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Donna Jean and the Tricksters
Former Grateful Dead singer Dona Jean Godchaux-MacKay is now heading her own band, Donna Jean and the Tricksters. Donna Jean first came to prominence with the Muscle Shoals Sound harmony group, singing on Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” and many others. After 10 years in the Grateful Dead in the ‘70s, she and her late husband Keith Godchaux, the Dead’s keyboardist left the band and formed the Heart of Gold Band. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 as a member of the Grateful Dead. The new group has just released a new CD that is telling of Donna Jean’s long musical history, especially the Muscle Shoals days. Donna Jean is joined in the new band by a lineup of stellar musicians: Dave Diamond (drums), Jeff Mattson (lead guitar), Klyph Black (bass), Mookie Siegel (keyboards), Tom Circosta (rhythm guitar) and Wendy Lanter (vocals).  Donna Jean and the Tricksters will play George’s on Saturday night.

Music for a Lower Priority
Sensible Fayetteville, a local group that is campaigning to get an initiative on the November ballot to reduce charges on certain marijuana offenses has assembled a music benefit to help the organization move closer to their goal.

Sensible Fayetteville wants to put before voters legislation that would make adult marijuana use a misdemeanor offense and the lowest police and prosecutorial priority. Ryan Denham, a spokesman for Sensible Fayetteville, said that as the laws are now, the punishment does not fit the crime and is clogging jails and courts. In recent years, several cities have adopted this low priority ordinance, among them Missoula, Mont., Columbia, Mo., San Francisco and Seattle. The only city in Arkansas to follow this trend is Eureka Springs.

The benefit concert will be at 7 p.m. Friday at The Gypsy and will feature award winning band Charliehorse, Tiffany Christopher and newcomers Three Penny Acre. Admission is $7. For additional information about Sensible Fayetteville go to sensiblefayetteville.com.

Dave Barnes at Dickson Theater
After graduating from college with a degree in recording industry management, Dave Barnes headed to Nashville. After crisscrossing the country and selling vanloads of two independent albums—Brother, Bring The Sun and Chasing Mississippi, Barnes landed songs on television and in films. His latest album is Me and You and the World, and it’s a good one.

Barnes’ music brings to mind John Mayer, who said on his blog: “Go where this guy is taking you. My man’s aim is true!”

Barnes played shows for years before he realized that his audiences were singing every word of his songs along with him.

“There I was, three years ago in a room just writing a song because it needed to be written—and here I am today in a room in front of 500 to 1,000 people with everybody singing it,” Barnes said. “And that’s a weird feeling.”

Dave Barnes will play the Dickson Theater on Wednesday night. Two other super talented songwriters will open: Andy Davis from Nashville and our own Ben Rector. Ages 18 and up. Doors at 8 p.m.

Bluegrass jamming at George’s
Two progressive bluegrass bands will stop in at George’s this week. Saturday night the five-piece Chicago band, Cornmeal, will take the stage. On Tuesday night, a longtime favorite will be returning to NWA, Yonder Mountain String Band. YMS has a new album coming out in April, Mountain Tracks: Volume 5. Known for its high-energy, improvisational live shows, never playing the same set twice, YMS’s new release is the fifth volume in the Mountain Tracks series.

Traces
The new, hip act in the “cirque” world, “Traces” will take the stage at the Walton Arts Center Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Part of the innovative Canadian cirque troupe, The 7 Fingers, the five-member “Traces” will perform a 90-minute show set to modern music with skateboarding, basketballs and gymnastics. Performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 to $34.

Surveillance Site
University of Arkansas art student Kelsey Felthousen began construction of an inverted home on the UA Union Mall as a “surveillance site” on March 14 for her master’s thesis exhibition, myspace. Felthousen will live in the space, until the installation comes down on April 4. Visitors will be able to sit and watch the artist in her “home” via an internet connection and large screen television, set up in the UA Fine Arts Gallery. The irony of this situation is that the “viewer/voyeur” can also be watched, since the gallery is fronted with glass windows and doors.

Felthousen the concept, as “(dealing) with the notions of an overexposed, vulnerable society that…feels unprotected,” saying that she wanted to broach the subject of sacred/private space and how that space is “given away freely, without thought of the consequences.”

A reception for the artist will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Fine Arts Gallery and on the Union Mall. Gallery Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.

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