For those of you not from Saint Louis, the name Schlafly is well-known around here. The name belongs to one of Saint Louis’ most famous residents the ultra conservative Phyllis Schlafly, a political activist best known for her opposition to feminism and the Equal Rights Act. However, ask any Saint Louisian about Schlafly and they’ll most likely point to their beer. Schlafly is the best local alternative Saint Louis has in a city basically owned by Anheuser-Busch.
The Schlafly Tap House was holding the Riverfront Times Award Show. Every year the local alternative newspaper holds a vote to decide who the city’s best local music acts are. The Riverfront Times Showcase is a day long event of music that includes over fifty bands for only 5 dollars. After the ballots are in, the Riverfront Times hold another event to award the winners their prizes.
The first act of the night was Cassie Morgan and the Lonely Pine, a folk-acoustic act, the kind that have been gaining a lot of popularity lately. Cassie Morgan has a beautiful voice (she was the winner of the Best Vocalist category), but she was hard to hear over the myriad of attendees too busy networking and socializing. The stage was in the back corner of the room, as far away from the crowd as possible. Not many people were listening to the music, it was more like a wedding reception than a concert.
The headlining Act was the Funky Butt Brass Band, a local favorite and winner of the Best Soul/Funk/R&B Award. The Funky Butt Brass Band are great to dance to and perfect music for party. The band hosts a several horn instruments and heavy base for a fun night out.
The highlight of the night was the winner of the Best Pop Band category. Calling the Blind Eyes ‘pop’ is a bit of a stretch as they do echo the pop artists of the 1960’s (one could easily get them mixed up with the Rolling Stones), but don’t quite fall into the pop genre that we have come to know today. Nonetheless their brand of indie music is upbeat and sweet sounding and is a highlight of the Saint Louis music scene.
Not many of the winning artists were there to celebrate their awards, but the crowd was definitely full of people who knew the local scene very well. All of the winners and the nominees are staples of the Saint Louis music culture that gives this town a big city feel in the middle of America.
Key Tracks: January by the Blind Eyes
For a list of 2010 RFT Music Award Winners Click Here