As I did last year, I volunteered at LouFest, St. Louis’ annual music festival held in Forest Park. One of the main reasons for my volunteering is of course, to give back to the community, but to also listen to tons of great music over the course of two days. This year’s lineup included a handful of major artists like Ludacris, The Avett Brothers and Billy Idol, however, what I enjoyed most were the lesser-known and up-and-coming bands. Groups such as Southern blues-soul outfit JJ Grey and Mofro, alternative crew Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas and my absolute favorite, the 10-piece soul ensemble The Suffers.
Hailing from my hometown of Houston, Texas, the group — fronted by singer Kam Franklin rocked the crowd with their brand of soul, funk, rock, blues and Latin-influences. I had never heard of the group prior to LouFest, but with a new album in works (successfully funded via Kickstarter last month) and two EPS out now, I’m sure I will be hearing way more about them in 2016. In the meantime, check out their NPR Tiny Desk Session, which was recorded in September.