Jack Williams is a songwriter, singer, and guitarist with few (if any) peers. HIs songs are a literary record of the joy, brilliance, disappointments, and aspirations of our American experience. His live shows romp through the melodic and lyric wit of the Jazz Era, the sentimental strains of doo-wop, and the birth of rock and roll. This is all set against the backdrop of steamy South Carolina, the wilds of the Sonoran desert, and vast stretches of interstate… on and on he’ll go, until you find yourself in Mama Lou’s kitchen with her wood-fired stove, breathing in the scent of maternal love in the form of fried chicken.
Friday, February 8 is the date and tickets are $10 in advance, whether online or at the OAC Office (115 W. Rush, just to the left of the theater; hours 8–2, M-W-F; phone 870-391-3504) and $15 at the door.
It’s been said already, but I’ll say it again: Jack Williams is a national treasure. When it comes to pulling the
worlds of blues, country, rock and roll and jazz together on an acoustic guitar, I’ve never heard his equal.
The Lyric Celebrates: 20 years ago, Freeman Conner set a Guinness World Record and helped save his hometown’s historic theater.We say, “It’s high time for a party” with… Screamin’ Freeman and the World Record Band!
Saturday, March 16, 7:00PM
In 1999, Screamin’ Freeman laid claim to providing “Non-stop fun! Non-stop rock! and Non-stop Screamin’ excitement!” that no one else could match—and then Freeman Conner and his World Record Band proved that claim to be true even to the satisfaction of the Guinness Book of World Records, which noted their non-stop performance (shown at right on the Lyric’s then-much-smaller stage) as the longest continuous performance by a musical group. The band’s goal wasn’t only the setting of a world record, though: it was to help the Ozark Arts Council raise both money and awareness to make it possible to purchase the theater and transform it into the venue for live music, drama, and education that we all love today—and now it’s time to celebrate that historic concert and all the entertainment that followed it these past 20 years!
“The ever intense Mr. Screamin’ Freeman Conner”—lead guitarist, lead vocalist, harp player, songwriter, arranger, schmoozer, original in every sense of the word—is clear on why he leads a band that is no less intense today than it was in the ’90s: “The energy of the three piece band and the adrenaline rush from playing non-stop is why I do it.” What keeps the band “electric,” Freeman says, is John “Metronome” Schaffer, whose unfailing beat keeps the band tight from start to finish. With John’s steadiness, “The artist known as Paul” Woolston’s Fender P-Bass drives the music with every bit of intense energy that Fender’s naming it “Precision-Bass” was meant to convey: Precision = Power! Powerful rock and blues classics and the band’s own compositions drive up the excitement all night long.
Of course, Freeman is not the sort of guy to do things at the ‘exciting’ level if he has the opportunity to do them at the ‘super, massively exciting‘ level, so he is bringing in four great acts to make sure the celebration is even more memorable! Joined by Ben Olson, James White, Burlington, and Runnin’ N Gunnin’, Screamin’ Freeman is once again bringing a massive party to the Lyric stage!
Back for a full-length concert, Runner up of the 2018 Battle of the Bands: Earth Bone!
Saturday, January 26, 7:00PM
Earth Bone has an eclectic repertoire of multi-genre originals and uniquely played crowd-pleasing favorites that have been described as “Power Folk with a touch of funk.” From early rock classics to modern pop and rock, Earth Bone covers quite a lot of ground!
Armed with an incredible voice, Jerry Rowan has no fear in front of a microphone and always gives 150% every show. He is matched vocally by Susan Boone whose renditions of blues and ballads are exciting to hear to say the least. Dave Dore ties it all together with his vocals, keyboard and guitar. Wayne Angel’s conga, djembe and cajon riffs add a taste of the exotic to all of Earth Bone’s songs. The band is often joined by Denise Dore, who provides strong backup vocals.
“Wow! You guys were phenomenal! We’re just reeling over how polished and smooth and truly fantastic you all were, and your choice of songs was perfect… all songs that hadn’t been done and that we were wanting to hear! Thank you!! It was such a great time!”
Pam Fowler, The Buffalo Theater Jasper, AR
Most of the originals are written by Jerry, Dave and Susan and each song reflects a bit of what makes this group so exceptional.
“These guys are a blast!!! “Earth Bone”…They will be back very soon. Don’t miss it next time!!!”
Leslie Key, Meteor Guitar Gallery Bentonville, AR
The doors of the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks—Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater—will open at 6:00 for a 7:00 performance on Saturday, January 26. Adult beverages and general concessions will be available throughout the concert, and tickets are available in advance for $5.00; at the door, they will be $10.
For 17 years, Black Stone Cherry has put forth a new, vicious breed of Southern rock, injecting youthful vitality and a myriad of fresh new influences into the beloved American rock tradition. To date, the band has released five critically-acclaimed studio albums and one well-received blues EP. Black Stone Cherry has also rocked 12,000-cap arena shows, topped the UK charts, and shared the stage with a diverse roster of superstars, including Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Motörhead, and ZZ Top.
Family Tree is the much-anticipated follow up to 2016’s Kentucky, which debuted at #5 on the Official UK Album Chart and went to #1 on the Billboard Album
Chart. Drummer John Fred Young says, “Family Tree showcases all of our collective musical influences and how we have taken those to create something that is truly our own unique Southern American rock ’n’ roll sound.” Two special guests appear, one bringing the concept of family full circle: lead guitarist/vocalist Chris Robertson’s 5-year-old-old son contributes backup vocals on the swaggering You Got The Blues, while the other, revered jam-band musician Warren Haynes (Allman Bros/Gov’t Mule) offers a guitar cameo and vocals on the delta stomp of Dancing In The Rain. “I remember coming to New York when we first were signed, and hearing Warren’s voice behind me the minute my feet hit the street,” recalls bassist Jon Lawhon. “Hearing him play on this track all these years later gave me chills.”
We grew up in the Kentucky Headhunters’ rehearsal space, looking up at posters of Cream, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, the Stones, Montrose, and the Faces. We were like kids someone took in a time capsule and put in the woods.
— John Fred Young
Family Tree rocks hard with the immediacy and spontaneity of in-the-moment takes, and Chris Robertson mixing perfectly fits the loose, creative process that birthed the album—and makes it so easily translate to the ever-evolving jams of their incredible live show.
The concept of family looms large in the world of Black Stone Cherry’s four band members. John Fred Young’s father Richard and his uncle Fred, are founding members of the Grammy Award-winning country rock n’ roots band, The Kentucky HeadHunters. BSC’s four high school-aged friends—Young, plus frontman/guitarist Chris Robertson, guitarist Ben Wells and bassist Jon Lawhon—grew up honing their craft in the Headhunters’ practice house, an abandoned property on the Young family’s farmland. John Fred says, “We grew up in the Kentucky Headhunters’ rehearsal space, looking up at posters of Cream, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, the Stones, Montrose, and the Faces. We were like kids someone took in a time capsule and put in the woods.”
It’s a great time for Black Stone Cherry to return to the Lyric, “The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” as they have recently moved to Mascot Label Group, home of some of the finest blues icons of this generation, such as Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Walter Trout, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Jonny Lang, Robben Ford, Bernie Marsden, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Sonny Landreth. The move came with the release of their EP of blues covers, Black to Blues, which shows both the foundation and the progress of music through the past century. The band selected 6 of their favorite tunes by Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, and Albert King, and reimagined them with the meaty moxie of classic BSC.
“It’s amazing to me how four good old boys from nowhere Kentucky can still be around 17 years later,” singer/guitarist Chris Robertson says. Guitarist Ben Wells concludes: “I don’t remember how life was outside of Black Stone Cherry. The four of us are family.” Every album, every concert, is a family reunion, and Black Stone Cherry is happy to have you join the family this October.
With the support of a great team of sponsors—including the “Boulder Bankers” at Stone Bank, the Harrison Convention and Visitors Bureau, and media sponsors ESPN Arkansas 104.3 (“Hit That Line!”), KHOZ 102.9 (“102.9 the Z”), and the Harrison Daily Times—the Ozark Arts Council is pleased to welcome Black Stone Cherry back to the historic Lyric Theater on Friday, February 15 at 7:00. Tickets are just $25 in advance, but $30 at the door (in the unlikely event that any are available); just click any of the ‘Get Tickets’ links here on our website and you’ll be taken to our ticketing page, or call Jules or Dill at (870) 391-3504 or visit Dill at the OAC office M-W-F 8:00–2:00 (or Jules by appointment).
Benefit Concert for Sanctuary featuring THREE great area bands: The Hedley Lamar Band, Earth Bone, & White Fox Kill! sponsored by Light Up Harrison, the OAC, and the Bands!
Saturday, October 13 3:00PM–8:00PM
Three bands that have consistently kept crowds coming back for more have banded together to support victims of domestic abuse by helping Sanctuary provide food and shelter. Sponsored by Light Up Harrison, which is committed not only to the lighting of the Square and streets of Harrison for the Christmas season, but to keep aglow the light of our area’s residents’ love for those in need, these excellent bands will perform to raise cash and food donations on Saturday, October 13, from 3:00–8:00.
Sanctuary will be able to continue in its mission of providing for those escaping abuse and Light Up Harrison will continue to show the world that our area takes seriously our duty to recognize and enhance all that is good, noble, and beautiful. The OAC remains committed to the contention that great art most often comes from great passion—which is, literally, great suffering, whether from agony or from ecstasy—so that the Arts help us to heal and to thrive, to turn victimization to survival and survival to triumph.
The doors of the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks—Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater—will open at 2:00 for a performance stretching from 3:00 to 8:00 on Saturday, October 13. Adult beverages and general concessions will be available throughout this concert, and there will be short (5–10 minute) intermissions between bands, as well. Tickets are available in advance for $2.50 and two food items* or for $5; at the door, they will be $5 and two food items.
Chemistry + Talent + Energy = Husband & Wife Americana Duo Building Community Through Excellence as Crooked Creek presents Smokey & The Mirror!
Saturday, October 6 at 7:00PM
“Bryan and Bernice Hembree (Smokey & The Mirror) are making some of the best folk music today. The songs remind me of a time when Guy Clark was unknown and Ray Wylie Hubbard was still a folkie. Smart, cool and never pretentious.”
Smokey & The Mirror is husband/wife duo Bryan and Bernice Hembree. Based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Smokey & The Mirror has toured nationally and internationally over the past decade. The band has supported tours for Old Crow Medicine Show, The Wood Brothers, I’m With Her, Elephant Revival, John Fullbright, and many of their musical heroes. They tour most often as a duo, but also play many shows as a four-piece band. Whatever the configuration, the interplay of their two unique voices coupled with engaging, accessible songs form the foundation of Smokey & The Mirror.
The Hembrees work tirelessly on many musical and creative pursuits. They are committed to others’ music as much as their own. They have found that the most satisfying path to longevity in music is to put others’ art in the spotlight or to inspire others’ to find their voice. They believe that the future of music is not winning the “me first” battle, but rather building community. To this end, they are founders and co-creators of the Fayetteville Roots Festival and also spent a year (2017) with Austin-based international songwriting collaborative, House of Songs, to pilot House of Songs Ozarks in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The thing I love most about this band and the evening with them is not only the powerfully beautiful voice of bass player, Bernice Hembree, or the well-written songs of Bryan Hembree, sung with his rustic, true American voice – it’s the energy they bring on stage and to the audience! You can tell when they are performing; they truly treasure what they do. They feed off each other to the point it’s sometimes hard to tell where the guitar stops and the bass starts!” –
Nowhere else in Arkansas can you get this opportunity to study under guitar virtuoso Laurence Juber. LJ will hold a two hour class in the afternoon before his 7:00pm concert at Harrison’s “Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” the historic 1929 Lyric Theater! The price for this class is $50—but, if you have a ticket to the concert at the Lyric on Saturday evening (or to Friday’s concert at Sunrise Guitars adjoining venue Sunrise Stage in Fayetteville), you only pay $40!
James White (local guitarist and vocalist and columnist for the Harrison Daily Times) writes, “Although some people refer to ‘Up Close with LJ’ as a master class, he thinks of it as a workshop. He says it’s multi-level and addresses a range of fundamental concepts, some advanced musical information and general guitaristic ‘tune-ups.’ There is a component he calls ‘guitarology,’ in which he explores differing finger style patterns that go back to the beginning of the instrument.
LJ has released 17 critically acclaimed solo albums which feature his celebrated arrangements of popular tunes and genre-crossing compositions. In Fall 2010, he released the highly anticipated LJ Plays the Beatles Vol. 2. He was voted “Guitarist of the Year” by the readers of Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine and named one of the top acoustic guitar players of all time by Acoustic Guitar Magazine—and he is on its cover again for the October, 2018 issue, as he releases his new album, which traces the roots of fingerstyle guitar. From classical to the Beatles and Hendrix, LJ is a master of it all, and is coming to share his insights with you!
Summer 2018 Battle of the Bands featuring FOUR local bands and a tribute to The Beatles!
Saturday, August 4 at 7:00PM
Four great area bands, playing the songs that keep crowds all over Northwest and Central Arkansas and Southern Missouri coming back for more, plus what they’ll be judged on in this show: their covering of a Beatles tune, whether in the original setting or in their own style! Who will most compellingly make a Fab Four song their own and take this Summer’s bragging rights—and the cash prize?
The Ozark Arts Council is delighted to host these wonderful musicians who have graciously chosen to play for us at this fundraising event, through which we are hoping to begin our restoration of the Lyric Theater’s original balcony restrooms, which have been out of service since the 1970s. Thanks to some fantastic sponsors, the bands are competing for a cash prize, as well as area bragging rights, and we’re expecting a dynamite show!
The doors of the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks—Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater—will open at 6:00 for a 7:00 performance on Saturday, August 4. Adult beverages and general concessions will be available throughout this concert, and there will be short (5–10 minute) intermissions between bands, as well. Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15.
As you can see from the videos posted here, our bands have very different styles, often showing blues and folk roots with an edge both in their covers and new compositions that shows a personal ‘backstory’ that can make even the same song relate in completely different ways.
Featured bands include The Hedley Lamar Band, LeadFoot 65, Sound Pilot, and Earth Bone, all of whom you’ve heard and loved for several years, and, thanks to our sponsors, you get to hear and love them again but all in one place. Many thanks to Milam Refrigeration, TLD Construction, GFI Inc., Anderson Electric & Plumbing, Quality Construction & Remodeling, Harrison Mini Storage, Elite Plumbing & Construction, The Arnold Team at Weichert Realtors, and Mitchell Electric for sponsoring the grand prize for our Battle!
This two-time Grammy-winner (once with Sir Paul McCartney’s “Wings” and once as a solo artist) thrilled the Lyric audience in 2015, and is returning to continue to dazzle us with his wit, which is as evident in his playing as his absolute mastery of his instrument—not only in its standard implementation, but through a variety of tunings that allow him to express far more than one normally associates with the playing of a single acoustic guitar.
As an award-winning fingerstyle acoustic guitarist also known for his electric work as lead guitarist in Wings, LJ has a large following among guitar fans and Beatles/classic rock fans. His shows feature his original compositions along with amazing covers of Beatles and classic rock songs like “Layla” and “Little Wing” where he literally plays every melody of the song on just one guitar!
Pete Townsend of The Who simply exclaims, “A master!”
As a studio musician, LJ can be heard on recordings from artists as diverse as Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks to Seal to Barry Manilow, plus he is featured on the soundtracks to hundreds of TV shows such as Home Improvement and movies including the academy award-winning Dirty Dancing, Good Will Hunting, and Pocahontas.
You like video games? LJ co-composed the soundtrack of the award-winning video game Diablo III.
You watch the news? LJ crafted the score to the NBC Dateline documentary Children Of The Harvest. His music is also featured in the Ken Burns’ documentary The Tenth Inning.
In other words: You’ve Heard Him Even if You Haven’t Heard of Him!
LJ has released 17 critically acclaimed solo albums which feature his celebrated arrangements of popular tunes and genre-crossing compositions. In Fall 2010, he released the highly anticipated LJ Plays the Beatles Vol. 2. He was voted “Guitarist of the Year” by the readers of Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine and named one of the top acoustic guitar players of all time by Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
A dynamic, entertaining performer and an accomplished clinician, LJ brings his passion for the guitar to venues around the world, creating a multi-faceted performance that belies the use of only one instrument. In Spring 2013 Laurence Juber released Under an Indigo Sky on Solid Air Records with a special limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day, and has just released LJ Can’t Stop Playing the Beatles.
At the heart of LJ’s sound and style breathes a near-flawless technique where a fiercely emotional underbelly, alternate tunings, and keen sense of melody and rhythm coalesce into something uniquely his own……you don’t have to be a solo-happy guitar worshipper to appreciate his talents.
– Inland Empire Weekly
How about Some Musical Sleight of Hand? The Magic of the Piano with Scott Carrell!
Sunday, June 24 at 2:00PM
“We were very honored that he included Oklahoma State University on his tour schedule. While the audience was dazzled by his technical brilliance, they were also drawn in by his thoughtful musical interpretation. He was so engaging and knowledgeable as he talked to the audience; students and community members alike felt as though they came away having learned a great deal. It was also a real treat to have the opportunity to hear him perform his own wonderful composition.”
– Ms. Heather Lanners, Assistant Professor of Piano
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Showcasing well-known masterpieces as well as less familiar works deserving greater recognition, pianist Scott Carrell is known for his virtuosic flair, expressive playing and informative comments. From Romantic fireworks to graceful classics, he gives audiences the “highest level of classical music entertainment and education.” Now he brings that virtuosity and desire to give all he has received also to every audience member the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square. June 24 at 2:00PM is the time for the event and tickets are available in advance for $7.50; at the door, they will be $10.
A native of Texas, Carrell has performed numerous recitals as soloist and as collaborator, including concerto appearances with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra, the Southwestern University Orchestra, the Plainview Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra, the Little Rock Wind Symphony, the New York Classical Players, and twice with the Harding University/Community Orchestra.
An active chamber musician, he co-founded the Searcy Chamber Music Series and has performed on many of its concerts. He has also performed in recital and small ensembles in Florence, Italy, and Mainz, Germany and was the guest artist for the 2011 Robert Herrin Piano Festival at Texarkana College. In 2014, Carrell was invited to Guangzhou, China, to perform a concert, to give lectures, and to teach piano students in masterclasses. Most recently, he was the featured artist for the 2017 Scott Joplin Festival at Northwest Missouri State University, giving a recital, lecture, and masterclass.
In 2005 his compact disc Crossings was released, including the world premiere recording of the title work, an original composition based on a painting by an Arkansas artist. The disc Ragtime Memories was released in 2007. Other premieres of original works include a Suite for Brass Quintet (2011), Dance for Oboe and Piano (2011), and Conversation for double-reed trio (2015).
Carrell has spent much of his career exploring the music of French composers, with an emphasis on finding unknown masterpieces deserving recognition. This work has resulted in several concerts of French music and in the release in 2016 of the disc Piano Works of Noël Gallon, featuring world premiere recordings of music by a Paris Conservatory professor.
Receiving degrees from Southwestern University, the University of Illinois, and the D.M.A. from the University of North Texas, Carrell studied with internationally-known artists Drusilla Huffmaster, Ian Hobson, and Vladimir Viardo and participated in masterclasses with Abbey Simon, Gail Delente, and Dominique Merlet. The French Piano Institute awarded him a prize for the best performance of a work by Henri Dutilleux at the 1996 FPI Festival in Paris, France. He was also honored with the Distinguished Teacher Award from Harding University for the 2003-2004 and 2012-2013 academic years.
An active member of the Arkansas State Music Teachers Association, he has presented sessions at both regional and state conferences and serves as a division coordinator of MTNA. Currently teaching piano, piano-related courses, and music theory at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, Carrell is in demand as a soloist, collaborative artist, teacher, and adjudicator.