A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.
Ask members of the John Evans Band what kind of music they play and they’ll retort that it’s “just rock ’n’ roll.” But that’s not an entirely adequate description of the Austin-based, country-tinged, eclectically voiced group playing the White Water Tavern on Thursday, March 1.
“Whiskey Tango,” a single from their 2006 release “Ramblin’ Boy,” is a perfect example of their quirky speak/sing vocals that combine deadpan spoken delivery of the verse with a more traditional, twangy chorus croon. It’s certainly a less traveled road, and it’s led John Evans to win Houston Press’s Best Male Vocalist Award five times since his band’s inception.
The music starts at 9 p.m. with a cover of $5. Be sure to come early and catch the sultry roots music of locals Mandy McBryde and Bethany Carder and later the cigar-box-guitar blues of Blues Boy Jag.
The deep-and-drowsy-voiced Junior Brown is at the Revolution Music Room on Saturday, March 3 (10 p.m., $15).
Brown is famed not only for his singing style and songs, but for his “guit-steel.” Tired of switching back and forth between the six-string guitar and the pedal steel during live performances 20 years ago, Junior invented a double-necked combination of the two. The flexibility of the dual instrument allows Brown’s music to move from electrified, breakneck-speed country jams to gentle, ironic ballads with only a slight move of his hands.
Brown usually makes semi-annual stops in Little Rock, but if you haven’t caught him up to now, he’s at the venue to see him in, with its 600-seat capacity.
The hit acts just keep on coming to the Rev Room: Philadelphia’s jump ’n’ groove blues hip-hop group G Love and Special Sauce will be there on Tuesday, March 6 (10 p.m., $20). First things first: Let’s just say that G Love’s brand of hip-hop is one all its own. His recent release “Lemonade” sparkles with a summer warmth/rock pop lightness that inherently holds huge crossover appeal for both its unique sound and the craftsmanship with which the less-common sound is executed.
“The tradition of the hip-hop blues has always been to rip open the heart and bare the soul,” G Love says on his MySpace.com page. This ripping and baring business hardly seems the case, however, as the whole of “Lemonade” plays like a day on a SoCal beach.
Tishamingo, a jam quartet from Athens, Ga., is making a name in Southern rock with its strong guitar work and gritty vocals. “The Point” is the third and newest release for the band, which is known for its nonstop touring. Tishamingo has played Bonnaroo and traveled on the Jam Cruise.
Check out Tishamingo at Sticky Fingerz on March 3 (9:30 p.m., $7).
Now for the rest of the week, starting with tonight (March 1): At Juanita’s, Ocean opens for local acoustic-driven alt-rock artist Paul Sammons (9 p.m., $5). Sammons and the Black Sheep were semifinalists in the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase … Longtime cover act Mr. Happy plays Cajun’s Wharf (8:30 p.m., $5) … Acoustic singer-songwriter Django Walker, son of Jerry Jeff Walker, will play an early-starting show at Sticky’s (8:30 p.m., $5).
Friday, March 2: The Village features turntable music with DJ Donald Glaude and electro house funk with DJ Feelgood (8 p.m. $16-$19) … At the White Water, Little Rock’s sweet indie alt-country group the Boondogs come out to play (10 p.m., $5) … Friday brings us another big CD release party at Vino’s. Screamo group After the Tragedy has finally pressed and packaged its new disc, “Voyage of Reason,” and will be appearing that night to show off the new songs with PM Today, Valerya and Plu, with more acts to be announced (8 p.m., $7) … At Downtown Music, it’s metalcore groups Pattern Fall, Around the Six and Shiloh (9 p.m., $5) … Southern-style classic rock group Judge Parker plays West End (9 p.m., $5) … Colonel Bruce Hampton and his new Atlanta-based blues jam band the Quark Alliance do Sticky Fingerz (9 p.m., $8) … Oklahoma funk pop group SugarFree Allstars play at Midtown Billiards (12:30 a.m. Saturday, $5) … Soul funk and blues cover band Big John Miller puts its own spin on old favorites at Cajun’s (9 p.m., $5).
On Saturday: At Juanita’s, Buffalo light pop band Cute Is What We Aim For shows up with Maryland’s pop rock group All Time Low, indie pop group This Providence, and PM Today (8 p.m., $10-12) … Jeff Coleman is the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase finalist with a voice like a worn record, and he’s playing with the Feeders at the White Water Tavern alongside local folk group Dolores and the Hot Rod Angels (9 p.m., $5) … The Eoff Brothers Band (pronounced “oaf”), winner of Best Overall New Band at the 2006 Ozark Music Awards and a top 10 finalist at the International Blues Challenge 2006 in Memphis, will be playing a set at Cajun’s Wharf (8:30 p.m., $5). Years may bring experience, but in this case, it seems that practice and heart were all these talented native boys (ranging in age from 16 to 22) really needed … At Downtown Music, it’s Morrilton-based indie group My Chi and more (9 p.m., $5) … The Clique plays West End (9 p.m., $5) … and Bach’s Sweet Revenge does a show at Midtown Billiards (12:30 a.m. Sunday, $5).
Monday: Songwriting-strong alt-pop rock artist Ben Rector (soon to release his full-length debut) plays Cajun’s (9 p.m., free, donations accepted). Word on the street says Rector’s about be big, so this free show is definitely a steal … Rock group Stampead plays a special early Monday show at Midtown Billiards (9 p.m., $5).
Tuesday: Get ready to push those Tuesday blues away with the organ-pumping Austin roots music of Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township at Cajun’s (9 p.m., donations).
Wednesday: Nashville’s catchy country-folk-rock-pop act Matt Wertz does a show with Stephen Kellog and The Sixers at Sticky’s (8 p.m., $10-$12). Give Wertz’s song “Carolina” a try and you’ll hear and feel the inevitable draw of a well-produced independent single … At Juanita’s, heavy-on-the-harmony psychedelic pop artist Dr. Dog plays with indie powerpop rock group What Made Milwaukee Famous (9 p.m., $8-$10)... At the Treehouse (109 S. Cedar), Illinois hardcore screamo group Scouts Honor shows up with rock group Mayhew the Traitor and almost-but-not-quite-metal-rock-group Har Meggido (10 p.m., $3).