The legendary CeDell Davis
Saturday’s Oxford American-sponsored lineup kicks off with the four-man, one-mic bluegrass of Runaway Planet (3 p.m.), one of the fastest, tightest bluegrass acts in the state. It’s real men’s music played by real-life, hairy, manly men and it’s a perfect soundtrack for a little afternoon drinking.
The quartet is followed by the jazz-infused, heady experimentalism of Mammoth Orange (4:30 p.m.). These instrumentalists are as close to an under-30 supergroup as you’ll find in town.
Arguably the greatest band to come out of Little Rock in years, Velvet Kente (6:30 p.m.) follows with its genre-bending, literate and grooving take on songwriting and butt-shaking. One part Leonard Cohen, one part The Roots, with a touch of the best parts of The Police and Bloc Party, the four-piece is effortlessly goosebump-summoning and the definition of required local listening.
Blues legend CeDell Davis (8 p.m.) may get around in a Rascal chair these days, but his famous blues licks and sweaty, porch stomp words could smack around any bushy-tailed young gun anyway; he plays with his backing band Brethren.
Lee Anthony, founder of True Soul Studios, the legendary stamp of quality for Arkansas musicians, brings together the True Soul Studio Band (9:30 p.m.), a collective responsible for a number of the singles that waxhounds all over the world lust after.