Sarah Woolf of Follow the Woolf has your guide to Arkansas’ music scene. This week, go see Ramona Smith, The Temptations and more.
Around Little Rock
Psalm 150 Christmas Gospel Concert/ South on Main – 1304 Main St. / 8 / $10
This month’s Sessions at South on Main are curated by local singer, songwriter, pianist, composer, arranger John Willis. He is bringing us a very special holiday treat with Little Rock contemporary gospel artist Psalm 150 for a spirit filled holiday performance.
Chris Duarte/ Stickyz Rock N’ Roll Chicken Shack – 107 River Market Ave. / 8 / $13
Legendary blues guitarist from Austin, Texas, Chris Duarte brings his “rockin’ blues,” or “punk blues,” or another way to put the way he plays, “Ferocious blues,” sometimes playing till his fingers bleed. To quote Chris, “Music must evolve,” so you’ll never see the same show twice; every show is a different set, even songs might flow differently based on the feel of the show and audience. So grab your favorite guitar aficionado and get ready for a special musical experience.
Poetry night featuring Barbara Raney/ Guillermo’s Gourmet Coffee – 10700 N Rodney Parham Rd. Ste A2 / 6:30
Poetry in Little Rock is alive and well, and nights like Guillermo’s monthly poetry night keep it going. Hosted by Central Arkansas poet Karen Hayes, the evening consists of two rounds of open mic poetry and a special performance from a featured poet. This week, they are welcoming local artist Barbara Raney to bring a special Christmas program, with songs, poems, and a story or two. Audience participation and ukuleles are encouraged. On top of their delicious coffee brews, Guillermo’s also serves beer, wine and tasty treats.
Trey Johnson / South on Main – 1304 Main St. / 8 / $8 advance, $10 at the door
Trey Johnson brings his special feel-good rock & roll, blues and soul sound to the South on Main stage for a special Thursday night show sure to warm you from your head to your toes. Joining him will be the blues harmonica of Central Arkansas’ Jason Wilmon. Get your tickets here.
The Frontier Circus with The Floor Also Rises/ White Water Tavern – 2500 W. 7th St. / 9 / $7
If you’ve never seen Central Arkansas’ The Frontier Circus, please do not let another chance pass you by. This is Psycho-Western at its finest, featuring Frontier Dan, Big River, Justice, Lightning Lou, and the death defying feats of Daredevil Dave on the drums. Joining in on this night of fun Central Arkansas’ The Floor Also Rises. The Circus always plays first.
Hardcore for the Homeless/ Little Rock Metroplex – 10800 Colonel Glenn Rd. / 8 / $10
Big Daddy’s Pawn & The Edge 100.3 present Hardcore for the Homeless, a benefit for The Van.Six Central Arkansas rock and hardcore bands are joining forces to help our Little Rock neighbors this holiday season. Hosted by Angry Patric and Laura Beam featuring From Day One, Diamondback, Thirteen X, Hooker Red, The Federalis and McCuin. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8. This is an all ages event. Find out more here.
Arkansas Sounds: Quinto Poder/ CALS Ron Robinson Theater – 100 River Market Ave / 8 / Free but reservations are requested
Arkansas Sounds & LIRA Records present Q5P “Quinto Poder (Fifth Power). Five young Little Rock contemporary Corrido/Norteño musicians are sure to entertain with a mix of holiday favorites and original songs. Make a reservation here.
Dazz & Brie with Heart Society/ South on Main – 1304 Main St. / 9 / $8 advance, $10 at the door
This Jackson, Miss. husband and wife duo is bringing their powerhouse groove-heavy blend of folk, soul, and rock & roll to the South on Main stage, and to get this dance party going along with the rock & soul of Little Rock’s own powerhouse duo Dazz & Brie. Get your tickets here.
Cory Branan/ White Water Tavern – 2500 W. 7th St. / 9:30 / $10
From Memphis, singer-songwriter, guitar player, fierce lyricist and White Water favorite Cory Branan returns to the White Water stage for his last show of the year and to celebrate his 44th birthday. This is a show many music lovers in Central Arkansas look forward to, so come find out why this man is so special to so many.
Monsterboy/ Dougan’s Pub – 401 E. 3rd St. / 9
Quickly climbing up the music radar here in Central Arkansas, across the state and region, the festival circuit, and across the internet is the husband and wife duo of Monsterboy. They are bringing their unique blend of pop, alternative, country and EDM with a blend of Chris Long on keys, guitar, & electronic, Veronica Wirges on Baritone Sax, and the latest addition of Justin Bromley on drums to solidify the full band experience.
Mömandpöp Old Fashioned Christmas/ South on Main – 1304 Main St. / 10 a.m. / $5 in advance or at the show
Central Arkansas Children’s musical duo Mömandpöp bring some holiday cheer to South on Main with a special musical comedy variety Old Fashioned Christmas show, brown bag brunch from the South on Main kitchen, for both kids and kids at heart. Get your tickets here.
Drexel & The Spirit, Isaac Alexander, Kevin Kerby/ White Water Tavern – 2500 W 7th St. / 9
Drexel Baker III, Louisiana born, but raised in Little Rock, where he began playing drums as a kid and then playing with rock trio Go Fast in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. During this time, he began songwriting and recording with friends and musicians. It wasn’t until his move to NYC in 2004 that he would record his first full-length album, The Bloody Transylvania Street Machine, released in 2005. He would go on to record with various bands over his 20-year career, and release three more albums. Tonight he comes home to the Rock to celebrate the release of his fourth record Flashback City which was released this November. Joining him for this special night are Little Rock singer-songwriters Isaac Alexander, and Kevin Kerby.
Christmas Jingle with Ramona Smith/ Hawgz Blues Café – 5524 JFK Blvd. NLR / 8 / $15
Arkansas’ legendary lady of soul, Ramona Smith brings a special holiday show to NLR’s Hawgz Blues Cafe. Come fill your bellies with great food and your spirits with holiday cheer. Text 501-541-2127 for VIP packages. (Preferred seating for a table of four, party favors, a bottle of champagne, and a party tray of Hawgz Signature wings is $100.
North Mississippi Allstars/ Revolution Music Room – 300 President Clinton Ave. / 9 / $22 advance, $25 day of show
The brothers Cody and Luther Dickinson from Hernando, Miss., are back as the North Mississippi Allstars celebrate their third decade of music with Prayer for Peace, which was recorded in studios across the US during their 2016 tour where sold out shows were followed by a morning or intense recording, bringing the same energy to the studio as they did the previous night to the stage. The album and the tour has the Allstars putting their unique sound on classic blues tunes, traditional folk tunes, and a few Luther -penned originals including the title cut, the beat-crazy call to unity, “Prayer for Peace.” To quote Luther, “It’s important for us to write songs and experiment and do other things, but playing our community’s music in a modern way is what Cody and I do best. I think it’s what we were meant to do.” As Cody says, “Prayer for Peace is not a protest record, it’s message is to bring people together. My dad (the legendary Jim Dickinson) used to say North Mississippi Allstars make a statement just by walking on stage.” I can’t wait to see them Saturday night for a special Little Rock show. Get your tickets here.
A Zin Holiday with The Rodney Block Collective / Zin Wine Bar – West Little Rock, 11121 North Rodney Parham Rd. Ste 12-A. / 9 / $15
Come join the Rodney Block Collective for a special holiday show at West Little Rock’s Zin Wine Bar. Call 501-442-0649 for reservations.
Soulcom Collective: The Van Before Christmas/ Reno’s Argenta Café – 312 Main St. NLR / 9:30 / Free / Please bring a warm weather item.
Join Reno’s and Soulcom Collective DJ’s Danny Enzo, Adimas, Jake, James Bacon, Dave Ciijem Crawley, Jaedan and Joe Holmes as they collect warm clothes, socks and blankets. All proceeds go to The Van as they work to keep our homeless neighbors here in Central Arkansas warm this holiday season and all winter long.
Fiscal Spliff, Half Raptor/ Pizza D’s – 2919 W. Markham St. / 10 / Donations for the bands.
The final days of the beloved Central Arkansas dive bar Pizza D’s are here. Come lift a glass to the good times you’ve had and enjoy some rock & roll from Fiscal Spliff, Half Raptor and one band TBA.
Deep Sequence/ Four Quarter Bar – 415 Main St. NLR / 10 / $7
The hometown boys are back after some time off writing and recording new material, and touring Missouri, Oklahoma, NWA and more. Come enjoy the psychedelic power funk of Central Arkansas’ Deep Sequence. Two sets, no opener.
Sip & Stroll Caroling/ Stone’s Throw Brewing – 402 E. 9th St. / 2
Do you like to sing? Do you like Christmas carols? Do you like local craft beer? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then join the crew at Stone’s Throw as they meet at the brewery for a little practice and pints and then spread some holiday cheer to their nearby community neighbors.
Arkansas River Blues Society Christmas Jamboree/ Thirst N’ Howl Bar and Grill – 14710 Cantrell Rd. / 4 / Donations accepted for ARBS winner for the IBC in Memphis
Come join the Arkansas River Blues Society for their annual Max Taylor Memorial Jam, Christmas Jamboree. Proceeds go to help send the ARBS winner to the International Blues Competition in Memphis. Performances by Swamp Donkey, Gil Franklin and Friends, The Deltatones, The Joe Pitts Band, and closing with the Max Taylor Memorial Jam.
Amasa Hines Early Show/ White Water Tavern – 2500 W. 7th / 7
Okay, for those of you that have said “I love Amasa Hines” or “I’ve always wanted to see Amasa Hines, but they always play too late” or those, like myself, that just never pass up a chance to see them. This show is for you. Enjoy a early show from Arkansas’ own Amasa Hines and still make it home in time to tuck in the kids, watch some TV, and make it to bed on time.
Chris Duarte Group with DeFrance/ Meteor Guitar Gallery – 128 W. Central Ave. – 6:30 – $15 advance $20 day of show https://stubs.net/tickets/2213/chris-duarte-group
Legendary blues guitarist from Austin, Texas, Chris Duarte brings his “rockin’ blues,” or “Punk blues,” or another way to put the way he plays, “Ferocious blues,” sometimes playing till his fingers bleed. To quote Chris “Music must evolve,” so you’ll never see the same show twice; every show a different set, even songs might flow differently based on the feel of the show and audience. So grab your favorite guitar aficionado and get ready for a special musical experience. Opening the show is Central Arkansas’ DeFrance, bringing their classic rock & roll.
Sean Fresh/ Smoke and Barrel Tavern – 324 W. Dickson St. Ste 2 / 10
A night of smooth R&B, soul and hip-hop with Central Arkansas’ Sean Fresh.
The Boss Tweeds/ George’s Majestic – 519 W. Dickson St. / 7
For their final show of 2018, The Boss Tweeds are coming to George’s previewing songs from their upcoming album “Hot Rods To Hell,” and all your Rock & Roll Favorites.
200th Show Celebration/ Dickson St. Pub – 303 W. Dickson St. / 8
Come celebrate Dickson St. Pub’s 200th show. Clay Cole and Gleynda Johnson co-host this event with music from: Jak Frost, Brittany Stephenson, Dominic Roy, Lee Harrison and Molly Clinehens, and Nick Lohanick.
Jeffrey Lee/ Gravel Bar at Wanderoo Lodge – 216 W. Van Buren / 7
Local musician Jeffrey Lee will be live at Gravel Bar.
David Lucas Gesualdo/ Gravel Bar at Wanderoo Lodge – 216 W. Van Buren / 7
Come see world traveler and national touring band veteran David Lucas Gesualdo as he entertains from his vast repertoire of music.
The Legendary Temptations Christmas Tour/ Murphy Arts District – First Financial Music Hall – 101 E Locust St. / 8 / $49-$85 www.eldomad.com
The best of Motown comes to El Dorado as the legendary Temptations bring a special Christmas show straight to you for an unforgettable holiday experience. Opening the show will be Arkansas’ own Rodney Block Collective.
Control pop up– Kollective Coffee & Tea – 110 Central Ave / 3-7 p.m.
The central Arkansas vinyl record pop-up shop Control makes a stop at Kollective Coffee & Tea. Come grab a fresh brew and browse Control’s vast collection of music from world to metal. Take this holiday opportunity to pick up something special for the vinyl or coffee or teal lover in your life.
Jason Helms & Charlie Farley/ The Rowdy Moose – 2504 N. Hazel St. / 10 / $10
Jason Helms performs acoustic versions of his electric songs joined tonight by his friend Charlie Farley for two acoustic shows in one.
Craig Gerdes Band & Garth LaGrone/ King’s Live Music – 1020 Front St. / 8:30 / $5
From Rual, Ill., The Craig Gerdes Band bring their four-on-the-floor, old school Texas style honky-tonk sound to King’s. www.craiggerdesmusic.com Joining them tonight, from Carthage, Texas, are the acoustic sounds of Garth LaGrone.
READ MORE: Mike Disfarmer: Arkansas Lives in Pictures