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Chris Stapleton and Marty Stuart come to Verizon 

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click to enlarge 'ALL-AMERICAN ROAD SHOW': Chris Stapleton (above), Marty Stuart (below) and Brent Cobb land at Verizon Arena on Thursday night. - ANDY BARRON
  • Andy Barron
  • 'ALL-AMERICAN ROAD SHOW': Chris Stapleton (above), Marty Stuart (below) and Brent Cobb land at Verizon Arena on Thursday night.

click to enlarge ALYSSE GAFKJEN
  • Alysse Gafkjen
THURSDAY 11/16

CHRIS STAPLETON, MARTY STUART

7 p.m. Verizon Arena. $36-$71.

It hasn't been all that long since Chris Stapleton was in Little Rock as part of the 2016 Riverfest lineup, but something about the way a server at a downtown Little Rock eatery hummed and sang along with "Tennessee Whiskey" last week as she restocked sugar packets tells me it won't matter. Stapleton's take on that David Allan Coe tune was infused with rhythm and blues, and the version he did for the 2015 Country Music Awards with Justin Timberlake went gangbusters, cementing Stapleton's place as a performer after years spent writing songs for other people. This year's follow-up, "From A Room: Vol. 1," released in May (Vol. 2 is expected Dec. 1), mostly borrows a somber attitude from Stapleton's debut, but it's tempered with lighter matters, as in "Them Stems," a lament about a waning weed supply co-written with Arkansas native Shawn Camp. And, for the purists who think the songs Stapleton penned for Kenny Chesney and Luke Bryan before stepping into the limelight are "part of the problem" of country music's identity crisis, I'd dare them to deny the street cred of Stapleton's compatriot on the tour, Marty Stuart. Stuart cut his teeth with bluegrass legend Lester Flatt in the early '70s until Flatt died in 1978 (incidentally, the year Stapleton was born and the era of country he cites as his songwriting compass), enjoying a decades-long career as a rockabilly pioneer. His new record, though, "Way Out West," was produced by longtime Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, and reads like a "Hejira" for the bluegrass fan, vibrating with mysticism, prayer and reverb. Nashville songwriter Brent Cobb, who Rolling Stone called the "redneck Paul Simon," opens the show. SS

click to enlarge Dakota Dave Hull - DON OLSON
  • Don Olson
  • Dakota Dave Hull

THURSDAY 11/16

DAKOTA DAVE HULL

7:30 p.m. The Joint Theatre & Coffeehouse. $25.

Toward the end of an ultra-nerdy video about guitars on YouTube (ultra-nerdy as in, the series is called "Trade Secrets!" and the exclamation point is illustrated like a guitar neck), guitar repair sensei Dan Erlewine holds one of his palms up against one of Dakota Dave Hull's to compare paws. Erlewine lets a barely audible "Gawd" slip out; Hull's hands are enormous. Placing them at turns on a 14-fret flat top, a National Resonator, a baritone and a 3/4-size piccolo guitar, he picks cleanly and sweetly, taking advantage of his long fingers to do double stops and lightning-fast ragtime melodies, borrowing from the American songbook and from black stringband acts like Martin, Bogan & Armstrong. He doesn't sing, but that doesn't mean he's shy with the microphone. For 20 years, Hull hosted a radio show on Minneapolis-St.Paul's KFAI-FM 90.3 and 106.7, in which he avoided playing the same tune twice in 12 months, and which he left in January 2017 to focus on live performance. Hull's here as part of the Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series, and this concert marks the end of the series for 2017. SS

click to enlarge WE DISSENT: Brian Chilson's "Don't Kill the ACA" is part of a photography show at New Deal Gallery, which opens Friday with a reception. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • WE DISSENT: Brian Chilson's "Don't Kill the ACA" is part of a photography show at New Deal Gallery, which opens Friday with a reception.

FRIDAY 11/17

'WE DISSENT: AN EXHIBITION OF PROTEST PHOTOGRAPHY'

6 p.m. New Deal Gallery, 2003 S. Louisiana St. Donations.

If you've got any shred of doubt left that 2017 has been a year of tumult, find yourself a news clip from the pre-Trump era — or better yet, a "Saturday Night Live" sketch from 2013, when comedy writers were forced to resort to tropes: bar mitzvah jokes and songs about awkward home-for-the-holidays sex in your old childhood bedroom. Or, on a more sobering note, observe the cover of the Oct. 16 issue of the New Yorker, in which the name of each victim of the Las Vegas mass shooting appears inscribed on a bullet. Put modestly, it's been a hell of a year, a year in which even people who never considered themselves political took to social media and to the streets to voice their dissent. Five local photographers — Brian Chilson (photographer for the Arkansas Times), Vincent Griffin, Rita Henry, Brandon Markin and Sydney Rasch — documented many of those acts of dissent, and their work is on display as a collection at the New Deal Gallery, a cozy space near the Governor's Mansion that's become known for hosting concerts and art exhibitions that might be underrepresented elsewhere. Work contributed to the exhibit was not restricted by content or perspective, but all photos have been taken since January 2017, when the project was conceived at the Women's March of Arkansas, and features "people expressing their beliefs in a public forum," a press release reads. "From the 'Rally to Stop the Death Penalty' to a march in Hot Springs to preserve Confederate monuments, an interesting cross section of voices was represented." Griffin, for example, observed Antifa protestors distributing bottles of water freely during a protest on a particularly hot day, and protestors speaking with counterprotestors across metal barriers. "Over the course of the year," Markin said, "I saw people showing up to express solidarity with movements they might have shied away from in the past, from the many families who came out to support a 'Black and Brown Trans Women's Rally' to those who came to voice opposition to a travel ban." This opening reception includes food donated from The Root and from Boulevard Bread Co., and the exhibition will be up for viewing from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18-19. The exhibit may be seen by appointment through Dec. 1. SS

click to enlarge AT GREG THOMPSON FINE ART: Artwork by Carroll Cloar (pictured) and others can be seen during Argenta Art Walk. - CARROLL CLOAR
  • Carroll Cloar
  • AT GREG THOMPSON FINE ART: Artwork by Carroll Cloar (pictured) and others can be seen during Argenta Art Walk.

FRIDAY 11/17

THIRD FRIDAY ARGENTA ART WALK

5-8 p.m., downtown North Little Rock galleries.

University of Arkansas at Monticello Associate Professor Scott Lykens and Professor Tom Richard will be on hand for the reception for their show, "Under the Influence," which opens Friday at the Argenta Branch of the Laman Public Library, 420 Main St. They work in dissimilar mediums — Lykens is a potter and Richard paints and draws — but both delight in drawn, sometimes whimsical, figures (Lykens even borrowed Richard's favorite yellow Peeps for a platter), though Richard's images have a touch of menace. Core Brewery, 411 Main St., opens a show of religion-referencing art, "Path to Enlightenment," by the Latino Art Project, and the Thea Foundation is exhibiting "Astro Pulp," cosmic comic-inspired illustrations by Chad Maupin in Thea's renovated exhibition space at 401 Main St. The 400 block is really rocking for this Argenta Art Walk: Argenta Gallery's exhibition "Glitch" features "digitally moshed" photographs by Jake West, 413 Main St.; sister gallery StudioMain continues with "VI Machina," artist, educator and architect David L. Murphree's visions of "anthropogenic climate disruption correction"; and Greg Thompson Fine Art's "Best of the South," work by regionally acclaimed artists, continues, 429 Main St. In the 500 block of Main, the North Little Rock Heritage Center, 506 Main St., is showing work by Jake Jackson and Mugs Cafe will be open. Barry Thomas Fine Art & Studio at 711 Main St. will also be open. LNP

click to enlarge img_8336-1024x683.jpg

SATURDAY 11/18

ALTON BROWN LIVE!

7 p.m. Verizon Arena. $43-$125.

Once, when living in the Quapaw Quarter, I decided to try Alton Brown's recipe for beef jerky — the one where you emulate a dehydrator by sticking slices of marinated flank steak between air filters and tie the whole rig up to a box fan for half a day. To all my neighbors: I'm sorry I made the parking lot smell like smokey mesquite that weekday afternoon, but I'm #sorrynotsorry I tried it. Brown's recipes make the amateur cook feel like a scientist without all that expensive schooling. Sometime this winter — if we get one — check out his recipe for pressure cooker chili, in which the required 30 tortilla chips are dumped recklessly into a pot with everything else, eventually disappearing and thickening the whole concoction until it's fantastically rich and sturdy. And if the promotional material for this show is fair representation, Brown will put that beakers-and-test tubes approach to grub onstage Saturday night. SS

click to enlarge Kelly Hicks - PRAECLARA AND CONDUCTOR BEVAN KEATING
  • Praeclara and Conductor Bevan Keating
  • Kelly Hicks

SATURDAY 11/18

MASS OF THE CHILDREN

7:30 p.m. Second Presbyterian Church, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive. $20.

Unrestricted by the sequential and scriptural demands of the liturgy, John Rutter's 2003 "Mass of the Children" marries poems by Bishop Thomas Ken and William Blake. The composition includes Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience," a title that could just as aptly describe this work, written for baritone, soprano, orchestra and two choirs: a four-part adult choir (i.e. the voices of "experience") and a three-part children's choir (voices of "innocence"). Under the direction of Bevan Keating, this concert blends the Praeclara Vocal Company, the UA Little Rock Community Chorus, the adult and youth choirs of Second Presbyterian Church and the Mount St. Mary Academy Concert Belles. Before the "Mass," the vocalists of Praeclara will perform Ralph Vaughan Williams' rapturous "Serenade to Music," a meditation on music itself adapted from a passage in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice:" "The man that hath no music in himself/Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds/Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils/The motions of his spirit are dull as night." SS

click to enlarge 'FEMI-SOCIALITE': Jamie Lou & The Hullabaloo (pictured) joins John Burnette at 
Stickyz Saturday night.
  • 'FEMI-SOCIALITE': Jamie Lou & The Hullabaloo (pictured) joins John Burnette at Stickyz Saturday night.

SATURDAY 11/18

JAMIE LOU & THE HULLABALOO, JOHN BURNETTE

9 p.m. Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack. $6.

This show is the sonic equivalent of the 1977 Instagram filter: Two of the dreamiest, haziest voices in the state are on one bill, and it'll cost you roughly $3 to hear each of them. For a primer, check out the lilting "Blue Step" from Burnette's debut: "Me and Jolene picked a player piano/To share our favorite song/She played with my hair and corrected my grammar/Sayin' 'Sorry if I come on strong,' " or the foggy, slow crescendo of Jamie Lou Connolly's "When Someday" from her latest, an EP called "Femi-Socialite": "I'm frozen still/Tryin' to pull the sun into the shade." SS

click to enlarge Silver Anchors - PHILLIP REX HUDDLESTON
  • Phillip Rex Huddleston
  • Silver Anchors

SATURDAY 11/18

SILVER ANCHORS

9 p.m. White Water Tavern.

The crew for an upcoming documentary on the 1919 Elaine massacre, which the Encyclopedia of Arkansas calls "by far the deadliest racial confrontation in Arkansas history and possibly the bloodiest racial conflict in the history of the United States," has already completed a few dozen interviews and gotten some footage. Director Michael Wilson, a Central High School graduate working as a filmmaker in LA, is working to complete the project with help in Arkansas from local crewmember Phillip Huddleston. To that end, Huddleston premieres Silver Anchors, a sort of super group of local Little Rock musicians that began about three years ago when Huddleston's housemate Mark Thiedeman told him he was making a film based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "White Nights" — an early short story from the famous Russian misanthrope about a lonely man falling in love. The film needed music. But, not just any music: dance music. "The movie required a lot of club scenes," Huddleston said. "And I don't go to many clubs." Huddleston began racking his brain, asking himself: "What are songs I love to dance to at a house party or when I'm hanging out with friends?" ABBA and Eurythmics came to mind, so disco popped in his head. Originally intended to be just a few songs, the project "quickly turned into a whole album." Now, with that album done, Huddleston wants to use the work to benefit local causes with each show, and Elaine seemed a perfect opportunity to do that. It is, he is the first to admit, an odd combination: disco music to benefit a documentary about the Elaine massacre the Elaine Community Center. But it's also about leveraging community relations for a good cause. "Although the benefit reminds us of the tragic violence that has been and continues to be a part of our history, it is also a joyful opportunity for our community to come together to raise money for our fellow Arkansans," he said. Silver Anchors are joined by Princeaus, winner of the Black Apple Award for Best Electronic Musician, and DJ Yumamerle (R.I.O.T.S., Brut Choir). JR

click to enlarge 'PILLOW TALK': Pine, of Ottawa, Ontario, brings tunes from its latest, "Pillow Talk," to Revolution for an early show with I Was Afraid, Couch Jackets, Headcold, Mike Frazier and Quinn Cicala. - RYAN STACEY
  • Ryan Stacey
  • 'PILLOW TALK': Pine, of Ottawa, Ontario, brings tunes from its latest, "Pillow Talk," to Revolution for an early show with I Was Afraid, Couch Jackets, Headcold, Mike Frazier and Quinn Cicala.

TUESDAY 11/21

PINE, I WAS AFRAID

9 p.m. Revolution. 8 p.m., $8.

For those of us who, at some phase in our lives, could have subsisted on "Siamese Dream" and Cocteau Twins alone, there's I Was Afraid, a local quartet "specializing in extraterrestrial riffs" and gaining a following outside the state for slow builds and counterpoint-laden guitar work: See the video for "pinholes" from the band's latest four-song EP, "Lonely Frontier." The quartet's on tour with Pine, a shoegaze-ish pop quartet from Ottawa, Ontario, that, true to its name, pairs despondent, lovesick lyrics with layered, swimming reverb. Couch Jackets, Headcold, Mike Frazier and Quinn Cicala open the show. SS


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  • Re: Morris takes off

    • Ah, I have heard similar before, 6 times in 25 years.

    • on December 16, 2017
 

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