Nichols, Lucero rustle up cowpunk country to Vino’s 

LUCERO: Two nights here.
  • LUCERO: Two nights here.
They may get sick of Little Rock publications continually reporting their local connection, but this writer loves reminding folks in print of Memphis-based Lucero’s humble beginnings, especially now that the group has started to make it big. Of course, lead vocalist/guitarist and Little Rock native Ben Nichols revels in his Southern roots, as is evidenced by his music, not to mention the fact that he has a tattoo of the Arkansas flag permanently inked on his forearm. All that aside, fans and friends of Lucero will be happy to know that Nichols and the rest of the cowpunk country Southern rock quartet will make a pair of appearances this week at Vino’s Brewpub, on Thursday and Friday, June 23-24. Lucero released “Nobody’s Darlings” in May, a record that, according to Nichols, has a more Southern rock feel as opposed to the country punk sound Lucero had been known for. The group is playing dates all around the country in support of the CD, including New York City and other places in the Northeast. Lucero’s lineup is completed by guitarist Brian Venable, bassist John Stubblefield and drummer Roy Berry. “Nobody’s Darlings” was produced by the heralded Jim Dickinson, the Little Rock-born musician who now resides in Memphis. Fellow Memphian Cory Branan, who has recently released “Umm…” as a follow-up to “The Hell You Say,” and Brooklyn indie-pop group the Honorary Title will open both nights, with shows starting at 8:30 p.m. The cover for either all-ages show is $8. n There’s yet another chance to see Lucero, which will be part of the Rhythm-N-Rock Fest in Paris (Logan County) in support of Cross Canadian Ragweed, making a third appearance in the state this month. The festival will be held at the North Logan County Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 25, and starts at 5 p.m. Also appearing is No Justice. Tickets are $20 at the gate or $15 in advance (call 479-963-2244; tickets also are available in Paris at Allen Tire, Paris Area Chamber of Commerce and Paris First National Bank). n Post-punk slash metal or, for lack of a better term, loud-ass rock band Roue from Cleveland will be at the White Water Tavern on Tuesday, June 28. A participant in this year’s South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Roue has a debut out on Exit Stencil (get it?) recordings called “Upward Heroic Motion.” The show is part of the venue’s weekly Free Rockers Revue, which starts around 10 p.m. n The Philadelphia-based father-and-son team of David and Adrian Mowry make up acoustic blues act Beacoup Blue; the Mowrys, who have shared the stage with the Holmes Brothers, Jimmy Buffett and Taj Mahal, are scheduled to perform at Acoustic Sounds Cafe on Friday, June 24. David, the elder Mowry, passed on his love for blues and folk music to son Adrian. Their latest album, “Out of the Woodwork,” takes their penchant for blues and folk back in time, covering Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan and Jimmy Reed. Also, it’s done unplugged and old style. The new album also contains an original song from each of the Mowrys: “Shiver to the Bone,” by Adrian, and the album’s title track by David. One review bills it as a work of “genuine craftsmanship.” Popular Northwest Arkansas musician Effron White will open Friday’s show at 7:30 p.m. White has been named “Best Folk Artist” in a Northwest Arkansas poll and also won an award at the Kerrville Folk Festival. “Yankee Dime,” a song from his album of the same name, is considered a big regional folk hit. Doors will open at 7 p.m. The venue, at 600 Pleasant Valley Drive in Second Presbyterian Church, is non-smoking and alcohol-free. Admission is an $8 donation from adults, $7 from students. n A local rock show of “epic proportions,” as it was described to us by Mike Motley of Sugar and the Raw, one of the participants, is scheduled for Friday at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom. The bassist for SATR also says that the Little Rock group has sold all 500 copies of its debut CD, “Translucent.” Also appearing Friday will be Ho-Hum and Grand Serenade, all to benefit local free glossy pub the Localist. The publication’s next issue will focus on local music, complete with a free CD. The show starts at 8:30 p.m., and is open to all ages. Cover is $7. n Liquid Groove Mojo will perform in honor of its new CD, “Cradle to the Grave,” at Cornerstone Deli and Pub at 10 p.m. Saturday, June 25. The local band is, as you might guess by the name, groove-based funk and blues and has been a semifinalist in the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. Admission is $5.

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