On Tuesday, Jan. 23, the Arkansas Times is throwing a party to celebrate Central Arkansas music at the Ron Robinson Theater, and you should clear your calendar/hire a babysitter/
We’ve got rock ‘n’ soul dynamos Dazz & Brie, winners of the 2017 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase; Hot Springs blues-rock band Brethren, the longtime backing band of the late, great CeDell Davis; the internationally renowned electronic producer Yuni Wa; rockabilly and Sun Records legends The Legendary Pacers, who are still playing after more than half of a century together and the death of lead vocalist Sonny Burgess last August; singer/songwriter Adam Faucett, whose voice makes the hairs stand up on your arms; experimental electro-pop-punk act Princeaus; and the good-time rockin’ Brian Nahlen Band of North Little Rock.
Of course, there will be awards, too. We’re officially calling CAMA a ceremony of recognition, which may sound hokey, but it’s purposeful. We joined with Arkansas Sounds, a project of the Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, to launch and host the event because we don’t think Central Arkansas music and musicians get the attention they deserve, especially outside of Central Arkansas, but also sometimes within our bounds.
To put CAMA together, we dreamed up 22 categories and then solicited a board of 10 eminent local members of the scene: Arkansas Sounds music coordinator and blue-eyed soul man extraordinaire John Miller, Thick Syrup Records head honcho and talent booker Travis McElroy, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra associate conductor and moonlighting honky-tonker Geoffrey Robson, Tree of Knowledge and Lucero merch impresario Mary Chamberlin, founder of Low Key Arts and Visit Hot Springs special events coordinator Bill Solleder, singer/songwriter and owner of Capitol View Studio Bryan Frazier, in-demand Little Rock jazz and soul vocalist Bijoux Pighee, Yellow Rocket Concepts creative guru Amber Brewer, educator and Little Rock rap O.G. Leron McAdoo and “Not Necessarily Nashville” host Flap Jones. Together with the board, the Arkansas Times staff put together a list of the acts and music that deserved to be nominated in each category and then asked the public to add nominations to an online form. After we had the full list of nominees (which you can see at arktimes.com/camanoms), we asked each board member to vote for his or her
Best Listening Venue: South on Main, White Water Tavern, CALS Ron Robinson Theater, Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack. Classical Innovator: Joe Joyner, Tatiana Roitman Mann, Izzy Getzov, Katherine Williamson. Expat of the Year: Kari Faux, Ben Nichols, Beth Ditto, Chris Maxwell. Best Supporting Role in a Scene: Matt White,
We’re hosting this on a Tuesday because it’s generally an off night for working musicians, and we want as many who can to be able to come. Advance ticket sales have been strong; you’re encouraged to buy your ticket in advance from centralarkansastickets.com to ensure you get a seat (all seating is open). Befitting a throw-down such as this, we’re starting early, with a pre-party at 5:30 p.m. at next-door Cache Restaurant’s private upstairs bar for drinks and appetizers at happy-hour prices. Be prepared to make a grand entrance to the event; we’ll have photographers on hand. After CAMA, move down the block with us to the after-party at Revolution Taco & Tequila Lounge, where DJ Mike Poe will be on the ones and twos.