Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
Jay Farrar gave Son Volt a complete overhaul when he re-formed the band last year. Little Rockians got a taste of the new version last summer at Sticky Fingerz, and will again when Farrar and Son Volt return to town Thursday, Feb. 9, this time to Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom.
(Editor’s note: Sticky Fingerz was booked for the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase.)
Farrar and his new backup of Americana music soldiers are touring in support of their newest CD, “Okemah and the Melody of the Riot.” Along with vocalist and guitarist Farrar, the new band includes Dave Bryson (drums), Andrew DuPlantis (bass) and Brad Rice (guitarist, formerly for Ryan Adams’ and Caitlin Cary’s Whiskeytown).
Farrar’s former Son Volt mates supposedly bolted at the last second before a reunion album last year, but his newest version put on a strong show at Sticky Fingerz, one that was significantly more up-tempo than previous Farrar work as a solo act or with the seminal alt-country band Uncle Tupelo.
Son Volt could be classified as a modern Woody Guthrie tribute — Americana lo-fi — with strong emphasis on the song. Farrar formed Son Volt when he and Jeff Tweedy decided to split up Uncle Tupelo (Tweedy went on to create Wilco).
Tickets for Thursday’s 9 p.m. show are $15. The opening act is Shannon McNally, whose recent album is “Geronimo.”
On Friday, Feb. 10, Son Volt and McNally will be in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. at George’s Majestic. Admission is $15 in advance or $18 at the door.
Lock up your daughters: Memphis’ young Southern rock-and-pop quartet Ingram Hill will play Juanita’s on Friday, Feb. 10, with opening act Chris Cash. Admission for the 10 p.m. show is $10 in advance or $12 at the door.
Also, Juanita’s will be holding an open mic show every Monday with local rocker Jeff Coleman and friends for ages 18 and up. The music starts around 8 p.m.
Friday also marks the return of one of the most entertaining — though some may say frightening — acts at Sticky Fingerz. Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers will visit with a new album, “Panderlirium.” Written by nihilistic vocalist/harpist/frontman J.D. Wilkes, it’s a carnival/gypsy-music style production with themes ranging from murder to Southern Goth to side shows and the like.
The album also marks the Shakers’ departure from the more alt-country Bloodshot Records label to the less alt-rock label of North Carolina-based Yep Roc (which also carries Little Rock’s American Princes). The album also features guest performances by Jello Biafra and the Rev. Horton Heat.
Admission for the 10 p.m. show is $10.
With his college fan base and the hit song “Because I Got High,” Afroman returns to Sticky Fingerz on Saturday, Feb. 11. He has other songs and albums — his latest is “The Good Times” — and he’s drawn comparisons to Too Short, Blowfly and Clarence Carter. Admission for the 9 p.m. show is $10.
Cornerstone Pub and Grill, which recently reopened one storefront up from its previous location on Main Street in North Little Rock, is restarting its music offerings with local progressive bluegrass band Runaway Planet on Friday, Feb. 10.
Local hippie jam rock band Weakness for Blondes, led by Chris DeClerk, will entertain on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Also, Runaway Planet is making noise about a planned tour of Europe coming in the summer. We’ll let you know more soon.
The husband and wife duo of Jucifer, a pieced-together glam and garage, punk and progressive band from Athens., Ga., makes regular stops at Downtown Music and will return for a visit on Friday, Feb. 10. Jucifer’s equipment, a mishmash of various wired-together amps, vintage drums and a Les Paul guitar, enhances the fuzzy, lo-fi sound of the group. “I Name You Destroyer” is the name of the band’s latest CD, while “War Bird” is the latest EP.
Also appearing Friday are locals UnderRuse (with members of American Princes, Sugar and the Raw and Two Spines) and Clicking Beetle Bad Omen. Admission to the 9 p.m. show is $5.
Acoustic Sounds Cafe brings dextrous finger-style guitarist Pete Huttlinger to the venue on Friday, Feb. 10. Huttlinger has been the sideman to many notables, including John Denver, and he’s won many finger-style championships, including the Walnut Valley Festival. His albums include “The Santa Rita Connection,” which features his take on such classics as “I Got Rhythm,” “Sunny” and “Superstition.”
The opening act, at 7:30 p.m., will be Janet Feld, a singer-songwriter from Massachusetts. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. The venue allows no smoking and is alcohol-free, but coffee and pies are available.