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Big Mike Aguirre
East Side St. Louis Blues

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St. Louis, Missouri…East Side…music of the night by adults, for adults. Hips swaying, glances stolen, whispers heard… THAT'S the blues world that Big Mike Aguirre (let's call him a-Gear'-ee) came of age in, surrounded by the St. Louis blues masters who were generations his senior. It all occurred in the low-lit, earthy and subtly dangerous clubs of the East and North sides of St. Louis. Big Mike Aguirre paid his respects and his dues, and now finds himself sporting the shoes of those masters, and deservedly so as he has absorbed those early lessons and channeled them through his own soul becoming one of the premier blues and soul artists working in St. Louis today.

Big Mike as a guitarist is a slasher, a groover, a musician who fully understands the soul of the blues. But, talented guitarists abound in St. Louis - and make no mistake, Big Mike can hold his own and then some. The real secret as to why Big Mike Aguirre stands tall among the crowd of other talented blues artists of his generation is found in his voice and on-stage charisma. Big Mike sings from his soul in a warm and expressive voice, one that makes women swoon and makes men jealous (and makes them hold their women just a little bit closer.)

Aguirre absorbed another important lesson from his mentors, and that is the importance of the ensemble nature of all the finest blues bands - the sum truly is even greater than the individual parts. It takes a man confident in his own skills and desirous of placing himself among the ensemble to understand how working with talented musicians only enhances the soulful blues that he presents from stages throughout the St. Louis area - and beyond. Big Mike Aguirre has that confidence, as well as that understanding. Hence, the Blu-City All-Stars!

Big Mike Aguirre & The Blu-City All-Stars were initially an aggregation of younger, like-minded musicians in the St. Louis area who all had a deep love for playing powerful blues and soul music together. As time has gone on, the line-up has solidified into ONE MUSICIAL INSTRUMENT, into a combo who's groove and pocket is as deep and as thick as the nearby mighty Mississippi River.

The Blu-City All-Stars - Andy Coco (bass guitar and vocals), Nathan Hershey (organ, clavinet, Rhodes, keys and vocals) and Kevin Bowers (drums and percussion) are to a man considered among the top-rank of musicians in St. Louis. The gentlemen are not hired guns; along with Big Mike Aguirre they ARE the Blu-City All-Stars, easily capable of making you feel the burn of Guitar Slim's aching, heart-wrenching blues to Earl King's funky Big Easy R&B - and all the blue shades between (and beyond!) They'll strip down hoary cover songs and re-imagine then into anthems of earthy, celebratory, salaciously over-the-top rites of life, and they'll fool you with self-penned tunes that you swear you've heard and loved forever. And here I haven't even touched on the fantastic 3-part harmonies the band routinely yet expertly works into most of their catalog.

Big Mike Aguirre and The Blu-City All-Stars. The fellas are a treasure among the St. Louis blues and roots scene, although not a one of them would ever trumpet their own talents that way. But that's why I'm here, to shout it out, to TESTIFY as to what we in St. Louis have known for several years now - Big Mike Aguirre and The Blu-City All-Stars are musical joy-incarnate and should not be missed - and that ain't too bad at all!

-- East Side Slim, KHDX 88.FM St. Louis Independent Community Radio

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