Brenda J. Moossy at OPWC
On Tuesday night, the Ozark Poets and Writers Collective will play host to one of the most sought-after slam veterans in the South, local slam legend, Brenda J. Moossy. Moossy will be the featured reader at the OPWC monthly gathering at 7 p.m. at Nightbird Books in Fayetteville.
A founding member of OPWC, Moossy is as well known for her poetry as she is for her intermittent reclusiveness. She has performed only a handful of times in the past year, and has competed at Ozark Poetry Slam just once in more than five years. Indeed, Tuesday marks a rare occasion, one that should not be ignored by even the most casual poetry lover.
The landscapes of West Texas and Northwest Arkansas shaped Moossy’s voice, which has come to be recognized across the country. Having competed in four National Poetry Slams, all with the Ozark Poetry Slam team, Moossy delivers her words with a deliberate drawl, letting them glide from her lips in a sultry tango that mirrors the poems themselves.
Many of her poems are a volley of grit and fresh air; they are two-headed verses of one mind, always daring the reader to presume the next line. It is a craft she no-doubt mastered while a resident of the creative writing program at the University of Arkansas. Her language is startling in its precision and strength.
Moossy has an ear for the sound of her words, but she consistently transfers the intensity of her performances onto the page. She is a rare breed in the slam family, sculpting phrases and lines that echo against the pillow as her readers are poised for sleep and still manage to surprise the avid reader of poetry.
Moossy has had profound impact locally and abroad. She received the 1999 Lilly Peter Fellowship in Fiction and the 1999 Qalam Award in Fiction, one of her poems was included in Spoken Word Revolution, an anthology of the world’s best slam poets, and her poetry collections are coveted nationwide. When she steps up to the microphone, rooms are struck mute and left hungry.
Ozark Poets and Writers Collective meets the last Tuesday of every month at Nightbird Books. These events begin with an open mic at 7 p.m., followed by the featured reader and conclude with a second open mic. Events are free, but a hat is passed for the feature artist. The UA Press will give away a book. For more information go to www.uark.edu/ua/mmasull/opwc. -Ronnie K. Stephens
The Sons of Brasil
The Sons of Brasil is a group of American musicians who fell under the magical spell of Brazilian music. They have been together for more than 10 years and have assembled an impressive repertoire of music from virtually every region of Brazil.
Sons of Brasil is: Leader and founder, trumpeter Stan Kessler, who has been a major figure on the Kansas City jazz scene for many years. He was voted “outstanding overall musician,” by JAM magazine, the publication of the Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors. Danny Embrey, a versatile and accomplished jazz guitarist, who toured and performed during the 1980’s with Sergio Mendes and Clare Fischer’s Latin Band. Drummer Doug Auwarter is the Brazilian heartbeat of the band. He makes an annual pilgrimage to Rio de Janeiro, where he plays with some of the city’s finest musicians. Roger Wilder on keyboards, has played with such jazz notables as Stanley Turrentine, Randy Brecker, Adam Nussbaum and Chris Potter. Greg Whitfield who handles electric bass, is one of the most sought-after bass players in the Midwest.
A Midwestern band playing Brazilian music is unique, but what is even more unique, is the authenticity of the music. Ask any Brazilian living in the Kansas City and they’ll tell you that The Sons of Brasil is their band. The Sons of Brasil perform 8 p.m. Saturday at the University of Arkansas Fine Arts Concert Hall. $5-$12. digjazz.com or 225-2306.
There’s so much happening on the music scene this week it’s crazy. How are you ever going to make it to all these fabulous shows? Lots of sleep during the day is all that we can recommend. Get ready, here are just a few of this week’s highlights.
We always like to clue you in on bands that you may not have heard about, but need to and this week there’s a biggie: Boulder Acoustic Society. BAS will be playing tonight at GoodFolk at 229 N. Block Ave., a couple of blocks north of the square in the big Victorian house. BAS categorize their music as Americana, Jazz, Indie on their website. The sound is sort of like Doc Watson meets It’s A Beautiful Day (go look it up and listen to “White Bird”). On songs like “Cruel Monkey” you might think it’s Kronos Quartet and David Bryne mixing it up with P-Funk.
So, who are these guys? They’re from Boulder and are well known on the Colorado festival scene. In detail: A violinist from Singapore who ventured beyond the classical world to play music for world peace, Kailin Yong. A bassist who collects obscure folk songs and builds his own instruments, Aaron Keim. An accordionist who found music in the gospel churches and the punk clubs of Chicago, Scott McCormick. A percussionist who left behind his drum kit to play a wooden box, a washboard and scrap metal, Scott Aller. Anytime there’s a new sound spinning around out there, we get excited and the Boulder Acoustic Society has got us goin’. The show’s at 8:30 and tickets are $12. Don’t miss ‘em. For info call 521-1812.
Our overall pick of the week is for the goodtime Texas polka, funk, rock band Brave Combo who will be playing Friday Happy Hour at George’s. Once you go to the church of Brave Combo, you’ll be a convert. But that’s not all. Also playing for the Happy Hour show will be Earl Cate and Jimmy Thackery. All this for five bucks? Anyone who’s not there has to be crazy. The music goes from 6 to 8 p.m.
Later that night at George’s one of NWA hottest bands Boom Kinetic, who recently had to ditch the name Molten Lava because someone else had it first, will be at George’s throwing a big bash to celebrate the release of their first EP, a three song album called “TXTme.LOL!” And get this — they’re giving away free albums! The EP was recorded and produced at Vibe56 in Nashville.
Other shows you should know about: The Payton Brothers, who were once part of NWA’s sadly defunct Wildwood, are back home in Indiana, putting out top shelf mountain rock, but they’ll be in town for an in-store at Sound Warehouse at 6 p.m. Friday and on Sunday they’ll be part of for the big Madhope 4 Positive Change benefit that starts at 4 p.m. at George’s. They’ll be joined by Tiffany Christopher, Opal Fly, Cletus Got Shot, Foxfire and the Faery Pranksters. Tickets are $12. Be sure and check out the website: architectureforhumanity.org. It’s a very cool organization.
And if you didn’t know, Smiling Jack’s, the great little sandwich shop just off Dickson Street behind the Dickson Street Book Shop, now has live music Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, Saturday afternoons and sometimes on Saturday nights. Smiling Jack’s will be celebrating their first anniversary on Aug. 29 with the red-hot up and comers Cletus Got Shot and Crazy Neighbor. Pope County Bootleggers, who have just put out a new CD will be there tonight and songwriter and producer David Singleton will be there Friday night. Beginning at noon on Saturday catch Teddy and Warren followed by McLeod Celebration and Crazy Neighbor at 7 p.m.
Now onto the big venues. G Love and Special Sauce will be at The AMP, the outdoor venue at the NWA Mall Tuesday night, but in reality, this is a triple header, with two groups that are on par with the Special Sauce Guy—Australia’s John Butler Trio and California surfer girl, Tristan Prettyman. JBT has the pop thing down tight, but keeps it interesting by melding a little jam in with the style that is reminiscent of Dave Matthews Band. Prettyman, who has been touring at breakneck speed this year to promote her second album on Virgin, “Hello…X” has been compared to almost every top female singer who’s made it big in the past few decades, but she’s most ascribed to the freewheeling Missourian turned Californian, Sheryl Crow.
And, as you’re making plans for next week, know that George’s big three day birthday bash—celebrating 81 years on Dickson Street, begins on Aug. 28 with Randy Rogers Band and Josh Abbott Band, followed by Michael Burks and several local faves on the 29th and Keller Williams, yes, Keller Williams, and the Pnuma Trio on the 30th. We’ll fill you in on all the details next week.