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Luella and the Sun at White Water Tavern 

THURSDAY 4/11

LUELLA AND THE SUN, ISAAC ALEXANDER

9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.

From the looks and sounds of it, there's not going to be any kinda shortage on bluesy, stomping, reverb-drenched, gospel-informed rock 'n' roll any time real soon. There's a good many bands that are mining that intersection of the sacred and, well, if not the profane, at least the moderately edgy. Nashville quartet Luella and the Sun have that sound down as good or better'n anybody. Plus, the band's fronted by Melissa Mathes (nom de rock: Luella). I mean dudes, she can wail. No, seriously: she can wail! And the band can lay down the grimy-nasty blues like it's nothing. Several of them played on Isaac Alexander's recent album "Antivenin Suite," which you will likely recall is a very excellent record. So will Luella and The Sun catch that lightning in a bottle and blow up like that one band, The Mississippi Shimmies or whatever they're called? Hard to say. But why take that chance when you could go see them now, in a small venue at what's sure to be a killer show? If you're up in northwesterly Arkansas, you can check out the band at Smoke and Barrel on April 12.

FRIDAY 4/12

GEORGE STRAIT

7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $86-$109.

One of the true giants of country music will be retiring from the road soon. George Strait's "The Cowboy Rides Away Tour" is likely your last chance to see King George perform in Arkansas. Let's check out some of the man's stats: More than 65 million albums sold; 59 No. 1 hits; highest-selling box set of any country artist (1995's "Strait out of the Box" has sold more than 8 million copies); he's the only musician ever to notch at least one Top 10 hit every year during his three-decade career, and he's only the second artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame while still touring and recording hits. Speaking of hits, that's what you're in for at this concert, which Strait said will be "a very special, emotional tour for me. Everywhere we're going holds fond memories and I'm looking forward to paying my respects." Opening the show will be Martina McBride, who's certainly one of the biggest names in country music herself, having sold north of 18 million albums.

FRIDAY 4/12

LITTLE ROCK FILM FEST: 'BLOODY MAMA'

7 p.m. River Market Tower. Free with LRFF pass.

This looks cool: a rooftop screening of a Roger Corman flick that was filmed in the Ozarks and stars Shelley Winters, Robert DeNiro and Robert Walden, who will be in attendance. Set in the 1920s, the film concerns Ma Barker (Winters), a sweet old lady from Arkansas who just so happens to carry a machine gun and be a psychotic criminal mastermind. Oh, and she has four miscreant co-conspirators as sons, including drug addict Lloyd (DeNiro), recently released convict Fred (Walden), Arthur (Clint Kimbrough) and Herman (Don Stroud). It's all violence and mayhem and gunplay on the highways and back roads as Ma Barker leads her awful brood on a multi-state crime spree that can only end in carnage.

FRIDAY 4/12

FRIGHTENED RABBIT

9 p.m. Revolution. $13 adv., $15 day of.

Have you ever been listening to Belle and Sebastian and thought, "This is good and all, but dude just does not sound Scottish. I mean, where's the brooooogue!?!" Well pardner, you will not encounter this problem with Glaswegian quintet Frightened Rabbit. Dude sounds awesomely Scottish. I listened to a few tracks from the band's latest long-player, "Pedestrian Verse." Opener "Acts of Man," has production touches that wouldn't sound out of place on a 1980s Paul Simon album — heavily reverbed drums, ultra-clean guitar lines. Check out the third track, "Holy" — it would be the perfect song on your mixtape for the point where it starts to pick back up after the sad stretch in the mid-to-latter half of the tape, all upbeat and triumphant, all 16th notes on the bass moving things along, all 3:39 (just the right running time). The band has been around for a decade now, and if you're into soaring, dramatic guitar-focused indie rock and you haven't listened to them by now, you should check them out, chief. Also on the bill at this all-ages show: Nova Scotia's Wintersleep, who've not only won a Juno Award (New Group of the Year, 2008) but also were handpicked by Sir Paul McCartney to open for him at a gig in Halifax.

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