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Even if you haven’t picked a grape in your life, it’s not hard to appreciate the work of folk artist Woody Guthrie, who led a massive folk movement by being a dissenting American patriot throughout the mid-20th century with his musical commentary on human dignity and freedom. His ballads color images of the Depression era and the novels of Steinbeck, reflecting a childhood spent in the “Dust Bowl” of Oklahoma. His circle of socially conscious folk musicians and pioneers of the folk era were guys like Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, Cisco Houston and Burl Ives (and, being a true unwavering champion for the cause, didn’t go rat as Ives did during Un-American Activities Committee McCarthy hearings).
Among his vast discography, the most recognized ballad is likely “This Land is Your Land.”
Local artists will recognize him and go acoustic for a tribute to Guthrie on Monday, Dec. 5, at Sticky Fingerz. Those scheduled to appear are Isaac Alexander, John Housley, Stacy Mackey, Kevin Kerby, Liz Carroll, Chris Denny, Sean and Stephen Rock, Andy Burns, Nick Devlin, Sara Thomas and Amy Garland.
The show starts at 8 p.m. and admission is $10. Proceeds will benefit the Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice. For more information, call 951-3633.
Where country becomes honky-tonk and honky-tonk meets rock, and rock circles around to be appropriate enough for the Grand Ole Opry: Junior Brown is toeing the line of “house rock” fathered by Ernest Tubb. He’s been busy this past year promoting his “Down Home Chrome” album, and then stepping into Waylon Jennings’ boots to narrate the recent “Dukes of Hazzard” movie.
Brown appears with his guit-steel hybrid instrument at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom on Thursday, Dec. 1.
Opening at 8:30 p.m. will be the Salty Dogs. Admission is $20.
Mississippi-, Texas- and Arkansas-styled blues meet for a night Friday, Dec. 2, at Sticky Fingerz. Representing Mississippi is headliner DuWayne Burnside, son of the recently departed R.L. Burnside. After a lengthy stint with the North Mississippi Allstars, DuWayne has gone it alone on tour with his hill-country and soul album “Under Pressure” with his back-up group, the Mississippi Mafia. Omar and the Howlers will bring swingy, party blues from Texas, and the gutsy, estrogen-enriched Heber Springs-based blues woman Charlotte Taylor with Gypsy Rain will open at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.
The Kingsbury Manx from North Carolina headlines a Sticky Fingerz show on Thursday, Dec. 1. The band has a fuzz-rock, ’80s melancholia and ’60s psychedelic sound, and recently released the CD “The Rise and Fall of the South.”
Opening at 9 p.m. is the Standard, an arty, progressive, indie rock band on Yep-Roc! with their debut on that label, “The Albatross,” now available.
Admission is $7.
If you find yourself driving toward Pine Bluff, there’s new club called, um, “Bada-Bing” on 1400 E. 145th St. The club has karaoke, live DJs and music during the week. Rap artist Too Short, whose popularity crested in the early ’90s, will appear Thursday, Dec. 8. For more information, call 897-2112.
Danko Jones opened for the Rolling Stones on several concert dates last year and the three-piece band is just as likely to pop off at the mouth as any one of those Stones members. The Toronto metal and punk garage band will play Vino’s Brewpub on Sunday, Dec. 4. A new album, “Sleep Is the Enemy,” is scheduled to be released in February.
Local act Josh the Devil and the Sinners open the show at 6 p.m. Admission is $7.