A&E News, April 8 

LUDA': Rolls out to Riverfest
  • LUDA': Rolls out to Riverfest

Ludacris has been added to the Sunday lineup at Riverfest. He'll play the amphitheater stage. So far the line-up includes Gary Allan (Friday, Clinton Center), Black Crowes (Saturday, Clinton Center), Robert Cray (Sunday, Triple-S), Cross Canadian Ragweed (Friday, Clinton Center), The Juke Joint Duo: Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm (Sunday, Triple-S), Little River Band (Friday, Triple-S), Lucero (Saturday, Clinton Center), Blake Shelton (Saturday, amphitheater) and Steve Miller Band (Sunday, Clinton Center). Get more info about the line-up on Rock Candy.

The erstwhile Natives — Jesse Bates, Ryan Hitt, Judson Spillyards and Joshua Spillyards — who backed Chris Denny until fairly re-cently, have found a new lead singer. Through members of Dawes, who toured with Denny and the Natives, the guys met Luke MacMaster, once the leader of a buzzy California band called The Colour, who now records as The Romany Rye and has already been endorsed by Kings of Leon.

Now, in two weeks, MacMaster's headed to Little Rock for a couple days. Then, he'll return in May, live and practice and play out with the band in advance of an already-booked two-month North American tour opening for The Delta Spirit. The band's farewell-to-Little Rock gig will be Sunday at Riverfest.

Keyboardist Whitman Bransford (of Mammoth Orange and Silverton) is also part of the group.

Get a preview of Romany Rye songs on Rock Candy.

?A friendly reminder: The Rock Candy 500 is on the horizon. We race on Thursday, May 6. But, new this year, we're requiring advance registration by April 29. You can print out the registration form on page 37.

You can get pinewood car kits, which come with a block of wood, wheels and axles, at just about any hobby store in town. Or you can order all kinds of pre-cut car shapes and slick add-ons — decals, fenders, speedier axles — from Pine Pro online

(pinewoodderby.com). If you mention the Rock Candy 500, they'll give you free shipping.
And remember, you don't have to be handy to put together a car. If you get one pre-cut, all it takes is a good coat of paint to get you in the race.

?After a months-long search, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra announced last week that it had selected Philip Mann as its new music director. Currently an American Conducting Fellow and the San Diego Symphony's assistant conductor, Mann will join the ASO in October.

?Herb Ellis, the legendary jazz guitarist who called Fairfield Bay home since the 1980s, died last week in Los Angeles after a long battle with Alzheimer's. While most notable for his tenure as member of the Oscar Peterson Trio, he also backed Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Joe Pass and Louis Armstrong amongst scores of others. So respected was the man in jazz circles that in 1991, Gibson introduced a Herb Ellis signature model guitar, one of the most esteemed honors available to musicians.


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