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.”