Rock Candy

Ashley McBryde concert in El Dorado was all about mutual admiration

Country, rock or what have you, in El Dorado McBryde demonstrated in no uncertain terms why she’s climbed out of obscurity and separated herself from her peers. Her obsessions — small town dreams and delusions, striking out at religious hypocrisy — come to life in such a careful way in her hands. She doesn’t make glorified beer commercials or whatever else the Luke Sheltons and Blake Bryans are passing off as country songs. 
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Sultry calendar from Cabot firefighters raises $5,000 for Camp Sunshine

Yesterday morning, the Cabot Firefighter Calendar Association presented Camp Sunshine, a four-day residential retreat for pediatric burn survivors, with a $5,000 donation. The money was raised via a cheekily sultry calendar that features photos of Cabot Fire Department's most muscular first responders.

Stacey Swann at Argenta Reading Series on Saturday

Much like its cover, “Olympus, Texas,” released by Doubleday in 2021 and selected by Good Morning America as one of its book club picks, Stacey Swann's debut novel dreams up a rural Texan family whose drama overshadows any relational loyalty.

Marybeth Byrd is the second Arkansan to compete on 'American Idol' this season

Is there a pipeline from rural Arkansas to “American Idol”? Not one, but two women from our state have been plucked from their small communities to appear on this season of the famous singing show. Two weeks ago, Holly Grove’s Lucy Love scored a “yes” from all three judges, and on Sunday, March 5, Marybeth Byrd — a 21-year-old college student and radio personality from Northeast Arkansas — will attempt to do the same.

Foo Fighters will rock Rogers in June

Hosted at the Walmart AMP — an outdoor amphitheater in Rogers with a capacity of 9,500 — the concert is one of the three headlining shows that the Foo Fighters have announced for this year amidst nearly a dozen other festival appearances.

Aching twang from Pony Bradshaw at White Water Tavern on Thursday

If “North Georgia Rounder,” the newest album from twangy singer-songwriter Pony Bradshaw, sounds like it was meant to be performed on the White Water Tavern stage, it might have something to do with the fact that it was recorded at Jason Weinheimer’s Fellowship Hall Sound, just a couple miles down the road from the beloved tavern.

Banzai Florist releases their poppiest song yet

When I first heard Banzai Florist, I categorized them as "bedroom pop" because of their affinity for warm, washed out tones, but if "Dayshift" is any indication, the project is veering towards straight up pop.

A pair of new songs from new band The Snake Sutras

"Lonesome Town" is a catchy, bouncy-bassed strut about a boring city where it's "Monday everyday," but the real gem is "Nite Owl," a stonery half-time confessional about the mournful magic of insomnia, replete with guitar solos that drift downward like water droplets on a windowpane.

Sinister and seductive new single from Bentonville's Idle Valley

Over crisp drums, blown out chords and trippy feedback a la Deerhunter, singer Ben Welborn repeats a perfectly ambiguous and salacious piece of gossip: "I heard she bites now."

Arkansas Heritage gives $2.5 million in grants to five cultural organizations

This year's recipients include the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts; Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society, Inc.; Blytheville Air Force Base Cold War Museum, Inc.; Sultana Historical Preservation Society, Inc.; and U.S. Marshals Museum.

Lucero releases its 12th LP

The band has also announced a new tour, which includes a stop in Fayetteville on Friday, April 21 and Little Rock on Saturday, April 22.

S.G. Goodman brought both the personal and political to White Water Tavern

Goodman effortlessly embodied hipness by way of big wiry glasses, a teased fluff of curls and a vintage FFA jacket, but her vocal cords sounded marred by Southern living, scratchy and strained on the low end and piercingly pure when the high notes punched through. She’s one of the finest and most unique vocalists I’ve ever seen live.

Arkansas Black Hall of Fame hosts Phyllis Yvonne Stickney on Tuesday

Phyllis Yvonne Stickney — an award-winning actress, comedian, writer and a 1998 inductee to the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame — will speak at ABHOF's 12th annual Distinguished Laureate Series. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is hosting the event, which is free and open to the public and will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit hit the Hall in May

Following last week's Bright Eyes announcement, the Little Rock venue has revealed that they're dragging another influential performer into town: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Amythyst Kiah, a formidable singer-songwriter in her own right, is opening.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs piano variations by Rachmaninoff this weekend

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s next installment of its Masterworks Series revolves around pianist George Li, a visiting instrumentalist so distinguished that he was written about by The New York Times and the Washington Post when he was only 16, the same age he was when he performed for Barack and Michelle Obama.

Arkansas Times screens 'Boycott' on Thursday to benefit ACLU of Arkansas

“Boycott” (2021), a documentary directed by Julia Bacha, highlights the story of three dissenters each ostensibly fighting for their ability to participate in the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement without financial recourse for their businesses.

Two chances to see Ashley McBryde this weekend

Ashley McBryde, recent Grammy award-winning country darling from Mammoth Spring, is playing two shows in Arkansas this weekend — one in Fort Smith at TempleLive on Friday and the other in El Dorado at First Financial Music Hall on Saturday, both with an opening performance from Faren Rachels.

Holly Grove's Lucy Love advances on 'American Idol'

Contestants are only required to win the approval of two out of three judges in order to advance or win a "golden ticket to Hollywood," but Love received a "yes" from all three. 

S.G. Goodman plays White Water on Thursday

In “Dead Soldiers,” a song on her newest album, Goodman bears witness to a friend’s alcoholism, leading her to observe that self-destructive drinking looks a lot like “a man chopping wood for his own funeral pyre.” In other words, she’s not messing around. Stand in the crowd at White Water Tavern and see what kind of action or reflection she might spur you to.

Daisy Pastry Shoppe, Bryant Phelan and more at Third Friday Argenta Art Walk

Prepare for a busy night because at least five North Little Rock businesses are hosting happenings for Third Friday Argenta Art Night, starting at 5 p.m.