Win tickets to Kenny Chesney and Kid Rock

July 6th, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Kenny Chesney‘s concert at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion on July 30 sold out in minutes.

But there’s a reason to hope — we’ve got tickets to give away.

Submit your Fourth of July photos to our Facebook and Twitter pages today for a chance to win tickets to not only that show, but also the Hank Williams Jr. show on Aug. 22 and the Kid Rock concert on Sept. 25.

You can find all the applicable rules on the contest page:

The deadline is tonight, so hurry.

Good luck!

Symphonic music and other booming attractions

July 3rd, 2015 at 12:51 pm

The Fourth of July — that’s tomorrow — falls on a Saturday night this year.

That means maximum excitement.

My colleague Jocelyn Murphy has spent the last week trying to find all of the Fourth of July events in the area. You can find her list online. By the way, if you see one she missed, email her.

One of the biggest events is also one of the newest. The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas will perform at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers. They’ll blow up big stuff while classic music plays. Cool.

Music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets for that event are still on sale, and start at $5.

Whatever you do, wherever you are, have a great Fourth of July.

Highberry keeps growing

July 1st, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Keller Williams

Keller Williams

Jon Walker is going to have to leave his own music festival.

For the past several years, he and his partners in Deadhead Productions have organized the growing Highberry Festival, which this year comes to Byrd’s Adventure Center near Ozark from Thursday (July 2) through Sunday (July 5).

It got booked again this year, with acts such as Keller Williams and Railroad Earth among the headliners.

But Walker didn’t know at the time The Grateful Dead would book a run of shows the same weekend. He can’t pass that opportunity up — these Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago are scheduled to be the last hurrah for the legendary jam act.

So he’ll leave the festival before it ends, traveling to Chicago to see The Dead. Thousands of those back in Arkansas will see plenty of music this weekend, however.

Walker recently told me about the growth of the festival and the kind of atmosphere that envelops the Byrd’s Adventure Center grounds during the event.

Read my story in Friday (June 26)’s What’s Up!, available online.

A three-day festival pass is $90. Other ticket options exist.

The best music (so far) of 2015

June 30th, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Welcome to the midpoint of the year.

The halfway mark is a good time to remind us of where we’ve been before moving forward.

With that in mind, how about a midway recap of some of the best music released in 2015?

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorites.

Tobias Jesso Jr.‘s “Goon”

The Lone Bellow‘s “Then Came The Morning.”

Sufjan Stevens‘ “Carrie & Lowell”

John Moreland‘s “High on Tulsa Heat”

(Bonus: Moreland will perform later this year at the Fayetteville Roots Festival)

Florence + Machine‘s “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”

Courtney Barnett‘s “Sometimes I Sit And Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit”

Dawes‘ “All Your Favorite Bands”

What’s on your list of must-listens for 2015? Please share. I need to listen to something new.

Below is Jesso Jr. performing “How Could You Babe”:

YouTube Preview Image

On the way: Pedro Fernandez, Sept. 5 at the Walmart AMP

June 29th, 2015 at 9:39 am

YouTube Preview Image

Pedro Fernandez performs “Si Tuviera Que Decirlo,” which Google Translate tells me means “If I Had to Say.” I’ll say this now — Fernandez is scheduled for a concert in Rogers this fall.

Unfortunately, I’m not very well versed in Latin music.

But I can read a press release, and I can tell you Pedro Fernandez has impressive credentials. He has released nearly 40 records in his career, and he’s starred on several soap operas. He’s also been featured in several movies. His music career has earned him a Latin Grammy, and he’s sold millions of records.

And he’s bringing his current tour to Rogers.

Fernandez will visit the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion on Sept. 5, it was recently announced. He will be joined by Ninel Conde.

Tickets went on sale Friday (June 26) through the AMP box office. Tickets range from $31-$71.

Some muddy water blues: The Riverfront Blues Festival in Fort Smith

June 26th, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Hadden Sayers

Hadden Sayers

The blues and water go hand in hand.

Muddy Waters is one of the best examples of the genre, for instance. Steve Ray Vaughan sang about the tears falling down like rain. I could go on for a long time.

The rain has (mostly) stopped. And so has flooding at Harry E. Kelley Park in Fort Smith, home of the Riverfront Blues Festival. The event runs this weekend and features acts such as Chris Cameron Band, Hadden Sayers, Larry McCray and many others.

Tickets are $10 per day. Music starts at 6 p.m. today (June 26) and 5 p.m. Saturday (June 27).

The weekend in live music, with Sad Daddy and more

June 26th, 2015 at 5:03 am

Sad Daddy

Sad Daddy

I hope you do something fabulous this weekend. Something life changing. Go live. Go explore.

Just go experience something, something that isn’t the newest season of your favorite show on Netflix that you’ve already watched once.

No, go live. Out there somewhere with other humans.

Among the options that fit the bill are live music events, of course. They happen one time only. And they cannot be duplicated by watching poorly shot cell phone footage posted onto YouTube a few hours later.

No, I need you to live a little and go see some music.

Here are some options. Get to it.

Father’s Day weekend has already concluded. But Sad Daddy forges ahead. The Americana group started back in 2010, releasing a self-titled album. But distance kept them from making it a full-time endeavor. Until recently, that is. The Eureka Springs-based group has a new record in the works, and tour dates are also lined up, including a pair of local dates this weekend. Catch the band at 7:30 p.m. today (June 26) at the Fayetteville Underground and at 9 p.m. Saturday (June 27) at Chelsea’s Corner Cafe in Eureka Springs. Details can be found via

Looking for something else?

Little Rock’s The Big Dam Horns take their name from the famed Big Dam Bridge in that town. They take their style from acts such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago and Here Come The Mummies with a jazzy, bluesy, horn-filled rock sound. The group’s Saturday night show at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville will be their Northwest Arkansas debut. Admission to the event is $7.

In other events, two of Fayetteville’s most rocking rock bands will converge tonight at the Smoke and Barrel Tavern. I give thumbs up to both Dead Indian and Buffalo Hustle, who share the bill.

And don’t forget the Music on the Mulberry event going on all weekend at Byrd’s Adventure Center.

What’s on your agenda?

An alternative to the storm: Music on the Mulberry

June 24th, 2015 at 1:17 pm

YouTube Preview Image

Backroad Anthem performs “Dixie Coast.” They’ll be part of a party on the river this weekend.

Understandably, there were many upset ticketholders left in a lurch when country music festival Thunder on the Mountain, scheduled for June 26-28, was canceled.

If you’d like a little more information about the cancelation and the response, I’d encourage you to read a pair of stories. First, take a look at Ron Wood’s story about the competing lawsuits that led to the festival’s 2015 demise.

Secondly, read Jaime Dunaway’s story, published Friday (June 19) in What’s Up! about an alternative event.

Musician and Ozark native Lance Carpenter has thrown together Music on the Mulberry, which takes place this weekend (June 26-28) at Byrd’s Adventure Center, just down the road from the intended Mulberry Mountain host site.

He’s booked several acts, including Backroad Anthem, Matt Stell and more for the three-day event.

A three-day pass for the Music on the Mulberry festival is $75. The tickets are available through Carpenter’s website.

Soon in tunes: The Hussy, June 24 at The Lightbulb Club

June 23rd, 2015 at 11:39 am

The Hussy

The Hussy

Fresh off the release of a new album, “Galore,” the self-described psych punk group The Hussy has launched its “Hussy Galore” tour. The trek across the states stops on Wednesday (June 24) at The Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville. The brother and sister duo from Madison, Wis., also tours Europe later this summer. The opening act for the local show will be Pagiins. Doors open at 9 p.m., and admission is $5.

On the way: Buckcherry, July 22 at George’s

June 22nd, 2015 at 9:23 am

YouTube Preview Image

Buckcherry may be “Lit Up” right now. They are definitely touring, including a stop in Fayetteville.

Hard rock act Buckcherry went away for a few years, but they’ve returned with a vengeance, releasing new profanity-laden material and touring the country. The group stops on July 22 at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville.

The show comes a few weeks in advance of the release of their new album “Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

Tickets went on sale Friday (June 19) morning. Tickets are $25.