Last night, Arkansas Sounds, a project of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System, and Arkansas Times partnered to put on the 2018 Central Arkansas Music Awards at Ron Robinson Theater. 

We joined with the Arkansas Sounds to create this event because we think that the music that’s happening right now in Central Arkansas doesn’t get the due that it deserves, especially outside of the region. In the spirit of helping boost its presence, last November we picked out an esteemed board and asked them to consider public nominations in 22 categories.

The board members who weighed in on the nominated artists are:

Geoffrey Robson, Associate Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra; Travis McElroy, mastermind behind the mighty Thick Syrup Records; Flap Jones, the host of KUAR’s “Not Necessarily Nashville.” (On the air for thirty years!); Poet, educator and community organizer LeRon McAdoo; Amber Brewer, creative director of Yellow Rocket Concepts; Bill Solleder, Special Events Manager for Visit Hot Springs; Bijoux Pighee, the not-so-secret weapon behind some of the best jazz and hip-hop in town; John Miller, Music Coordinator for Arkansas Sounds; Bryan Frazier, owner of Capitol View Studio and Executive Director of Arkansas Music & Arts Foundation; and Mary Chamberlin, the underground literature distributor behind Tree of Knowledge.

This was a new venture, and if you’ve got thoughts about how to make it better, we’d love to hear them. We’ve set up a survey here; let your voice be heard!


Brian Chilson, our staff photographer, was there to catch some of the festivities, and you can check out that slideshow here.

Finally, we’d like to share the list of 2018 CAMA Winners. Congratulations to them, to the nominees in each category and to our partners and sponsors for investing in the Central Arkansas music scene.

Best Listening Venue: White Water Tavern
Classical Innovator: Katherine Williamson
Expat of the Year: Beth Ditto
Best Supporting Role in a Scene: Matt White
Best Album Art: Bucketflush Butler for Junkbomb’s “Tourtape
Best Live Performer, Rock/Indie: Dazz & Brie
Best Live Performer, Folk/Bluegrass: Runaway Planet
Best Live Performer, Punk: Ghost Bones
Best Live Performer, Electronic/DJ: G-Force
Best Live Performer, Funk/Soul: Amasa Hines
Best Live Performer, Blues: the late CeDell Davis and Brethren
Best Video: Bazi Owenz for “Don’t Blow My High”
Best Radio Show/Podcast: Arkansongs
Best Festival: Valley of the Vapors
Best Live Performer, Jazz: Ted Ludwig Trio
Best Live Performer, Heavy Music: Sumokem
Best Live Performer, Country: The Salty Dogs
Best Live Performer, Hip-Hop: Big Piph
Album of the Year: Big Piph, “Celebrate”
Best Songwriter: Adam Faucett
Artist of the Year: Dazz & Brie
Local Legend: Nick Devlin