THURSDAY 10/19-SATURDAY 10/21
JOHNNY CASH HERITAGE FESTIVAL
5 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 12:15 p.m. Sat. Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, Dyess.
Thanks to a series of annual concerts held by Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, funds were raised to restore Johnny Cash’s once-dilapidated boyhood home in Dyess, the New Deal-era settlement that Cash and his family moved into during the winter of 1935. The house reopened for tours in 2014, and on Saturday afternoon, in the field adjacent to it, Cash’s daughter Rosanne and longtime colleague Kris Kristofferson will perform, capping off a three-day symposium of concerts, oral history projects, films and discussions dedicated to the Man in Black. Kristofferson and Rosanne Cash are preceded by Joanne Cash and Tommy Cash, Johnny’s two siblings, whose memories served as the basis for the house’s renovation, 1:30 p.m., and by Buddy Jewell, the Lepanto-born songwriter whose paternal and maternal grandparents were also colonists at Dyess, 12:15 p.m. There’s a great lineup on Friday night for “KASU Music Nights,” a series of concerts presented by the station’s “Arkansas Roots” program, at the Dyess Colony Commissary Stage: Beale Street mainstays Queen Ann Hines & The Memphis Blues Masters, 9 p.m.; The Legendary Pacers , 8 p.m.; The Zyndall Wayne Raney Band, 7 p.m.; The Creek Rocks, 6 p.m.; and Wil Maring and Robert Bolin, 5 p.m. On Thursday night, there are sets from Drive South, 8 p.m.; Apple, Setser & Rounds with Tim Crouch and Earl Hees, 7 p.m.; The Vikki McGee Three, 6 p.m.; and Rockin’ Luke Stroud, 5 p.m. If you’re an aspiring Cash or New Deal scholar, register for the free lecture offerings at Dyess Colony Circle: author Bill McDowell’s Resurrecting Images From the Great Depression,” 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturday, or the concurrent “American Culture and the Art of Johnny Cash” from Michael Streissguth, who’s written three books about the Arkansas legend. For a full lecture schedule, check out johnnycashheritagefestival.com/presentations. Or, if you’re skipping the academic bits and going straight for the party, catch the Arkansas Times Cash Bus at the old Ray Winder Field at 9 a.m. A $109 ticket gets you round-trip transportation, a general admission ticket, entertainment from Jason Lee Hale, adult beverages and a box lunch from Boulevard Bread Co. SS
8 p.m. Four Quarter Bar. $7.
With cartoonishly aggressive guitar riffs and a “Masters of the Universe”-meets-fetish club aesthetic, Savage Master is a straight throwback — one with a knack for recreating ’80s metal in the Iron Maiden milieu. For the jaded among us, they’re a retro act, and howling lead singer Stacey Peak’s lyrics are rehashes of tropes about necromancy and Satan worship. For anyone, though, who doesn’t consider “Sad Wings of Destiny” a guilty pleasure, this Louisville, Ky., troupe is loads of chainmail-and-swords-style fun, and should be killer to see in an intimate venue like Four Quarter. SS
‘CHOPIN AND THE LITTLE ROCK NINE’
7:30 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, 201 W. Fourth St., North Little Rock. Free.
As the title suggests, this concert juxtaposes two stories of alienation and education — those of the Little Rock Nine and Frederick Chopin, the beloved composer whose departure from Poland to Paris a few weeks before the so-called November Uprising in 1830 meant that he’d never return. “He had no country for the rest of his life,” pianist Neil Rutman told me. Rutman, who splits his time between coaching the University of Central Arkansas Boxing Team and concertizing across the globe as a Klipsch Artist in Residence, will play Chopin’s “Sonata in B Minor” with poems and recollections from Chopin’s lover George Sand (born Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin) read aloud between movements. The sonata “is to piano literature,” he said, “what the Pyramids of Giza are to architecture, or what the Mona Lisa is to painting.” (This should be a hell of a way to hear the piece, too; Argenta’s First Presbyterian Church has a Fazioli grand in its sanctuary, a hand-crafted instrument and a luxury by any standard.) Henry Parker, chair of the Department of Fine & Performing Arts at Arkansas Baptist College, will lead a group of chamber singers in songs commemorating the Little Rock Nine, Dr. Rex Bell will play a jazz improvisation on the style of Chopin and pianist Julie Cheek will perform a selection of Chopin’s nocturnes. SS
ARGENTA ART WALK
5-8 p.m., downtown North Little Rock
There’s no way you can fit in all the offerings this Friday night in three hours, so choose carefully. Greg Thompson Fine Art, in the second floor gallery above Ristorante Capeo at 429 Main St., opens “The Best of the South” on Friday, its biggest exhibition of the year. Among the artists whose works are in the show are 20th century masters Walter Anderson, Thomas Hart Benton, Carroll Cloar, Theora Hamblett and Clementine Hunter and contemporary Arkansas artists Robyn Horn, Mark Blaney, Sammy Peters, Daniel Mark Cassity and Melissa Wilkinson. The 400 block is the heart of Art Walk: Core Brewery, 411 Main, is showing a seasonally appropriate show, “A Collection of Skulls”; Argenta Gallery, 413 Main, opens “Glitch,” artworks by Jacob West, with a 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. reception; at StudioMain, also 413 Main, see “VI Machina: Drawings and other Ideations Toward a New American Power” by David L. Murphree; find “Street Joy,” an exhibition of photographs by Heather Canterbury, at the Argenta Branch of the Laman Library, 420 Main; and see work by patients at Arkansas Children’s Hospital at the Thea Foundation, 401 Main. Claytime Pottery (417 Main) is having a half-off sale. In the 500 block of Main, Mugs Cafe, 515 Main, hosts the closing reception for “Other Worlds,” artworks by Daniel Adams, and the NLR Heritage Center, 506 Main hosts art by Tim Jacobs. Barry Thomas has new work at his studio at 711 Main St. Off Main Street, the Innovation Hub, 201 E. Broadway, presents its “Fall Extravaganza and October Hub-Ub,” with open art studios for the community to use, relief printing in the new printmaking studio, laser etching of pumpkins and Halloween screen printing on T-shirts — plus snacks! House of Art, 108 E. Fourth St., presents “Art Without Limits,” which it’s calling the “sexiest erotica show to come to Arkansas” — plus snacks and body painting! LNP
ARKANSAS CORNBREAD FESTIVAL
11 a.m. 1401 S. Main St.
Maya Angelou had a recipe for cornbread. Mark Twain wrote about it in his autobiography, and soul singer Wilson Pickett said of himself, “I’m not a smooth singer. I’m a cornbread singer. Now, I call a cornbread singer with that rough voice that comes from the stomach, not from the throat. I sing from down here.” And, last year, 3,570 people paraded down the South Main Commercial Historic District, starting at the Bernice Garden, tasting samples of the stuff and taking selfies with Cosmo, a lifesize mascot with a smiling cartoon cornbread skillet for a head. You and yours can vote for your favorite entry in the cornbread showdown, play Baggo, pet the zoo and barnyard animals from Heifer International, sing in Buh Jones’ Acoustic Open Mic session (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) or catch performances from Grace Stormont, 11 a.m.; Trey Johnson and Jason Willmon, noon; the Akeem Kemp Band, 1 p.m.; and the Wildflower Revue, 2 p.m. SS
8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $45-$125.
If you were nicknamed after a pro wrestler at age 2, gained a reputation in Honolulu for your Elvis impersonation at age 4, soon thereafter composing the lyrics “I play guitar, but my fingers are too small/I try to play piano, but my feet can’t reach the floor,” you are definitely Bruno Mars. “I just came from this school: patent-leather shoes, pinky ring, processed hair — showtime,” Mars told Rolling Stone magazine last year. The singer’s back after an eons-long (in the world of pop music) period since his last full-length album with “24K Magic,” and he stops at Verizon Arena in support of the record on a marathon tour that ends in Hong Kong next April. SS
THE BOONEVILLE SANITORIUM: A WALKING TOUR
12:30 p.m. Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium Historic District. Free.
It’s October, the month for all things creepy, and it just doesn’t get much creepier than a tour of a massive, mostly abandoned hospital where thousands of people met their end. Officially, Preserve Arkansas’s walking tour of the buildings and grounds of the former Arkansas State Tuberculosis Sanatorium outside Booneville is about history and junk, but we’d wager a goodly number of folks will be there to soak in the gothic, Frankenstein’s Castle aura of the place. Whatever brings you there, it’s a rare chance to get a look inside the historic, tenth-of-a-mile-long Nyberg Building, the main hospital where over 70,000 Arkansans with tuberculosis were sequestered between 1940 and 1973, when better medicine rendered the place obsolete. The two-hour tour is free, and will begin in front of the Nyberg Building, 87 Reed Road in Booneville. For more info, email Rachel Patton at RPatton@preserveArkansas.org or call 501-372-4757. DK
SATURDAY 10/21-SUNDAY 10/22
7:30 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. Robinson Center. $15-$65.
The title “French Connection” doesn’t disclose this concert’s subversiveness; here we have Ji, a tattooed, Chinese-born pianist and breakdancer who set Twitter on fire after starring in an Android commercial aired during the Grammy Awards — “Monotone,” it’s called — in which he plays Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” (at an unearthly tempo) on a regular 88-key piano, and then the same fiery riff on a piano tuned entirely to middle C. Then, there’s the repertoire, all of which is in some way linked to the wayward influence of jazz: Weill’s “Berliner Sinfonie,” Maurice Ravel’s “Piano Concerto in G Major,” an early set of “character pieces” from Debussy called “Petite Suite” and Darius Milhaud’s 1919 “Le Boeuf” (“The Bull on the Roof”), written during the days when Milhaud was part of Les Six, “a group of young French composers who gleefully scandalized the stuffy musical establishment through surreal concoctions laced with cafe music and jazz,” Don Anderson’s program notes tell us. Geoff Robson — the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s associate conductor since 2008 and the first winner of the Respighi Prize in Conducting earlier this year — conducts this spirited affair, and leads Concert Conversations an hour before each concert. SS
‘RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD’
7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $11.
This movie would be worthy of recommendation if all it did was laud the underextolled work of Buffy Sainte-Marie, but its scope is dazzling. In the quotes accompanying the synopsis, Howlin’ Wolf says he learned to play guitar from Charley Patton, a Delta blues musician whose ancestors were black, white and Cherokee. George Clinton speaks of “the pulse that was here, is here; been here,” saying, “The feel of Native American is in a lot of rock ‘n’ roll.” Tony Bennett speaks of his longtime affinity for the music of Mildred Bailey. And, as the title suggests, the film makes the case for Link Wray’s “Rumble” as a pivotal point in rock music, and sheds light on a handful of the indigenous musicians who came before and after. SS
JUDAH AND THE LION
8 p.m. Clear Channel Metroplex. $22-$25.
Late last week, Judah and the Lion tweeted to their legion of 44,500-plus followers: “If you think about it. You guys support and comfort us when you buy music and come to shows. So it’s like you’re our dads. And moms.” And then, a follow-up, “Thanks Mom and Dad.” The Nashville outfit seems to stick close to the people who stood by them when they were darlings of the Christian newgrass scene, and through their reinvention phase, moving into a milieu alongside string-driven groups like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. They bring their 2016 release “Folk Hop N Roll” to the Clear Channel Metroplex on Wednesday night. SS
GOLDEN DAWN ARKESTRA
10 p.m. Four Quarter Bar. $8.
There are people who have a “Keep Austin Weird” bumper sticker on their car, and there are people who actually do that very thing, consciously: Golden Dawn Arkestra, for example. The 10-piece Sun Ra-inspired ensemble packages its trance vibe in masks, costume, dance and light, which is sort of like what I imagine church camp might be like if you were worshipping the divinity of Saturn’s rings instead of Our Lord and Savior, with Kate Pierson from the B-52s as the alpha youth group leader. SS
ARKANSAS TIMES CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL
6 p.m. Argenta Plaza. $35-$40.
Next time you step up to the tap, wouldn’t it be good to know that you hate Porter stouts? Or that saison farmhouse ales are your main squeeze? This is a great place to hash all that out with your palate in a clear, scientific way, courtesy of over 200 varieties of brew, and — so as not to skew the experimentation a couple brews in, food to temper your testing: Cregeen’s, Arkansas Ale House, Old Chicago Pizza (NLR and Conway), Skinny J’s, Doe’s Eat Place, Damgoode Pies, Vino’s, Flyway Brewing, Santo Coyote and house-made brats from Edward’s Food Giant. Plus, the entertainment is the pure, clear stuff of Ozark Highlands Radio — the fiddle and banjo duetting of Betse & Clarke and The Creek Rocks, a divinely mellowed, folklore-focused project from Cindy Woolf (Wildflower Revue) and Mark Bilyeu, formerly of Big Smith. SS
2 p.m-9 p.m. Regional Park, Pine Bluff. Free.
If it’s been a while since you trucked down Interstate 530 south toward Pine Bluff, this might be the time to do it, for the inaugural DeltaMade, a free daytime family festival, with a focus on vendors, performers and makers from the Arkansas Delta. There’s a chicken wing cook-off, a car show, performances from Arkansas Circus Arts and a tailgate party before the Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Auburn game (which, by definition, has to be at least an iota less miserable than last week’s undoing by the Crimson Tide), and a musical lineup of people who either hail from or are otherwise connected to the area: Sarah Cecil, Paul Prater, Charlotte Taylor & Gypsy Rain and Big Piph & Tomorrow Maybe. Food trucks and beer will be on site, but if you want to get fancy, check out the city’s long-tenured Colonial Steakhouse on your way out of town — go for the frog legs and a plate of Cotton Blossoms to share (think crab rangoon without the crab, dipped in apricot-brandy sauce). SS
ARKANSAS BLACK HALL OF FAME 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
7:30 p.m. Robinson Center. $53-$203.
When artists as wildly different as Luenell, Pharaoh Sanders and American Book Award-winning poet and publisher Haki Madhubuti are your guests of honor, you know you’re covering a broad scope of accomplishments. This year, the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame has elected, in lieu of incorporating any new inductees, to celebrate the silver anniversary with a ceremony organizers liken to the Kennedy Center Honors: a black-tie variety show and, for past inductees, a reunion. In honor of the occasion, there’s a coffee table book, “Seeds of Genius: 25 Years of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame,” available at the ceremony or at arblackhalloffame.org. SS