The Musicians Showcase begins! 

THE RUNNING BACK: Goes forward Thursday.
  • THE RUNNING BACK: Goes forward Thursday.

So it begins. After months of hype (ahem), we finally enter into the first round of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. Surely, you know the gist. Over four Thursdays, at Sticky Fingerz, 16 semi-finalists, selected from scores of entrants from across the state, compete to advance to the final round, to be held on Friday, March 7, at Revolution. But while the sense of battle propels the event, we call it a showcase pointedly. The next month is our opportunity to present 16 of the finest musical acts from across the state. I'm sure you'll be keen to see who prevails each night, but I'm just as sure you'll enjoy seeing the diverse and talented line-ups we've got in store.

To wit, performing at 9 p.m. tonight at Sticky Fingerz:

The Running Back. A young, dreamy, indie-pop band based in Arkadelphia and made up of students at Ouachita Baptist University. At least at its core, the band has been together since lead singer/guitarist Alan Thomas and multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Humble were in high school. You might've caught them at shows at Juanita's or Vino's or at a Rock 'n' Roar performance at the zoo.

Riverboat Crime. One of the newest bands in the showcase, Riverboat Crime formed only five months ago. Led by Josh Stoffer on vocals and guitar and piano, the band plays bright pop-rock that often invokes blues slide riffs. The North Little Rock-based group has stayed mostly north of the river so far, playing gigs at Cornerstone and Reno's. You can cop their debut, “Walking Shoes” (recorded at Blue Chair Studios), on Thursday.

Justin Bank. Though he may be known around town more for his volunteer work and financial advising, Bank is a longtime veteran of the stage and an accomplished guitar player and pianist whose material tilts toward the alt-country side of things.

607. To most fans of local music, he needs little introduction. 607 is easily Arkansas's most prolific rapper — at last count he'd released 29 albums. He performs hundreds of shows a year, and last year traveled to Russia twice to try to penetrate the “hip-hop-starved” nation's scene. His latest mixtape is “G for Go Getta.”

The first 50 through the door get a free compilation CD featuring all 16 semi-finalists. Jeff Allen of “The Point” 94.1 hosts and there will be plenty of giveaways and prizes.

Each week judges will grade the semi-finalists on song quality, originality, musicianship, showmanship and crowd response, with a higher percentage of the score focused on song quality and originality. Check out their bios below.

Indy Grotto

Who? Singer/songwriter

Claim to fame. With the Boondogs, she

won the inaugural garageband.com battle of

the bands and recorded with Jerry Harrison.

Next up. A new, more upbeat Boondogs album for the summer.


Who? Local hip-hop impresario

Claim to fame. Managing his eponymous website, rapping, acting and multi-tasking.

Next up. An album/multimedia tentatively called “Google Me.”

Ben Jones

Who? Booking agent for Porter-Jones Entertainment

Claim to fame. Your cousin's wedding.

Next up. Helping book Riverfest.

Davis Clement

Who? Editor of localistmagazine.com

Claim to fame. Tastemaking.

Next up. A newly revamped Localist website.

Zach Holland guest judge

Who? Singer/guitarist

Claim to fame. Lead man in the Good Fear and guitarist for Merge Records' White Whale.

Next up. The Good Fear's “Chinese

Democracy.” Soon?


Feb. 7: The Reds, Bryan Frazier with Action Figures, Notion, and Epiphany and One Night Stand.

Feb. 14: Ace Spade and the Whores of Babylon, Rockst*r, Brian Martin and Benjamin Del Shreve.

Feb. 21: Natural State, Kyoto Boom, 4X4 Crew and the Damn Bullets.


From the ArkTimes store



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in A&E News

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: On "Beyond Scared Straight"

    • I need to find a scared straight program for my 14 yr old daughter here…

    • on July 20, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation