Eureka Springs Blues Weekend, Randall Shreve, Ben Folds, Nathan Hamilton
The action this week confirms that NWA has a thriving music scene. Yes, Wakarusa is on the horizon, but there’s more, much more.
Today, Friday, Saturday and Sunday the blues will rule at Eureka Springs Blues Weekend. In addition to the shows at The Aud and at clubs all over town, there will be free shows at Basin Park. Shows at The Aud are: Guitar Shorty and J.P. Soars and The Red Hots tonight; Kory Montgomery, Isayah Warford, Oreo Blue and Hubert Sumlin and the Buddy Flett Band on Friday; King Clarentz, Mary Flower, E.G. Knight and David Honeyboy Edwards for a Saturday matinee; and R.J. Mischo with Lee McBee and the Confessors and Joe Louis Walker Allstars on Saturday evening. For tickets and schedules go to eurekaspringsblues.com or call 888-855-7823.
To confirm that there is music everywhere in NWA, know that you can now catch a show at the El Chico patio in north Fayetteville. And good ones! Chips, salsa and Randall Shreve this Wednesday … we’re in. We’re big fans of the innovative Shreve. Check him out in this solo performance and check the FFW music listings for upcoming shows at El Chico.
Out on his own now, the namesake of Ben Folds Five will bring his show to The AMP the outdoor venue at the Northwest Arkansas Mall on Friday. Gates at 6 p.m. Tickets $15-$50 at arkansasmusicpavilion.com.
Next Thursday night, June 4, the free Gulley Park concert will be a good one. Austin singer songwriter and Kerrville New Folk winner — the stamp of highest approval in the songwriting world — Nathan Hamilton will play for us. Hamilton has bounced around from Dallas, Los Angeles and Europe, playing in a number of bands (The Sharecroppers, Good Medicine Band, No Deal) putting out albums and working with the likes Poi Dog Pondering’s Ted Cho and legendary producer Lloyd Maines. But, don’t expect Texas kick-ass. Hamilton swings a bit more toward Lou Reed than any Texas rocker we can think of at the moment. Named among his influences are Chris Whitley, Peter Case, Lloyd Cole, Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, Tom Waits and James McMurtry. Bring seating and a picnic.
The Simpsons meet Shakespeare in Rick Miller’s MacHomer, a one-man comedy that will come to the Walton Arts Center’s smaller performance space, the Starr Theater, for shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Miller has described MacHomer as “… pure parody, yet an attempt to really tell the story of MacBeth.” He will portray Homer Simpson as MacBeth, Bart Simpson as Fleance, Mr. Burns as King of Scotland, Smithers as Malcolm, Principal Skinner as the witches, Crusty the Clown as the Porter, Ned Flanders as Banquo and Lisa Simpson as a Gentlewoman. The production is geared for ages 8 and older.
Miller of Toronto, is the artistic director of WYRD Productions and the host of ABC’s, Just for Laughs. He has performed MacHomer across the U.S., Canada, Scotland, England, Australia and New Zealand. Tickets are $25.
June Bug Jam
There are big outdoor events like Wakarusa and there are the little outdoor events that get you close to the Ozarks. One of these smaller events is the annual June Bug Jam. About an hour from Fayetteville, in the hamlet of Red Star, it is always a good time and for it’s for a good cause. The event is a fundraiser for the Headwaters School in the remote community and the folks there know how to put on a good party. There’s always a big kids component. There will be juggling and twirling workshops, with a fire twirling show after the sun goes down. And face painting, a kids parade, kids performances, and games. And then there’s food and fun for the big folks. NAMA award winner Opal Fly and her Faery Pranksters will play and the touring environmental messenger who sets her message to music, Magic Mama will also entertain. Her music is good and her lyrics worthy. “Check it for the Cheese Puffs.” She’s popular with kids of all ages. The event begins at 3 p.m. Bring seating, but not your pets. Admission is $5 and is free for kids age 12 and younger. Go to www.headwaters-school.org for details.