Nearly a decade ago, a stylish brunette named Jamie Lou Connolly won a talent competition at her call center workplace in Russellville, Arkansas. From there, she went on to play solo sets at dive bars, coffee shops, and in houses around the DIY scene, always generating stunned silence when she opened her mouth to sing.
Jamie Lou slowly became “Jamie Lou and the Hullabaloo,” adding the instruments and members that has since created their unique folk/indie rock sound. Connolly has won numerous singer-songwriter competitions, but in 2018, the band also claimed the title of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase champions, competing against sixteen talented musicians local to Arkansas.
Connolly’s 2017 album, “Femi-Socialite,” is available to hear across most music streaming services, but nothing beats the real deal: feeling the rhythmic pulses between the drums and bass, the rise and fall of the lead guitar, the mellow constant of Jamie Lou’s guitar parts, and of course, the sometimes delicate, sometimes raucous intensity of her vocals.
The music video for the single, “Highway Men,” released at the end of 2018 makes her meaning clear: Jamie Lou isn’t taking crap from anyone. Formerly the River Valley Sweetheart, this Northwest Arkansas star remains the Golden Voice of the Ozarks, performing live at King’s Live Music on Saturday, April 20.