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With a narrative, storytelling approach to rock and Americana that could be attributed to his genes — or at least the time spent with dad, the acclaimed novelist and screenThe younger McMurtry’s first CD, “Too Long in the Wasteland,” was produced by John Mellencamp in 1989. From there he went on to make his own way on the music scene, gathering friends and collaborators such as John Prine, Dwight Yoakam and David Grissom.
More matter-of-fact than empathetic in his approach to the characters in his songs, McMurtry unflinchingly references the various mores of rural societies. Perhaps the song that many note for this style is the eight-minute FCC-unfriendly epic “Choctaw Bingo,” from his 2002 album “Saint Mary of the Woods,” a little cynical but humorous narrative of a low-brow extended family reunion.
Some other McMurtry albums include “Candyland” and “Where’d You Hide the Body.”
Most recently he’s released “Childish Things,” in which he delved into the political with a protest song, “We Can’t Make It Here.”
Admission is $8. Start time is 9 p.m. with opener Eliot Moriss.
Starkz shows at Juanita’s always tend to be sold-out, but the band is worth more than a casual mention this time. The band’s management tells us that Atlantic Records representatives will be at the show Friday, Nov. 4. Starkz will headline a show with Fail Safe (Tulsa), Pilots Lounge (Nashville) and Waiting for Brantley (Shreveport).
The significance of the opening acts is that each comes from a city Starkz has played or will play in coming weeks, with Starkz reciprocating for each of those bands as they tour the circuit of these cities.
Starkz’ new song “Choose your Weapon” took a great jump recently on 100.3 “The Edge,” and “Giving In” is being added to the playlist at WKQZ in Saginaw, Mich. Starkz has sold an estimated 6,000 CDs.
The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and tickets are $8 at the door for ages 18 and up.
Delivering a tough-girl attitude and a booty-centered promo pic, Adina Howard has drawn both criticism and praise for her rap and R&B songs about sex and being a “freak.” She’ll be getting that very freak on at Juanita’s on Saturday, Nov. 5. “Do You Wanna Ride” is her latest album. Songs like “You Got Me Humpin,’” “Freak Like Me,” and “I Wants Ta Eat” make the line between free sexual expression and exploitation a bit hazy. Whether you call it trash or treasure, the show starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $20 in advance or $25 the day of.
There’s a classy, understated talent in Canadian-born jazz vocalist and pianist Pamela York, presented by the Monday Night Jazz Project on Monday, Nov. 7, at the Afterthought. Her last album, “Blue York,” has been well received by jazz rags, critics and fans of her cool, swingy style. Backing up that evening will be Joe Vick on bass and Dave Rogers on drums. Tickets are $10 at the door, or $8 in advance either at the venue (663-1196) or at Capitol Keyboard (228-9999).
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the Afterthought hosts the kosher and unleavened Meshugga Klezmer Band, an Eastern European-traditional wedding-band-style septet with clarinet, violin, accordion and more. Admission is $5 for the non-smoking show, which starts at 8 p.m.
In Conway, the Advent Arts and Acoustic Cafe at the Advent Lutheran Church will feature Kerrville and Woody Guthrie Festival regular Susan Shore. Shore’s style ranges from classic Appalachian to Gaelic to traditional singer-song
A couple of benefits this weekend:
2nd Place Cafe, held monthly at the Second Street Baptist Church, 8th and Cumberland streets, will be hosting a Katrina benefit concert on Friday, Nov. 4, with a trio of central Arkansas acts contributing their time and talents to the victims of the disaster. Headlining act will be the Kat Hood Trio, well known around this area for Hood’s softly charismatic singing style and her rootsy acoustic-styled backup players. Admission is $10 (no discounts), with opening acts Michael Cooper from Searcy and Happenstance from Conway. The show starts at 7:15 p.m. and will be non-smoking and alcohol-free.
Another show benefiting Pine Bluff butter-knife blues-guitarist CeDell Davis takes place on Saturday, Nov. 5, with the guys of the Bug Tussle Boys, Parachute Woman and the Monks teaming up at the White Water Tavern. Davis, in addition to being wheelchair bound, has suffered some health problems of late, and the $5 admission charge will go to help relieve his health costs. The show will start around 9 p.m.