Soon in tunes: Boom Kinetic, Aug. 20 at Powerhouse

August 19th, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Boom! Kinetic

Boom! Kinetic

Party pop band Boom Kinetic performs around the region, but the musicians have a hometown gig scheduled soon. The band, which cites MGMT, Michael Jackson and The Killers among its influences, takes the stage for Powerhouse’s Party on the Patio at 8 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 20). There’s a $5 cover charge.

Soon in tunes: heRobust, Aug. 20 at George’s

August 18th, 2015 at 8:53 am



Hayden Kramer, better known as heRobust, visits George’s Majestic Lounge for a Thursday night show. The producer from Atlanta claims his genre(s) as “beats/electronica/bass.” His set begins at 9 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 20). Admission is $10, and tickets are available through

Concert review: Whitesnake, Aug. 15 at the Walmart AMP

August 16th, 2015 at 11:49 am

Whitesnake 2014

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette could not reach contractual terms with Whitesnake for a photo pass. These photography by Ash Newell are courtesy of the band.

Among the many things it is, there’s one thing that hair metal is certainly not — subtle.

Not more than 30 seconds arriving on stage with his bandmates in Whitesnake, lead singer and founder David Coverdale put his microphone stand between his legs and shimmied a bit.

That should have been suggestive enough, but enough isn’t in the genre’s vocabulary, so late in the show he dropped any pretenses and grabbed his crotch. He’s 63.

Coverdale wore three shirts during the course of his band’s 95 minute show at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion on Saturday (Aug. 15). Each of them had the word Whitesnake on it somewhere. The most brazen was the one he wore for the last third of the show, and it contained the phrase “Make some [curse word] noise!” on the back. Two other members of the band wore Whitesnake-branded shirts, too. The band members jumped around on stage during “The Purple Tour,” a homage to the three-year period when Coverdale was the lead vocalist for Deep Purple. Fittingly, and continuing the lack-of-subtlety theme — the sparse stage was bathed in purple lights. One of the band’s guitarists played a guitar covered in purple sequins. You get the idea.

Whitesnake and bands like them reveled in excesses, and that culture was promoted at the AMP, where about 4,500 people showed up on a nice evening. Coverdale, when he drank a cold beverage late in the evening, drank from a fluted glass of some sort. No red solo cups here.

Whitesnake 2014

Whitesnake 2014

For the high schlock value — and high doses of onstage preening — Coverdale also let his band do the work. Particularly, he turned dueling guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra loose at any occasion, and wisely so. Both played flashily, but with gusto, and both employed some high-level harmonics. The guys could sling it, and they did, trading time on an extended guitar solo the other band members cleared the stage for. Brief solos accompanied almost every song.

The band also helped him with vocals. Coverdale famously had a skyscraper of a voice, and he’s lost some of the momentum in the high registers. That classic high scream common in similar bands — think Deep Purple and Def Leppard — is not an easy one to maintain in later years, and Coverdale is not an exception. But the band has altered the songs slightly to more closely fit his current vocal range. He can still scream, and he did so frequently and impressively.

Coverdale and company performed five Deep Purple songs from the new “The Purple Album,” none more impressively than “Mistreated.” Opening act The Dead Daisies got in on the action, too, performing a cover of the early Deep Purple hit “Hush,” itself a cover of a Joe South/Billie Joe Royal song. In short, it helped if you like Deep Purple.

The crowd responded well to those songs, but not like they did for the three songs Whitesnake would drop among its last four, the hits “Is This Love,” “Here I Go Again” and “Still of the Night.” I had just as much fun watching Coverdale on stage as I did watch the crowd around me, headbanging or making out or dancing in the aisles.

It’s Whitesnake — you go big, because the band will, too.

A note about the opener: The Dead Daises are a supergroup featuring a host of musicians from bands of the same era as Whitesnake. They had the necessary credentials, in terms of playing ability and the big hair and tight leather pants. They were loud, personality AND volume wise.

In the Still of the Night – Whitesnake takes on the Walmart AMP

August 14th, 2015 at 11:21 am

Whitesnake photo by Ash Newell

Whitesnake photo by Ash Newell

You know Whitesnake. They’ve got the megahits “Still of the Night,” “Is This Love” and “Here We Go Again.”

If you ever listen to classic rock radio, you’ve heard those songs 100 times.

You probably also know Deep Purple. They wrote the ubiquitous “Smoke on the Water” but also are responsible for a lot of early blues/metal, and are one of the unofficial holy trinity of early British metal — Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and the Purple.

You may be slightly less aware there’s a very direct lineage from Deep Purple to Whitesnake. When Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillian left the group, David Coverdale replaced him, recording several albums and several minor hits. When Deep Purple disbanded a few years later, Coverdale started a solo project that would become Whitesnake.

Now 35 years into his Whitesnake career, Coverdale and his current band of musicians have recorded “The Purple Album,” a reimagining of several Coverdale-era Deep Purple songs. The band launched a tour to support the album. “The Purple Tour” has been crossing the country since May, and it visits the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion on Saturday (Aug. 15).

The band’s bass player, Michael Devin, recently talked to me about falling in love with Deep Purple for the second time, about the current lineup of Whitesnake and also about his recent engagement to “Sopranos” actress Drea de Mattao. To read more about the upcoming, read my story in today’s What’s Up! section, available online or via the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in newsstands everywhere.

The Saturday night show includes support from The Dead Daisies. The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and ticket prices range from $31-$65.50.

See you at the show.

The weekend in live music, with Mountain Sprout and more

August 14th, 2015 at 5:03 am

Auric photo by Anna Hutchison

Auric photo by Anna Hutchison

If I made a list of the things the Northwest Arkansas Music scene needs, I could come up with some things. We probably all could.

We need a venue that will host crowds of about 2,000. That should help draw indie acts.

We need more rap and hip hop shows. We don’t get many, and when we do, they are always well attended. The market is here. The acts aren’t, at least not often enough.

I could come up with more.

But you know what? I’m still always impressed by our diversity here. Let’s crash through the offerings this weekend, shall we? This weekend features a renown hair metal band, a funk rock act, thrashgrass and metal, among others.

Ready for wild bluegrass?

The Arkansas-based newgrass quintet Mountain Sprout highlights the not-so-official events in Eureka Springs this weekend. The band’s sets tonight (Aug. 14) and Saturday (Aug. 15) at Chelsea’s Corner Cafe come as part of the list of bluegrass — or bluegrass-y — bands booked at local clubs to coincide with the ongoing Eureka Springs Bluegrass Festival. The shows, with support from The Squarshers tonight and Arkansauce on Saturday, begin at 9:30 p.m. both evenings.

Metal, I said?

Auric celebrates the end of a tour with a hometown show tonight at The Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville. It’s also the release party for the band’s new album “Empty Seas.” The band promises it to be a combination of sludge metal, black metal, death metal and a bit of grunge for good measure. Terminus also performs tonight. The 9 p.m. show has a $5 cover charge. If you’re curious about Auric, you can read my story in today’s Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Hair metal?

That comes courtesy of Whitesnake. They perform Saturday at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion. More on them in a minute.


That would be Groovement, who are set to release the new album “Clouds” on Saturday night at George’s Majestic Lounge. More about them soon, too.

Sounds like a pretty good weekend, if you ask me.

It’s bluegrass season

August 12th, 2015 at 2:07 pm

The Harmans perform this coming weekend courtesy of the Northwest Arkansas Bluegrass Festival.

The Harmans perform this coming weekend courtesy of the Northwest Arkansas Bluegrass Festival.

If you like bluegrass music, or specifically, bluegrass music festivals, you’ve got a choice to make.

The Eureka Springs Bluegrass Festival and the Northwest Arkansas Bluegrass Festival near Harrison both run this weekend. Both take place from Thursday through Saturday (Aug. 13-15). And they take place less than 45 miles from each other.

But there are some subtle differences. I explain those in a story that published Friday in What’s Up!, our arts and entertainment section.

In brief, here’s what you need to know:

• The Eureka Springs Bluegrass Festival takes place primarily in two venues — Basin Springs Park and The Auditorium. Thursday is a free watermelon social in the park, and free music continues there over the weekend. Headlining shows featuring the likes of the The Tennessee Gentlemen and The Clark Family take place in The Auditorium on Friday and Saturday. Tickets for the headlining shows are available on The Auditorium’s website.

• The Northwest Arkansas Bluegrass Festival takes place in Beacon Park, located about five miles north of Harrison on AR 65. Music takes place there at regular intervals all week, with a brief break Saturday afternoon. Top-billed acts include The Sherman Mountain Boys, The Harmans and Lonesome Road. Admission is $10-$25, with the latter number the price for a three-day pass.

Phases of the Moon announces additional artists

August 10th, 2015 at 9:21 am

Warren Haynes

Warren Haynes

The Phases of the Moon Festival, scheduled for Oct. 16-18 on Mulberry Mountain north of Ozark, has announced several more acts for its first year in Arkansas after a debut last fall in Illinois. Former Allman Brothers band member Warren Haynes and The Ashes & Dust Band highlight the new offerings, along with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Birdcloud. Those acts join previously announced artists such as Disco Biscuits, STS9 and Yonder Mountain String Band. Tickets are available through

A programming note regarding 3B Radio

August 7th, 2015 at 1:17 pm

3B Radio Logo

As many of you know, I do a guest spot each Friday afternoon on 3B Radio with Branden and Bailey.

Or if you don’t know, you do now. It’s a weekly look at the upcoming entertainment options for the weekend, sort of like a audio version of What’s Up! with more jokes.

Their host station, 104.9 FM, updated their on-air schedule. Which means the timing of my weekly spot has changed, too.

3B Radio is now on from 2-6 p.m. That pushes everything forward, and I’ll now appear on the air in the 4-5 p.m. range, schedules permitting.

Find us on your radio, or listen live online, if you prefer.

Thanks for listening.

The weekend in live music, with Dead Indian and more

August 7th, 2015 at 5:03 am

Dead Indian

Dead Indian

If they monitor the length of time employees spend on any particular website at this newspaper, someone is sure to be confused at my activities.

I’ve been staring at my screen, with this page left open, on and off for about 45 minutes. Can you boost your own time on page?

I can’t think of anything witty, and I’ve already finished my coffee, so inspiration isn’t likely to just strike.

Let’s just get to it, then…

Here’s what you need to know about the live music offerings in Northwest Arkansas this weekend:

First, a chance to say farewell.

After three years and three recordings — two EPs and one full-length — Fayetteville-based rockers Dead Indian are splitting up. The trio, which borrows elements of sounds from Nirvana and other grunge-era bands, will perform tonight (Aug. 7) at the Smoke & Barrel Tavern in Fayetteville as a farewell. The show begins about 9 p.m.

Second, a chance to overeat. The Tontitown Grape Festival continues through Saturday (Aug. 8). That’s where to get the chicken and spaghetti dinners and see free live music.

Also this weekend, George’s Majestic Lounge hosts an Ozzy Osbourne tribute act on Saturday. The band is Madman’s Diary, from St. Louis. Made in Sabbath, which performs Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden songs, will join.

George’s also hosts harmonica player extraordinaire RJ Mischo with his Red Hot Blues Band for Happy Hour today. Guitarist Zack Bramhall joins the 6-8 p.m. show.

What’s on your live music agenda?

Get heaps of food and music at the Tontitown Grape Fest

August 5th, 2015 at 8:41 am

YouTube Preview Image

Ricochet perform the song “Daddy’s Money” at a country music festival in Japan. Their appearance on Thursday (Aug. 6) comes at a very different kind of festival — the Tontitown Grape Festival in Tontitown.

Don’t question the spaghetti and fried chicken combination at the Tontitown Grape Festival. Just embrace it, and for your own good, get a plate.

Also, don’t question the spaghetti/fried chicken and country music combination at the Tontitown Grape Festival, either.

The annual community event, currently celebrating its 117th anniversary, continues through Aug. 8. Along the way, it sells up hundreds of spaghetti dinners and entertains courtesy of a carnival, bingo and other attractions. And live music. You can read more about the festival courtesy of the story my colleague Jocelyn Murphy wrote for last Friday’s What’s Up! section.

The music, as always is free. Here’s the schedule:

Aug. 5

7 p.m. — Mike and Grady Band

9 p.m. — Gwen Sebastian

Aug. 6

7 p.m. — Leslie Serrano Band

9 p.m. — Ricochet

Aug. 7

7 p.m. — Pamela K. Ward & Last Call Orchestra

10 p.m. — The Shotgun Billys

Aug. 8

6 p.m. — Kyla Horton Stephens

7 p.m. — Taylor Edwards

9 p.m. — Pam Tillis