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Steve Leftridge
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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


Wednesday, December 24 2014

The Best Bluegrass of 2014

This year's rich pickin's of traditional bluegrass, jamgrass, and newgrass make it the best year for recorded bluegrass music in quite some time.

Thursday, September 25 2014

Three Great Albums Fade in Reflection

Despite their canonical status, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Oracular Spectacular, and White Blood Cells lack the staying power of truly great albums.

Sunday, July 20 2014

Telluride 2014: The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Mandolins

In 2014, Telluride is the perfect encapsulation of where it has been and where it is going to be in the future.

Tuesday, December 24 2013

The Best Bluegrass of 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

We're Halfway There: Bon Jovi's Quest for Respectability

Bon Jovi have seen a million faces and rocked them all, but they've never impressed critics. What about now?


Thursday, April 21 2011

Fit to Be Tied: Country's Angry Women

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

Sam Bush: Still Rockin' That Bluegrass Train

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

The Importance of Being Ernest: Easton Corbin and the Country Boy Hemingway Code

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

Pour Some Sugarland on Me: Why Country Music Is the New Classic Rock

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

Willie Nelson in the Twilight Glow

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, July 23 2014

Sun-Drenched '90s Nostalgia at Forecastle Day Three

Forecastle rounded out its 2014 installment with aplomb, proving that it is only going to get bigger and better from here on out.

Monday, July 21 2014

Jack White Rocks the Audience at Forecastle Day Two

Day two of Forecastle concluded with the audience being rocked to muscle weakness.

Sunday, July 20 2014

OutKast Fires Up the Audience at Day One of Forecastle Festival

From the minimalist indie rock of Spoon to the extravagant performance by OutKast, day one of Forecastle did not disappoint.

Wednesday, October 30 2013

Rob Sheffield Shows Us How to Talk to Girls

Sheffield is a supersmart, insightful, funny, passionate fan who delights in the visceral and communal pleasures of popular music.

Thursday, October 17 2013

The Avett Brothers: Magpie and the Dandelion

The Avetts return with their eighth album, a set of ringers, leftovers, sweet talking, and a live track for true believers.

Phonograph: OKNO [15.Nov.09]
Phish: Joy [10.Sep.09]


Sunday, August 3 2014

The Queen of Rockabilly Looks Back: Wanda Jackson at 9th Street Summerfest

The First Lady of Rockabilly gave an energetic set at the 9th Street Summerfest in Missouri, mixing together youthful zeal with old-time classics.

Monday, December 5 2011

Bubbling Under the 75 Best Songs of 2011: The Belle Brigade

Today we presented our Best 75 Songs of 2011. Here are several more just bubbling under the top 75...

Thursday, May 27 2010

American Idol: The Season Finale

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

American Idol: The Top Three

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.

American Idol: The Final Four (Channel Surfing) [12.May.10]
American Idol: Week #10, The Top Five (Channel Surfing) [5.May.10]
American Idol: Week #9, The Top Six (Channel Surfing) [28.Apr.10]
American Idol: Week #8, The Top Seven (Channel Surfing) [21.Apr.10]
American Idol: Week #7, The Top 9 (Again) (Channel Surfing) [14.Apr.10]
American Idol: Week #6, The Top 9 (Channel Surfing) [7.Apr.10]
American Idol: Week #5, The Top Ten (Channel Surfing) [31.Mar.10]
American Idol: Week #4, The Top 11 (Channel Surfing) [24.Mar.10]
American Idol: Week #3, The Top 12 (Channel Surfing) [17.Mar.10]
American Idol: Week #3, Top 8 Boys (Channel Surfing) [11.Mar.10]
American Idol: Week #3, Top 8 Girls (Channel Surfing) [10.Mar.10]
American Idol: Week #2, Top Ten Girls (Channel Surfing) [4.Mar.10]
American Idol: Week #2, Top Ten Boys (Channel Surfing) [3.Mar.10]
American Idol: Week #1, Top 12 Boys (Channel Surfing) [25.Feb.10]
American Idol: Week #1, Top 12 Girls (Channel Surfing) [24.Feb.10]
American Idol: The Top 24 Is Revealed at Last (Channel Surfing) [18.Feb.10]
American Idol: Hollywood Week - Group Day (Channel Surfing) [11.Feb.10]
American Idol: Hollywood Week, Round One (Channel Surfing) [10.Feb.10]
American Idol: The Road to Hollywood (Channel Surfing) [4.Feb.10]
American Idol: Denver Auditions (Channel Surfing) [2.Feb.10]
American Idol: Dallas Auditions (Channel Surfing) [28.Jan.10]
American Idol: Los Angeles Auditions (Channel Surfing) [27.Jan.10]
American Idol: Orlando Auditions (Channel Surfing) [21.Jan.10]
American Idol: Chicago Auditions (Channel Surfing) [19.Jan.10]
American Idol: Atlanta Auditions (Channel Surfing) [13.Jan.10]
American Idol: Boston Auditions (Channel Surfing) [13.Jan.10]
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