Mississippi hard rock outfit Saving Abel returns to Juanita’s as the band prepares for the release of their new album Bringing Down the Giant in the coming months. The band’s last release was the summer 2010 release Miss America, an album that spawned two mainstream rock hits in “Stupid Girl (Only In Hollywood)” and “The Sex Is Good,” and Abel is also well-known for their smash hit “Addicted” from their debut album. The doors open at 7 p.m. with the music starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 day of show. The openers are Oklahoma hard rock band Aranda, Canadian rap rockers Redlight King (the new band of Canadian musician Kazzer) and Seattle alternative rock band Fall From Grace, a band that is touring in support of their new release The Romance Years.
Riverfest Ampitheatre will host two concerts this weekend. First up is country musician Luke Bryan on Saturday. Sunday, it’s indie folk band Bon Iver at 7 p.m. along with folk rock trio The Staves. Tickets through Ticketmaster are available for $49 and $38.50.
Patrick Sweany creates bluesy roots rock straight from the Rust Belt, vintage-sounding rock ‘n’ roll crammed with blues, folk, soul and even punk, and swaggering and swaying under the weight of dirty guitar and Sweany’s soulful howl. As Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys says, “Patrick speaks the truth in his songs.” His newest release is 2011′s That Old Southern Drag, and it’s more of Sweany’s roots-meets-blues sound. Sweany comes to White Water Tavern. The music starts at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $6 with Bonnie Montgomery kicking off the show with her honky-tonk Arkansas folk/country music.
2011′s Paper Airplane was the first album by Alison Krauss & Union Station since 2004, so of course the bluegrass outfit toured behind it throughout last year. The band took a small break from touring in the new year, and picked up a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album, but now Alison Krauss & Union Station are back on the road, including a stop at Robinson Center Music Hall, playing tunes from Paper Airplane and other bluegrass numbers from their extensive back catalogue that have hints of roots and pop. Tickets are $59.05 for balcony, and $69.35 for mezzanine- and orchestra-level tickets, and that’s with those Ticketmaster fees tacked on. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Coming back from a SXSW visit, the Memphis group Star & Micey makes a return trip to central Arkansas with an appearance at Downtown Music to crank out sparkly slices of self-described soulful folk pop: shimmering guitar rhythms with heart-on-the-sleeves lyrics and infectious, playful pop melodies … complete with handclaps on “So Much Pain.” Joining them will be local “gospel/blues/rock” singer/songwriter Sean Michel, and the husband-and-wife duo of Ben and Emily Roberts as Carolina Story playing their gorgeous Americana tunes. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the music starting soon afterward. Cover is only $7.
100.3 The Edge welcomes Oklahoma hard rock band Aranda back to Little Rock with a show at Juanita’s. The band, led by Dameon and Gabe Aranda, is holding a CD release party for its January release Stop the World, a collection of post-grunge flavored tunes that includes the mainstream rock hit “Undone.” Three local rock ‘n’ roll bands are slated to open the show: Nevertrain, Se7en Sharp and Jessica Seven. The music starts at 9 p.m. with tickets $7 in advance and $10 day of show.
You want to hear great country songs of the 21st century, and not this pop country stuff? You get down to the Rev Room and hear Chris Knight, a singer/songwriter who grew up in Slaughters, Ky., and sings about despair, bad luck, sorrow and the rural struggle to survive. With a visit to the Rev Room, Knight will hook his emotionally devastating lyrics delivered with a ravaged, raspy voice to twang-y roots rock — following in the footsteps of early Steve Earle and Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen. The show starts at 9 p.m. with a to-be-announced opening act. Tickets for the 18-and-up show are $12 in advance and $14 day of.
100.3 The Edge presents a night of rock with a visit from Hinder, Egypt Central and Aranda to Juanita’s. Hinder’s third album, All American Nightmare, came out last December, and the Oklahoma boys are still touring behind it, playing new tunes and their hits such as “Lips of an Angel.” Memphis post-grunge band Egypt Central has been perfecting their sound since 2002, but it’s really in the last few years that the outfit has been discovered by fans with hits such as “You Make Me Sick” and the title track from their newest album, White Rabbit. Oklahoma City’s Aranda is rock with funk and soul. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 day of show.
Downtown Music will rock Capitol Street in Little Rock as The Circle of Friends Tour visits. It sounds pleasant enough, but the co-headlining band is Florida hardcore outfit Thick as Blood. Joining Thick as Blood will be co-headliners Legend, a Michigan-based metalcore act, and Ohio metal band The Plot In You, New Jersey metalcore group The Air I Breathe and New Orleans hardcore act Miracle at St. Anna. Local support will be provided by Christian hardcore band Something to Stand For and Rusty Hook, a Searcy metal quintet that plays Arkansas-stamped metal. The doors open at 6 p.m. with the music starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
Feed Turkana is an odd name for a benefit, but here’s what the benefit at the Dreamland Ballroom is doing: raising funds for victims of drought and hunger in Kenya. The event is from 7 p.m. to midnight with music from Isaac Alexander, Bear Colony, Chase Pagan and No Moon, and art available via silent auction from Dero Sanford, Dave Huff, Blair Ray, Phillip Huddleston, Vincent Griffin and others. Benefit-goers can also bid on services from local businesses such as Memento Mori Salon and 7th Street Tattoos and Piercing.
Here’s Chris Knight with his “It Ain’t Easy Being Me”:
South Carolina hard rock band Crossfade visits Juanita’s, delivering a powerful shot of their rock sound based on heavy metal and post-grunge. The band’s newest album is the June 21 release We All Bleed, and the album’s first single “Killing Me Inside” hit the Top 20 of the mainstream rock charts. Of course, the band is also known for their other alternative and mainstream rock tunes such as “Cold” (a Top 20 pop hit), “So Far Away” and “Colors.” 100.3 The Edge presents the show with doors opening at 8 p.m., and the music starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Opening acts include Aranda with their rock with a touch of funk and soul, and Kansas City rock band Red Line Chemistry.
The Melvins are still out there touring, still playing their sludgy metal that is a little more Black Flag than Sabbath. But lead vocalist and guitarist Buzz Osborne is the only original member still with the group while members have come and gone over the years, including Mark Deutrom, who served as the band’s bassist during the mid-1990s, joining right after the Kurt Cobain-produced Houdini. Deutrom now has his own outfit called County Bucks, and it’s County Bucks who will come to Downtown Music for a night of their “straight-up rock with dashes of Texas psychedelia and Mississippi swamp action.” The show starts at 8 p.m. with a $8 cover.
The Aranda brothers — Dameon and Gabe — combine a touch of rock with funk and soul when creating their Oklahoma City rock. What fans get is a blend of high-energy music that bounces and punches, taking Zep-size riffs and injecting a touch of Prince funk pop. The brothers and backing band, known together simply as Aranda, come to Juanita’s for a headlining gig. Presented by 100.3 The Edge, the opening acts are Fayetteville alternative rock band Silverstone and A Good Fight, a Fayetteville act that performs melodic pop rock. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the music at 9 p.m., and tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
Alternative rockers Ivoryline, a Tooth & Nail Records artist, come to Downtown Music to deliver a dose of their Tyler, Texas, bred faith-based music based on driving guitars and sing-along choruses. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the music at 7 p.m., and tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Also on the bill are a trio of regional groups: Hot Springs progressive rockers Stereo Sound, Texarkana six-piece indie rockers Us and the Ship, and Magnolia pop punkers belair., who like incorporating a little faith into their catchy music.
So sorry George Burns. Belzoni, Miss.’s Pinetop Perkins is now the oldest Grammy winner, capturing the title with his Feb. 13 win in the category of best traditional blues album for Joined at the Hip: Pinetop Perkins & Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. And Perkins, 97, is coming to Little Rock with a visit to Stickyz. A 2011 Mississippi Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts winner, Perkins began playing the blues as a teenager in the Mississippi Delta, having played juke joints, nightclubs and festival stages with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson and Muddy Waters. A longtime sideman on the blues piano, Perkins is now touring as the headliner with the 75-year-old Smith (a Helena native who played with Waters, too) as “one of the last great Mississippi bluesmen.” The opening act is Voodoo Sauce, the band consisting of ex-Cate Brother and Michael Burks’ bassist John Davies on bass; ex-Windy Austin drummer David McKnight on suitcase bass drum, harp, vocals and electric bull horn; and Bluesboy Jag on cigar box guitar and vocals. Jag calls the new group “a mix of Creedence Clearwater Revival, R.L. Burnside and ZZ Top with a large helping of Muddy Waters thrown in.” Tickets are $20 for the 21-and-up show with the music starting at 9 p.m.
New York City rock band Rev Theory‘s 2008 sophomore album spawned four mainstream rock hits, including “Far From Over.” Three years later, the quintet lead by the twin-guitar attack of Rikki Lixx on lead and Julien Jorgensen on rhythm is back with their third album, Justice, 11 tracks of post-grunge rock. And Rev Theory is on the road, bringing their new tunes and Monster Energy Outbreak Tour to Juanita’s. Supporting Rev Theory is Oklahoma City rockers Aranda, California rock outfit Black Cloud Collective and Michigan rock act Pop Evil. Presented by 100.3 The Edge, doors open at 8 p.m. with the music at 9 p.m. Tickets are $3 in advance and $5 at the door.
Yes, Texas country singer/songwriter Charlie Robison did write “My Hometown,” that bittersweet biographical gem of a tune. But the man has got a wealth of good, down-home tunes beyond “My Hometown,” and will unveil them during a stop at Rev Room. The opening act is Little Rock’s own Salty Dogs, kicking off the music at 9 p.m. with their version of honky tonk on steroids. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of for the 18-and-up show.
The actual Mardi Gras day is still 10 days away, but Little Rock trumpeter Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers are ready to celebrate the carnival season with Mardi Gras at the Mallard Bar, the elegant bar inside the Peabody Hotel. The show starts at 9 p.m. with tickets $10 for general admission and $15 for VIP. The Real Music Lovers include Sam Carroll on keyboards, Oliver “O.T.” Thomas on bass and Michael Chandler on drums, and Block and the group will run through a mixture of jazz tunes, hip-hop favorites and R&B grooves with Cammi on guest vocals.
Arkansas Convention & Events Marketing presents a Mardi Gras Celebration with the music of 101 Runners at the Dreamland Ballroom on Saturday with the music starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 with $5 from every ticket going to the Friends of Dreamland. Costume attire is encouraged — but not required — with the most decorated contest winner receiving a 101 Runners gift assortment and an opportunity to dance onstage.
The Broadway Joe Weekend Celebration 2011 returns with two nights of festivities at the downtown Doubletree Hotel Ballroom. Friday night is the Old School Party from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. with tickets $15 in advance and $25 day of show with proceeds from each ticket benefiting the Independent Youth Football League. The night will also feature $500 in cash and prizes being given away. Saturday night is a live concert from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. featuring Pretty Ricky, Cherelle and Alexander O’Neal with tickets $20 in advance and $30 day of show. It’s 55 years of Hootie Hoo!
100.3 The Edge presents Aranda, an Oklahoma City alternative rock group known for their guitar-heavy rock with a pop sheen, at Juanita’s, with the music starting at 7 p.m. and the doors opening at 6 p.m. Tickets are $8 advance and $10 day of show, with the music starting with the Southern rock ‘n’ roll sound of Benjy Davis Project, Little Rock band Grand Facade and Fayetteville alternative rock band Silverstone.
Texas outfit Oh, Sleeper shout, scream and growl over their metalcore rhythms to reach to the heavens and praise the Lord, and the group brings their version of praise anthems to Downtown Music. Joining the band will be A Plea for Purging, an outfit of God-praising headbangers from Nashville, Tenn., and Arizona’s The Bled, a post-hardcore band who crank out merciless music filled with vocals ranging from a whisper to a bloody scream. Also on the bill are Los Angeles hardcore band Letlive and Creator, Destroyer, an Arkansas metal band with a message of faith — loud, screaming faith with brutal music. The music starts at 7 p.m. with tickets $10 advance and $13 day of show.
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 [...]