Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries
PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND
8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $16-$70.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was named for the venerable French Quarter venue — founded in 1961 and, shortly thereafter, the center of the New Orleans' jazz scene — it played. There, the Charter members were joined by the likes of Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong. Today, under the leadership of Ben Jaffe, the son of founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe, the band continues to tour, record and serve as a leading ambassador for New Orleans jazz. PHJB joins the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Israel Getzov, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Prior to each concert, Happy Tymes Jazz Band will be working it second-line style on the front steps of Robinson, and Starving Artist Cafe will offer red beans and rice. LM.
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
A Houston native and Hendrix alum, singer/songwriter Hayes Carll has made Arkansas a home away from home throughout his near decade of performing. He plays in Little Rock every couple of months, named his second, highly acclaimed album “Little Rock” and, on his latest, “Trouble in Mind,” he's got a song called “Bad Liver and Broken Heart,” that opens with “Arkansas, my head hurts.” You can bet that gets the crowd whooping. It's also probably a pretty safe bet that the crowd that comes out to see Carll — typically large — will have swollen. Since “Trouble in Mind” came out last month on the Universal subsidiary Lost Highway, Carll has picked up rave reviews everywhere from Entertainment Weekly to Billboard magazine. Corb Lund, an Alberta, Canada, folk-singer with a name made for touring with Hayes Carll, opens the show with music from his latest album, a theme album full of songs about horses and war. LM.
9 p.m., Juanita's. $15 adv., $18 d.o.s.
It's not too often Little Rock lands a buzz band, or at least not a buzz band that's been anointed by the mainstream press — not yet popular enough to land magazine covers, but familiar to Rolling Stone readers. So young rockers, take note: The Bravery, not too long ago picked as “New York's Official Next Big Thing” by the Village Voice and, today, with a current top-10 single in Billboard's “Modern Rock” chart, comes to town in support of its latest, “The Sun and the Moon Complete,” on which the band continues its move away from the new-wave revival that lifted it to prominence to a more mainstream rock sound. Still, don't be surprised if you catch a whiff of the Cure. Buzzworthy, too: Modern rockers Fiction Plane, featuring Joe Sumner (AKA Sting's son) on bass and vocals and Bear Colony, a Little Rock based-indie group getting national attention, open the show. LM.
8 p.m., the Village. $20-$400.
“If insulting somebody is an art form, then Jeffrey Ross is Pablo Picasso,” said the Chicago Tribune. He's also been called the “Sultan of Insultin',” the undisputed meanest man in Hollywood. You can't have a celebrity roast today without calling Jeffrey Ross. With a poker face, Ross starts slowly, tossing off a not-so-gentle barb like he's making conversation. But once he has the roastee red-faced and the crowd rolling, he starts going for blood. I'd give you an example, but his best material is filthy. His current tour finds him prepping for a Comedy Central special. LM.
9 p.m., Revolution, $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Josh Ritter makes his Revolution debut with an all-ages show on his “Small Town USA” tour, following the release of his latest record, “The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter.” The album has received widespread critical acclaim and Ritter also has been named by Entertainment Weekly among its Top 10 artists to watch. Songs such as “The Dogs of Whoever,” pay true, yet subtle, homage to Bob Dylan, with musically reserved verses followed by a 3-2-1 blastoff breaking wide open into a heavier chorus, supported by a rock-bottom rhythm section, piano included, and strong backing vocal accompaniment. Expect electric and acoustic pianos, organs, guitars, vibraphone and percussion galore, along with acoustic, electric and double bass, and, of course, drums. Baton Rouge natives the Benjy Davis Project open. PP.
10 a.m., Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts. $5-$10 adv., $25-$35 d.o.s.
New CEO Cliff Fannin Baker kicks off Wildwood Park's new feel with Blooms, a two-day festival that blends culture and the outdoors, with live music, plein air painting in the park, a flower market and high tea under a tent by the lake. A children's area will include storytellers, a puppet show, a petting zoo, costumed actors reading from “Beatrix Potter” and a May pole. Arkansas Opera Theatre's Opera-to-Go Company will perform the children's opera Pinocchio. Musical entertainment includes Lark in the Morning, Old School Bluegrass Band and Arkansas Brass Quintet. Local horticulturalists and naturalist will give seminars for gardeners and nature enthusiasts. “The Bottle Tree,” a musical pastiche of recollections of former Arkansas first ladies, will also premiere. Conceived and directed the Baker, the play will be performed at 6 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Both shows will be preceded by meals. The event runs to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon till 6 p.m. Sunday. See wildwoodpark.org for a complete schedule. LM
10 p.m., Juanita's. $20-$40.
n Upscale Underground keeps the neo-soul hit parade moving through. The latest installment of the “Soul'd Out” concert series finds the local promoters booking, for the first time, a female headliner. A native of Cleveland, Conya Doss started singing at a young age and attended the prestigious Cleveland School of the Performing Arts. After school, she formed the R&B duo Lyrik with a childhood friend. When the duo split, Doss launched her solo career, steadily building her fan base with a silky jazz-soul delivery and constant touring. Saturday night's appearance finds Doss touring in support of her 2008 independent release, “Still,” a confident and vigorous album that could tip Doss into the mainstream. Local soul standouts Delya Chandler and Smooth September open.
J. RODDY WALSTON & THE BUSINESS
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
The American Princes, tirelessly touring the country for the last six years, evangelize about Little Rock. The pay-off: J. Roddy Walston and the Business, a Baltimore-based band of mop-haired good-time rockers who the Princes befriended and brought home to show off a year or two ago, are coming to town every two months or so. If you're uninitiated, don't let their frequent touring here serve as an excuse not to go, like “I'll catch them next time around.” No, friends, once you experience the riff rock exuberance of the Biz, their shows will become an integral part of your concert diet. Further incentive: fresh from a stay in Fayetteville, local folk-y Stacy Mackey opens with local barroom kings Smoke Up Johnny. LM.
7:30 p.m., Alltel Arena. $33.25-$53.25. Sold out.
Kelly Clarkson may have the edge in total sales, but no album from the “American Idol” alumni has sold more than Carrie Underwood's debut. Forget “Idol”; you'd be hard-pressed to name too many contemporary musicians more popular than Underwood these days. The pride of Checotah, Okla., has taken a path to fame — save all that “Idol” business — that isn't that far off the country star route: small-town girl, church-singing, big dreams, big blonde hair and a big voice. Now a full-fledged crossover pop star, she comes to town behind her sophomore release, “Carnival Ride.” Unless you're prepared to pay scalper's rates, you're s.o.l.; the show is sold out. LM.
DOO WOP CELEBRATION
3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $55-$100.
n Yes, they are old. Yes, their performance will lean heavily on nostalgia. Yes, this sounds like a pretty fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon or evening. Benefiting the AETN foundation, the celebration includes performances from Gene Chandler (“The Duke of Earl,” “Groovy Situation”), the Chiffons, which still includes lead vocalist Judy Craig (“He's So Fine,” “One Fine Day”), Larry Chance of the Earls (“Life Is But a Dream,” “Remember Then”), Shirley Alston Reeves of the Shirelles (“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “Baby It's You”) and Charlie Thomas' Drifters (“This Magic Moment,” “Save the Last Dance for Me”). Tickets are exclusively available via aetnfoundation.org or by calling 1-800-662-2386. LM.
DEAD MEDIA RELEASE SHOW
8 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $4.
Nathan Brown, a.k.a. Browningham, the smooth soul crooner with a voice to rival Michael McDonald's, has a unique passion: He loves the eight-track. Brown argues that eight-tracks didn't catch on because of low fidelity or impracticality, but because of “human error, laziness, irresponsibility or bad decision making.” With his new eight-track project Dead Media — a label, analog recording service, used eight-track store and repair service — he hopes to expose the medium's true potential. On Monday, in conjunction with Thick Syrup Records Monday night showcase, Dead Media celebrates its first release, “You're Really Hot!” by the Crisco Kids. The Kids, one of Little Rock's most unhinged punk groups, will perform along with local folk-rockers Stacy Mackey and awesome-sounding new garage punks the Buttons. Don't have an eight-track? No worries. They'll be for sale along with T-shirts and more. LM.