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Countdown To A New Year

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ffw-1224-highlightsThe weirdest week of the year is upon us … that week between Christmas and New Year. It’s like living limbo waiting for the next holiday. Things are even weirder this year since the holidays fall on Fridays. Instead of back to work the next day, we’ve got two three-day weekends. Yee Haw!

For those who say Bah Humbug to Christmas, things are better for you this year. Thanks to the new casinos, you can pretend that Christmas Day is just another day. The gambling halls will be open with bands and holiday meals.

Most of the local clubs will be closed Christmas Day, but they’ll be open the day after Christmas. Catch RJ Mischo and his Red Hot Blues Band at Smoke & Barrell and Big Smith at George’s on Saturday.

Tuesday night, Dec. 29, the Camptown Ladies will be at GoodFolk. Based out of Austin, Tex., the women put Eureka Springs on the map in 2000 when they were finalists in Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion’s Talent in Towns under 2000 contest. The group is Gina Gallina (banjo and guitar), Melissa Carper (upright bass), Beth Chrisman (fiddle) and Sly Barrack (lead). The music is hillbilly, old time country and swing. Call 521-1812 for reservations.

New Year’s Eve Eve (Wednesday night) is a good time to get together with friends for some Glogg before the big night. This year on Dec. 30, you can enjoy some magic at the Soul Tones concert at Unity of Fayetteville. Vocalists Kathleen Farrell and Chuck Cunningham will play crystal and antique Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, chimes and drums. The concert is at 7 p.m. and tickets are $15 by calling 442-0680.

New Year’s Eve, Beyond

On the Road: If you’re headed for Memphis, hang out with the Sarah Hughes Band at the Young Ave Deli. The band will be playing before and after the Liberty Bowl. If you want to stay closer to home, head to Eureka Springs to see the best Christmas lights and hear Earl and Them (Earl Cate, Terry Cagle, Mike Murray and Jason Davis) at Chelsea’s.

DJs, Jazz, Rock and Blues: If DJ music is what you’re looking for, Speakeasy is your ticket. Art Amiss is putting on their annual Blue Masquerade with music by Beat Bachs, Tanner Beam and Baby Armie.

Want a relaxed New Year’s Eve, a good meal and some jazz? It doesn’t get any better than it gets with the Walter Savage Group at Greenhouse Grille and Claudia Burson Trio with Al Gibson at Soul.

Want to go to a big party? The Fayetteville Town Center has your ticket. The center will rock with Oreo Blue and Full House.

George’s is filling their stages with heavy hitters Benjamin Del Shreve, Ben Miller Band, Randall Shreve and Cletus Got Shot.

Smoke & Barrel will have the Pope County Bootleggers for a fun night.

New Year’s Eve is the night that Opal Fly will open the doors to her new Feel Good Lounge at 40 E. Center St. Opal Fly & The Feelgoods will be playing along with, 1 oz. Jig, Foxfire Magik & Thy Faery Pranksters, GBMOJO, Joe Credits, DJs Vazination, Anita, Go Go Dancers. GBMO is Ginger Doss and Bekah Kelso from Austin, Tex. Their music melds piano rock with sultry vocals.

A Big DJ show and multimedia experience New Year’s Eve at Brewski’s. Selecta (Springfield, Mo.) Doohickey, Robe Flax, Randal Soeung and Merl Bizar will be spinning from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Visual projections by Psyberspace. Live video mixing by Doohickey. No Cover!

Family Fun on New Year’s Eve: New Year’s Eve isn’t just for the big people anymore. The Northwest Arkansas Mall will be the site of First Night Fayetteville, the no alcohol event for all ages. Crafts, activities and music begin at 6 p.m. The night will end with a performance by Ultra Suede. There will be folk, blues and jazz stages. Go to firstnightfayetteville.org for tickets and schedule.

New Year’s Day: Do you ever remember partying on New Year’s Day? This year, the Fayetteville clubs will be hopping on New Year’s Day. Opal’s new lounge will have most of the acts from New Year’s Eve back for a repeat show. _ Since New Year’s Day is on Friday that means Happy Hour at George’s. _The club is extending happy hour and two longtime local favorites, Strange Heroes and The Odds will be playing. The Odds will kick off at 6 p.m. in the garden and Strange Heroes start in the lounge at 7 p.m. and will play until 10 p.m. Come in a bad mood and leave with a smile. Strange Heroes will turn your attitude around. The band is Guy King Ames, Bruce Allen, Tim Carnes, Jamie Ulick and Kirk Lanier. Strange Heroes has been in the studio working on a third CD (their first CD was NAMA CD of the year in 2004), so they haven’t been gigging much lately. The band is best known for their three-part harmonies and eclectic mix of rock, country, funk, swing and soul. At the new Rogue Pizza on Dickson, one of NWA’s most inventive bands, Hosta (Iris Shepard, Randy Kehne and Greg Moore) will play. We think Hosta may be the next big thing.

Have a great New Year. Hats off to the designated drivers. Make sure you have one.

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