Author: Kristal "K*Star" Kuykendall

The Infamous Stringdusters played Hillberry 2017 and will return to Eureka Springs' The Farm for the October 2018 Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival.

Hillberry 2018 Lineup: Railroad Earth, Trampled By Turtles, Sam Bush, Lettuce, Wood Bros, Stringdusters, Billy Strings, a Big Smith Reunion, Much More

EUREKA SPRINGS, Arkansas (March 28, 2018) — Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival 2018 has released the full lineup announcement for the October 11-14 event, and it includes a stellar lineup of internationally acclaimed bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, jam-grass, roots-rock, Americana, and funk acts, plus 2 nights (4 sets) from festival co-host Railroad Earth. The following is the full lineup of bands scheduled to perform at this fall’s Hillberry. An asterisk (*) denotes that this will be the act’s debut at The Farm, home of Hillberry, near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Click here to watch our Hillberry 2018 YouTube playlist, with live performance videos from every Hillberry performer. • Trampled By Turtles*, the award-winning Minnesota band that has made a habit of forging a place at the top of mainstream charts for its blazing-fast, edgy progressive bluegrass • The “Father of Newgrass” Sam Bush* • 7-piece international funk-masters and JamCruise veterans Lettuce • Critically acclaimed Americana trio The Wood Brothers*, the subject of a new documentary film and rave reviews from the likes of NPR and The New York Times • Recent Grammy winners...

Dynamic Progressive-Folk Act Red Oak Ruse Debuting in Central Arkansas [Friday, March 23 at Four Quarter]

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – This Friday, March 23, the state’s most upbeat progressive-folk band makes its Central Arkansas debut when Red Oak Ruse performs at Four Quarter Bar in Argenta, beginning around 10 pm. Admission is $7, ages 21 and up. Before the show, starting at 8 pm, New Belgium Brewing is hosting a Tap Takeover Pint Night event, introducing its new Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA and also featuring its wood-aged La Folie sour ale. (For more on that, scroll to the bottom.) The members of Red Oak Ruse – the most dynamic indie folk act to come out of Arkansas in a long time – all have a widely varied and extensive background in music in several different states. For example, frontman and vocalist/fiddler/guitarist Michael Schembre may be most widely known by Arkansas live music fans for his role with Mountain Sprout from 2013-2016; but in Missouri, his home state until he moved to Eureka Springs a couple years ago, he’s well-known for the music he played with The Kay Brothers, The Hat Trick, and Mary & the...

Hillberry Festival Lineup Round 1: Railroad Earth, Trampled By Turtles, Sam Bush and More

Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival has released its first lineup announcement for the October 11-14, 2018, event. Hillberry 5 will include 2 nights (4 sets) from Hillberry co-host Railroad Earth; plus performances from Trampled By Turtles, which just announced it is ending a 2-year hiatus; the “Father of Newgrass” Sam Bush; critically acclaimed Americana trio The Wood Brothers; speed-grass Billboard chart-topper Billy Strings; “thrash-grass” pioneers Split Lip Rayfield; Arkansas’ leading prog-grass band Arkansauce; “groove-grass” standouts The Mighty Pines; and Chicago-based up-and-comers Miles Over Mountains. Hillberry Festival is hosted by Deadhead Productions, which has hosted various music festivals at numerous venues over the years and now is headquartered at The Farm near Eureka Springs. Tickets are on sale now at Eventbrite at early bird prices while they last. Ticket sales will be limited to 3,000 attendees, and the festival is expected to sell out. The Farm is located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains just a few miles from historic Eureka Springs, amid rolling mountaintops on a largely wooded, privately owned, 160-acre property; it is 26 miles from Rogers/Bentonville and 50 miles from...

Kenny Chesney is pictured during his 2016 tour. Photo by Jill Trunnell.

Grammy Nominee Kenny Chesney Sets July AMP Concert Date; Tickets on Sale Friday

One of country music’s biggest stars and a 6-time Grammy nominee, Kenny Chesney, is returning to the Walmart AMP stage in 2018. Chesney will headline a July 12, 2018, concert at the AMP with opener Old Dominion; it is his third time to perform at the AMP. Tickets range from $60-$109, and they go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 19 through ticketmaster.com. Chesney is one of country music’s most prolific and successful acts, having sold over 30 million copies of his 20 albums, which produced more than 40 Top 10 singles on the Billboard charts – 29 of which have reached No. 1. Chesney is a 6-Academy of Country Music Awards winner (including four consecutive Entertainer of the Year awards from 2005 to 2008), as well as 6 awards from the Country Music Association. He was just nominated for his 6th Grammy – but his first solo nod – for Best Country Album for Cosmic Hallelujah. The Grammy nomination was somewhat serendipitous, coming after a last-minute change to the release schedule for Cosmic Hallelujah‘s tracks. In fact, when Chesney switched the lead single...

The Infamous Stringdusters played Hillberry 2017 and will return to Eureka Springs' The Farm for the October 2018 Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival.

LISTEN: Infamous Stringdusters at Hillberry 2017 [Full Show Audio]

Just a month before being nominated for their second Grammy Award, The Infamous Stringdusters blew fans away first by sitting in at October’s Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival as the backing band behind Keller Williams in his Grateful Grass set (you can stream that one too here) and then with their own extended set immediately after – and they even threw in another Dead song for good measure, which set the enthusiastic crowd on fire all over again. Stream the full set below, courtesy of InsideOut Recording and Chris Lambert. The Stringdusters earned their second Grammy nod for Best Bluegrass Album for “Laws of Gravity,” released early in 2017. The Grammys will air on CBS television stations on January 28, 2018 at 6:30 pm Central time. Their first nomination came in 2009, for Best Country Instrumental Performance for their track “Magic No. 9.” (Marty Stuart took home the Grammy that year.) SETLIST: INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS AT HILLBERRY 2017 You Can’t Stop the Changes All That I Can Take I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink Gravity Night on the River...

LISTEN: Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass with Infamous Stringdusters at Hillberry 2017 [Full Show Audio]

Keller Williams always delivers an outstanding show, regardless of whether it’s just him sounding like 5 musicians, with all his musical tricks, looping, and the like, but his Grateful Grass shows are a rare treat. We rarely know ahead of time who the backing band will be, but he never fails to wow audiences with talented stars from the jam-grass scene. But Keller’s Grateful Grass set at Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival 2017 was even more outstanding, as he surprised fans with the full Infamous Stringdusters crew as his Grateful Grass backing band – and they sounded like they’d been playing together for ages! It was great, and the packed field of music fans went nuts! Here’s the audio from that set. (The soundboard recording didn’t start till after song 1, Feel Like a Stranger.) SETLIST: GRATEFUL GRASS AT HILLBERRY 2017 Eyes of the World > Shakedown Street Crazy Fingers Scarlet Begonias Tennessee Jed Jack Straw > Cumberland Blues > They Love Each Other Sugaree New Speedway Boogie * Encore: Mr. Charlie * * With John Skehan (mandolin) and Andy Goessling...

CONCERT NEWS: Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit to play El Dorado Murphy Arts District in May

El Dorado’s Murphy Arts District has announced that Jason Isbell and his mighty band The 400 Unit will play the Griffin Music Hall at MAD on Saturday May 5, 2018. The group also is slated to perform January 21 at Little Rock’s Robinson Center with opener James McMurtry; tickets for the Little Rock concert sold out quickly via Ticketmaster but some are available for resale online as of this writing. Isbell and crew are touring in support of their highly acclaimed album The Nashville Sound, which has been nominated by the 2018 Grammy Awards for Best Americana Album and Best American Roots song (“If We Were Vampires”). The band recently made appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and CBS Saturday Morning. Additionally, they just taped their second Austin City Limits. Isbell is also a former member of the Drive-By Truckers. Ticket pre-sales for the May 5 concert begin this Thursday, January 11. Members of MAD can purchase tickets at 10 am, Thursday; ticket sales to the general public begin at 10 am Friday, January 12. Details can be found on...

Stream audio from every Backwoods 2018 Phase 2 act

Below you’ll find streaming audio for every act announced in Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain’s Phase 2 Lineup! GRiZ Michael Menert Aplsoz AttA Brainrack Cntrlla Cut Rugs Dalton Richmond Deep Sequence Evix Glass Cannon Jade Cicada KirbyBright Kraang Live Symmetry Lyftd Mass Relay Meesh Modern Measure Muzzy Bearr Nappy Dread No.Faces Recess Recycled Funk Snails Space4Lease The 1 Oz. Jig The Brown Bag E.P. by The 1 oz. Jig Trouble in the Streets  

Backwoods at Mulberry Unveils Phase 2 lineup, adds GRiZ, Snails, Michal Menert

Backwoods Music Festival late Friday unveiled the second phase of its lineup for the April 2018 event at Mulberry Mountain, and the newly added names include outrageously popular global hitmakers Snails, GRiZ, Michal Menert, and many more – plus a good number of up-and-coming Arkansas-based such as Atta, Flintwick, Fractal Sky, Deep Sequence, Recess, Meesh, No.Faces, Dalton Richmond and funk veterans The 1 Oz. Jig. The acts announced Friday evening add to an already-stacked lineup; Phase 1 (unveiled on November 20) included longtime Red Rocks sell-out electronica-jamband STS9 as well as The Floozies, plus a bunch of Arkansas standouts including Arkansauce, Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings, Flintwick, Fractal Sky, Groovement, and National Park Radio. Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain 2018 takes place April 20-22 and tickets are on sale now. Scroll down for more info on every act announced in Phase 2, or click here to stream music from every single one! Wanna know more about the Phase 1 lineup? Click here to read Arkansounds’ Phase 1 lineup announcement story and learn more about Phase 1 headliners STS9 and The Floozies. All...

Boom Kinetic New Year’s Eve at Rev Room [Photos & Video]

Arkansounds contributor John Freshour of Little Rock spied a lot of happy faces at Rev Room’s New Year’s Eve bash featuring Fayetteville-based cover band Boom Kinetic, who always puts on a great show filled with favorite pop, dance and rock songs from the last quarter-century.

Arkansounds Insiders Weekly Update [12-28-17]

Welcome to the Arkansounds Insider weekly update! With your Arkansounds Insider membership, you are automatically entered in our biggest giveaways, and we’ll keep you in the loop about all our contests, the latest news, and the best upcoming live music all around Arkansas! GIVEAWAY ALERTS Ozark Mountain Music Festival Eureka Springs Weekend: As an Arkansounds Insider, you’ve already been entered. Package includes 2 full-event passes to Ozark Mountain Music Festival Jan. 18-21, 2018, and a guest room for 2 at the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa; total retail value $590. (Read more here. Winner drawn Jan.11.) DOUBLE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: Want a “double entry” giving you twice the chance of winning? Click here for instructions on 3 easy ways to earn a double entry for both of the above Giveaways!  OUR YOUTUBE PLAYLISTS OF THE WEEK TRAIL TO THE WOODS: BACKWOODS AT MULBERRY MOUNTAIN 2018 ARTISTS Watch videos here from every act announced thus far for Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain! Backwoods Music Festival last month unveiled its lineup for the April 2018 event at Mulberry Mountain – its first year to be held at...

Watch El Dorado Native Traci De Leon Nail Christmas Carol Medley With Daughters – A Cappella

Season’s Greetings! Yes, Christmas just passed, but we simply had to share this video of a mother-daughters trio singing a medley of traditional Christmas carols a cappella. The mom is Traci De Leon, born and raised in El Dorado and an alum of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. She’s now a vocal coach and independent singer/songwriter based in San Francisco with her Air Force husband, whose career has taken their family from Arkansas to Charleston, South Carolina, then Los Angeles, and now San Fran. Teaching singing since 1998 to literally hundreds of singers, De Leon is considered one of the leading contemporary singing specialists in the U.S. You can find more about her music at TraciDeLeon.com and vocal coaching and music lesson services at TraciDeLeonMusic.com. Watch her sing below with her daughters, Ivy Creel, 21, a student at Cal State Fullerton in Southern California majoring in Physical Theater, and Drew De Leon, 18, a student at Cal State Long Beach majoring in Kinesiology/Physical Therapy. Excellent!

Billboard Names Jonesboro’s Zach Williams as Top New Christian Artist, Top Male Christian Artist of 2017

Acclaimed chart-topper reflects on his successful switch from secular to Christian music: ‘Doing What God Wants Me to Do’ Before embarking on a solo career in the Christian genre, 39-year-old singer-songwriter Zach Williams, from Jonesboro, Arkansas, fronted a rock band, Zach Williams & The Reformation, which he launched in 2007. The unit had built a solid fan base that extended to Europe, but after several tours and an admitted “reckless lifestyle,” he returned home to Arkansas, working as an associate pastor in a local church. That’s the short version of a longer story that encompasses the artist’s dramatic life change, finding God, and turning to spiritual music – the life of Zach Williams, profiled in Billboard magazine and named its Top New Christian Artist of 2017, as well as Top Male Christian Artist of 2017. READ MORE FROM BILLBOARD Zach Williams’ ‘Choir’ Tops Hot Christian Songs Chart, Helped by 6-Year-Old Fan Both of Williams’ first two Christian singles, “Chain Breaker” (in November 2016) and “Old Church Choir” (this year), topped Billboard‘s Hot Christian Songs and Christian Airplay charts and his debut full-length, Chain Breaker, peaked...

Listen to NPR podcast featuring Saint Mark Baptist Church Gospel Choir of Little Rock

Saint Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock raised the roof when their gospel choir performed in May 2017 at Little Rock’s Wildwood Park. Listen here to correspondent Tom Wilmer as he visits with Darius Nelson, Pastor of Music and Arts at Saint Mark, followed by 20 minutes of some powerful gospel singing, in this NPR podcast by KCBX Radio of California. You can watch their worship services live on the Saint Mark Facebook page; here’s the December 17, 2017 service. Saint Mark’s choir has performed at the White House as well as around Arkansas and the region.

Video Playlist: The Top 10 Best Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir Songs

Bentonville-based Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir is a nationally renowned group that uses gospel music to spread a message of Christian faith, hope, love, and joy to the state, country, and world. The Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir has made a major impression with the quality of its music as well as its stand for diversity, tolerance, and unity in spreading their message through music of love. The choir has become an institution known for its concerts throughout Arkansas and the nation. Listed below are some lyrics and videos from AXS.com’s Top 10 Best Songs of the Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir, emphasizing the group’s interpretation of peace and joy. (You can check out these and many more Arkansas gospel group videos on our Arkansounds Arkansas Gospel YouTube Playlist.) 10. “This is the Day” “This is the Day” is a song covered by the Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir on their album Hold on for Life. The song is mainly a repeat of the following lyrics: This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it This is...

Arkansounds Guide to Arkansas’ Best New Year’s Eve Live Music

Don’t have New Year’s Eve plans set in stone yet? No worries, Arkansounds has you covered with all the top options for every area in Arkansas! (And if you work in the service industry and are interested in celebrating on New Year’s Day, when you’re off work, may we suggest a road trip to Tulsa for Cain’s Ballroom’s Hangover Ball? See details at the bottom of this page.) In Northwest Arkansas, there are a ton of great options, depending on your tastes and preferences. FAYETTEVILLE NYE LIVE MUSIC LAST NIGHT FAYETTEVILLE (MULTIPLE ACTS) Want a variety of music, live entertainment, and stages that are also family-friendly? Then Northwest Arkansas’ biggest party of the year, Last Night Fayetteville, is your best bet. (Wanna hear the bands performing instead of reading about them? Check out our Arkansounds Last Night Fayetteville playlist on Spotify here.) This year’s Last Night schedule includes so many indoor options for live entertainment: 18 musical acts on 4 different downtown stages, several comedians at Art Ventures NWA, 4 cabaret acts at The Chancellor Hotel stage, 5 kids’ acts...

Fayetteville’s country newcomer Dylan Earl on DittyTV live-set video series as tour, growth continue [video]

Fayetteville-based country upstart Dylan Earl & The Reasons Why has been gaining quite a bit of attention from various media channels around the state and the Mid-South as the group continues touring in support of their new album, New Country To Be, released in October. Earl was featured in a live studio performance video by Memphis’ DittyTV digital channel in October, and more recently he was interviewed for a North Mississippi Daily Journal story a couple weeks ago before a show at the Blue Canoe in Tupelo, Mississippi. Earl relocated from Louisiana to Northwest Arkansas after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and he told the NMDJ that he’ll be “in Arkansas forever.” Traveling has taken him all over, from opera houses to basements playing his music live. “There’s not really a typical live show,” Earl says in the newspaper article. “I love mixing it up; keeps the road fresh. I sincerely hope that, in the least, folks feel like the hard-earned money they’ve spent on being at one of my shows is worth it. I’m honored people choose my music to accompany...

Blockbuster trio Point of Grace discusses new Christmas album, plans for new record in 2018

Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian trio Point of Grace – whose founding members started the group 25 years ago after singing together at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas – has released a new Christmas album in a partnership with LifeWay Worship and will soon begin work on a second. Sing Noël, Point of Grace’s first album with LifeWay, features 10 new arrangements of beloved carols and Christmas favorites, including “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” “Mary, Did You Know?” and “What Child Is This?” “It has been several years since we have recorded a Christmas project, and this one is really special,” Point of Grace’s Shelley Breen says. “It has a central focus on the carols of Christmas.” In January the group will begin recording a second album with LifeWay featuring a collection of best-loved hymns and worship songs. Point of Grace has won 3 Grammy nominations, most recently for Directions Home (Songs We Love, Songs You Know) in 2015. The group has won multiple Dove Awards and sold more than 8 million recordings in their 25-year history. Breen says she feels the new Christmas album captures...