Salt of the Earth celebrates 20 years of making music in St. Louis
With six albums of original music, the St. Louis-based band Salt of the Earth is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The roots group makes regular appearances at the Sheldon Concert Hall, farmers markets, wineries, coffeehouses and festivals. On Saturday, the band will play a concert at the Focal Point in Maplewood.
Salt of the Earth got its start in the early 2000s. Founder Lynne Reif (vocals and rhythm guitar) came up with the concept after previously playing in a local alt-country band.
“I left that experience wanting to have kind of a more authentically acoustic sound — still being plugged in, but I really wanted the music, the melody, the rhythm to come through,” Reif said. “So my main focus at the beginning was that I did not want to have drums. I want to have strings, bass and rich melodies.”
Other members of the band include Jake Brookman (cello), Jim Hieger (lead acoustic guitar) and Mike Schrand (bass and vocals). Schrand and Reif write the songs, the themes of which reflect the ups and downs of life.
“We’ve been through a lot of things together,” Schrand said. “I think it’s kind of like a relationship. You go through a lot of things together and either the relationship lasts or it doesn’t, and we’ve lasted.”
Indeed, 20 years marks a milestone in a band’s existence.
“Sometimes, when you get people who have a sense of self that’s of a certain magnitude, you’re going to get some rubbing up and some friction there,” Schrand explained. “We’re always very open with each other, and we’ve always been very close as friends and listen to each other. Even when things are tense we don’t let ourselves get in the way of things too much.”
What: Salt of the Earth 20th anniversary concert
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 5
Where: The Focal Point, Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood
To hear samples of Salt of the Earth’s music and comments from Lynne Reif and Mike Schrand listen to St. Louis on the Air on Apple Podcast, Spotify or Google Podcast by clicking the play button below.
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Ulaa Kuziez is our production intern. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to email@example.com.