There are few us, young or old, who don’t know the song “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” and associate it with the vocals of Crystal Gayle, the mermaid-tressed little sister of Loretta Lynn. Even before that song, Gayle hit No. 1 in 1976 on Billboard’s country chart for “I’ll Get Over You.”
Some of us were of drinking age and could slow dance to it at clubs or bars, and some of us had to be content to lip-synch into our hairbrushes as we listened to the radio before school. But there is timelessness to those songs performed by Gayle, and the person who penned them, Richard Leigh, will perform them and other songs he made famous on Friday, Sept. 23, at Acoustic Sounds Cafe.
Leigh’s 30-year songwriting career has been given voice by other stellar country artists, including Ronnie Milsap, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Ray Charles and, most recently, the Dixie Chicks (2002’s “A Cold Day in July”). Leigh is in the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and 14 songs of his songs have reached the top 10 on Billboard’s country chart. It should be a treat to see the songwriter behind the stars perform his songs his way.
Blue-collar multi-genre finger-style guitarist Dorian Michaels, also in the business 35 years, will open at 7:30 p.m. He describes his music online as an oxymoronic “contemporary traditional.”
Admission is $8, $7 for students. The venue is non-smoking and alcohol-free. For more information, call 227-0000.
Also on Friday, Sept. 23:
The Press Box, tucked away on Fair Park behind UALR, will host a tribute to R.L. Burnside and John Weston with Mark Simpson on Friday, Sept. 23. The evening will feature music by the late bluesmen as well as some original material from Simpson. Admission is $5. The music will start around 10 p.m.
The venue will host a Motley Crue after-party with the Electric Dolls on Saturday, Sept. 24. Admission will also be $5.
On the north side of the river, Parrothead Cafe, 9611 MacArthur Drive, will host girl-fronted blues band Cosmic Bisquit. The band will play covers and some originals from 8 p.m. until midnight. Admission is $5.
Wow, Vino’s is getting on in adolescent years: It’s turning 15, which we would guess is about the right age to start going there. The pizza and music venue at 7th and Chester will celebrate its birthday Saturday, Sept. 24, with a long list of acts, including Grand Serenade, King Don, Key of Summer, Taught the Rabbits, 13X, Hector Faceplant, Kevin Kerby, Sychosys and more to be announced, starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free for all ages until 6 p.m.; after 6 p.m. the cover is $7.
We’re really looking forward to seeing Scott Biram, a young man from Austin with an old, old soul, at Sticky Fingerz on Wednesday, Sept. 28. His past couple of dates have been at Juanita’s, once as an opener for G. Love, and the other as a co-headliner with Joe Buck Yourself (of Hank III and Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers).
Biram has the aura of a revivalist tent preacher, except for his dirty trucker cap. His one-man guitar, voice and percussion act is part hillbilly and part sharecropper, and you get the feeling that he listened to a lot of Motorhead as a teen-ager, and maybe still does.
The song titles on Biram’s most recent album, “Dirty One Man Band,” suggest what he’s all about: “Blood, Sweat and Murder,” “Hit the Road” and “Muleskinner Blues” (the latter his take on the traditional song). Appearing as special guests on his album are the Weary Boys, a guitar-fronted hillbilly bluegrass band from his hometown of Austin.
Admission is $5, the 18 and up show starts at 8 p.m.
Also Sept. 28, indie-rock band Bayside travels from Long Island to Juanita’s for an all-ages show. Some critics say the band travels the emo, self-indulgent, woe-is-me road, but they thread some hardcore elements into their music with inspired, prolonged guitar work and gutsy vocals. Their self-titled sophomore album is on indie label Victory records, and has a few notable songs on it: “Hello Sh*tty,” “Half a Life” (an anthem to hecklers), and a folksy acoustic ditty called “Don’t Call Me Peanut.”
Also scheduled to appear is I Am the Avalanche, featuring Vinny Caruana, ex-vocalist for the pop-tinged punk outfit Movielife. June and the Forecast will also perform. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Cover is $8.