guys know their stuff;
they love what they do and so do we.
Focal Point is proud to have been one
of their first public performance
venues; they have gone on to make
quite a name for themselves, and we are
thrilled to have them back!
For over twenty
years guitarist extraordinaire George
Worthmore was a star in the New York
City music scene. Known for his quick
wit and musical dexterity, George has
shared the stage with many elite blues,
folk and rock artists such as; Kinky
Friedman, Bo Diddley, Ben E. King,
Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Lou Christy,
and The Platters. George has also been
“the other guy” with Jorma Kaukonen
and Jack Cassidy in Hot Tuna.
The Colin Sphinctor Band!
In the summer of 1973,
Jay Schober generated the idea for this group while driving a VW Microbus under
a full moon across
the state of Wyoming.
Jay wrote a ridiculous song and
talked a bunch
The Blue-Eyed Bettys!
A harmony driven
string band. Based out of NYC,
The Blue Eyed Bettys met in Sarasota
in 2014. Daniel Emond on banjo, Sarah
Hund on fiddle, and Ben Mackel on
guitar. The main thing, though, is the
singing! These three sound as if they
were born harmonizing. Their material
ranges from old-time country to closeharmony
Americana, swingy, almost
barbershoppy. This one will be a treat
for all singers!
When Richard Smith
picks up a guitar, it's a treat for the ears
and the eyes. He started playing on a
six-string at the age of 5 after hearing
his father picking “Down South Blues”
by Chet Atkins and Merle Travis. When
Richard asked “Dad, how do you do
that?” his father obliged, and Richard
never looked back. After studying the
music of Atkins, Travis, and Jerry
Reed, Richard soon graduated to
classical guitar pieces, Gypsy jazz,
bluegrass and bebop licks.
Coming in July-August:
Shari Kane and Dave Steele
The Buckhannon Brothers
Tom Hall, Dave Black, and Brian
Kim Lansford and Nathan McAlister
The Foggy Memory Boys
At the door or in advance at:
First ticket price shown is for sale of advanced tickets, which can be purchased online
for a slight fee (only $1.50) at www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/85789.
Second price shown is for tickets purchased at the door. Doors open 45 min. prior to show.
Tickets go on sale one month prior to the concert unless otherwise noted.
Page updated 4/28/15