BLOG: Opal’s Nothing But a Sweet ‘Happy New Year’ in Eureka Springs

Never miss a Sunday show, they say. Well that rang particularly true on New Year’s Eve in Eureka Springs as 2017 was sent to final edit and we all convened at Chelsea’s Corner Café to welcome 2018 with vigorous optimism, passion, love, and joy through the sweet music and good vibes of Opal Agafia and The Sweet Nothings.

It was as a family affair, as my lovely, wonderfully beautiful, and extremely talented girlfriend Gina Gallina had recently accepted my proposal for marriage. This makes me a happy man, and I’m excited for our continued adventures together. I’m so very lucky to have such a pulchritudinous lady by my side.

Bonus: A whole horde of familia from Deadhead Productions had come to Eureka Springs for the occasion. We shared in delight and celebrated the gift of each others’ presence as we all dined at the Grand Taverne in style. We feasted together as we bade 2017 adieu while toasting to 2018 and the New Year that was upon us.

Summer McArthur, left, was the winner of the Arkansounds NYE Getaway and enjoyed free dinner at the Grand Taverne, a pair of tickets to see Opal Agafia and The Sweet Nothings, and a king room that night courtesy of Arkansounds partner, Grand Central Hotel and Spa.

Then it was upward on onward to Chelsea’s for a New Year’s Eve celebration!

The moon was waxing and nearly full as it filled the sky to the east of Eureka. We all shuffled in and found plenty of smiling faces peering over pint glasses filled with amber ale. We exchanged pleasantries, hugs, and stories as the all-star ensemble Blue Dream Blue graced the stage and set the tone for the evening with a steady flow of wonderful tunes.

Blue Dream Blue is an idea, a way of thinking, a way of coping, a way to be. It manifests at Chelsea’s every Sunday night at 7 pm in music form and consists of the members of Los Roscoes, David Blankenship on lead guitar, Adam Moraga on bass and vocals, Brian Martin on drums along with special guest Melissa Carper on bass and vocals, and of course the host of Blue Dream Blue, Mr. Michael Hopper II on electric guitar. Every Sunday night, you can count on a soul-filled room with wonderful versions of your favorite songs. On this night, Blue Dream Blue’s members formed the perfect opening act as they christened the stage with Ozark blues for this Sunday-church New Year’s Eve Celebration.

Chelsea’s sold out on New Year’s Eve as Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings took the stage.

Opal Agafia and The Sweet Nothings took the stage with about 2 hours to go in 2017. We were all suspended in the moment with each other while we reflected on the year that just swept by and looked forward with hopeful hearts to the one to come. With the changes humanity is experiencing at such a rapid rate, it is paramount now more than ever to hold on to the lessons of our past and keep our lessons safe. Keep our music safe. Songs are the best time capsules ever made, and Opal Agafia and The Sweet Nothings fills those vessels with a pureness and rich love that the music demands and deserves.

The whole show was pulsing with energy, and the place was electric. I was able to get a decent iPhone video of the song “Rebel Son” (see below) off The Sweet Nothings’ debut album One Down, Forever To Go. Opal wrote “Rebel Son” with her mother, DeAnna Smith. This particular song has grabbed my attention from the first time I heard it. It depicts what seems like an anthem to the thousands and thousands of good ole Southern boys of the past who didn’t do anything wrong except protect their land and stand with their neighbors.

The song’s Rebel Son is dreaming about his freckled lover and washing down her memory with some homemade whiskey. Opal explains: “It’s a story about a guy living life in the Old South.”  This is true; but when you hear the song and listen closely, there’s much, much more. The story comes to life. It pools in the blood, passes through the eves, and gets handed down. That is the power that Opal and The Sweet Nothings tap into: the power to abide the soul that drives the music to the surface. They have the capability to touch the soul that commands the story and becomes a time capsule in musical form. They have a potency that seeks the storyteller through creative, spirit-driven energy.

Midnight came and I kissed my beautiful fiancee as the band came back to start 2018 off right. A packed house at Chelsea’s continued to rock and roll till last call, then scores of satisfied souls drifted off to warm after-party locations and bedrooms across the area. It was positively a remarkable New Year’s Eve celebration, and as always Opal Agafia and The Sweet Nothings lifted us up as we got down.

Opal Agafia and The Sweet Nothings are heading out to Texas for shows on January 19 and 20, back to Arkansas on January 27 for a show at Four Quarter Bar in North Little Rock, then a show on February 3 at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville. March 3 finds them in Springfield at the Outland Ballroom and many more shows will be announced between then and June 2, 2018, when their album release party will be held at George’s, following the release of their sophomore album titled, “Share What You Own.” I cannot wait to attend the release and add their new album to my collection. Meet me there!

Find your new favorite Opal Agafia and The Sweet Nothings song at www.opalagafia.com.

See y’all at a show real soon!