Delfeayo Marsalis is a member of the famed Marsalis family of New Orleans (father Ellis and brothers Branford, Wynton and Jason), and Delfeayo Marsalis is bringing his Sweet Thunder: Duke & Shak to Robinson Center Music Hall. So what does that all mean? Well, Sweet Thunder: Duke & Shak is a theatrical jazz production honoring both Duke Ellington and William Shakespeare, and Delfeayo Marsalis is the trombonist, composer and producer heading it all up. The night features Delfeayo Marsalis, actor Kenneth Brown Jr. and a jazz octet running through a modern interpretation of the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn suite “Such Sweet Thunder,” a work including characters from William Shakespeare’s plays. The music starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $39.20 and $52.10.
New York/Nashville, Tenn., rocker — or “rock rock rock” as he phrases it — Brent James comes to Juanita’s with his full band. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the music at 8 p.m. Tickets are $3 in advance and $5 at the door. Michigan natives, Brent James & The Contraband draw on influences such as Joe Cocker, Bruce Springsteen. Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp to create their classic rocking with a modern sound grooving rock ‘n’ roll sound.
Here’s Delfeayo Marsalis in action with “What a Wonderful World”:
The Minneapolis-based duo of Peter Pisano and Brian Moen as Peter Wolf Crier last visited Little Rock with The Romany Rye and Dawes, but swing back through for a headlining night of their ragged rock ‘n’ roll at Stickyz. The music starts at 8:30 p.m. with tickets $8 in advance and $10 day of show for the 21-and-up gig. The opening act is Retribution Gospel Choir, Low frontman Alan Sparhawk’s full-on rock side project featuring Low bassist Steve Garrington.
Here’s Peter Wolf Crier with their “Hard as Nails”:
SINonSUNDAY returns to Ernie Biggs, with a lineup of three local indie rock bands: Sweet Eagle, Go Fast and Aaron Sarlo of Dangerous Idiots. Sweet Eagle is a local rock ‘n’ roll supergroup, fronted by Alan Disaster, and Go Fast is a punkabilly-infused rock ‘n’ roll outfit. Sarlo will play an acoustic show, featuring Dangerous Idiots tunes and brand-new songs from the new Frankenbastard record.
Acadiana is a hotbed of Cajun music so let’s meet Ryan Brunet of Cajun music creators Ryan Brunet & The Malfecteurs, who will be playing White Water Tavern with the music starting at 10 p.m. At 12, Brunet was introduced to the accordion and soon immersed himself in the music of Louisiana accordion greats. But Brunet didn’t stop there; he soon learned the fiddle, too. Now with a band that features Brunet on accordion, Blake Miller on fiddle, Daniel Coolik on fiddle, Tysman Charpentier on guitar, Joe Vidrine on bass and Jay Miller on drums, the young artist creates timeless Cajun music with a touch of Western swing as Ryan Brunet & The Malfecteurs.
Rousing country rocker Stoney LaRue — Texas born but Oklahoma bred — returns to Little Rock with a show at Rev Room to run through a collection of tunes that are a blend of Red Dirt country (Think Cross Canadian Ragweed and the like.) and pure American music. (Consider legends such as Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Grateful Dead and Kris Kristofferson.) In the end, LaRue creates music that mixes and matches country with soul, rock ‘n’ roll and blues. No word on the opening act but expect the music at 9 p.m. with tickets $10 in advance and $12 day of show.
Fayetteville party dance rockers Boom Kinetic released their first, full-length album Part Gray/Part Bright Light with three shows across their native state late last year, including a stop in Little Rock. Now the band returns again with a visit to Stickyz for a night of uptempo dance rock originals, heavy on the synths and guitars, and a collection of the best of the ’80s pop rock and synthpop. Formed in 2006, the band, formerly known as Molten Lava, is a high-energy dance rock band that has been named Best Party Band Ever by the Northwest Arkansas Music Awards two years in a row. There’s an $8 early admission with the music starting at 9 p.m. for the 21-and-up show.
In a repeat of a January 2010 visit to Little Rock, Never Shout Never return to Little Rock, this time at Juanita’s, for a night of feel good rock ‘n’ roll. And just like the 2010 visit, Never Shout Never is joined by openers Carter Hulsey with his acoustic folk and a cover of Ryan Adams’ “Oh My Sweet Carolina,” and Denison with piano-powered pop rock. The music starts at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. with tickets $15 in advance and $18 day of show.
The rock sound of New Orleans comes to Rev Room with visits from two vets of the Crescent City scene: Cowboy Mouth and Dash Rip Rock. Tickets are $10 for the 18-and-up show with the music starting at 9 p.m. Drummer Fred LeBlanc is the master of ceremonies for Cowboy Mouth, sitting front and center on his drum stool and leading the party-hearty band through its collection of rock, punk, country, blues, Zydeco and whatever else fits into their musical casserole. Dash Rip Rock kicks out a swampy version of Southern rock, rockabilly and punk. (And LeBlanc was actually an early member of the trio.) The rowdy live act is still fronted by longtime member Bill Davis, electrifying audiences with their swamp boogie bar rock and good-timing tunes such as “Let’s Go (Smoke Some Pot).”
Mojo Depot, the Little Rock group consisting of Tyndall Jackson on guitar, Rob Moore on vocals and guitar, Jason Adams on drums and John Wright on bass, continues to gig around town more than 25 years after their founding, this time at The Afterthought. Expect a dose of original jammy blues rock from the outfit, along with selections from The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, Robert Earl Keen and others. The music starts at 9 p.m.; cover is $7.
Who knew they still played videos on VH1? Apparently the channel still devotes a sliver of its programming to “video hits” when it’s not busy with “celebrities” in rehab and Basketball Wives. At least Austin, Texas, alternative rock band Alpha Rev‘s “New Morning” made the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. The tune is the title track from the major label debut by the atmospheric band so expect a heavy dose of tunes from the album when Alpha Rev visits Stickyz. Admission is $7 for the 21-and-up show starting at 9 p.m.
Downtown Music becomes the center of underground music in Little Rock over the weekend with Knuckfest. The doors open at 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and tickets are $25 for a three-day pass or $10 for Friday night and $15 each for Saturday and Sunday. Friday night’s bands include Ashes of Augustine, Fallen Empire, Legions Await, Wraith, A DarkEnd Era, Crankbait and Zucura. Saturday’s bands include Snakedriver, God City Destroyers, Jungle Juice, Motives, The Muddlestuds, Second-Rate, Safe to Shore, Something to Stand For, Mailbomber, The Kill Crazies, Pull Trigger and Mind’s Eye. And Sunday’s lineup includes ShadowVein, Word Within, From Which We Came, Through the Looking Glass, My Hands to War and And the Angels Were Silent.
Here’s Dash Rip Rock with their semi-famous “Let’s Go (Smoke Some Pot)”:
Eric Sommer‘s press kit describes his music in three words: singin’, harmonicas and guitars. With roots in the Boston folk music scene of the ’80s, the Massachusetts musician and former member of power pop group The Atomics transitioned from a writer of power pop songs on the acoustic guitar to a guitar wizard, using slide and open tunings to coax a wonderful alchemy of rock, blues and folk out of his instrument. Since 1995, Sommer has existed on the road, playing between 200 shows and 270 shows a year, wickedly weaving his guitar magic. A true virtuosic guitar picker, Sommer will visit Vino’s to deliver a high-energy night of his percussive, mesmerizing guitar playing. Cloud Nine and Elison’s Cage, an act that most recently played Vino’s latest Fresh Blood Night, are the openers with the music starting at 8 p.m. with cover $6.
Texas’ Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township blend folk rock with Americana, blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll, creating shuffling roots music peppered with jazzy keyboard and moody organ. Graham Wilkinson & The Underground Township visit White Water Tavern with music starting at 10 p.m.
The duo of Dean Spunt and Randy Randall is less experimental or noise rock on their newest album Everything in Between (a hit with critics around the globe), but No Age still pushes the limits of what rock can be with their genre-breaking sound that defies description. Just know the band is pushing punk or rock or some variation of the two to new limits, and beyond. No Age appears at the Rev Room, with the show starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of for the 18-and-up show. The opening act is Rene Hell, the moniker of experimental music maker Jeff Witscher, who creates groundbreaking and challenging electronic music.
The Florida punk band fronted by Tom Gabel, Against Me!, celebrates the new year with a tour of the Southeast and West, including a stop at Juanita’s. The band’s newest album is White Crosses, another fiery shot of punk with power rock choruses. The opening bands are Michigan power pop rock trio Cheap Girls and Fences, Seattle songwriter Chris Mansfield’s full band outfit that combines R.E.M. and The Cure influences with Joy Division and even Townes Van Zandt. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the music at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door.
Mobile Deathcamp, a vicious metal trio featuring former GWAR member Todd Evans (Beefcake the Mighty), comes to Downtown Music. Self-described as “black swamp speed metal,” the sound of Ohio trio is vicious, punishing thrash and speed metal of the apocalypse. The music starts at 8 p.m. with a $7 cover.
Here’s Against Me! with their “I Was a Teenage Anarchist”:
Russellville’s Afternoon Delight‘s name recalls the Starland Vocal Band’s 1976 No. 1 hit, but the quartet kicks out some seriously heavy, blues-soaked hard rock. And the band has put down that sound on CD and is prepared to release the work at a CD release party at Juanita’s. Russellville alternative rock band Dark From Day One and Hot Springs industrial rock band The Vail — two bands who also played Edgefest VI — are the accompanying acts. The doors open at 8 p.m. with the music at 9 p.m., and tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
It’s Zero Knights Birthday Party at Downtown Music and the night will be a party for all local lovers of metal and underground music with visits from six bands. Attack the Mind is a Pine Bluff metal group who will be joined by Beebe melodic heavy metal group Tangled in Ruin, Conway melodic death metal outfit Poisonwood, Heber Springs death metal quintet ShadowVein, local punk act The Kill Crazies and Wraith, a Central Arkansas death metal group formerly known as Raccoon-Snake Hybrid. The music starts at 8 p.m. with a $6 cover.
Here’s Afternoon Delight with their “Politician Picket”:
With his debut and sophomore albums combining to sell more than 2 million copies, Jason Aldean returned in April 2009 with a third album of 11 country-rock flavored tunes titled Wide Open. And since then Aldean’s career has been running wide open with his star climbing in the country music sky, only fueled more by the release of his November 2010 album My Kinda Party. Following an April 2009 appearance at Riverfest, Aldean returns to the metro, bringing his headlining My Kinda Party Tour to Verizon Arena. Guests include Eric Church, whose album Carolina spawned two Top 10 hits, and The JaneDear Girls, a country music duo whose debut album will be released Feb. 1. The pair also have a Top 40 country hit with “Wildflowers.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the music at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.75 to $44.75.
It’s no visit from Atlanta metal group Mastodon, but it is two side projects of Mastodon guitarist and vocalist Brent Hinds that will be arriving at Juanita’s with visits from West End Motel and Fiend Without a Face. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the music at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. West End Motel is a country punk quintet fronted by Hinds and featuring longtime friend Tom Cheshire, and Fiend Without a Face combines country, rockabilly and surf rock in creating their “Def Lepard hanging out with The Ventures at an Indian wedding” music.
A fusion of rock, jazz and R&B that finds a groove and chases the music, digging up “tasty” surprises along the way, Col. Bruce Hampton & The Quark Alliance, featuring former Weakness for Blondes guitarist Perry Osborn, returns to Stickyz. From his days as the leader of The Aquarium Rescue Unit to today, as leader of The Quark Alliance, Hampton (forever retired) has kept strange company and played some even weirder music along the way. It was the early ’90s incarnation of The Aquarium Rescue Unit that help start the H.O.R.D.E. tour, and Hampton’s bands have included such jamband icons as Jimmy Herring and Oteil Burbridge. No word on the opening band, but the music starts around 9 p.m. with cover $8 for the 21-and-up affair.
Memphis band John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives return to White Water Tavern with their rambling honky-tonk flavored indie rock, propelled by the band’s love of rockabilly guitars, pedal steel, piano and driving drums. The band’s debut album is Spills and Thrills. The music starts at 10 p.m. with no word on cover charge.
It’s 2011 and time for a return of the best hip-hop show in the area: The O.D. 7 at Cornerstone Pub. The music starts at 9 p.m. with a $10 cover for the 21-and-up show. Powered by The Scoop, hosted by Little Rock hip-hop luminary Epiphany and featuring DJ Silky Slim on the turntables, the night of local rap and hip hop includes Da Saw Squad, Osyrus, Shea Marie, The Parker Bros., Kwestion, Juke Joint, K. Toomer and J-Fuego.
Little Rock’s best trumpeter Rodney Block will be his backing band of Sam Carroll, Michael Handler and Oliver “O.T.” Thomas — The Real Music Lovers — running through a number of R&B and jazz selections as the band returns to The Afterthought. The music starts at 9 p.m., and cover is $10.
Here’s Jason Aldean in action with his “My Kinda Party”:
Giving you the music a day early: Austin, Texas, indie rock band The Rocketboys are coming to Stickyz. The band’s latest is the self-released Build Anyway. So what does the band sound like? Well, the Austin American-Statesman describes the band’s music as “clear, ringing guitars and full-bodied keyboard arrangements, hard-driving [...]
Giving you the music a day early: The pop-flavored R&B group that brought the world “Cool It Now” is on the road for their 30th anniversary tour as New Edition visits Verizon Arena. Tickets are $58.15, $68.40 and $79.40 with fellow R&B act After 7 and R&B artist El Debarge [...]
Giving you the music a day early: Kris Allen at Magic Springs Water and Theme Park‘s Timberwood Amphitheater. This Arkansas resident won the eighth season of American Idol and will be promoting his new album Thank You Camellia. The concert gates open at 6 p.m. with an 8 p.m. showtime. [...]
Giving you the music a day early: Acadiana is a hotbed of Cajun music so let’s talk about Ryan Brunet of Cajun music creators Ryan Brunet and The Malfecteurs, who will be playing White Water Tavern with the music starting at 9:30 p.m. with a $7 cover. At the age [...]
Giving you the music a day early: Wussy is coming to Stickyz. So what does that mean? Well, Wussy is a Cincinnati rock band. Sometimes with pedal steel. Sometimes with a clavinet. Sometimes with harpsichord. It’s really hard categorizing them so let’s don’t. Just enjoy Wussy for what they are [...]
Giving you the music a day early: People who write off Nada Surf as a MTV-promoted one-hit wonder because of 1996′s “Popular” haven’t been paying attention for the past 16 years. The New York City trio’s buzzing guitar attack, pop choruses and harmonies have been featured on six subsequent albums, [...]
Giving you the music a day early: Scott H. Biram and Lydia Loveless at Stickyz — this is going to be quite a show. Why? Biram is a 21st-century blues sorcerer, throwing blues, psychobilly, country and punk in a jar with a few gulps of whiskey, violently shaking it and [...]
Giving you the music a day early: Jeez, it was about time. It has been since December that the self-proclaimed King of the Country Western Troubadours played Little Rock. Fortunately, Unknown Hinson returns with a show at Juanita’s. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the music starting at 8:30 [...]
Giving you the music a day early: Here’s a little-known fact: Outside of the city of Tahlequah, Okla., is a public use area titled No Head Hollow Public Use Area. No lie. The city is also the capital of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. Now, why are we [...]
Giving you the music a day early: It’s going to get heavy at Downtown Music. How heavy? Well, how heavy does a show that includes At Wars End, Reticient and The Revolutioners sound? Oh yeah, not that heavy if you don’t know what the bands sound like. Well, here’s a [...]