Steve Leftridge has written about music, film, and books for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, No Depression, and PlaybackSTL. He holds an MA in literature from the University of Missouri, for whom he is an adjunct teacher, and he’s been teaching high school English and film in St. Louis since 1998. Follow at SteveLeftridge@Twitter.com.
Tuesday, December 24 2013
In bluegrass circles, 2013 was a year that welcomed the rise of talented upstarts, the return to form of masters, and collaborations among the best in the business.
Sunday, April 7 2013
Bon Jovi have seen a million faces and rocked them all, but they've never impressed critics. What about now?
Monday, December 24 2012
Any genre as historic as bluegrass will experience undulations in style and popularity, but we’re certainly at an unprecedented peak of interest, if not in traditional bluegrass music, at least in bluegrass-oriented sounds.
Tuesday, December 6 2011
While last year was distinguished by a heavy dose of newgrass, jamgrass, and progressive bluegrass, 2011 was defined by a return to traditionalism.
Wednesday, December 15 2010
2010 was a splendid year for Americana releases; then again, that’s something you can say about any year given the sprawling range of sub-genres under Americana's vast umbrella, a point reinforced again by this year’s Top Ten.
Thursday, April 21 2011
Modern country music is in love with a new trend: women inflicting violence on men, when the men deserve it... and even when they don't.
Tuesday, August 17 2010
In the pantheon of bluegrass pickers, Sam Bush is the default leader. Still, Bush remembers playing onstage with Bill Monroe in the early '70s, and after he showcased his kinetic picking technique on the mandolin, Monroe leaned over and told him to “stick to the fiddle”.
Sunday, June 13 2010
Easton Corbin's debut reads like a 'Farewell to Arms' for the truck-pull set and lays out a hero's code for existentialist country boys everywhere; that is, the practical application of action over thought.
Wednesday, April 14 2010
Question: Since everyone seems to love the big arena-rock of the '80s, why don't they make records like that anymore? Answer: They do. It's called country music, now.
Sunday, February 7 2010
At 77, Willie's hair is now down to his tailbone, and you can see his trademark red locks fade to gray about midway up his back -- it's like examining the rings of a tree.
Wednesday, October 30 2013
Sheffield is a supersmart, insightful, funny, passionate fan who delights in the visceral and communal pleasures of popular music.
Thursday, October 17 2013
The Avetts return with their eighth album, a set of ringers, leftovers, sweet talking, and a live track for true believers.
Wednesday, September 25 2013
After a booze-and-burnout sabbatical, Kings of Leon get back in the saddle.
Wednesday, June 19 2013
With many of the top-line acts playing between midnight and 5am, and the sun turning everyone’s tents into Dutch ovens by 8am, Bonnaroo is the most sleep-deprived city on earth. Which is why you see casualties everywhere...
Sunday, June 16 2013
The variety of music to absorb on Friday posed formidable challenges, and navigating from one stage to the next all day is a good way to lay waste to your body, which happens to be one of Bonnaroo’s most-popular pastimes.
Monday, December 5 2011
Today we presented our Best 75 Songs of 2011. Here are several more just bubbling under the top 75...
Thursday, May 27 2010
Season 9 comes to end as a sweet, shy kid from Chicago takes the crown. But it was Crystal Bowersox who kept American Idol from going down in flames.
Wednesday, May 19 2010
It's been a maligned season, but as we chug toward next week's finale, it could be an epic showdown as good as any in Idol history.
Wednesday, May 12 2010
If this were Survivor instead of American Idol, Michael Lynche would be the dude to beat. He appears to be forming alliances not with the other contestants but with Satan himself. How else to explain how this guy has made it this long when no one seems to be supporting him.
Wednesday, May 5 2010
With Mad Marg gone, you no longer have to watch the show through your fingers, but things have gotten reliably lackluster, perhaps accounting for the show’s worst ratings since 2002, even getting tromped one night by Dancing with the Stars, for heaven’s sake, results that must have had Idol producers seeing visions of Paula Abdul in their sleep.