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Music Interview: Aaron Berkowitz + St. Louis, MS

Aaron Berkowitz is a force to be reckoned with. As one half of the boutique events and marketing company Knuckle Rumbler, Aaron has produced events for big named brands and worked with Grammy winning artists. Although Knuckle Rumbler is based in Austin, TX, Aaron grew-up in St. Louis and never lost a passion for the city of his youth; he still promotes and produces events in the city and is a “big supporter of the future of The Lou.”

chuck-berryWhat should we know before we go to the St. Louis?
It’s a huge sports town with a musical under belly. People like their baseball, their food and their blues
Who are your local musical heroes?
Nelly, The Urge, Rockwell Knuckles, Kim Massie, Tina Turner, Chuck Berry, T-Bone Burnett, Scott Joplin to name a few
What local bands or musicians should we be listening out for?
Rockwell Knuckles hands down has an incredible presence and I believe destined to be the next artist to make it big out of the city.
What are your favorite music venues and where should we eat and drink around there?
Favorite music venue is The Gramophone. Sound is great, the room is lined up perfect and the drinks are always cold. Plus their diversity in music can’t be beat. Everything from the great dance parties like London Calling and our own Glory Daze to tremendous soul and funk music from the likes of JC Brooks. Also great blues, jazz and hip hop can all be heard there.
For food you really can’t go wrong with a burger from Blueberry Hill. But my favorite spot is The Gyro House in the Loop. If Italian is more your speed then check any spot on The Hill.
Any local music festivals or events we should put on our calendar?
This is a huge year for St. Louis music. In addition to the really fun (and free) Live on the Levee series that the city puts on under the arch this will be the first year for a true big name music festival called appropriately Lou Fest. Headlined by Broken Social Scene, Jeff Tweedy and more it will really catapult St. Louis’s musical presence nation wide.
Is there a “St. Louis sound”? Or is there a community/scene vibe in the city?
The city sound is a mixture of everything around St. Louis, which is essentially the rest of the country. We have been influenced (and have influenced in the same regard) by the sounds coming down from Chicago and New York, up from Memphis and the Delta and over from the west coast and the dirty south. People in the north consider St. Louis a southern city and people in the south consider it the first northern city, so the inflection from others and the central location of the city give it a very diverse sound and nature

What’s your perfect night out in St. Louis?
Start out with a happy hour sitting outside in the Loop area followed by taking the metro link down to Busch Stadium to catch a Cardinals baseball game. After the game its great to just walk over to BB’s Jazz Blues and Soup or Soulard Oyster Bar and catch great bands like Gumbohead or Kim Massie. Ending the night at Courtesy Diner is a must.

Any other things that are a must see and do in St. Louis?
-Check out St. Louis Blues hockey
Taste of St. Louis
-Sneak into W.I.L.D. at Wash U
-Go to the top of the Arch
-Wednesday night concerts at the Botanical Gardens
The Gramophone
4243 Manchester Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63110 – (314) 531-5700

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Blueberry Hill
6504 Delmar Boulevard, St Louis, MO 63130-4501 – (314) 727-4444

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The Gyro House
571 Melville Avenue, St Louis, MO 63130-4551 – (314) 721-5638

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