Sarah Woolf of Follow the Woolf has your guide to Arkansas’ music scene. This week, go see the El Dorado Music Fest, the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival and more.

Around Little Rock

Wednesday 10/1
White Water Comedy Showcase/ White Water Tavern – 2500 W. 7th St. / 7:30 / $8
What a great way to get over the mid-week hump.   Come out and be a part of this live recording with some of the Rock’s best comedians: Vance, Blake Lensing, Alexi, Rob Rego, Wan Morgan, and in one of her last Arkansas appearances Kayla Esmond.
Way Away with Amy McBryde/ South on Main – 1304 Main St. / 8 / $10
Hosted by this month’s curator, Little Rock teacher and artist Phillip Rex Huddleston, this week’s Sessions at South on Main is proud to present Little Rock’s Way Away along with Amy McBryde. Way Away is a band from Little Rock that loves guitars, good times, and day dreams.  Come let this indie, psychedelic, dream pop, surf rock four piece take you away.  Opening the show will be Little Rock singer-songwriter Amy McBryde.
Thursday 10/18
Daniel Donato/ Stickyz Rock N’ Roll Chicken Shack – 107 River Market Ave / 8:30 / $8 advance, $10 door
Guitar lovers, this show is for you. 2018 Americana Award nominee Daniel Donato is a Nashville-based musician that will be making his Stickyz debut.  He’s been the guitarist for Nashville acts The Wild Feathers, Paul Cauthen and the Don Kelly Band.  Now, just three years since his departure from Kelly’s classic country band, he has signed with WME and backed by his three-piece “Cosmic Country Band. He brings his experimental roots music, and jam-ready country and bluegrass to the Rock. Get your tickets here!
Tonya Leeks/ Central Arkansas Library Systems Williams Branch – 1800 Chester Street / 6:30 / Free
Sounds in the Stacks is a series of free one hour concerts featuring local musicians with diverse musical backgrounds as they showcase their talent & skill in this intimate setting.  Tonight, Arkansas Sounds, a project ofThe Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, is proud to present October’s featured artist, Arkansas saxophonist and vocalist Tonya Leeks.
Red Octopus Presents: Strait Outta Coffin / The Public Theater – 616 Center St. / 8 / $10, $8 seniors, military and students
Central Arkansas’ favorite comedy troop for 27 years and counting. The Red Octopus Theater Company is back from their summer break with a Halloween-themed show sure to be a “ghoulish good time” with plenty of “bloody good” laughs for all.  Come out for a spooky dose of sketch comedy for mature audiences 18 and up.  BYOB. Seating is first come so get there early. Doors open at 7:15 and the show runs 10/18-20 and 10/26-27.
Robert Finley/ South on Main – 1304 Main St. / 8 / $28 GA, $34 reserved, $36 premium reserved   (tickets online only)
The Oxford American is proud to welcome Robert Finley to South on Main for the second show in their 2018-19 Archetypes & Troubadours Series.  From the tiny town of Bernice, Louisiana near the Arkansas line self-taught musician Robert Finley has been playing music for about 52 years.  As a teen he led his Army band on guitar and vocals touring the continent many times over, after his service he became a carpenter and settled back in the states.  His gospel and blues songs were more of hobby then staying mostly in the South, but now his music has come full circle ready once again to reach music lovers here and abroad with his latest LP Goin’ Platinumreleased through Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound.  This is a show lovers of roots music won’t want to miss. Get your tickets here. Ticket available online only.
Funkanites & The Rios/ White Water Tavern – 2500 W. 7th St. / 9 / $10
Two of Central Arkansas’ favorite funk and soul bands join forces for a great night of music as The Rios celebrate the release of their self-titled album, available on CD and cassette.
Friday 10/19
Afro-Jazz Night with Tim Anthony & Fela Vibez, Rodney Block and Butterfly/ Ira’s Restaurant – 311 Main St. / 9:30 / $10 advance, $15 door
Come out dressed to impress at Little Rock’s newest hot spot, Ira’s Restaurant, and enjoy a night of great food, drinks and music as three of the Rock’s best live musicians pay tribute to afrobeat legend Fela Kuti and Nigerian Independence. Contact Karla Parker at 501-366-5265 to order your tickets in advance.
Bijoux with J. Phil/ South on Main – 1304 Main St. / 10 / $12 advance, $15 door
Lovers of true soul and R&B, this night is for you as two of Central Arkansas’ best soul and R&B singers, Bijoux and J.Phil, join forces for a His & Hers show you don’t want to miss. Get your tickets here!
Brian Nahlen / Copper Grill – 300 E 3rd / 5:30 / Free
Come out and enjoy a beautiful fall afternoon on the patio. Enjoy some delicious food, drinks, as you sit back, relax and enjoy one of Little Rock’s favorite singer-songwriters, Brian Nahlen, as he sings his original songs and classics you know and love.
Big Red Flag with Jamie Lou and the Hullabaloo/ Four Quarter Bar – 415 Main St. NLR / $7
A night of great original music from Central Arkansas’ ragtime gypsy grass band Big Red Flag, and Northwest Arkansas’ indie psychedelic folk rock band Jamie Lou and the Hullabaloo. Don’t forget about their great late night kitchen, open until 1:30.
Saturday 10/20
Central Arkansas Pride Fest/ LR River Market / 12 / Free ($5 suggested donation)
Come join this year’s presenting sponsor Tito’s Handmade Vodka and 2018 Grand Marshal Tippi McCullough for the state’s largest LGBTQ event and Little Rock’s sixth celebration of PRIDE.  Enjoy live entertainment, vendors, food truck, adult beverages, a family zone and more. The parade starts at 1 p.m., festival starts at 2 p.m. and the entertainment starts at 2:30 p.m. with performances by Laith Ashley, CeCe Peniston, Brunch with Jennifer Holiday, and Rihannon Cortez.
Festival of Darkness and Nighty Night 2018 Release Party/ Lost 40 Brewing – 501 Byrd St. / 4-9 / $20
Get your best zombie look and walk ready the Festival of Darkness as Lost 40 releases its highly anticipated, limited release, 3-barrel aged, 2018, Nighty Night Imperial Stout. To celebrate this release, 24 local and regional breweries will join in the fun, pouring samples in the dark beer garden. There will be food trucks, the annual zombie lumberjack costume contest, cash prizes for the best dressed zombie, giveaway of the Nighty Night Rider bike, free swag, and live music by Dazz & Brie, Big Piph, and a new EP release and performance by Adam Faucett and the Tall Grass. Get your tickets here!
Black Oak Arkansas/ Four Quarter Bar – 415 Main St. NLR / 9 / $20
It’s Jim Dandy to the rescue as the legendary Black Oak Arkansas returns to North Little Rock’s Four Quarter Bar for a night of classic, no-holds-barred rock & roll. Central Arkansas rock & rollers The Martyrs open the show, and closing the show is Central Arkansas’ favorite bunch of Outlaws Go Fast. Get your tickets here!
Cedric Burnside Record Release Show / White Water Tavern – 2500 W. 7th St. / 9 / $10
Cedric Burnside, the 39-year-old, 2015 Grammy nominee for best blues album and Blues Music Awards Drummer of the Year for four consecutive years, still lives close to the Holly Springs, Mississippi home where he was raised by his grandfather, “Big Daddy,” the late great R.L. Burnside. He returns to the White Water to celebrate the release of his latest album, Benton County Relic.  Blues lovers and lovers of great classic downhome rock & roll, this is a show you don’t want to miss.
Sunday 10/21
John Fulbright/ South on Main – 1304 Main St. / 7 / $25 GA, $32 Reserved, $34 Premium Reserved.  online only or 1-800-293-5949
The Oxford American is proud to welcome back to Little Rock, as an addition to their 2018-19 Concert Series, Grammy-nominated Americana artist from Oklahoma John Fulbright. Tickets are available online only and can be purchased here.

Around Arkansas

Music at The Arkansas State Fair / Free with gate admission
Wednesday 10/17 – Ratt
Thursday 10/18 – Stokley
Friday 10/19 – Pop Evil
Saturday 10/20 – Mark Chesnutt & Red Head Express
Sunday 10/21 – Twista


Thursday 10/18 – Saturday 10/20
Johnny Cash Heritage Festival
This three-day festival honors Johnny Cash with programs that shaped his childhood in Dyess.  The event includes regional music, public presentations, food & craft vendors, demonstrations and tours, culminating in a world-class music concert in the cotton fields surrounding the Cash home. This year’s closing night, hosted by John Carter Cash features award winning singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson, Grammy-winner Allison Krauss, and more.  For tickets and more information

El Dorado

31st Annual Musicfest / Three-day Passes available until Wednesday 10/17 – GA Pit Pass $190, GA $130. Day of Show – $220/$160
The wait is finally over El Dorado’s 31st Annual Music Fest is here with music from Thursday through Saturday.
Thursday 10/18 – George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Morris Day and the Time, Shelia E.
Friday 10/19 – Sammy Hagar and the Circle, Bret Michaels, and Lita Ford
Saturday 10/20 – Toby Keith, Justin Moore, Carly Pearce, and Jimmie Allen
Late night shows – 2 Chains on Friday ($85-$70) and Gucci Mane on Saturday  ($75-$60)
Dazz & Brie/ Griffin Restaurant / Thursday 10/18
Josh Walker & Tannehil Band / Griffin Restaurant / Friday 10/19
Saturday night – Kevin Gordon & Monty Russell, Jamie Lou and the Hullabaloo, Trey Johnson, Rodney Block, and Mary Heather and the Sinners.


Thursday 10/18
Ray Wylie Hubbard/ George’s Majestic Lounge – 519 W. Dickson St / $20 advance$25 day of show.
Legendary Americana Outlaw Ray Wylie Hubbard comes to George’s for a one night only show sure to sell out and not to be missed.
Saturday 10/20
Romo & Company/ Nightbird Books – 205 W. Dickson St. / 7
Central Arkansas poet Romo will be headlining this night of poetry and sharing from her highly acclaimed new book, Othered from Sibling Rivalry Press.  Opening the evening will be some of her favorite NWA writers.  A book signing will follow so come out, pick up a copy, meet the author, and prepare to be touched.

Hot Springs

Wednesday 10/17
Wednesday Night Poetry featuring Romo / Kollective Coffee and Tea – 110 Central Ave  / 6:30
Kollective Wednesday night poetry is proud to feature Central Arkansas poet, activist, and visual artist, Randi Romo as she shares from her first book of poetry, Othered, published by Sibling Rivalry Press.  Open mic starts at 6:30 with Romo at 7:00, followed by another round of open mic. Come out, pick up a copy of the book, meet Romo, and enjoy a night of poetry from a poet that has touched my heart and is sure to touch yours.
Friday 10/19
Death Bells, The Rios, The Fabulous Minx and Joe Myside/ Maxine’s Live – 700 Central Ave.
Post-punk dream pop from Australia, Death Bells brings their North American tour to the Spa City joined by greased-up freak out rock & roll from Oklahoma with Fabulous Minx, the catchy sing-alongs, stories, punk, rock and country of Joe Myside, and psychedelic soul from Little Rock’s The Rios.
RELATED: The State of Music
Image courtesy of the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival and Arkansas State University