The holidays are not officially over in my house until I put away the decorations and we all go back to work and school.  This year, that won’t be until January 6 or for my college freshman, even later in the month. I figure that still gives me time to post one more holiday event I attended that checked two items off my bucket list.

Three friends and I went to see Pokey LaFarge at the Casa Loma Ballroom. Only one of us, Sue Small, knew anything about Pokey. I confess it was not even my idea to have him on my Show-Me List, he was suggested by my friend Jeannine because he is based in St. Louis. But I’m thrilled to have experienced his “Home for the Holidays” show.

For our pre-show dinner we stopped at Ted Kilgore’s new place, Planter’s House. Kilgore is a cocktail genius. He made one of my favorite cocktails one night at Taste when it was still in Benton Park. As expected, the cocktail menu at his own restaurant is extensive and creative. The dinner menu is limited, small plates and a selection of some heartier dishes. I had the poutine and the meat and cheese tray – both were tasty. But really, I was there for the drinks. I had a delicious lemony drink called Working Title, I’d have stayed all night and tried some others but we did have to get to the show. My only regret, not seeing the upstairs which is supposed to be a lovely bar as well, I’ll just have to go back.

Casa Loma Ballroom is an experience. Larger than I expected, with a second story overlooking the dance floor, I was glad we got there a little early to get a table and have a look around. There are ample bars for imbibing, which we did, and plenty of tables for sitting and people watching, which we also did. The show was sold out so as the night went on, through two opening acts, the place filled up, but it was not overcrowded, although the dance floor was too packed for dancing. I can see where it would be very fun to go back there on a big band night for dancing.

Pokey and the South City Three were the highlight of a fun night. I’m not musical enough to put a genre label on their music. It’s a bit 50s country-blues-swing-ragtime meets Arlo Guthrie-hipster chic. Simply, it’s good music; band-enjoying-themselves good; audience-dancing-singing-along good; the-Midwest-should-not-be-dismissed good. Julie and I pushed our way up to the front of the stage and had a great view of the band interacting as well as Pokey’s expressive face. Bought two CDs on the way out so I can get to know them even better for the next time I see them.

Thanks to Pokey, Casa Loma, Jeannine, Sue, Sue and Julie for another great night in the memory bank.