Tagged: Northwest Arkansas live music

Arkansauce Closing Out Big Year With Halloween Concert, NYE Show; Poised to Dig In Next Year

This year has been, in many ways, a turning point for Fayetteville-based progressive bluegrass quartet Arkansauce, which is Adams Collins on banjo, Ethan Bush on mandolin, Tom Andersen on bass, and Zac Archuleta on guitar. They share vocals and songwriting duties. From an outside perspective, Arkansauce has enjoyed a big year: the April release of its third album, If I Were You, which enjoyed great reviews from publications like GratefulWeb and others that are jamgrass-heavy; the band continued expanding its fan base with new tour stops in New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, and Kansas; they played twice on the Main Stage at Fayetteville’s Bikes, Blues & BBQ in September (and once in between at Bikes, Bluegrass & BBQ in Eureka Springs); they played a sold-out show at George’s Majestic Lounge for Fayetteville Roots Fest; and they were one of 11 bands selected from across the country to compete in June’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition. They are also slated to headline at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville on New Year’s Eve. (The Mighty Pines, another Telluride competition alum, and The Toos...

Great Music + Costumes + Dancing? Top Picks For Halloween, Saturday & Tuesday, in NWA

There is no shortage of Halloween parties to choose from Saturday, October 28 through Tuesday, October 31 in Northwest Arkansas. We compiled a list of some of our favorites featuring great music. Get your act (costume) together and meet us there! SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28 HALLOWEEN SHOWS IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS • ANDY FRASCO & THE U.N. at George’s Majestic Lounge will be the outrageous-get-down costume party of the weekend, without a doubt. Doors open at 7, show starts at 9 pm with openers Goose and Vintage Pistol (which by the way is my new favorite jam-rock band in the state – get ready to be taken by storm!). An energetic showman who delivers a wild-eyed, fiery fusion of rock, pop, R&B, ska, and vintage soul, Frasco transitioned from the business side of music to his own place on the stage a decade ago, and he’s been relentlessly throwing contagiously crazy rock-and-roll parties around the globe ever since. With the foundation of a huge, longtime following among the Wakarusa and Harvest Festival crowd – he considers Northwest Arkansas his “second home” –...

Fruition Full Set [Audio Stream] + Review: Hillberry Music Festival 2017

Below is the full-set audio stream from Fruition from their Saturday, October 14, performance on the tent stage at Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival 2017, located at The Farm – Campground and Events near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. REVIEW: FRUITION A STANDOUT AT HILLBERRY 2017 Fruition was scheduled to close out the Main Stage Saturday night, but with a storm moving in, festival organizers moved their set to the tent; it was shoulder-to-shoulder filled with folks standing 20-people deep in all directions outside the tent. What an epic set! The air was electric, Fruition’s wall of sound outstanding and mind-blowing, the songs – and occasional impromptu jams – performed with precision. The energy, smiles, and dance moves were contagious throughout, but when Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone came on stage to man the fiddle for an outrageously great cover of “Southern Man,” the few members of the audience who weren’t already besides themselves suddenly were. Fruition gave the fans what they wanted throughout their set, including almost all their biggest hits like “Santa Fe” and “The Meaning,” saving the title track off...

Eureka Springs Bluegrass Weekend: Free music Friday, Saturday from Shook Twins, Black Lillies, More [Oct 13-14]

Eureka Springs Bluegrass Weekend, set for Friday and Saturday Oct. 13-14, will feature free performances in Basin Spring Park with national touring acts The Shook Twins and The Black Lillies. Music begins at 2 pm Friday and continues till 7 pm; on Saturday live music runs from 1 to 7 pm. FRIDAY’S EUREKA SPRINGS BLUEGRASS WEEKEND SCHEDULE Friday’s performances kick off with Cedar Hill from 2-3:15 pm. Cedar Hill, based in Rogers, was founded in 1967 by frontman and mandolinist Frank Ray. A resident of Hillsboro, Missouri, Ray has been playing in bluegrass bands since 1964. The veteran songwriter has written many outstanding songs and instrumentals over the years that have earned him several Songwriter of the Year awards, and in 2008, Ray was inducted into America’s Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame.  The Shook Twins, based in Portland, Oregon, perform from 3:45-5 pm. The indie folk-pop band comprised of identical twins Katelyn and Laurie, the group’s primary songwriters; Niko Slice on electric guitar, mandolin, and vocals; Barra Brown on drums, percussion, and vocals; and Josh Simon on bass, vocals, electric...

HILLBERRY PREVIEW: A Closer Look at the Bands on Day One [Thursday, Oct. 12]

The third installment of Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 6 pm for what promises to be a historic, intimate festival featuring four epic days of performances by nationally lauded bluegrass and roots bands as well as top regionally based acts – and a colossal jam session late Thursday night hosted by ShindigMusic.net. Gates open at 8 am Thursday, and they will remain open 24 hours through the end of the festival, which continues through late Sunday evening’s campfire set ending at 1:30 am. Tickets are still available online and range from $60 for a one-day pass for Sunday to $180 for a four-day full-event pass. Camping is included with ticket purchase. Price changes occur at midnight each night. Hillberry is co-hosted by Deadhead Productions and Railroad Earth, one of the country’s most popular and successful newgrass jam bands, at The Farm Campground & Events, located off Highway 187 North about 5 miles north of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The all-star lineup includes two full sets by Railroad Earth, on Saturday and Sunday evenings, as well...

Ukelele Virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro To Play Walton Arts Center Oct. 18

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – Jake Shimabukuro, an American ukulele virtuoso known for his fast, complex finger work, is returning to Walton Arts Center this month. Shimabukuro will perform on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 pm as the first show in the Land O’Lakes American Music Series. Single tickets start at $15 and can be purchased in-person at the Walton Arts Center Box Office, by calling 479-443-5600 or by visiting waltonartscenter.org.  In 2005, Shimabukuro became an international phenomenon when a video of him performing the George Harrison song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on YouTube. “At the time, I didn’t even know what YouTube was,” Shimabukuro laughs. “Nobody did, especially in Hawaii. But I had some friends who were going to college on the mainland and they sent me a link to the video. By the time I saw it, it already had millions of views. My name wasn’t even on it then. All it said was ‘Asian guy shreds on ukulele,’ or something like that. That’s what opened up the doors to touring in North America, Europe, Asia and beyond....

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...

Epic Jam with Once-in-a-Lifetime Lineup of 15 Regional Musicians Unveiled for Oct. 12 [Hillberry Harvest Orchestra]

Epic Jam with Once-in-a-Lifetime Lineup of 15 Regional Musicians Unveiled for Oct. 12 [Hillberry Harvest Orchestra]

Hillberry Harvest Orchestra Set for Festival’s Opening Night EUREKA SPRINGS — The music at Hillberry: The Harvest Moon Festival, taking place October 12-15, just got even more colossal. Arkansounds’ Editor Kristal “K*Star” Kuykendall has organized an “official” late-night jam session, called the Hillberry Harvest Orchestra, featuring 15-plus gifted regional roots musicians on the opening night of Hillberry, Thursday, October 12. The Hillberry Harvest Orchestra will begin immediately after the end of the final Thursday night Hillberry act, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, which is set to perform from 10:30 pm to 12:30 am. The Orchestra will be held in the big white tent where all of Hillberry’s Thursday acts will be performing; it will include a rotating cast of musicians based in the Ozarks region who have a background in bluegrass and roots music. Those musicians are participating by invitation from Kuykendall and Hillberry Harvest Orchestra co-hosts Michael Schembre (Red Oak Ruse, Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings) and Allen Swearingen (Foleys Van). All members of official Hillberry Festival performing acts also are invited to participate. Schembre and his band Red Oak...

Drive-By Truckers Bringing Their Rebel Southern Rock to NWA Wednesday, Sept. 27

Southern Rock has long been known for its conservative fan base; well-known “symbols of the South” are synonymous with most of the genre’s best-known acts (have you ever seen Lynyrd Skynyrd and not seen a Confederate flag flying somewhere?). But Drive-By Truckers is altering that landscape, even if only one show at a time; the critically acclaimed, much-loved group from Alabama has been rebelling against the “typical” Southern Rock image and messages – albeit somewhat more discreetly, perhaps, until last year – for two decades now. The Truckers’ tour in support of their widely praised new album, “American Band,” stops in Fayetteville this Wednesday, Sept. 27, for a performance at George’s Majestic Lounge. [Scroll down for details and ticket info.] The Truckers’ style of rock is country-tinged and edged with punk’s temper, arena rock’s bombast, and the craftsmanship of Southern rhythm and blues. It rocks hard, but it can also be pretty heavy and even deeply reflective and emotional. The Truckers’ sound combined with their new even-starker lyrical opposition to the “politics of fear and social injustices” are earning the...

Pokey LaFarge Brings Old-Timey Americana with Modern Messages to George’s [Saturday, Sept. 16]

Pokey LaFarge is a musician. He is a storyteller. He is a feeler of feelings. He is a narrator of the messy, unkempt American experience. And if you believe the experts at NPR, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Rolling Stone and dozens of other mainstream publications with full-time music critics, LaFarge is a do-not-miss performer. The old-timey Americana singer-songwriter brings his newly expanded band (louder, more powerful than ever) and his much-lauded new music to Fayetteville’s George’s Majestic Lounge on Saturday, Sept. 16. Tickets to the show, presented by Fayetteville Roots Fest, are $20 and are available online. Lost John trio opens. Doors open at 6 pm; show starts at 8. Ages 18+. If you’ve never heard a LaFarge performance or album, be prepared for a trip back in time – in a musical sense, at least. His mix of jazz, swing, ragtime, and super-classic country comes across beautifully, both live and on his new album, “Manic Revelations.” LaFarge is a storyteller first and foremost, and he uses each of these styles to perfection to...

Alt-Country ‘Party in a Song’ Corey Smith in Fayetteville Friday, LR Saturday [Sept 15-16]

With 10 albums (5 of which neared the top of multiple U.S. Billboard charts) now under his belt, Corey Smith brings his popular, unpretentious Americana act with country, rock, and blues influences to Fayetteville and Little Rock this weekend. Tickets are still available online for Friday’s performance at George’s Majestic Lounge (8:30 pm start time) and to Saturday’s show at Little Rock’s Revolution Music Room (8 pm start time). Both shows are ages 18+. Opening both nights will be Americana/soul singer/songwriter Noah Guthrie, who first found fame covering chart-topping hits – earning national attention with his bluesy version of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It,” with over 25 million video views (scroll down to watch it!) – as well as through his pivotal role as Roderick Meeks on the hit TV show “Glee.” Since winning a songwriting contest and releasing his first album, “Undertones,” in 2003, Corey Smith has been soaring underneath the radar of the major labels by nursing a loyal fan base all over the country, fans who appreciate his back-to-basics honesty in both his music and his...

Cool Water Music Fest Debuts This Weekend in Gravette; 2 Days of Top Texas & Alt-Country Acts

If you’re a fan of “Red Dirt” or Texas country, Southern rock-style jams, or bluegrass-tinged country, we have great news for you: the debut Cool Water Music Fest – which takes place starting at 4 pm Friday Sept 8 and runs till late Saturday night on a 600-acre, creekside ranch in Gravette – is bringing Northwest Arkansas music fans 15 great acts for a two-day family-friendly event with a very reasonable ticket cost of just $60 for both days or $35 per day. (The festival’s headliners typically perform for around $20 a ticket at typical shows.) Headlining the festival are prolific Texas Country chart-toppers Reckless Kelly at 10:30 Friday night and country singer-songwriter Chris Knight at 10:30 Saturday evening. Other national touring acts include Kentucky’s award-winning alt-country standout Jericho Woods (both days), alt-country Texas rock outfit Mickey and the Motorcars (Friday), and award-winning alt-country singer-songwriter Zane Williams (Saturday). Local favorites Mountain Sprout (Eureka Springs-based punkbilly-bluegrass) also is on the Saturday lineup, and a dozen other regional and national acts fill the rest of the two-day event schedule. [Scroll down for the full lineup...

Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings Thursday night at Highberry. Photo by Phil Clarkin Photography.

Opal Agafia & the Sweet Nothings Making Waves With New Roots-Soul Sounds, Great Songwriting

One of Arkansas’ newest female voices to command the attention of music fans is also one of the state’s most dynamic, unique, and stunning female voices we’ve heard in years. Opal Agafia, a native of the Russellville/Dover area, has been singing in public for a mere two years. But she sounds as though she’s trained her entire 24 years for her new role as a gifted and powerful singer, prolific songwriter and capable frontman of Opal Agafia & the Sweet Nothings, based in Eureka Springs. Opal Agafia & the Sweet Nothings headline several big upcoming events, including a three-band show Thursday, Aug. 31, at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville (tickets are $7, show starts at 8 pm, ages 18+, openers are Foleys Van and Red Oak Ruse) and the official Hillberry pre-party, Bikes, Bluegrass & BBQ Sept. 22-24 at The Farm near Eureka Springs. The band also performs a late-night set at Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival, Oct. 12-15, also at The Farm. Agafia, who grew up singing with her mom and calls herself a “lifelong serious shower singer,” is...

Eureka Springs’ Red Oak Ruse Melds Many Influences, Experiences to Create a Fresh Ozarks Folk-Pop Sound

The members of Red Oak Ruse – the newest progressive folk act to come out of Northwest Arkansas – are not new to playing music full-time; in fact, each has a widely varied and extensive background in music and has toured regionally with a number of bands based in Arkansas, Missouri, and Georgia. But as a new group, they’re already breaking barriers when it comes to genres and traditional music styles, blending the sounds of modern and classic folk-rock, pop, and bluegrass for a sound that could be described as a mixture of The Avett Brothers, The Eagles and Third Eye Blind. We’re gonna call it Ozarks folk-pop; they laughingly dubbed it “Ozarkana” in a recent interview. Red Oak Ruse is comprised of Michael Schembre on fiddle, acoustic guitar, and vocals; Justin Thomas Easter on lead guitar and vocals; Jonathan Hagood on bass and vocals; and Chris Loeffler on drums. All but Loeffler are transplanted Eureka Springs residents and full-time band members; Loeffler still lives in Missouri – Jefferson City to be precise – but don’t be surprised if Schembre...

ALBUM REVIEW: Red Oak Ruse’s Folk-Pop Debut is the New Favorite You’ve Been Craving

Red Oak Ruse‘s self-titled debut album officially releases Sept. 2, 2017, at the band’s release party at Chelsea’s Corner Cafe & Bar in Eureka Springs, the group’s home base. But it’s available now for streaming on their website as well as on Spotify [embedded below], and it is for sale already on CDBaby – and we think it’s a contender to be your new favorite Arkansas-made album. I can’t stop listening to it – and it’s rare for me to listen to a full album without skipping half the tracks, much listen to it in full and on repeat. Song after song, the Red Oak Ruse album – which was written, rehearsed, and recorded over the last year and a half at Caleb Lindsey’s Eureka Springs studio – provides surprising twists and turns in genre-hopping musical stylings, lyrical content, and instrumentation. The songwriting is some of the best we’ve heard come out of Arkansas in a long time: 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,...

Q&A with Eureka Springs’ Red Oak Ruse

Kristal Kuykendall (Arkansounds’ editor) recently sat down with the members of Eureka Springs-based Red Oak Ruse to talk about their new group, their varied musical backgrounds, their debut album and the official release party scheduled for Sept. 2, 2017, at Chelsea’s Corner Cafe & Bar in Eureka Springs. Admission is $5, ages 21+, music starts around 9 pm. Red Oak Ruse also will open (along with Foleys Van) for Opal Agafia & the Sweet Nothings on Thursday, Aug. 31 at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville ($7, tickets on sale now, 9 pm, ages 18+), and they will perform Friday, Sept. 1, at Black Apple Crossing in Springdale (no cover, 8 pm). Check out our in-depth interview/feature on Red Oak Ruse here and our full album review here. MICHAEL SCHEMBRE [Fiddle, guitar, vocals] What is the album you’ve played the most in your lifetime? Animals by Pink Floyd. Most moving live music experience ever? I was actually playing a show at The Blue Note in Columbia, Missouri. One of my last shows with Mary and the Giant, and it just kind of hit...