Little Rock’s Hidden Music Gem

Photography by Jeff Smithwick


Little Rock’s momentum in becoming a proud foodie city is in full swing. So much so that locals are crying out for more in all realms — including music. However, it’s all a matter of knowing where to look, and South on Main provides a stage music lovers won’t want to miss.

Local Live, the weekly Oxford American series, aims to highlight homegrown talent and provide a noteworthy performance space for Little Rockians. Born out of an ArtPlace grant received in 2012, the nonprofit arm of the Oxford American has since developed a one-stop location for live programming which occurs alongside the Southern culinary expertise that for South on Main is a daily staple.

In other words, show-goers will hear a quality show and simultaneously eat and drink quality food.

Fayetteville Folk duo Handmade Moments

Fayetteville Folk duo Handmade Moments

Program director Ryan Harris says: “Local Live is the perfect way to honor the Oxford American’s vision of community outreach in that local musicians get a chance to perform a professionally produced show midweek.” When asked about what sets Local Live apart, Harris is glad to report that the intimacy of the stage has carved a niche for itself. “In the days when music can be heard at any time, anywhere, we need to remember that the people who created it did so in a live environment. The live element of the series gives room for improvisation and for mistakes, and there’s such an intimacy, a uniqueness about the space,” he adds.

The line-up is varied, as Harris tries to create a welcoming environment for a diverse audience every Wednesday. “I try to have everything from bluegrass to R&B to string bands to the blues,” he says.

Shows typically start around 7:30 p.m. and end around 10 p.m., making them a viable option for those who punch a time-clock. The series is free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. For 2015’s line-up, visit: