White Mansion Brian Chilson

The second round of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase — in its 27th year — was arguably as diverse as the first:  A sunny Americana trio; a synthy dark wave outfit; a sweet, upbeat pop songwriter with mad falsetto and an unapologetically bizarre mash-up of rap/melodic hooks/fierce saxophone solos.   

The winner of round two? White Mansion, the aforementioned dark wave ensemble from Fayetteville. Here’s a snapshot of what our panel of judges, along with guest judge Rachel Ammons (Ben Miller Band, Tyrannosaurus Chicken) said about the evening’s performances, and some photography from our very own Brian Chilson.


Join us at the Rev Room Friday, March 1 to hear White Mansion, The Mad Deadly and other yet-to-be-determined finalists compete for the 2019 title.

White Mansion: brooding, driving rock for anyone with “Loveless” or “Unknown Pleasures” in regular rotation.     


From our judges:

“Depeche Mode vibe, but that’s a good thing.”


“Love the guitar player’s tone, Would love to see the lead singer explore his range more. Great intensity by him, matched by the band.”

“A real retro sound that reminded me of Bauhaus, but felt modern and up to date.”

Won Run: an utterly inimitable concoction of one part geeksta rap, one part singalong-able hook and not-nearly-enough parts lean, mean saxophone.     


From our judges:

“Dang. That sax/keys player. I want to hear more of his lead vocals. He’s great.”

‘”If Tenacious D took Bill and Ted’s time travelling phone booth through the decades, Won Run would be their final exam performance. A+!”

“Like the personality; not seeming to take themselves too seriously.”

The Going Jessies: easygoing front porch harmonies that stay sweet without ever veering toward the saccharine.
From the judges:

“They are solid and their Southern roots show.”

“I love a band that is driven by lyrics, and this band has great lyrics.”

“Feels like summertime when they play.”


Brad Byrd: a pop singer with falsetto for days, a polished backing band and studio recordings that seemingly emerged fully fit for radio play.         

From our judges:

“Some really nice moments, vocally. Other moments didn;t deliver as much. … Practice a relaxed delivery.”

“Feels reminiscent of 2000s pop rock.”

‘There’s a lot of potential. Would like to see more band interaction.”

Join us at Stickyz Rock n’ Roll Chicken Shack next week for Round Three, featuring sets from the Akeem Kemp Band, Willowack, Kid City and Illusionaut.