Soon in tunes: The Wood Brothers, Feb. 17 at George’s

February 16th, 2015 at 9:49 am

The Wood Brothers

The Wood Brothers

Returning to Fayetteville after a two-night run of acclaimed shows during the Fayetteville Roots Festival last August are The Wood Brothers, a trio producing songs with elements of the blues, folk, classical and bluegrass. The group this time has a headlining show on Tuesday (Feb. 17) at George’s Majestic Lounge in support of its 2013 album, “The Muse.” Kristina Train serves as opening act. The show begins at 9 p.m.; tickets are $20.

Get some homemade jam(s)

February 13th, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Josh Jennings Band

Josh Jennings Band

The idea of the Midwinter Hometown Jam in Eureka Springs is pretty simple. Take many of the acts that play in the various restaurants and clubs of that town, put them together on a big stage and turn them loose.

That’s what happens tonight at The Auditorium for the fourth annual event, which begins at 7 p.m. The Ariels, Josh Jennings Band and Sarah Hughes are among those scheduled to perform.

I spoke with organizer Mike Bishop about the concert. You can read my story here, if you’re a subscriber to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s digital products.

Admission to the show is $12.

The weekend in live music, with In The Whale and more

February 13th, 2015 at 5:03 am

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In The Whale performs the song “Girlfriend” at Red Rocks in Colorado. A fitting title for this weekend, I think. In the Whale performs Saturday in Fayetteville.

I’m going to give you the same advice, whether you’re in a relationship with someone or not on this Valentine’s weekend.

If you’ve got a loved one, take them to a live music show. It’s an event, and it’s something you can share memories of together.

And if you don’t, go to a live music show anyway. Because any potential partner you might meet at a live show will be someone you know shares a common interest in music.

What are those options for this weekend?

Smoke and Barrel hosts a pair of rock bands this weekend. A group called In The Whale pitched me on Twitter, writing the following:

Not bad for 140 characters worth. That show takes place after 9 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.

George’s Majestic Lounge has a couple of good shows, too, but you had to get in on them early. Both Todd Snider (Feb. 13) and the Turnpike Troubadours (Feb. 14) are sold out.

Elsewhere, the Midwinter Jam in Eureka Springs takes place Saturday as well. More on it in a minute.

What do your Valentine’s weekend plans look like?

On the way: Pallbearer (3/20) and JJ Grey (4/28)

February 10th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

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Pallbearer, a metal band from Little Rock, will bring their tour to Fayetteville in March. You’ve been alerted/warned.

I try to take a neutral stand on upcoming concerts. Except when I can’t because I’ve already gushed about the artists involved.

Two artists on my Best of 2014 albums list have recently announced a tour stop in Fayetteville. The first announcement was for Sturgill Simpson, who performs on March 30. That show is already sold out.

More recently comes word that Little Rock metal titans Pallbearer will perform on March 20 at the Lightbulb Club. I was worried they’ve outgrown that venue, but perhaps not. Admission will be $8, and they’ll be joined by Auric.

While I’m at it, there’s another announcement I’m awfully excited about. JJ Grey and Mofro have recently been confirmed for an April 28 show at George’s Majestic Lounge. Tickets are on sale now for that one.

Spring is looking better all the time.

The Roots Fest adds some Punch (Brothers)

February 9th, 2015 at 10:17 am

The Punch Brothers

The Punch Brothers

It’s festival lineup announcement season.

Which is a better season than winter, if you ask me.

The Fayetteville Roots Festival added their voice to the fray recently, naming many of the artists who will perform during the 2015 edition of the festival. Leading the way are The Punch Brothers, a critically acclaimed bluegrass act with a brand new album.

Joining them are the trio of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan, Oklahoma songwriter John Moreland, The Steel Wheels, The Shook Twins, Pokey LaFarge, Martha Scanlan and Smokey & The Mirror.

And two additions to the lineup were announced on Friday — JD McPherson and John Fullbright.

I spoke with festival organizer (and member of Smokey & The Mirror) Bryan Hembree about building the lineup, the festival’s return to the Fayetteville Town Center and what else to expect in 2015. You can read my story from Friday’s What’s Up! section, if you’re a subscriber to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette or its digital products

Tickets for the festival, which takes place from Aug. 27-30 and is headquartered at the Fayetteville Town Centerare on sale now, and they are selling faster than in any previous year, Hembree reports. Tickets start at $49 for a one-day pass and top out at $219 for a four-day VIP pass.

This is a mandolin player and his instrument

February 6th, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Brian RanneyWEB

Bryan Ranney

Songwriter Bryan Ranney tells my coworker Allison Carter that people often confuse his instrument of choice — the mandolin — with another smallish stringed instrument, the ukulele.

Hence the ongoing “Not a Ukulele” tour.

The St. Louis-based roots/bluegrass performer and his backing band visit the area for a concert at 8 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 7) at the Cathouse Lounge in Eureka Springs.

In the story, which ran in today’s What’s Up! section, Ranney talks about his traveling partners, his instrument of choice and his unconventional training. You can read the story online, if you’re a subscriber of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette or its digital product.

Admission to the show is free.

The weekend in music with Rochelle Bradshaw and more

February 6th, 2015 at 5:03 am

Rochelle Bradshaw and Hypnotion

Rochelle Bradshaw and Hypnotion

Some say a writer is only blessed with so many words in their brain bank. And when that allotment runs out, their career is over. The ideas just go away.

I don’t think I’m at that point right now, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got a really memorable introduction to this post, either.

I’m just going to skip along to the part you come here for anyway — the live music recommendations.

In celebration of what would be famed reggae singer Bob Marley’s 70th birthday today (Feb. 6), a concert will take place Sunday (Feb. 8) at George’s Majestic Lounge. Performing at the event will be Fayetteville-based Rochelle Bradshaw and Hypnotion, Jamaican reggae performer Duane Stephenson, Jeff Kearney of 1 Oz. Jig and Ciavash Zaifi of Irie Lions. Admission is $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Music begins at 7 p.m.

Want some dynamic, world-influenced jazz?

Singing in four different languages — Portuguese, French, Italian and English — Clarice Assad uses her voice as an additional instrument in her compositions. The native of Brazil is the daughter of a composer, and she too writes and performs. Assad and her trio perform a pair of concerts at the Walton Arts Center on Saturday (Feb. 7). The shows begin at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m, and admission ranges from $15 to $30. Tickets are available by calling 443-5600 or via

How about some roots music?

Calling themselves “organic song farmers,” Lynn Adler and Lindy Hearne perform together as Alder & Hearne. The duo from Texas released its newest album, “Second Nature,” in September and spent four months on the road to promote it. Finally back on the road again after a much-deserved break, Adler & Hearne bring their set to Fayetteville tonight. Their show at the Fayetteville Underground begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $12.

Another show of note in Fayetteville tonight is the Waka Winter Classic, where five local bands will perform for a spot on the Wakarusa festival bill. That show takes place at George’s and features Vintage Pistol, Irie Lions, Crazy Neighbor, Galaxy Tour Guides and Move Orchestra. It should be a good showcase for local music.

What do you plan on seeing this weekend?

Soon in tunes: S. Sean Six, Feb. 4 at the Blue Lion

February 4th, 2015 at 12:39 pm

S. Sean Six

S. Sean Six

Guitarist S. Sean Six calls Colorado home, but he has ties to Arkansas. Specifically, he studied under Paul Mendy, a guitarist at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Six, who has continued to perform and also teaches, visits Fort Smith on Wednesday (Feb. 4) to play at the 200-seat Blue Lion. His show begins at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $10, and seats are general admission.

Soon in tunes: Hot Sardines, Feb. 5 at the WAC

February 3rd, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Hot Sardines

Hot Sardines

A hot sardine don’t sound terribly appealing. There’s the fish thing, and heat and …

The jazz bad Hot Sardines, however, are a different story. A blend of traditional jazz and around-the-world influences, the group was assembled by a writer and an actor. It was hobby that took off, and a proper band now tours the country. The group performs Thursday (Feb. 5) at the Walton Arts Center.

Features editor Becca Martin-Brown chatted with band member Evan Palazzo about the group’s ascent and their on-stage antics. You can read her story online [Note: Subscriber content].

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10-$25 and are available through the venue’s box office.

On the way (with guests): Needtobreathe, April 24 at the AMP

February 2nd, 2015 at 4:08 pm

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If you view the tour teaser trailer above, you’ll see a Rogers date. Officials at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion confirmed the date this morning.

I was told about the possibility of a late April concert that would serve as the opening date for the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion‘s 2015 concert season.

Looks like we have our match.

Christian/Southern rock/bluegrass act Needtobreathe this morning announced their new “Tour de Compadres” and, among those dates, a stop in Rogers.

The tour, with guests Ben Rector, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors and Colony House, visits on April 24.

Needtobreathe and Ben Rector previously performed together at the AMP in 2011 when the venue was still located in Fayetteville.

Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Friday (Feb. 6). The venue has yet to announce a ticket price.