Saturday To-Dos: Marty Stuart, Pop! in the Park and Morris Day | Rock Candy

Friday, August 22, 2008

Saturday To-Dos: Marty Stuart, Pop! in the Park and Morris Day

Posted By on Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 1:35 PM

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8 p.m., Old State House. $35.

Marty Stuart
is a stylistic vulture, scooping up bits of bluegrass, rockabilly, rock 'n' roll and traditional honky-tonk and selling them to Nashville as country music. Born in Philadelphia, Miss., he learned violin and mandolin as a child; by the time he was a teen-ager, he'd joined bluegrass legend Lester Flatt's band. After that band petered out, he kept pickin' and grinnin' with the greats, playing with Vassar Clements and Doc Watson and later joining Johnny Cash's band. At 24, he had a lifetime of experience, a solo album and a formidable mullet. A weaker man would be content to hang it up, but Stuart has only broadened those early accomplishments: He's become a first-rate country music scholar and collector (his collection “Sparkle & Twang” on exhibit at the Old Statehouse is the reason for the performance). He's released 13 more solo albums, most recently a live album recorded at the Ryman in Nashville. And his mullet's endured, though his pompadour looks more and more like Tina Turner's '80s wig every day. You might want to practice surreptitious dancing pre-concert. Anything beyond a foot-tap is strictly prohibited in the Old State House's historic 1885 House Chamber.

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

The penultimate Pop! in the Park continues along the same path of the first two: A diverse, four-act local bill provides a nice excuse for families and folks of all ages to commune and head nod for free. The line-up includes 4X4 Crew, a young hip-hop crew who always make sure to involve the audience; Suga City, a slow-roll duo from Stuttgart and Pine Bluff, who seem to be one of Arkansas's best chances at national rap stardom; Browningham, a one-man-band who channels Prince and Michael McDonald and Kyoto Boom, a post-punk/new wave band that sounds like it should be headlining arena stages. Coolers and lawn chairs are welcome.

8 p.m., Timberwood Amphitheater, Hot Springs. $45.99.

Morris Day's career will always be inextricably tied to Prince. Day wrote “Partyup,” an anti-war, pro-party song Prince covered on “Dirty Mind.” You'll remember it for lyrics like “fightin' war is such a fuckin' bore/party up.” He played the antagonist in the film version of “Purple Rain.” And, of course, he led the Time, a side-project for the Purple One. It's long been speculated that all of the material on the band's first three albums was written and composed by Prince and sung by Day. Still, Day's no shill. He's always had a confident, comic charisma — think of a modern day Rufus Thomas — which he's infused into timeless jams like “Gigolos Get Lonely Too” and “Jungle Love.” Day and the Time are the penultimate concert of the season at the Timberwood Amphitheater. The Spin Doctors close out the season on Aug. 30. The ticket price is park admission.

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