Category: Opinion

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. 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...

Delvis and The Schwag: An Uncle, A River, and A Hound Dog

This past Friday evening I headed Eastbound to get down with The Schwag in Mountain Home at an eclectic and culturally stimulating venue, Royal 66.  The drive was narrated by different versions of Me and My Uncle and Big River along with some 70s funk playlist action and went by rather quickly.  I dismounted my Subaru and entered to check in to my hotel and ascended to my room to don my Elvis outfit.  I would be Delvis this evening; and the Royal 66 would be the site of a collision of two worlds.  Elvis would do the Dead and Delvis would be the administrator. We sound checked at 7 to work out the kinks and I knew it was gonna be all right, mama.  Four super talented musicians under my spell for three songs.  I felt the magnetic chemistry and knew when it was showtime, it would be electric.  The band went on at 9. The Schwag played a nice ensemble of Dead tunes throughout the evening and the crowd was packed in and found themselves “dancing in the...

BLOG: The Sounds of Grateful Dead + Elvis Hit Mountain Home’s Royal 66 Friday, Nov. 24

Hightail It Down to Mountain Home. This Friday may be Black Friday for many, but it’ll be a Blue Suede Friday in Mountain Home as The Schwag – one of the nation’s top Dead tribute bands – will be joined by special guest DELVIS at Royal 66 as we join everybody in expressing our Thanksgiving “Grateful” spirit through music. Trust me: There won’t be anybody “goin’ down the road feeling bad,” because That’s All Right, Mama, they’ll be riding with the King. I will be donning my DELVIS Elvis Presley tribute act persona as I join The Schwag for a couple of Bobby Weir songs and an Elvis tune. I first saw The Schwag at Rusty’s Last Chance Saloon in Manhattan, Kansas in 1997.  After several Schwagstocks and other local shows, I grew to love them for their authentic and honest approach to celebrating the music of the Grateful Dead. Ever since Workingman’s Dead, Reckoning, and Europe ‘72 got me turned on in high school, I knew there was something in the style they showed me, a mysterious sense of Americana;...

BLOG: Don’t Let Me Being Me Upset You [and That Moment When Music Changes Your Vision]

Have you ever realized, like deep down in your soul, your mind, and your heart – that you have, in some way or in every way, been to hell and back – and perhaps you’re even now still staring down the flames? If so, this blog is for you. I recently spoke from my heart in our Arkansounds.com debut press release about why we are committed to giving back and using music to reach people in every way we can come up with. I mentioned the healing power of music, referencing how my favorite bands and songs have helped me through many “potholes” on this road we call Life – and how those favorite songs and bands continue to provide a palpably joyous soundtrack for the many good times, or periods of smooth travel, if you will. This analogy has been stuck in my head since I interviewed the members of Eureka Springs-based band Red Oak Ruse about their self-titled debut album released September 2. I liked it, a lot. This one song, called “Dust in the Rearview Mirror,” simultaneously...

BLOG: Eureka’s Delvis and Halloween Widespread Panic Tour Take Vegas By Storm

I recently experienced a weekend adventure I will never, ever forget. This Adventure of a Lifetime combined my Delvis persona with my love for Widespread Panic; it was a combo one-two punch with karate kick trip! It began with a flight to Vegas to see Panic for their Halloween run, some impromptu street sets as Delvis (while in costume, everyone I passed by went wild!), and concluded with a packed Delvis show at Rowdy Beaver Den in Eureka Springs. All because you gotta spread your wings if you want to fly.   The night before my departure seemed to be circling the drain toward a river of dreams. I packed my jumpsuit and other sentimental spirit drivers such as my dad’s Virgin Mary pendant, a few spirit stones, and enough vitamin D for everyone. Knowing Las Vegas had recently gone through a horrifying event, it was time to burn some love and inject some Viva Las Vegas back into the soul of Sin City. Sleep came slowly, and before I knew it I was living on Tulsa time as I made...

EDITOR’S TAKE: Why I Dig 607 & Why You Should Not Miss His Album Release Show in NWA Saturday [Sept. 30]

Little Rock-based rapper 607 probably seems like a conundrum, especially if you’ve never had the pleasure of getting to know him as a person and not just the hardest-working rapper in the history of Arkansas. His interviews in the mainstream media are limited mostly to quotes that don’t reveal much about the man, and most reviewers don’t know or care enough about his music or history to bother writing too much about either. His quotes in many of these write-ups – typically delivered with no assistance or insight from the authors – kind of make him sound either conceited or weird. They are, I suppose, part of the character; perhaps they help drive curiosity for readers unfamiliar but interested in local rap. But for me, they’re frustrating. That’s because I know this man. I have for a long time. And, for this website’s purposes at least, more importantly I know his music, or at least much of it. Based on that, I must tell you that if you appreciate rap as a form of modern poetry and blatantly honest commentary...

BLOG: Why The Wood Brothers Are Right About Singing [Plus: Oliver Wood on Fayetteville!]

If you get too worried, what you ought to do is sing… Let’s talk about music. Let’s talk about why we’re here. Why we, at ShindigMusic.net, are doing what we do on this website. Why you are here reading. I mean, MUSIC. But… why? For me, it’s personal. Very personal. Those of you who have known me for a long time know that live music – especially bluegrass and old gospel tunes – transports me to a place of comfort, peace, and safety that no longer exists for me on this planet. Not since my mom died – slowly, over two years of great pain and suffering from brain cancer, all of which I witnessed – when I was 13. If you get worried, what you ought to do is sing… Before the cancer came, I had the best childhood ever. My mom was a rock star of moms. THE rock star among all the moms. And my dad, a gifted musician, was constantly taking us to his gigs, mostly bluegrass, with any number of bands, playing at festivals and...

The light, brief rain during the Floozies' set – combined with an outstanding light show – Friday night made for some amazing photography by LiveEditsLab / Collin Taylor

Highberry 2017 Standouts: Opal Agafia, Floozies, DSO, Marcus King Band … and BUBBLES!

I attended Highberry Music Festival over the weekend leading up to the Fourth, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The national touring acts who performed all brought their best performances, the vibe among the fans was friendly and relaxed, there were literally tons of activities for adults and kids alike, and The Farm – Eureka Springs is a gorgeous setting for a festival event. (With a great disc golf course, year-round camping for a low nightly fee, close proximity to Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake and the White River, and with downtown Eureka Springs being a 15-minute drive away, The Farm is a fabulous setting for anything.) In addition to this recap, be sure to check out our Top 100 Pics from Highberry 2017!  THURSDAY AT HIGHBERRY Thursday’s best set came from Eureka Springs-based group Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings, performing next-to-last on the tent stage. After kicking off their stellar performance with a soft and moody “Old Ways of Living,” the band launched into high gear ­– as did the crowd – a couple songs in. The addition of...

Yonder Mountain String Band performs at the Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, Missouri.

Review: Yonder Mountain String Band in Springfield, 6/22/17

Yonder Mountain String Band brought their best to the Ozarks Thursday night, June 22, at the beautiful, historic Gillioz Theatre in downtown Springfield, as the five-piece jamgrass act celebrated bassist Ben Kaufmann’s 42nd birthday. The 2-hour-plus show saw the band veer from the planned setlist a couple of times, as Kaufmann got into the celebratory spirit and took shout-out requests from the audience and also squeezed in a Facebook request or two. Dave Johnston on banjo immediately brought the heat as he took the instrumental lead early in the first piece, Traffic Jam > Gloryland > Polka > Traffic Jam. It’s so great, for longtime YMSB fans, to see this act continue growing and shining post-Jeff Austin. Austin was undoubtedly the star of the show every show; since his departure and the addition of Jacob Joliff on vocals and mando and Allie Kral on fiddle and vocals, every member has grown into a shining role and every member stands out as excellent at their jobs. Nevertheless, just a few minutes into the opening number, Kral made clear in her nonchalant, “this-is-not-hard-for-me”...