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Jimbo Mathus and the Dirty Crooks come to White Water Tavern 

And much more.

click to enlarge ARKANSAS SON-IN-LAW: Jimbo Mathus & The Dirty Crooks take to the stage at White Water Tavern Thursday night.
  • ARKANSAS SON-IN-LAW: Jimbo Mathus & The Dirty Crooks take to the stage at White Water Tavern Thursday night.

THURSDAY 12/20

JIMBO MATHUS AND THE DIRTY CROOKS

8:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10.

Jimbo Mathus may be Mississippi-born, but the wild man and multi-instrumentalist calls himself "the Arkansas son-in-law" for good reason. He cut his teeth on the mandolin, playing "Fox on the Run" on the picking porches and gazebos of Stone County, and honed his bizarro take on his craft with Arkansas gurus like Jim Dickinson and Greg Spradlin between stints with the gypsy jazz outfit he fronted in the mid-'90s (and again this year for a reunion tour of sorts), Squirrel Nut Zippers. Watching him play the entirety of 2013's "White Buffalo" that same year at the White Water Tavern was nothing short of rapturous; I still remember him ripping into "In the Garden" — putting a wicked spin on a title I'd long associated with a church hymn — and I remember his impossibly wide, all-seeing eyes during a charged rendition of "Tennessee Walker Mare" as he sang "Word came down from back East/Tell y'all that it wasn't no joke/Four riders and a bloodhound/About the time that the levee broke." The man's a Mississippi mystic who's bundled up some of the weirder bits of Delta and hillbilly culture and spit them back out in song, and Thursday night will, no doubt, be living proof of that. SS

THURSDAY 12/20

WILDFLOWER REVUE: HARD CANDY CHRISTMAS

8 p.m. South on Main. $10-$15.

The Wildflower Revue will bring its crooning melodies and Southern-gothic glamour to the South on Main stage for its "Hard Candy Christmas" show. Powerhouse singers Amy Garland Angel, Cindy Woolf and Mandy McBryde are a vocal force to be reckoned with, and they'll be singing holiday tunes in their signature "heavenly hillbilly" way. The band's 2017 self-titled album is a masterful exploration of both the individual talents of each singer and the trio's ability to merge its voices to create sweeping, gutting harmonies. Those same voices will sail through festive favorites in celebration of the season. Just five days before Christmas, the show should be a welcome distraction from the stress that accompanies the joy of the holiday. Tickets are $10 in advance at southonmain.com/events and $15 at the door. RH

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FRIDAY 12/21

GENINE LATRICE PEREZ

10 p.m. South on Main.

If holiday music we must have, please let it come from singers like Genine LaTrice Perez, who joins musicians Cheryl CandySoul Humphrey, Dee Davis, Ivan Yarbrough, Eric Ware, Vette Preyer and Sam Carroll for this funkified soul-jazz concert at South on Main. Perez is a polished finesser of phrases, capable of taking melodies you'd placed permanently on your Naughty List and recategorizing them as Nice, and she's a confident bandleader to boot — completely at home on the stage and at devoted service to the song. Call 501-244-9660 for table reservations. SS

click to enlarge FOR ART WALKERS: Mark Blaney's "The Beekeeper's Cat" and other works are on sale at discounted prices at Greg Thompson Fine Art for the after-hours Argenta Art Walk on Friday.
  • FOR ART WALKERS: Mark Blaney's "The Beekeeper's Cat" and other works are on sale at discounted prices at Greg Thompson Fine Art for the after-hours Argenta Art Walk on Friday.

FRIDAY 12/21

ARGENTA ART WALK

5-8 p.m. Downtown North Little Rock.

The pre-Christmas after-hours gallery stroll in Argenta is slimmed down a bit this month, but still offers some shopping opportunities for the art lover: Greg Thompson Fine Art, 429 Main St., is knocking 15 percent off artwork prices at its "Holiday Show and Sale," which continues through December. The Argenta Branch of Laman Library, 420 Main St., hosts a new show, work by Meikel S. Church and Susan Bowers, as well as live music by Ben Brenner. Impressionist Barry Thomas will wield paintbrushes while visitors check out his landscapes at Barry Thomas Fine Art and Studio, 711 Main St. The Latino Art Project provides a cerveza y arte experience with its show "Myths and Legends" at Core Public House, 411 N. Main St. At 8 p.m., two performances vie for your attention: At the Joint Theater and Coffee Shop, 301 Main St., "A Fertle Holiday" plays ($24, tickets at jointargenta.com), and Haunted Argenta will present "The Spirits of Christmas," a spooky sort of holiday performance that includes illusions and mentalism, at the Elks Lodge at 8 p.m. ($20, tickets at hauntedargenta.com/tickets.) LNP

click to enlarge DON'T TALK OVER ME: Family band Witchsister joins Czarus and Playing With Karma at Maxine's this weekend.
  • DON'T TALK OVER ME: Family band Witchsister joins Czarus and Playing With Karma at Maxine's this weekend.

FRIDAY 12/21

CZARUS, WITCHSISTER, PLAYING WITH KARMA

9 p.m. Maxine's, Hot Springs.

In case you missed the memo, people from other states talk about the Arkansas metal/heavy music scene like it's Valhalla, and shows like this are why that is. Behold Witchsister, the thrashing family band of self-ascribed banshees from Fayetteville who got sick enough of musical mansplaining to form their own quartet about five years ago and have been banging out dark, shapeshifting rockers like "Don't Talk Over Me" and "Cat Called" ever since. The band is joined by Malvern-based quartet Playing with Karma and by Czarus, a Bismarck trio with loads of crunch, wail and shifts in tempo. SS

FRIDAY 12/21

WINTER SOULSTICE

9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $7.

Two of Little Rock's most revered playlist makers — Baldego and Joshua Asante — are spinning tunes for the seventh "Winter Soulstice," a soul music dance party that aligns each year with the astronomically certified longest night of the year. Midwinter cosmos phenomenon + the lucky number seven + Baldego and Asante = supremely high chances of enlightenment and elation. SS

click to enlarge JEREMY DANIEL
  • Jeremy Daniel

SATURDAY 12/22-SUNDAY 12/23

'FINDING NEVERLAND'

2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Robinson Performance Hall. $33-$80.

Both the young and the young at heart can follow the second star to the right and head straight on 'til morning this weekend when "Finding Neverland" comes to the Robinson Performance Hall for four performances. The Broadway musical, based on both the Academy Award-winning movie of the same name and the play "The Man Who Was Peter Pan" by Allan Knee, follows "Peter Pan" author J.M. Barrie's relationship with the family that inspired the story about a boy who refuses to grow up. Mia Walker directs the touring musical with Camden Loeser as associate choreographer and book by Olivier Award-nominee James Graham. The titles preceding much of the production credits — scenic design by Tony Award-winner Scott Pask and lighting design by Tony Award-winner Kenneth Posner to name a couple — indicate a crew with plenty of laurels on which to rest. Audience members can also look forward to animal direction and training by William Berloni, the Tony Award honoree of William Berloni Theatrical Animals ("Annie," "Legally Blonde"). Tickets are available at the Robinson Performance Hall Box Office, by phone at 501-244-8800 or 800-892-ARTS and online at ticketmaster.com. RH

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WEDNESDAY 12/26

JOHN WILLIS: RADIOHEAD TRIBUTE SHOW

8 p.m. South on Main. $12-$15.

John Willis, a Little Rock musician and musical theater director, will bring his Radiohead tribute show back to the South on Main stage, along with the same talented musicians that played the tribute band's packed-house show in April. The band, originally formed by Willis, is made up of John Burnette and Jordan Crain on guitar and vocals, Will Boyd of American Princes on bass, synth and vocals, with Mike Motley of Collin vs. Adam on the drums and Willis on lead vocals and keys. The last show in Willis' December sessions at South on Main, this high energy set will travel through Radiohead's extensive 25-year-plus catalog of music, and audience members can expect to hear their favorite songs doing justice to the English rock band — hopefully a keening rendition of "Creep" will sneak into the mix. Tickets can be purchased in advance at southonmain.com/events for $12 or at the door for $15, but tickets don't guarantee you a seat, so call 501-244-9660 to reserve a table. RH

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