Coming Soon: Handpicked with Under The Big Oak Tree

Under The Big Oak Tree's "Handpicked" concert poster

WHO’S PLAYING?  Under The Big Oak Tree (and guests) (St. Joseph, MO)

WHAT TO EXPECT?  Billed as “Winter Greens” this is another very unique concert that will feature songs related to the winter and the holiday season. The event will be part of the First Saturdays celebration for December in downtown St. Joseph, Missouri. If it is anything like the first installment of the Handpicked series expect an eclectic mix of cover songs and maybe a couple originals.

Under The Big Oak Tree are a local traditional bluegrass band. Their brilliant musicianship has impressed crowds over the last couple years while supporting their self-titled debut album and their latest release “Local Honey.” The 3 piece group features the sweet vocal stylings on Kristin Hamilton who also plays acoustic guitar, stand-up bass player Doug “Sluggo” Ward and multi-instrumentalist Simon Fink.

Like the delightful “Autumn Spirits & Spice” that took place on October 1st (see full review below) earlier this year a special guest is scheduled to help out the hosting group. The group set the bar high with the first installment of the Handpicked series but thoroughly takes on each project with full concentration so expect nothing but the best.

Under The Big Oak Tree sounds like: traditional bluegrass, music you would hear on a Victrola, hot cocoa early in the morning on a cold December Sunday.

WHERE IS IT? The Paradox Theatre, 107 S. 6th Street, St. Joseph, MO 64501

WHEN IS IT?  Saturday, December 3rd, 2016; 2:00pm, FREE to all ages


  • It’s a family friendly event, no babysitter required
  • It’s at Paradox, they have a pretty good coffee shop too
  • It’s cold outside, come warm yourself up at Paradox
  • It’s short, at likely under an hour it should be over before the kids even lose their patience
  • It’s a FREE show, it’s hard to beat FREE family entertainment
  • This is the second of three installments of the “Handpicked” series
  • It’s a classy event put on by really good people
  • On a Saturday afternoon it shouldn’t conflict with many other plans, it can be a small part of a busy day
  • There will be a gathering of good spirits in a fun environment to enjoy some holiday and winter songs.

You should RSVP on facebook to the event so you don’t forget, here is the link:

Under The Big Oak Tree concert review: Handpicked #1: “Autumn Spirits & Spice” at The Paradox Theatre in St. Joseph, MO on 10/1/16

To help promote the upcoming “Winter Greens” installment of the Handpicked series, here is a look back at the first show from October.

The first of three shows in an extremely ambitious project by St. Joseph, Missouri band Under The Big Oak Tree was nothing short of thrilling. Focusing on “Autumn Spirits & Spice” for the first installment the three piece band took aim at some well known songs originals and some obscure and intriguing covers to fill out their short 40 minute set.

The show would start with a healthy and patient crowd that worked their way through the Paradox Theatre’s coffee shop to find a few rows of seats in front of the impressive stage that lies within the building. As the show time approached the curtain behind the seating was closed creating a cozy environment for the attendees that came in, most of which after enjoying other First Saturday activities in the downtown area. With the curtain closed The Paradox Theatre transformed into a much more intimate environment paving the way for strong show.

The group started with a somber retelling of Kansas City’s own Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear’s “Dead Daffodils” and following it with the Neil Young classic “Harvest Moon.” Taking the harshness of fall head-on they tackled Tom Waits’ beautiful “Last Leaf” with a wonderful take on the resilient song. The best moments of the show were still the band’s originals somehow. Even with the great choices of covers the originals “Farewell Forever Eleanor” and “Deeper In The Wood” easily stole the show.

The mysteriousness of “Farewell Forever Eleanor” is captivating in itself with its classic storytelling but the addition of special guest Lory Lacy would even further raise the bar for the show. Lacy approached the stage to play her flute and helping out with some vocals that brought the song “Deeper In The Wood” an impressive climax. It could easily be measured by the crowd’s intense reaction and applause that the song was the clear high point of the afternoon show. They would close by turning Nick Cave’s “The Willow Garden” green with its Irishness capping off one of the most eclectic 40 minute sets you will likely see.

Under The Big Oak Tree’s Handpicked “Autumn Spirits & Spice” setlist:

  • Dead Daffodils (Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear song)
  • Harvest Moon (Neil Young song)
  • We Are Going To Be Friends (White Stripes song)
  • Last Leaf (Tom Waits song)
  • Bringing In The Sheaves
  • Farewell Forever Eleanor
  • Wind and Rain (Gillian Welch song)
  • Deeper Into The Wood (with Lory Lacy)
  • The Willow Garden (Nick Cave song) (with Lory Lacy)


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