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Kstar’s picks for Eureka Springs Blues Party weekend festival

Tonight kicks off the inaugural Eureka Springs Blues Party weekend-long, multi-venue festival, and I’m very excited about a bunch of the acts on the schedule! 

(PS: There’s a lot more variety in the genres among this lineup than the festival name would suggest, with bands bring all of the following and then some: blues-rock, country-blues, folk-blues, funky blues, jazzy blues, and rockabilly-blues!)

Scroll down to the bottom for the full weekend schedule in text form. 

Following are my picks: highlights from the Eureka Springs Blues Party schedule, along with videos showing them perform live — so you can decide which bands you definitely don’t wanna miss. 

Thursday, June 1 Highlights: Red Oak Ruse, Lucas Parker Band, Hector Anchondo Band

Red Oak Ruse: 8 pm Thursday, Basin Park Hotel Ballroom

Tickets: $10 at

Red Oak Ruse is a four-man folk-pop band: Michael Schembre (Opal Agafia, Mountain Sprout) on fiddle, guitar, and vocals; Derek Russell (Magnolia Brown, Dirtfoot) on drums and vocals; Garrett Jones (Opal Agafia & many classical groups in NWA) on bass; and Justin Easter (Ice Cold Fatty, Opal Agafia) on lead guitar and vocals.

The Eureka Springs-based act with two great albums under its belt (self-titled debut album in 2017, Proletariatreleased in 2019) always surprises audiences with genre-hopping musical stylings, fantastic and accessible lyrics, and high-energy performances. Their songwriting is some of the best I’ve heard from any Arkansas band in the last decade: fantastic hooks in nearly every track; outstanding lead vocals and harmonies; subtle but compelling bass lines; playful-yet-powerful fiddling; authoritative but discreet drumming; high-speed, intricate, and expertly delivered electric and acoustic guitar solos; and, best of all, lyrics that are honest, entertaining, inspiring, and easily accessible (in other words, you don’t have to be a poetry major for them to mean something to you).

Find a full feature article on Red Oak Ruse here, published right after the band’s debut album was released:

Hector Anchondo Band: 9:30 Thursday, Chelsea’s

(Admission is $5 at the door, 21 and up, More info at the Facebook event)

Performing with his band at Chelsea’s Thursday night is Omaha’s Hector Anchondo, the winner of the 2020 International Blues Challenge in the solo/duo category and winner of the Memphis Cigar Box Guitar Award for best guitarist in the solo/duo competition.

Since then, Anchondo has been a featured artist at The Chicago Blues Festival, The Big Blues Bender and the October Legendary Rhythm and Blues.

His 2017 album, Roll the Dice, spent 24 weeks on the Roots Music chart, including a month at the No. 4 spot Blues Rock chart and a month at the No. 8 spot on SiriusXM’s Bluesville “Rack of Ribs” chart for the song Masquerade.

Lucas Parker Band w/Jessica Paige: 10 pm Thursday, Basin Park Hotel Ballroom

Tickets: $10 at

Lucas Parker, a talented rock/fusion guitarist and bandleader based in Denver, Colorado, has been captivating concert-goers and guitar enthusiasts in the Midwest live music and festival scene for over a decade with his unique style and energetic stage presence. His band, the Lucas Parker Band, blends the precision of Steely Dan with the improvisational spirit of rock music, all anchored by Lucas’ guitar playing that combines elements of Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny, and David Gilmour with his own distinct style.

Parker and his band have supported numerous national acts, averaging 150 shows a year; he has appeared on NPR Tiny Desk with Tech N9ne and shared the stage with Joe Bonamassa, Warren Haynes, Nikki Glaspie, Benny Bloom, and many others

In December 2021, after watching Lucas Parker Band with Jessica Paige (an outstanding vocalist who will also be joining the group tonight at the Eureka Springs Blues Party show), I wrote: “Really blown away by Lucas Miguel Parker and his music last night. His guitar skills … showmanship … presentation … everything he does on stage is just SICK. I mean, if ever someone seemed to come out of the womb performing like a pro, it’s him! And I’ve never seen anyone shred so hard on a guitar but also do it with such polish and sophistication. Never frenetic feeling, and not a SINGLE missed or uncertain note in all those guitar runs and solos … just insane talent.”

Friday, June 2 Highlights: Ray Wylie Hubbard w/Marcia Ball, Funk Factory, and The Mezcal Brothers

Ray Wylie Hubbard with Marcia Ball: 7:30 pm Friday, The Auditorium

Red Dirt country stalwart Ray Wylie Hubbard — even though he’s released 17 albums, many of which were favorites of music critics, and the more recent of which have topped Americana charts — may be best-recognized by a song he didn’t sing first. 

A number of his songs have been covered by bands who enjoyed more “commercial success,” starting with Jerry Jeff Walker, who hit the top of the charts with the Hubbard-penned “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother” in 1975. Rolling Stone praised Hubbard’s 2017 album in a feature story, writing: 

“On his new LP, ‘Tell the Devil I’m Getting There as Fast as I Can,’ Hubbard conjures a dark, funny and predictably profane cast of characters, from tattooed ladies to ghosts to obscure bluesmen and recovered alcoholics. Built around the interplay of the gritty guitar work between him and his son Lucas, it’s an album of dark and light, good and evil, with God and the devil offering equal measures of provocation, ridicule and temptation.”

The record includes guest spots by Eric Church, who name-dropped Hubbard on his 2015 song “Mr. Misunderstood,” as well as Hubbard’s longtime friend Lucinda Williams, Bright Light Social Hour, Patti Griffin, and others.

Tickets are $39 and still available (though it’s nearing sell-out!) at

Watch Hubbard unleash his classic “Snake Farm” on an Austin City Limits audience at the Music Fog Showcase during SXSW 2010:

And here’s Hubbard and his band performing on Jimmy Fallon in 2010:

The Mezcal Brothers: 9 pm Friday & Saturday, Chelsea’s

(Admission $5 at the door, ages 21 and up. Find more info on the Facebook event.)

If you like rockabilly and classic rock-and-roll, you will LOVE the energetic Mezcal Brothers, performing both Friday and Saturday nights at Chelsea’s. 

The group, inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame in 2016, has been performing their original blend of Rockabilly, Roots Rock, and Alt-Country music since 1998, touring throughout the U.S. and across Europe.

Funk Factory Band: 10 pm Friday, Basin Park Hotel Ballroom

The Funk Factory Band is a talented group of musicians who have played for an impressive list of artists, including The O’Jays, Paul Jackson Jr., The Platters All Stars, Ben Tankard, Maurette Brown Clark, Joey Williams of the Blind Boys of Alabama, Chante Moore, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Jazmine Sullivan, and many others. Their extensive repertoire covers a wide range of musical genres, from Motown soul to guitar solo rock and roll, smooth Sinatra jazz to modern pop, and even some boot scoot and boogie country music. Expect a lot of familiar and fun soul, funk, and Motown covers — and a good time.

Tickets are $25 and available at

Saturday, June 3 Highlights: Honey Island Swamp Band, Music Maker Blues Revue, King Cabbage Brass Band

Honey Island Swamp Band: 8 pm Saturday, Basin Park Hotel Ballroom

Honey Island Swamp Band’s music is a blend of blues, rock, and country, with a distinctly Southern flavor. Their live shows are known for their high energy and improvisational jams, which showcase the band’s impressive musical chops.

Tickets are $25, available at

Music Maker Blues Revue: 8:30 pm Saturday, Upstairs at Grotto

The Music Maker Blues Revue is an all-star band and a thriving musical institution since the early 1990s. Featuring dozens of different Music Maker artists over the years — from Etta Baker and Macavine Hayes to Robert Lee Coleman and Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen — the Revue has played all over the world in every kind of venue. They’ve busked on the sidewalks of High Point, N.C., and received standing ovations at Carnegie Hall. From Argentina to Australia, Europe to Guatemala, and across the U.S., the Revue pleases all types of fans: “the boogiers and the bookworms,” as drummer Ardie Dean puts it.

Read more at:

Tickets are $20, available at

King Cabbage Brass Band: 10 pm Saturday, Basin Park Hotel Ballroom

King Cabbage Brass Band is a dynamic musical ensemble based in Los Angeles, formed in 2010 and known for high-energy performances that fuse elements of traditional New Orleans jazz, funk, and soul with modern hip-hop and pop sensibilities.

The band’s lineup consists of a rotating cast of talented musicians, including a full horn section featuring trumpets, trombones, and saxophones, a rhythm section with drums, bass, and guitar, and a charismatic frontman who leads the crowd in sing-alongs and call-and-response chants.

(They also dance with choreography – see video below! I cannot wait to see this in person!)

King Cabbage Brass Band has earned a reputation as a must-see live act, having played at major festivals and venues across the country, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Hollywood Bowl.

Tickets are $25 and are available at

Sunday, June 4 Highlights: Sebastien Bordeaux

Sebastien Bordeaux: 6 pm Sunday, Chelsea’s

(Admission is $5 at the door, ages 21 and up; more info at the Facebook event)

Eureka Springs-based Sebastien Bordeaux is a young man with an old man’s resume: He’s toured the globe a number of times as a talented rockabilly bassist, guitarist and vocalist, under his own moniker and as part of rockabilly legend Wayne “The Train” Hancock’s band, for starters.

Bordeaux just returned from a tour of Japan, in fact, where he continued to expand his fan base and wow audiences with both vintage-rock covers and originals. 

Bordeaux depth of talent as a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter has earned him non-stop work performing with a wide variety of acts in a broad range of genres including blues, rock ‘n’ roll, Americana, hillbilly swing/bop, rockabilly, jazz, bluegrass, and country. 

Aside from his collaborations with Hancock, Bordeaux also regularly performs with other notable musicians and groups, including Chucky Waggs and the Company of Raggs and Sprungbilly, a beloved bluegrass band from Northwest Arkansas.

Recognizing his exceptional skills as a bassist, Sebastien Bordeaux was nominated this spring for the Bassist of the Year Award by the 2023 Arkansas Country Music Association, which holds its awards ceremony on June 5 in Conway.

Here’s a clip from his recent Japan tour:

Full Schedule for 2023 Eureka Springs Blues Party

Tickets, more info at

Thursday, June 1

  • 5pm Live Music at the Gravel Bar with Los Roscoes
  • 8PM Barefoot Ballroom Kickoff Show Red Oak Ruse
  • 9:30PM Barefoot Ballroom Kickoff Show Lucas Parker Band
  • 9:30pm Hector Anchondo at Chelsea’s

Friday, June 2

  • 12pm Lyle Pinkley at New Delhi
  • 2pm–Free Live music in Basin Spring Park with Brick Fields Band
  • 6pm Basin Park Hotel Game Room — with Earl & Them with Jesse Dean (VIP Passholder Exclusive)
  • 6pm Pete & Dave at New Delhi
  • 6pm Buddy Shute Trio at Gotahold Brewing
  • 7pm 96 Miles at the Gravel Bar
  • 7pm Mick Byrd at Frisco Sporting Club
  • 7:30pm Ray Wylie Hubbard & Marcia Ball at The Auditorium
  • 9:30pm The Mezcal Brothers at Chelsea’s
  • 10pm Funk Factory at the Basin Park Hotel’s Barefoot Ballroom

Saturday, June 3

  • 2pm Free Music in Basin Spring Park with Crescent City Combo
  • 4pm Brody Buster’s One Man Band in Basin Park Game Room
  • 5pm Speakeasy Listening Room with Brick Fields Duo and Wine Tasting
  • 6pm Los Roscoes in the Basin Park Hotel Barefoot Ballroom
  • 6pm Pete & Dave at New Delhi
  • 6pm Colt Ball at Gotahold Brewing
  • 7pm Jessica Horn Band at On The Rocks Amphitheater & Bar
  • 7pm Dillon Leggett at The Gravel Bar
  • 7pm Will Allen at Frisco Sporting Club
  • 7pm Speakeasy Listening Room with Brick Fields Duo and VIP Wine Tasting
  • 8pm Honey Island Swamp Band in the Barefoot Ballroom
  • 8pm Buddy Shute Trio at Missy’s White Rabbit
  • 8:30pm Music Maker Blues Revue at Upstairs at Grotto
  • 9:30pm The Mezcal Brothers at Chelsea’s
  • 10pm King Cabbage Brass Band in the Barefoot Ballroom

Sunday,  June 4

  • 12pm Vince at New Delhi
  • 4pm Los Dos at Gotahold Brewing
  • 6pm Sebastien Bordeaux at Chelsea’s
  • 7pm Mark Barger at Frisco Sporting Club