Charlotte Taylor and her band Gypsy Rain were the first-week winners in the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, held at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom Jan. 27.
Taylor and Gypsy Rain, a standout blues act from Heber Springs, edged out Wildwood, a “newgrass” trio from Fayetteville, by three points on the five judges’ cards, with young modern rockers PM Today and Fayetteville modern pop/folk band Phantasmelodia also giving strong performances. It was obvious among the judges, however, that the tightness of Taylor and Gypsy Rain was too strong to overcome, although Wildwood and its smooth country-like harmonies, its instrumentation, particularly with its mandolin player, and its original lyrics made ithe contest close.
Week 2 of the Showcase on Thursday, Feb. 3, features the Frup from Arkadelphia, the Odds from Fayetteville, Little Rock’s Table 12 and local jam rockers FreeVerse, which replaces Fine Line, sidelined by a band member’s illness. FreeVerse was semfinalist last year and first alternate this year.
The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission is $5 for ages 18 and up.
The finals are Friday, March 4, at Juanita's. The winner will receive $200 in music equipment, recording time from Blue Chair Studio, a guaranteed spot in the Riverfest lineup and a spot on the Peabody-Little Rock's summer concert series, $200 in food from Trio's and more.
The senior high classes of 1969, ’75 and ’86 and all in between and around were entertained with a completely satisfying four-plus hours of “San Francisco Fest 2016” featuring Bay area natives Journey and The Doobie Brothers, with special guest Dave Mason.
Glass artist Ed Pennebaker's 13-foot-tall sculpture of tall, multicolored glass panels was chosen for temporary installation in the Carrie Remmel Dickinson Fountain in front of the Arkansas Arts Center.
Also, Red Octopus at the Public Theater, Alcee Chriss III at First Presbyterian Church, Harvestfest in Hillcrest, the Arkansas Times Hog Roast, Wildflower Revue at South on Main and Made By Few in Bentonville.