Arkansas’s first environmental education state park interprets the importance of the natural world and our place within it.
CEDRIC BURNSIDE AND LIGHTNIN' MALCOLM
9:30 p.m., White Water Tavern. $10.
Here's a not-so-bold prediction: The Juke Joint Duo is about to blow up. For most of October, the North Mississippi bluesmen are hitting the road with Lucero and Amy LaVere, with stops in Nashville, D.C., Philly and New York. Some of those cities might be familiar to the duo, but not the size of the venues. Whatever happens, please, God, don't let them outgrow White Water Tavern. Their Hill Country blues — that raw and rhythmic sound of North Mississippi — always transforms the tavern into the best party ever, where everyone sweats and dances and the music seems to go on forever. It must feel familiar to the two, who grew up in and around the blues and juke joints. Both also lived, for a time, with Cedric's grandfather, the late great R.L. Burnside, and Cedric spent years on the road playing drums with him, too. But don't mistake this for a touch-of-greatness-through-association. Ced and Malcolm kill it all by themselves, and it's always a sight to behold. LM.
RANDY ROGERS BAND
9 p.m., Revolution. $15 adv., $18 d.o.s.
Everything's coming together for the Randy Rogers Band. Its last album, the self-titled “Randy Rogers Band,” debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard country charts, and Playboy called it the country album of the year. Earlier this year, the band was nominated for “Best Vocal Group” by the Academy of Country Music, and it recently performed on both Leno and Letterman. All this from a band that, despite its spot on a major label and work with famed Nashville producer Radney Foster, seems to have a lot invested in existing outside of the Music City norm.
Like the best country songs, Rogers' fall somewhere between raucous drinkin' anthems and gentler ruminations on heartache and everyday pain. The band seems to be, above all else, pushing grit — the antithesis of countrypolitan Nashville — as the tie that binds its material. It doesn't hurt matters that lead singer Rogers sounds an awful lot like Steve Earle. After six years of hard touring — like 200-plus dates a year hard touring — including a number of stops in Little Rock, the band's developed a reputation as a can't-miss live act, and this, club owner Chris King says, is the last time you can't miss them this year. Whiskey Myers opens. LM.
IDIOTS / DRAGOON
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
Towncraft-era Little Rockers, take note. Alumni from two heavyweights from those days — Trusty (local punk royalty) and Techno-Squid Eats Parliament (cheeky pop-rockers) — have new, or at least new-ish, projects. Debuting live on Friday, the Dangerous Idiots brings together TSEP veterans Aaron Sarlo (lead vocals, guitar) and Shayne Gray (drums) with Trusty's Paul Bowling (bass and vocals), who more recently played in Il Libretina. If all their songs are as good as “Less for You,” a strange and sinister pop burner they had up on MySpace earlier in the week, this is going to be a band people talk about. From Memphis, Dragoon features Little Rock's Bobby Matthews, late of Trusty, and Stanley Gallimore and Tripp Lamkins, late of the Grifters, the Memphis-based lo-fi heroes of the early '90s. The trio feeds off dissonance and weird time signatures, but without forsaking melody and the blues scale. Matthews' sweet, but off-kilter vocals often help anchor the madness. It's affecting stuff. Look for the old heads bobbing along, happily. LM.