Tonight’s Oxford American Local Live – Heather Smith Band at 7:30pm at South on Main

llsom heatherTonight at 7:30pm, this week’s installment of Local Live features the Heather Smith Band!

Presented by the Oxford American magazine, Local Live showcases the best of local and regional music talent and is always free and open to the public. Call ahead to South on Main to make your reservations and ensure a table: (501) 244-9660. Local Live is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Ben and Jane Hunt Meade.

Heather Smith Band, a Little Rock based jazz/pop group, is set to release Stay Away Love, their first full-length album of original songs on May 9. The band originally formed in 2013 and is comprised of Heather Smith (lead vocals), Wythe Walker (keyboard, guitar, harmonica, vocals), Ray Wittenberg, (drums), Bill McCumber (bass), John Gaiser (electric guitar), and Matthew Holland (keyboard).

When asked to describe their genre of music, Smith is hard-pressed. “While we are heavily influenced by jazz of the 1940s and 50s [Rosemary Clooney and Peggy Lee], we also have some definite pop influences; specifically in our contemporary lyrics and the twenty-first century stories we tell in our songs,” Smith said. “It’s sort of a hybrid of jazz and pop that’s timeless with a specifically vintage feel, but also distinctly modern.” Smith and Walker co-wrote all the songs using Smith’s autobiographical lyrics. “All of our songs are based on actual experiences in my life, the good, the bad and the inevitable heartbreaks,” Smith admits sheepishly, “It’s wonderfully cheap therapy.”

Final Day for two exhibits at Historic Arkansas Museum

Two exhibits at Historic Arkansas Museum close today.

“So What!” It’s The Least I Can Do… new paintings by Ray Wittenberg

Little Rock artist Ray Wittenberg’s large-scale paintings explore a turn away from the conjuring marks of expression toward a search for pictorial simplicity. These whimsical paintings explore nothing more than the relationship between the elements of line and color with the goal to strip everything down to the essentials and achieve simplicity. The pared-down design elements, along with repetition, “desirably get the painter out of the equation,” states Wittenberg.  His Caribbean Sea on Fresh Tangerine is shown at right.

Kateri Joe: Thank Your Lucky Stars

Kateri Joe is a painter living just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. Self-taught in art, but academically trained in psychology, her two passions converge in her mixed media pieces. Her pieces are often reflective, eccentric and made with unconventional media—such as dirt, gold leaf and fingerprints. This is her first full exhibition and is based on the universal relationship of humanity and the Cosmos.

Historic Arkansas Museum is a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Final Weekend of FOOL FOR LOVE

foolforloveJust in time to get prepared for April Fool’s Day, Precipice Theater is presenting Sam Shepard’s FOOL FOR LOVE.  The final three performances are tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm.

A dark comedy, the “fools” in the play are battling lovers at a Mojave Desert motel. May is hiding out at said motel when an old childhood friend and old flame, Eddie, shows up. Eddie tries to convince May to come back home with him and live in the trailer on the farm they always wanted to buy. May refuses because she has started a new life and knows that if she goes back to Eddie their relationship will repeat the same destructive cycle it has before. The play, and the characters, unravel as old battles are waged again, and dark secrets are brought to light.

Presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Services, Inc.

A portion of all proceeds to benefit The Wolfe Street Foundation

Eddie: Ricco Ardemagni
May: Heather D. Smith
Martin: Cory Cotham
Old Man: Mark Troillett
Old Man: Paul Seminara
Live Music: Charlotte Taylor & The Music Factory: Wythe Walker, Ray Wittenberg, Bill McCumbe.

Adults: $ 14.00
Students/Seniors – $11.00
The Public Theater – 616 Center Street, Little Rock

Stephanie Smittle and The Smittle Band at The Undercroft tonight

resized_99263-smittle-v_47-16964_t300Stephanie Smittle and the Smittle Band play at one of Little Rock’s newest music venues when they perform tonight at The Undercroft. It is located on Capital Avenue just east of Scott Street, in the undercroft of Christ Church.

The concert starts at 8 p.m; doors open at 7:30. The cover charge is $5 at the door. The space is on the campus of Christ Church; the entrance is through the sidewalk-level red door on Capitol Avenue east of Scott Street.

As the Arkansas Times wrote: 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.


undercroftFor information about the new performance space The Undercroft, contact Rev. Scott Walters at Christ Church at or 501-375-2342.

Arkansas Sounds First Night Tonight – Smittles, Tav Falco and Dan Hicks

arkansas_sounds_2013The 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.