Sarah Woolf of Follow the Woolf has your guide to Arkansas’ music scene. This week, go see Pagans on Bobsleds XXVII, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and more.
Around Little Rock
Pagans on Bobsleds XXVII: Pre-Existing Tradition/ Red Octopus Theater Company / The Public Theater – 616 Center St. / 8 / $10 adults, $8 senior citizens, military and students / Mature Audience 18 + / BYOB
Celebrating its 27th year, the sketch comedy of The Red Octopus Theater Company’s Christmas show Pagans on Bobsleds brings back some of your favorite characters with their 2018 Pre-Existing Tradition. These character include the all nut choir, Mr. Santaman and Fruitcake. This talented cast has also been working on some new skits and songs (I can’t wait to see what “The Silence of the Toys” brings) and for a bit of holiday mystery, they’ve found a box of handwritten scripts, some dating back to the very beginning, and have worked to bring some of those voices of the past back to life. This one-of-a-kind show sells out every year with fans anxiously awaiting, and newcomers that are sure to be hooked on this Central Arkansas holiday tradition. Doors open at 7:15, and tickets are only available at the door, so be sure to get there early to secure your seat. Show runs through Saturday 12/8
Launch Party for Untold Arkansas/ White Water Tavern – 2500 W 7th St. / 6
Join contributors to this special book born from Et Alia’s 2018 Neglected Histories of Arkansas Contest as we celebrate its release with a book signing, reading and art/photography display. Contributors to this work include Brandon Markin, Matt White, Megan Blankenship, Chelsey Becker, Saira Khan, Maxine Payne, Ed Madden, Meikel Church, Justin Booth, Laura Raborn, Wendy Carlisle, Joanne Meeks, Bethany May and Jennine Fowler Rodriguez Stone. Copies of the book are available at or reserve yours for pickup at the party.
Repeal Day Bash with Dizzy 7/ South on Main – 1304 Main St / 9:30 / $10 / call 501-244-9660 to reserve a table.
Wednesday night’s sessions at South on Main is curated this month by local singer, songwriter, pianist, composer and musical director John Willis, and what a party he and South on Main are throwing to kick off December. They are celebrating Repeal Day – the end of Prohibition. The bar will be serving classic cocktails, and local band Dizzy 7 will be playing classic music from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s to have you jitterbugging into the night with their full rhythm section, three-man horn section and Craig Wilson on lead vocals. For some added fun, come dressed in your best 20’s/30’s/ 40’s attire and receive a “Happy Hour Hall Pass” which gets you happy hour prices any time during the month of December
Josh Ward/ Stickyz Rok N’ Roll Chicken Shack 107 River Market Ave / 8 / $12 advance, $15 day of show.
Lovers of true country music, this show is for us. With a motto of “all grit and no quit,” Josh Ward has gone from a drifter’s adolescence, to the rodeo circuit, to the Texas oil fields, and now to the music business where his star keeps shining brighter and brighter with nine consecutive #1 Texas radio singles, 2 million YouTube views, 3 million global streams on Spotify, four studio albums, playing to sold out crowds across the country on a 200 date a year tour average, and now back for a highly anticipated return to the Stickyz stage. His latest release More Than I Deserve, was conceived with a philosophy of “don’t fix what isn’t broken,” and with singles like its first release “All About Lovin,” (written by Brice Long, Terry McBride, and Chris Stapleton), that will hold true for many years to come. Get your tickets here.
Kris Allen: Somethin’ About Christmas Tour/ CALS Ron Robinson Theater – 100 River Market Ave. / 7 / $28.16- 81.20 VIP meet and greet
Conway native, 2012 inductee to the Arkansas Music Hall of Fame, and Season 8 winner of American Idol Kris Allen brings his Somethin’ About Christmas Tour to the CALS Ron Robinson Theater for a special Friday night show sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Get your tickets here.
KICK: The INXS Experience/ Revolution Music Room – 300 President Clinton Ave / 8:30 / $15
INXS was one of my favorite bands growing up and still is. It’s a rock band with a special kind of soul. I remember the night in my college apartment hanging out with friends and turning on VH1 and MTV and hearing the news of the death of their legendary front man Michael Hutchence. Now, KICK: The INXS Experience brings that sound, performance and one-of-a-kind spirit back. Fman, vocalist, guitarist and singer-songwriter Cori Massi is charged with the task of recreating Michael Hutchence’s presence and vocals, and he approaches it with a respect, admiration and passion that comes through with every performance. The band is made up of Don Leslie on bass, Johnny Dee on drums, Mark Goodnough on piano and synth, Todd Kingand and Jason Taylor on guitar, Nottingham England’s Tom Wheat on saxophone and the lead vocals of Cori Massi. Come dance and sing-a-long with me to their classic hits “Need You Tonight,” “New Sensation,” “Suicide Blond,” “Devil Inside,” “Never Tear Us Apart” and so many more. Get your tickets here.
John Neal/ South on Main – 1304 Main St. / 9 / $8 advance, $10 at the door.
Arkansas native singer-songwriter John Neal returns to the South on Main stage for a night of country, gospel and blues. John’s one-of-a-kind sound has been featured on shows such as Californication, Shamelessand Friday Night Lights. He’s bringing it back home. Get your tickets here or call 501-244-9660 to reserve a table.
Weakness for Blondes/ White Water Tavern – 2500 W. 7th St. / 9
Little Rock’s favorite rock & roll jam band brings their last show of 2018 to the White Water Tavern for a night of classic rock and roll tunes and their crowd pleasing originals.
Mike Dillon with POPE/ Four Quarter Bar – 415 Main St. NLR / 10 / $8
Mike Dillion is a NOLA based “punk jazz freak funk” percussionist extraordinaire. I’ve never seen anyone rock a vibraphone like this man. Mike Dillon returns to Four Quarter for a special solo show in support of Austin based rock band POPE.
Pagans on Bobsleds XXVII: Pre-Existing Tradition/ Red Octopus Theater Company / The Public Theater – 616 Center St. / 8 / $10 adults, $8 senior citizens, military and students / Mature Audience 18 + / BYO
Your last chance to catch Pagans on Bobsleds XXVII: Pre-Existing Tradition with The Red Octopus Theater Company at The Public Theater.
Toys for Tots party with CosmOcean/ Four Quarter Bar– 415 Main St. NLR / 10 / $7 or two unwrapped toys (or both)
This is my friend Angie Clements’ 8th Annual Toys for Tots Christmas Party, and it’s always a holiday highlight. This year, it’s hosted by Four Quarter Bar and entertainment will be provided by Central Arkansas party band CosmOcean. A night of great friends, music, food and drinks. Let’s all come together and help the children of Central Arkansas have a great Christmas this year.
Rodney Block Christmas Show/ South on Main – 1304 Main St. / 10 / $15 advance, $20 at the door
Come celebrate the season with Rodney Block and company, as they share in the spirit with his annual Christmas show. This night of holiday magic is sure to fill up quickly, so get your tickets and tables now, and don’t forget to pick up Rodney’s latest CD Fantastic Beatz, at the show or iTunes. It makes a great stocking stuffer and gift for that music lover in your life. Get your tickets here or call 501-244-9660 for table reservations.
Vinyl Brunch: Holiday Special/ Stone’s Throw Brewing Co. – 402 E. 9th St. / 11-3
Grab your favorite holiday records or play one of theirs sponsored by Arkansas Record & CD Exchange, and enjoy a delicious brunch with favorites like chicken & waffles, blueberry pancakes, breakfast tacos and more. Combine the great tunes and great food with one of Stone’s Throw’s craft brews, cidermosas, and bloody beers. Winner winner chicken (and waffle) dinner!
You Look Like: Little Rock/ Hibernia Irish Tavern – 9700 N. Rodney Parham Rd. / 7:30 / $5 advance, $10 at the door
The premier Little Rock roast battle “You Look Like” returns to Hibernia for a night of laughs to cap off your weekend right. Join host Jay Jackson and KARR as they welcome competitors Dustin Vance, Dawson Iglehart, May Gayden, Zakk Sicking, David Goble and Potty Mouth as they go head-to-head in this show about first impressions. As a member of the audience, you will also have a chance to go at the comics for a chance to win some sweet swag. Get your tickets here.
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott/ White Water Tavern – 2500 W. 7th St. / 6 / $30
The legendary “King of the Folksingers,” Ramblin Jack Elliott comes to the White Water Tavern for two special shows. Saturday night quickly sold out, but there are still a few tickets left for the early Sunday night show. Elliot was the 1998 recipient of the National Medal of the Arts where President Bill Clinton stated, “In giving new life to our most valuable musical traditions, Ramblin’ Jack has himself become an American treasure.” I could go on and on, but I’ll just say do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this legend of American folk music. Get your tickets here.
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal/ King’s Live Music – 1020 Front St. / 8:30 / $5
Authentic soul, R&B and funk from Lincoln, Nebraska. 2018 Omaha Entertainment Awards Artist of the Year. Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal. Opening the show will be soul acoustic artist from Little Rock, Amber Wilcox.
Akeem Kemp Band/ TC’s Midtown Grill –1611 E. Oak St. Ste 19 / 9
Classic rock & roll and classic blues from one of Arkansas’ best bands, from Morrilton, The Akeem Kemp Band.
Sloppy KISS/ TC’s Midtown
Sloppy KISS is not a KISS tribute band, but they are a tribute to KISS, just without the platform heels and costumes, but always with the makeup and on stage antics. To quote the band, “It’s an ultimate experience for the KISS fan on a budget.” Tonight wishing you a Sloppy Kissmas!
Todd Snider with Jesse Aycock/ George’s Majestic Lounge – 519 W. Dickson St. / 8:30 / $25-$30
The classic Americana troubadour Todd Snider returns to Fayetteville for a special Sunday night show, which I was surprised to find has not sold out. Yet. Opening the show is his bandmate from Hard Working Americans, Jesse Aycock. Get your tickets here
A Night of MerryMaking/ Downtown Eureka / 5
A night of fun for the whole family, starting with caroling in the park led by children’s music duo Momandpop at 5 p.m., living windows art exhibit from 5-8 p.m., Elfie Selfie Scavenger Hunt from 5-8, p.m. street theater, shopping and more as Downtown Eureka shows why it’s a Arkansas holiday destination not to be missed.
Benefit for Jon Grat/ Chelsea’s Corner Bar & Live Music / 6
What is a bar without its staff, patrons and friends? Chelsea’s will host a benefit for Jon Grat, who was recently hit by a vehicle while riding his motorcycle on Hwy. 62. This benefit, silent auction, raffle and night of music, will assist with his medical bills and lift his spirits.
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