Photo via Riverfest
Surely by now you’ve heard Riverfest is this weekend. With big names like The Flaming Lips, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Chris Stapleton, Juicy J, and more, it’s an exciting time to be in Little Rock, eyes towards the River Market.
The local bands in the line-up couldn’t agree more. We talked with a few of them to get you pumped for the weekend.
First up, we chatted with Little Rock-based band – The Uh-Huhs – this year’s Arkansas Times Showcase winner. They’ll be at the Arkansas Federal Credit Union / Lake Liquor Amphitheater Stage from 1:15 – 1:45 on Saturday. If you haven’t ever seen these guys – you’ll want to fix that. Think high energy. Your ears will be filled with an eclectic mix of Garage, Pop, and Rock.
The guys are pretty pumped for the weekend – “Riverfest, especially with this year’s lineup, is great at bringing out all types of people from all over Arkansas and beyond, so it’s really cool to get in front of a new crowd and have some fun. We’re pretty excited about that, and of course about laying out the red carpet for George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. In terms of our set, we plan to bring a pretty raucous, high-energy show to kick things off in the amphitheater. This Riverfest is stacked with awesome acts, so we want to start Saturday with some top-notch rock’n’roll.”
Take a pro-tip from the band and get ready to people-watch. The group said, “I know some people play a sort of Bingo where they look for mullets, tribal tattoos, etc. We don’t go that far, but getting to see everybody showing out from all over is pretty fun.”
After hearing The Uh-Huhs head over to the Frio Light Stage to hear Bonnie Montgomery from 2:00 to 2:45 on Saturday. Always a treat on stage, Montgomery brings a sultry, unapologetic mix of Country, Folk, and Rock. Get ready, because she’s ready to bring it on Saturday – “I am most looking forward to having my soul brother, Jason James, as special guest vocalist on our set and rocking out with my full Austin/Arkansas band. And I love representing Arkansas at a festival that features bands from all over!”
Kicking off Sunday, Fayetteville-based Arkansauce will be at the amphitheater stage from 1:15 – 1:45 p.m. Get ready for a nice mix of Folk, Americana, and Blue Grass pulled together with a banjo and first-rate harmonies.
They too are ready for the weekend – “We’re excited to see such diversity in the lineup for Riverfest, and we are honored to be included. Chris King and the many people it takes to put together a weekend of live music to this scale have a lot of hurdles to jump, and they seem to handle them with the grace of a gazelle. We will be arriving in Little Rock on Sunday morning before our show. Unfortunately, we’ll have to miss many of the performances we would be most excited to witness as fans, although we do plan to soak up as much music as possible after our set.”
These guys have a way of bringing out the beauty of the Ozarks in their music. They said, “We have thirty minutes, whereas we normally play for a few hours, so we will aim for a meat-and-potatoes kind of set; mostly original material from our two albums, Hambone and All Day Long, and also a few songs that started taking form over our recent tour. With that outline, we like to grab moments of spontaneity and ride, so when we are hitting on all cylinders we will end up surprising ourselves.”
Sounds like a show you can’t miss, so be sure to mark these guys in. For a full weekend calendar, head here.
And if you need any more convincing, listen to long-time Riverfest supporter, Kelley Bass, this year’s Chairman of the Media Committee. Bass has been involved with the festival since ’96. “I joined the board of directors a few years later and was chairman of the board for the 30th anniversary festival in 2007. I have also been on the Riverfest committee for about a dozen years, many spent as a “zone captain,” overseeing a certain area of the festival, and the last few years as a member of the media committee,” he explained.
That means Bass has seen a festival or two. He said, “I am super excited about the music for this year’s festival. Chris Stapleton is about the hottest thing going in the industry right now, so having him is a huge coup. And Grace Potter is opening for him. Saw her first at Rev Room, then at Memphis in May and almost exactly a year ago I saw her open for the Rolling Stones at Jerry Jones’ stadium in Dallas. The lineup is much more current this year, and it’s by far the best concert value in the country for $37.50 (on line with fees) or even for the $50 gate admission price.”
Read our in-depth piece in this month’s issue, here.