St. Louis-based band, Rough Shop, has completed its second holiday album “Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree.” The music of Rough Shop is informed by rock, pop, soul and country music, and these influences shine through on nine original songs and four versions of not-often covered holiday songs including “Purple Snowflakes”(recorded by Marvin Gaye), “I Wish You a Merry Christmas” (penned by Gerry Goffin and Carole King), “North St. Grande” (written by the venerable English folk-rock band Stackridge) and a re-write of a Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross song, “Gimme That Wine.”
The five-piece band is comprised of veteran St. Louis musicians who together have been putting out albums since 2006. The principal songwriters of Rough Shop (Andy Ploof and John Wendland) have had their songs played at Farm Aid and on NPR’s “Whad’Ya Know?” and The Riverfront Times has heralded Ploof and Wendland as the “Best Songwriters in St. Louis.” Rough Shop has been named by The Riverfront Times as “Best Americana/Folk Act” and has made St. Louis Magazine’s “A List” for Established Music Act. The members of Rough Shop have played SXSW and CMJ, showcased at the International Folk Alliance Conference and have toured Europe numerous times as part of Rough Shop and previous bands One Fell Swoop, Hazeldine and Nadine.
Many bands have recorded holiday albums but “Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree” isn’t like other holiday albums. This is a labor of love for the band. Rough Shop has become famous in St. Louis for putting on their annual holiday extravaganzas. These concerts often sell out and draw upon the talents of a host of special guests; they have become communal, celebratory musical experiences of the highest Yuletide order. The original songs are really the heart of the shows, which are rounded out by versions of holiday chestnuts ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to George Jones to Rufus Thomas to the Sonics.
The approach of these shows shaped the direction of “Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree.” Many special guests from other bands (the Love Experts, Magnolia Summer, Ransom Note, for starters) join Rough Shop on this 13-song collection that manages to communicate all the feelings of the holidays: wonder, loneliness, joy, sadness, celebration, longing, family, helplessness and beauty.
released October 28, 2014
Andy Ploof (lead guitar, baritone guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals)
Anne Tkach (bass, glockenspiel, xylophone, percussion and vocals)
John Wendland (rhythm guitar, bouzouki and vocals)
Jon Parsons (piano, organ and vocals)
Spencer Marquart (drums, percussion and vocals)
With special guests: Danielle Aslanian, Steve Carosello, Chris Grabau, Cindy Petracek, Jack Petracek, Steve Scariano, Merv Schrock and Toby Weiss.
Rough Shop is a band from St. Louis, featuring songwriters John Wendland and Andy Ploof, formerly of One Fell Swoop, along
with the voice and bass of Anne Tkach, a veteran of Hazeldine, Nadine and Magic City. Together they perform as an acoustic trio and as an electric outfit featuring Spencer Marquart on drums. Released in 2012, "Beneath the South Side Bridge is the band's fourth album....more