Hillbilly royalty 

And an Arkansas-born McQueen on Thursday.

MCQUEEN: LR native at Whitewater.
  • MCQUEEN: LR native at Whitewater.
She calls Austin home now, but roots rocker Elizabeth McQueen lived in Little Rock until age 10. She and her band, the Firebrands, will be playing at the White Water Tavern on Thursday, April 7. Following up the CD “The Fresh Up Club,” McQueen and the Firebrands released “Having Fun Doing What We’re Doing” in late February. Being that Austin is thick with bars and taverns — and we’re sure she’s played many of them — the theme of this album seems to be an appropriate follow-up: It’s a tribute to the ’70s “pub-rock” movement in England. It’s a roots-concentrated, unpretentious answer to the glam and prog-rock domination of that era, covering folks like Elvis Costello, Dr. Feelgood, Eggs Over Easy and Graham Parker, among others — all who helped germinate the punk movement. The show starts at 10 p.m., and the cover charge is $5. Chris Scruggs, the grandson of Earl and a former vocalist and guitarist for renowned country hillbilly swingers BR549, will appear at Sticky Fingerz, also on Thursday, April 7. Scruggs’ first music dalliances (as many of country’s offspring seem to go these days) were in punk bands in his teens, but he came full circle and took up with BR549, contributing to that group’s album “Tangled in the Pines” before going out on his own in January. Brian Parton, a rockabilly artist from Tulsa who frequents Midtown Billiards, opens at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $7. After skipping a session due to the Easter holiday weekend, Acoustic Sounds Cafe is back with a show Friday, April 8, at the Second Presbyterian Church, with performers Preston Reed and Cindy Kalmenson. Reed is known for his both-hands attack on the guitar, producing a complete band sound of lead, rhythm and back-up by slapping, strumming, fretting and plucking the instrument. He has taken on the image of a would-be guitar god while wielding an acoustic version. Reed has produced numerous acclaimed recordings; “Ladies Night” and “Metal” — a tribute to the genre — are two of his latest projects. Of Reed’s numerous accomplishments listed in his press kit, one interesting note is that at age 17 he backed up beat poet Allen Ginsberg at the Smithsonian Institution. Opening is Nashville-native Kalmenson, who lists as influences Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Lucinda Williams. She’s opened for guitar notables John Gorka, Chris Smither and Guy Clark. Her most recent CD is “Witness,” released in 2002. Admission to the non-smoking, alcohol-free performance is $8 or $7 for students. The church is at 600 Pleasant Valley Drive. The Golden Republic, an all-out pop and garage rock band from Kansas City, will headline Vino’s Brewpub on Saturday, April 8. Golden Republic followed up its 2004 EP, “People,” with a full-length self-titled album. Members include Ben Grimes (guitar, lead vocals), Harry Anderson (bass), Ryan Shank (drums) and Kenn Jankowski (guitar, keyboard). Judging from a listen to the new album and a read of the group’s bio, Golden Republic obviously cut its teeth on a lot of David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust, Kinks, Cars and T. Rex. Tulsa native David Terry, who makes up the one-man synth rock band Aqueduct, will also appear. Terry was discovered by Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie) and opened for Modest Mouse on a recent tour. “I Sold Gold” is his latest album; we especially liked the autobiographical selection “Growing Up With GNR,” one we can definitely identify with. Also appearing is Gazer, the Northeast Arkansas Oasis-sounding band who ventured out to Los Angeles for a while and whom we haven’t heard from in several months. Admission to the 8:30 p.m. show is $7. Heads up for an upcoming show at Juanita’s on Sunday, April 24: the Akron, Ohio, duo Black Keys. “Rubber Factory” is the group’s follow-up to the Fat Possum release “Thickfreakness.” Tickets are available online or at the venue for $10. The Hentchmen, a minimalist lower Detroit trio with a knack for emulating primitive ’60s garage rock, will open. The Living Room hasn’t had live music in several months due to basement flooding back in November. Don’t pull the venue out of the running yet; we’re told that if all goes as planned, repairs will be completed in the coming weeks and then the restaurant will again double as a music venue.



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