Saturday To-Dos: Pop in the Park, the Rockin' Guys, Hook and Ladder Fest, Charlie Robison and more | Rock Candy

Friday, June 20, 2008

Saturday To-Dos: Pop in the Park, the Rockin' Guys, Hook and Ladder Fest, Charlie Robison and more

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 2:28 PM


6 p.m., History Pavilion, Riverfront Park. Free.

TJ Deeter, who made his name on the scene booking Tuesday nights at White Water Tavern — matching hip-hoppers with metal dudes and folk-ladies and such — is back promoting shows in a similar fashion. On Saturday, in conjunction with the River Market, he launches Pop! in the Park, a concert series that runs once a month through the summer. The first concert features local rapper Razormack, who might be playing one of his last local shows (he's headed to ATL in the not too distant future); impressive local folk-singer Sara Thomas (who moonlights as Deeter's new bride); up and coming rapper Maxx, who got his start under the tutelage of Deeter at the Hip-Hop School; and local singer of smart, twang-tinged songs Kevin Kerby. The History Pavilion, for those not up on River Market geography, is the brick arbor-looking thing adjacent to the Junction Bridge. The Indian Head is inside. Coolers, lawn chairs and blankets (but no glass) welcome.

11 a.m., North Shore Riverwalk. $30 adv., $35 d.o.s.

Slather on the sunscreen, country fans. A strong line-up has been assembled in North Little Rock to benefit the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Fund. John Anderson, the '80s favorite who hit it big with songs like “Wild and Blue” and “Swingin,'” mounted a comeback last year with the funny, charming “Easy Money.” Since the late '80s, Confederate Railroad has churned out album after album of Southern rock-infused country. DeQueen native Collin Raye is known for slick, sweeping ballads. Canadian act Emerson Drive made its bones with Richard Marx-produced country-pop; the band's latest album, “Countrified,” twanged the sound up a bit. Nashville's Diamond Rio blends modern country, bluegrass, high harmonies and a taste of rock 'n' roll. Little Rock's own Riverbilly also performs. Tickets are available at RAO Video, Arkansas Record and CD Exchange, the Record Rack in Pine Bluff and online at

9 p.m., White Water. $5.

Goat Hill, Ark.'s favorite sons, the Rockin' Guys, continue to tour, sporadically, in support of “Performance Art Miscreants,” an album with a name that pretty much encapsulates the Guys' voodoo. They're out to subvert, but high-mindedly. For two decades (minus a decade-long hiatus), the Guys have delighted in taking songs popular and obscure and mutating them beyond recognition. Like a DJ, they often take the lyrics of one song, say, the Velvet Underground's “Heroin,” and mash it with the music of another, say Van Morrison's “Gloria” (with H-E-R-O-I-N spelled out). On Saturday, look for barely recognizable versions of songs by likes of Johnny Paycheck, Prince, the Modern Lovers and the Cramps. Conway's Jim Mize, who I've long praised herein as Arkansas's best singer/songwriter, opens with his band the Germans.

8:30 p.m., Revolution. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.

How's this for power couples. Charlie Robison is married to the former Emily Erwin of the Dixie Chicks. His brother Bruce, a country star in his own right, is married to Kelly Willis. How 'bout a power tour? Ah, but somebody's got to stay home and watch the kids. Not that we're settling for Charlie. A Sticky Fingerz/Rev Room favorite, Robison is part of Texas country royalty, firmly in the tradition of literate singer/songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Billy Joe Shaver. His shows, full of raucous energy and humor, always bring out a big crowd. Look for an especially big one on Saturday as Revolution celebrates its second anniversary.

9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $8.

You'll want to get down like James Brown when Jason Ricci & New Blood get going. Ricci executes a stunning show of force on vocals, harmonica and nose flute, flanked by a seasoned, bulletproof crew consisting of guitarist Shawn Starksy, bassist Tod “Buck Weed” Edmunds and bricklaying drummer Ron Sutton. Potential audience members should know that Ricci sharpened a few teeth while living and performing with Junior Kimbrough's son, David, and rubbing elbows with a host of the Holly Springs, Miss., foothill stomp gang. Catch Ricci and New Blood Saturday at Sticky Fingerz in support of their latest CD, “Rocket Number 9.” Paul Peterson.

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