Tonight in tunes: Marc Cohn at the Walton Arts Center

April 24th, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Marc Cohn

Marc Cohn

If you’re out walking in Fayetteville, and you walk in the direction of the Walton Arts Center tonight (April 24), you’ll find a concert featuring a songwriter Marc Cohn.

Best known for his hit (and Grammy-winning) song “Walking in Memphis,” Cohn brings his current tour to town for an 8 p.m. show.

My colleague Becca Martin-Brown interviewed Cohn recently, and you can read her story in today’s What’s Up! section, which published today in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and is also available online.

Tickets range from $27-$47 and are available through the Walton Arts Center’s ticketing website.

The weekend in music, with Nicholas St. James and more

April 24th, 2015 at 5:03 am

Nicholas St. James

Nicholas St. James

Can I interest you in the weekend?

It’s heading here as we speak, and it’s the newest model available. Best of all, it comes at no up-front cost to you.

What does it look like?

Like a little bit of live music, that’s what.

Here’s one opportunity:

Calling himself a “vaudeville folk troubadour,” performer Nicholas St. James has a series of gigs in the area. He performed last night at Chelsea’s Corner Cafe in Eureka Springs, and he stays in that town tonight (April 24) for a show at the Cathouse Lounge, then plays Saturday (April 24) at the Smoke & Barrel Tavern in Fayetteville. St. James’ music, according to a note on his website, is one part gypsy and one part blues while also fitting into Americana. For details, visit

There’s a big show at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion this weekend, too. The venue’s first event of the season, in fact. The Tour de Compadres featuring Needtobreathe, Ben Rector, Colony House and Drew Holcombe and The Neighbors kicks off at 7 p.m. I’ll have live coverage, so check back for that soon.

Elsewhere this weekend, Arkansas native Fractal Sky takes over George’s Majestic Lounge on Friday night, and Antartichrist takes over The Lightbulb Club for a Saturday night metal show.

What’s on your music-watching agenda?

Soon in tunes: Lachlan Bryan, April 23 at Smoke and Barrel

April 23rd, 2015 at 11:33 am

Lachlan Bryan

Lachlan Bryan

Before returning to his native Australia, songwriter and vocalist Lachlan Bryan will bring his tour of the states to several regional college towns, including Fayetteville. Bryan’s latest recording earned high regards in Australia, including taking home Best Alternative Country album at the Country Music Awards of Australia. He performs at 10 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 23) at the Smoke & Barrel Tavern.

Soon in tunes: Albert and Gage, April 23 at Fayetteville Underground

April 22nd, 2015 at 8:33 am

Albert and Gage photo by Todd V. Wolfson

Albert and Gage photo by Todd V. Wolfson

The duo of Christine Albert and Chris Gage will perform on Thursday night (April 23) at the Fayetteville Underground community space in Fayetteville. The pair own their own Austin, Texas, recording studio, and they have released six albums together. The two each have successful careers outside of their duo as well. Gage serves as the lead guitarist in Jerry Jeff Walker’s band, and Albert is chairman of the National Recording Academy — that’s the group responsible for the Grammy Awards — Board of Trustees. The duo’s show begins at 7:30 p.m., and admission is $15.

Soon in tunes: Robert DeLong, April 22 at George’s

April 21st, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Robert DeLong

Robert DeLong

Listed as an artist to watch by MTV, Billboard and Vice, one-man electronica act Robert Delong visits Fayetteville for a performance on Wednesday (April 22) at George’s Majestic Lounge as an aside from a series of music festival dates. His single “Long Way Down” topped out at No. 3 on the Billboard alternative chart, and his tour supports an EP of the same name. Tickets for his 8 p.m. show are $10.

On the way — Hozier, Sept. 15 at the Walmart AMP

April 20th, 2015 at 12:57 pm

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“Take Me to Church,” says Hozier. Take yourself to the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion if you want to see him this fall.

The song “Take Me to Church” crossed many platforms, and radio stations adjusted in kind. The song by Hozier claimed massive airplay on rock radio, pop radio and just about every radio. It’s a mega hit — it’s amassed more than 180 million views on YouTube, too.

And the man responsible for that song, an Irish singer-songwriter, will visit Northwest Arkansas in September.

Hozier’s tour just got extended, and a Sept. 15 stop in at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion is included among the dates.

Tickets for the event start at $35. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday (April 24).

Wakarusa announces stage schedule

April 20th, 2015 at 9:17 am

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Last year, Ben Harper announced a reunion of his much-beloved backing band, The Innocent Criminals. Last week, officials at Wakarusa announced it was Harper and company who get the festival’s most prominent set.

A sure sign the dates for Wakarusa are nearing is the release of the stage schedule for the music and camping festival that takes place on Mulberry Mountain near Ozark. And, sure enough, officials with the festival revealed each day’s events late last week.

The festival runs from June 4-7, and that’s just 45 days away, if you weren’t counting along at home.

I’ve taken my first glance through the lineup. It’s to much to post every concert here — there are in excess of 100 sets. Here are the thing you ought to know:

• If you count the roughly 10 p.m.-midnight sets as the headlining set (and Wakarusa generally does, so you should too) the headliners schedule looks like this: Umphrey’s McGee on June 4, STS9 on June 5, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals on June 6 and Thievery Corporation on June 7.

• The big deals (but not quite headliners) getting prominent sets on the main stage are Chance the Rapper, The Roots, Major Lazer and Slightly Stoopid.

• Some of my favorite sets are often the late-night, rowdy shows at the Backwoods Stage. Closing that stage with sets lasting until (at least) 2 a.m. on the first three nights of the festival are three festival favorites, in order of performance date: Mountain Sprout, Dirtfoot and Andy Frasco.

• The biggest conflict caused by simultaneous shows? That will differ from person to person, of course, but for me, it’s Split Lip Rayfield against Ben Miller Band early on June 5. Those are very similar, and very good, bands playing at the same time.

• There’s a ton of music on the Riverside Stage. If you’re camping in that area, you might not need to leave for the mainstage area until 7 p.m. for dinner and headlining shows.

Tickets are on sale now for the festival. I understand the prices go up on Friday (April 24), so plan accordingly.

What do you notice about the festival schedule?

A new springtime tradition: The Springtime of Youth Festival

April 17th, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Mutemath photo by Colin Gray

Mutemath photo by Colin Gray

With a name that comes from a line in the University of Arkansas’ alma mater, the new Springtime of Youth festival debuts this weekend. Music begins at 5 p.m. today in the parking lot just east of Baum Stadium in south Fayetteville.

The festival is presented by the University of Arkansas’ Headliner Concerts Committee, a student-run group that books acts courtesy of a student fee designated for the cause. Students got the first pass at tickets as a result, and they snagged more than 6,000 of the 7,000 available for the two-day event. General admission tickets were made available to the public, and at my last check, it looks like there are still a few available. The tickets are $30 per day, and it appears only tickets for tonight are available.

Headliner Concert Committee chairperson Garrett Skrovina told me that a student survey helped the committee pick the acts they eventually brought to campus. Rap or hip-hop was most requested, with rock or indie trailing in second. As a result, Mutemath (indie rock) and Wiz Khalifa (rap) are the Friday (April 17) and Saturday (April 18) headliners, respectively.

They will be joined by acts such as Wet, Moon Taxi and Viceroy.

My story about the inaugural festival — which Skrovina says is likely to become an annual event — can be found in today’s What’s Up! section, which is available in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, or online.

Who is heading to the festival?

The weekend in live music, with Amasa Hines and more

April 17th, 2015 at 5:03 am

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How about a double shot of music to go with your double shot of espresso this morning? It’s Amasa Hines performing “Earth and Sky” and “She’s Alright.”

Since I last wrote a “welcome to the weekend” blog post, I caught a cold, wrote about a half dozen stories and ate about four pounds of crawfish. I’m not kidding about that last number, either.

What I’m saying is this: I think I’m entitled to another weekend.

Which starts today, of course, including several shows with potential.

Here’s what’s on my radar:

Tonight (April 17), Arkansas favorite Amasa Hines comes up from Little Rock for a show at Smoke & Barrel Tavern. If you’ve never heard of them, do yourself a favor, block out 10 minutes and give the video above a go. I think you’ll like what you hear. That show takes place about 9 p.m. with guests The Drunken Cuddle and Bad Match.

Elsewhere this weekend, we’ve got the two-day Springtime of Youth Festival featuring a diverse range of musical talent. More on those concerts in a minute.

About the same time as Springtime of Youth is Springfest, a Fayetteville institution. Springfest takes place Saturday (April 18) on Dickson Street in Fayetteville and includes performances by dozens of local musicians. You can see the full schedule on the event’s webpage, and you can also read my colleague Becca Martin-Brown’s story about the annual event.

Elsewhere, Chucky Waggs of Mountain Sprout fame leads a set Saturday at Chelsea’s Corner Cafe. That same evening, Mudhawk performs at Smoke & Barrel Tavern.

What’s on your live music agenda?

Announcing the Peacemaker Festival in Fort Smith

April 15th, 2015 at 11:17 am

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Tired of “Traveling Alone?” Well, grab a friend and head down to Fort Smith this summer, which is when Jason Isbell will perform at a new event called the Peacemaker Festival.

Festivals always catch my attention. Festivals that book acts such as Jason Isbell — a longtime favorite of mine — have an even larger share.

Which has me looking at Fort Smith right now. Details are being released about the first Peacemaker Festival, a three-day event at the Riverfront Amphitheater this summer. I just noticed the website in the past few days.

Here’s what’s on the agenda:

July 31 — Jason Isbell, Lucero and The Cate Brothers

Aug. 1 — Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Corey Smith, Brownout (presenting music by Black Sabbath)

Aug. 2 — Acts yet to be announced.

Tickets for the festival are on sale now through the festival’s website. Prices range from $15 for an early-bird single-day pass to $30 for an all-weekend pass.