AMASA HINES RECORD RELEASE
10 p.m., White Water Tavern.
This is a long time coming. Velvet Kente came out of nowhere in 2009 to become Little Rock’s favorite band. Then a year or so later, lead singer/guitarist Joshua — the owner of one of the most powerful and dexterous voices heard in Arkansas in years — joined with another group of veteran musicians to form Amasa Hines, and whichever of the two was playing next became Little Rock’s favorite band.
All along there’s been talk of recording, with only one single from Amasa Hines finding its way to the public. Two years later, Amasa Hines’ nine-song debut album, “All The World There Is,” is here. Whatever the band’s been up to in the studio all these years, it shows. The album is gorgeous, a tour de force of contemplative, Ethio-jazz-flecked, soul-shouting, space rock. Or something like that. Most songs feel like anthems, but controlled — nearly all the tracks clock in around 4 minutes. Joshua, singing earnestly of faith, love and identity, sounds as dynamic as he can live.
Norman Williamson’s beautiful sax work puts a dreamy haze on everything. The guitar interplay between Joshua and local ace Judson Spillyards is seductively understated. In sum, it’s a damn fine record that’s bound to get attention beyond Arkansas. Even if you’ve sworn off buying CDs like me, this is one you’ll want to pick up at one of the band’s two nights of celebrating its album release. Or hold out for the vinyl, coming in the near future. Either way, consider this a must-do/must-buy.
Isaac Alexander and Adam Faucett open the Friday night show.