The second annual Arkansas Sounds Music Festival kicks off tonight at the River Market Pavilions. There have been several activities throughout the month, but they have all been leading up to this weekend.
Arkansas Sounds Music Festival is a FREE event open to the public. Donations can be made to help support the festival. Though it is free, and no tickets are issued, there are space limitations, so attendance is on a first come, first serve basis.
Friday, September 27 at the River Market Pavilions
At 6pm, The Smittle Band will play its own brand of “jazzy Americana.” The Arkansas Times has described them as: “Regulars in jazz bars around the state, The Smittle Band offers gorgeous, fluid lounge sounds with a trickling undercurrent of classy Americana. Fronted by Stephanie Smittle, the band balances her hushed, smoky vocals with sharp guitar work from co-writer Wythe Walker, tasteful, smart keys from Jim McGehee and brushing percussion courtesy of Ray Wittenberg.”
At 7:15, Tav Falco’s Panther Burns will take the stage. They are best known for having been part of a set of bands emerging in the late 1970s and early 1980s who helped nationally popularize the blending of southern gothic with alternative and punk music. From its beginnings in the Mississippi Delta, this band continues to play all around the world. According to the band, the earliest description it gave itself on a concert poster read simply: “Rock’n’Roll”. Media confusion in categorizing led the band to eventually invent its own self-descriptive terms, such as “panther music” and “backwoods ballroom”, also at times calling its tumultuous performance style “art damage”.
The final act of the night is Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks at 8:30. Beginning as a drummer in the seminal 60’s San Francisco rock band The Charlatans, and continuing with his unique and legendary Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Dan Hicks is widely acknowledged as one of the defining figures in American roots music. Having earned a reputation as a true original with his signature eclecticism and humor, Hicks continues to carve his way through a number of genres from proto-psychedelia to western swing and jazz, from tin pan alley to country blues — all the while cultivating his own unique sound.