Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities
9 p.m., Revolution. $10.
There was probably no question that Bernard Allison was going to be a bluesman. His father was Luther Allison, a native of Widener in St. Francis County and one of the many Southerners who left the South for the relatively friendlier climes of Chicago in the 1940s and '50s. The elder Allison played with heavyweights like Muddy Waters and Elmore James, and naturally, Bernard was steeped in the blues as a kid. He played in his father's band in later years, but got his start playing guitar for Koko Taylor when he was just a teen-ager. Allison, now based in Paris, plays electrified crunchy, funky blues with the not-so-occasional screaming solo. The dude is a stone shredder ("Voodoo Chile" is a staple of his live show), and his good-time tunes bridge the gap between postwar Chicago blues and the in-your-face flair of wailers like Stevie Ray Vaughan. If you dig modern blues, this will probably be one of the better shows to come to Little Rock all year.
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
You probably know Stephen Koch as the host of Arkansongs, the indispensable radio show (and cause of many driveway moments for public radio listeners across the state) that's devoted to exploring every inch of Arkansas's rich musical history. Koch has highlighted scores of Natural State musicians over the years, but here's your chance to hear him play his own tunes. Arkopolis has a sound that's rooted in the past, but is in no way wedded to it. Many of the band's bluesy numbers are shambolic to the point of threatening to fall apart. At times, the album sounds like Pavement circa "Wowee Zowee" got themselves on a real good drunk and took up a Hammond and a bunch of banjos and fiddles and acoustic guitars and harmonicas and set about trying to sleaze it up like the Faces. Koch's singing has an appealing swagger to it that fits well within the songs. This is a record release show for his band's new album, "Excruciating Circumstances."
TWO RIVERS BRIDGE DEDICATION
11:30 a.m., Two Rivers Park. Free.
Undoubtedly you've noticed the construction over the last couple of years of Two Rivers Bridge, which spans the Little Maumelle River, connecting Two Rivers Park with Little Rock's River Trail. At 11:30 a.m. Friday, Pulaski County will host a ceremony dedicating the bridge with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. The bridge doesn't open to the public until July 23, but it will be accessible for a couple of hours after the ceremony for a sneak peek. The ceremony is open to the public, but parking is limited, so carpooling is recommended.
SONNY BURGESS & THE LEGENDARY PACERS
8 p.m., Maxine's. $8 adv., $10 door.
Sadly, there just aren't that many members of rockabilly's first class left with us. Of those early originators who are still going (and at the risk of forgetting anybody) there are three from Arkansas: Ronnie Hawkins of Huntsville, Smackover's Sleepy LaBeef and Newport native Sonny Burgess, who way back in 1956 cut two Sun Records sides that many rockabilly buffs consider to be among the wildest numbers ever put to tape. Burgess's debut (Sun 247, August 1956) featured "Red Headed Woman" b/w "We Wanna Boogie." It's a classic slab of primordial rock 'n' roll that's lost none of its power or appeal over the decades (and fetches big bucks, especially the 78 format). Nigh on 55 years later, octogenarian Burgess is still rocking, along with original piano pounder Kern Kennedy. Anybody with even a passing interest in rockabilly should not pass up this show.