While Little Rock and North Little Rock’s riverfront parks will be abuzz with music, the River Market area clubs are sure to pick up some residual business from festival, if only those folks who want to enjoy a drink in an air-conditioned environment.
Here’s a look at what’s happening around Riverfest:
The Underground Pub will be the only River Market area club included within the Riverfest fence perimeter, and the Big John Miller Band will be performing there at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 27-28. The club will not charge a cover. As a side note, Miller’s four-piece soul and R&B band has just completed its first CD, which is self-titled, with an official release date to be announced next month.
Sticky Fingerz, just outside the Riverfest perimeter on Commerce Street, will host funky rocker Patrick Smith and his band from Oxford, Miss., on Friday, May 27 (9 p.m., $5), and will be getting the party started with party dance band/DJ outfit M-Town on Saturday, May 28 (9:30 p.m., $5). Several members of the electronica/rock band Nation are involved in the M-Town side project.
Earlier Saturday, the club will offer a free all-ages show featuring Starroy starting at 4 p.m.
The Flying Saucer will have Memphis acoustic duo Jordan Mycoskie and Kurt South starting at 9 p.m., Friday, May 27. There is no cover charge.
The dueling “dueling” piano bars, Willy D’s and Ernie Biggs, report that they will have their usual nightly piano acts with cover charges.
Club Coconuts will feature Bill Holloway each evening during the weekend.
Cornerstone Deli and Pub, the only North Little Rock club in the Riverfest area, will also be just outside the perimeter fencing and will play host to two New Orleans-based bands: jammers Saaraba on Friday, May 27 (9 p.m., $5), and Bonerama, a funk rock/ jazz-brass band on Saturday, May 28 ($5).
Getting away from the Riverfest crowd is OK by us. Something completely different can be found at Acoustic Sounds Cafe on Friday, May 27. The music venue at Second Presbyterian Church will have two noted acoustic blues acts in the singer/songwriter coffee shop circuit (and beyond), with New Orleans barbershop vocalist turned street blues musician Owen Tufts (a.k.a. Big Daddy “O”), who will open for headliner Christian Dozzler. Dozzler, a pianist from Vienna, has an album entitled “All Alone and Blue.” He covers such blues greats as Roosevelt Sykes and Leroy Carr on the record, but it’s made up mostly of his own compositions, such as “Rather Be Lonesome,” and “Diggin’ Up the Graveyard.” He cites the legendary pianist Otis Spann as his biggest influence.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $7 for students. Call 227-0000.
Cajun’s Wharf offers a couple of eclectic acts this weekend. Heber Springs blueswoman Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain, on Friday, May 27 (9 p.m., $5). Gooding, a three piece rock/world/soul trio that played in Riverfest a few years back, will appear Saturday, May 28, on tour in support of its latest album, “Angel/Devil.”
The White Water Tavern at Seventh and Thayer streets will be open Friday, May 27, with Tel Aviv, an indie-punk band from Fayetteville. Cover is $5. The club will be closed May 28 through the holiday.
Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom at 1300 Main St. will have Solace for Now on Thursday, May 26, with a 9 p.m. opening set from locals Chupacabra. Solace for Now, a side project of Paul Crosby (drummer for Saliva) and Johnny Sprague (bassist for Earshot), is on a nationwide tour promoting the recently released the CD “Places Inside.” Admission is $7.
On Friday, May 27, Juanita’s features an all-ages Christian rock show with Kingsdown, Deas Vail and Hidebound. The show starts at 10 p.m. Cover is $6.
On Saturday, May 28, the club offers a hard rock line-up with 13X, Fayetteville’s Kind and local heavy act Exsus for an early 7 p.m. show. Admission is $7.
It’s 2 a.m. and you still haven’t gotten your fill of partying and listening to music? Then Midtown Billiards, two doors down from Juanita’s, is the place to be for some late-night action lasting until 4:30 a.m. The Chilly Rose Band will be at Midtown on Friday, May 27, and the Domino Kings appear on Saturday, May 28. Midtown also will be open on Sunday, May 29, when all of the rest of the aforementioned clubs (except Club Coconuts, which will be open until 2 a.m.) are closed.
By no means are we endorsing a candidate in this club report, but when rock and politics meet, we have to take notice. Rod Bryan, bassist for much-heralded local pop-rock band Ho Hum and owner of local record store Anthro-Pop, has announced his independent candidacy for governor. His official kickoff is 6 p.m. Thursday, June 2, at Juanita’s, with the Easys performing. The $10 admission goes to fund his campaign.