Winona Wilde — Thursday May 17 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

“Just your
run of the mill,
post-structuralist
cowgirl Americana…”
Crooked Creek presents Winona Wilde!
Thursday, May 17 at 7:00PM

Photo by Brandon Albert, Flare Magazine

“Over simple, well-worn chords, Wilde’s voice sounds weary and wise, and yet still full of life…Her storytelling binds together personal experience and political ideas in relatable ways, the way only the best songwriting can.”

–  Peter Ellman, Exclaim

Crooked Creek Concert Association presents 2017 Kerrville NewFolk Songwriting Award winner Winona Wilde, who will perform at the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater, on May 17 at 7:00PM, with special guest opener Fayetteville’s Elizabeth Scott. Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15. 

Karl Magi recently profiled Winona Wilde for Spinditty, so we’re going to borrow some quotes from his excellent article there. He shows her love for the Roots Music fans and culture: “If I had known all of these people and festivals existed when I started law school, I probably would have quit instead of suffering through it. The sense of community I have felt from the folkies is unlike anything on this earth. It has made me a better person.”

It’s not having gone to law school that makes people wonder most at her rise to prominence in the Americana scene—nor even her being Canadian, since that’s “North Americana,” at least—but the fact that she is a Canadian of Iraqi descent

Photo by Sim Al-Surraj

who has so embraced—and been embraced by—Western “Roots Music”/Americana and its fans.

Wilde (whose non-stage name is Noosa Al-Sarraj) says that music was a part of her life from her earliest days. “I do not come from a musical family, but opportunities for making music always came into my life at the right time. As a little tiny baby, I used to sing my mother’s lullabies back to her, and as a toddler, I was really good at clapping back rhythms and freakishly repeating back entire verses from the Koran, so my mother suspected there was something at play there.”

Her musical influences are wide-ranging. “I grew up on classical music. My faves were the moody, dense composers like Beethoven and Schumann. I spent hours every day alone with the piano, deciphering the language. To this day, I can still recognize a composer from just a few bars of music. Nobody generally cares when it happens, but it always feels like a little bit of a fist-pump moment.”

“When I hit my teens I got all the way into older blues artists like Ray Charles and Nat King Cole and then started to experiment with the edgier stuff like Tool and Nine Inch Nails. I loved the melodic metal my younger brother Sim listened to, he got me into Opeth, Dream Theatre and stuff like that. The heaviness of my lyrical content might have something to do with that.”

Magi writes: “Her transformation into a country/folk artist is something for which Noosa has an interesting explanation. She says, ‘My parents both worked a ton so we had a nanny whom we affectionately called Nana. She may have had country music radio on all day, so my young brain had the country music of the 80’s hammered into it without my even noticing. When I eventually heard John Prine and Loretta Lynn as an adult, all of this country music came pouring out of me.’”

Photo by Mary Matheson, BC Musician Magazine

 

Eleni Armenakis makes it clear in her review of the Wilnona Wilde album “Wasted Time” that as much as her music can reach the heights and depths of introspection and social commentary, her music is not one dimensional: “‘Buy a Round’ marks a change in the album, as Al-Sarraj laughs into a pure country number that fittingly rolls in and around itself. There’s more of a folk sound to ‘Black Forest Black Forest’ before ‘To The Corner’ finds a balance between the two to quietly see out the album.” Armenakis concludes, “Al-Sarraj knows what she wants to say and how she wants to say it. Despite the title, she’s clearly not wasting any time.”

“The best introduction to troubadour songwriter Winona Wilde’s wry sensibilities is through her delivered-with-a-wink song, ‘Chick Singer’…She sings with both exasperation and good humour, because, as we all know, sometimes the truth is so bleak, it’s hilarious. The same autobiographical song also references the blank stares she gets from people surprised to see an Iraqi-Canadian woman singing country songs. Wilde, whose real name is Noosa Al-Sarraj, fell in love with country music thanks to a nanny she had as a kid. Her kickass songwriting abilities led to win an award at the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk competition this year—one of few Canadians to do so, and certainly the first of Iraqi descent.”

– Sarah Boesveld, Flare Magazine, 2017-10-18

Winona Wilde will perform at the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater, on May 17 at 7:00PM,with special guest opener Fayetteville’s Elizabeth Scott. Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15.

Can you recall the first song you ever wrote?

From age 11-17, my subjects were mainly animals — for example, “Everything tastes like chicken when you’re not around,” a musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish, and a mini-opera about a donkey who eats spaghetti. Although one early song I remember went something like “darkness into darkness” and had some complex chord changes and a heavy subject. I gave it to my teacher and I never got it back, so I am really curious about what was going on in that song. Perhaps she passed it along to a psychiatrist.

– Interview in BC Musician Magazine, 2015-11-07

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“Dogpatch: An Average Stone-Age Community” — Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 2pm — #FilmsAtTheLyric!

Jeff Carter Productions New Documentary:
Dogpatch: An Average Stone-Age Community
Saturday, May 19 at 2:00PM

Jeff Carter Productions will present a new documentary on “the history, excitement and entertainment that was, and is, Dogpatch, USA” at Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 2:000PM. Tickets are available in advance for $11.83 (tax and fees included).

Dogpatch, the fictional village from the comic strip, Li’l Abner, is a place described by its creator, Al Capp, as, “an average stone-age community.” A place nestled in a valley where a simple life is encouraged, it is home to the Yokum family, (Abner, Mammy, Pappy and Tiny), Daisy Mae, Marryin’ Sam, Moonbeam McSwine, Available Jones, the Shmoo, and many others.

The hollow at Marble Falls seemed the perfect location for such a place to exist…just far enough away from the “fast-paced civilization” of the Greater Harrison Metropolitan Area (with its populous suburbs of Little Rock, Tulsa, Springfield, St. Louis, and Kansas City), so Dogpatch, USA was created there as a place to get away from the hussle and bustle and see and meet characters from the praised and highly followed comic strip. In Jeff Carter’s film, he explores the history, excitement and entertainment that was—and is—Dogpatch, USA.

With a film premiere event on Friday night at the Durand Center (tickets available for $32.84, tax and fees included), the film will have a matinee showing at Harrison’s original home for the talkies, the 1929 Lyric Theater at 2:00 on Saturday, May 19 (tickets available for $11.83, tax and fees included).

Please Note: The OAC is not handling ticketing for this event, so clicking our regular ticketing links will not take you to the site from which to purchase tickets, nor will calling our office enable you to purchase them. Please use the following ticketing links:

Film premiere event, Friday, May 18, at the Durand Center: tickets $30 ($32.84 with tax and fees included)

Matinee showing, Saturday, May 19, 2:00, at the Lyric Theater: tickets $10 ($11.83, tax and fees included)

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Charlotte’s Web — Saturdays & Sundays, May 5 & 6, 12 & 13 @ 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

 

“Northark Drama and the Ozark Arts Council Present:
Charlotte’s Web

Thursdays & Fridays, May 3 & 4, 10 & 11 (Sold Out) 
Saturdays & Sundays, May 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 2:00PM  (Going Fast!)

It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
 – E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

NorthArk Drama and The Ozark Arts Council, under license from Dramatic Publishing, will present Charlotte’s Web LIVE at The Lyric Theater in Harrison, Arkansas, on May 5, 6, 12, 13 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are available through TheLyric.org with Advance Tickets priced at $8 children, $10 seniors, $12 adults. Ticket prices at the door will be $11 children, $13 seniors, $15 adults.

The Ozark Arts Council is hosting a barn-raising that will make any farmer proud, as E. B. White’s beloved ‘Wilbur’ moves into the Lyric! The favorite little piggie of children everywhere has taken up residence as he prepares to entertain us in the NorthArk Drama/OAC production of the beloved classic, Charlotte’s Web! With an amazing cast of both veterans and newcomers, audiences of all ages will delight in this heartwarming story of a spider’s becoming the advocate of the little guy that she declares is “Some Pig.” Performances are May 5, 6, 12, 13 at 2pm and tickets are on sale now and going fast!

After her father, John Arable (Jacob Kolb) spares the life of a piglet from slaughter, his daughter, Fern (Gigi Crenshaw), nurtures the piglet lovingly, naming him Wilbur (Preston Garrison), even though her mother, Martha (Kayla Smith), thinks she already spends too much time with the animals, and her brother, Avery (Wyatt Mahoney) is too busy with his frogs to take much notice. When he’s older, Wilbur is sold to Fern’s aunt and uncle, Edith and Homer Zuckeman (Abigail Kops, Landon Helsel), and cared for by their farmhand, Lurvy (Matthew Brown), in whose barnyard he is left yearning for companionship but is snubbed by the other animals (Emily Akins, Laine Hilliard, Shelby Stracner, Elizabeth Smith), until he is befriended by a spider named Charlotte (Callie Johnson), living on a web overlooking Wilbur’s enclosure. Upon Wilbur’s discovery that he is once again intended for slaughter, she promises to hatch a plan guaranteed to spare his life, with a little help from the local barn rat, Templeton (Daniel Seay). As fans already know, and as those new to this beloved tale shall soon find out: “No one had ever had such a friend. So affectionate, so loyal, and so skillful,” as Charlotte.

With a cast of colorful characters ranging from adults to small children, and narrated by a skilled trio (Brinkley Brewer, Lexi Sprenger, Ella Domino), don’t miss this heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) tale that proves friendship can come in the most unlikely of packages and that words have the power to save anyone, even the sweetest of little pigs.

I would like to say “Thank You” to all the cast and community members that have worked on this production. It is a joy working with a cast of all ages. Children from six years of age, middle school, and young college students are making this production thrive. What a wonderful story to be able to share with all of our community. See you at the Lyric!
— Michael Mahoney
Also included in this stunning cast are: Kinley Bray, Maci Bright, Regan Bright, Zoey DeChambre, Lenora Domino, Liam Dupre, Joey Jones, Caden Lambert, Zachary Linn, Shyanne Lusk, Wynn Mahoney, Annaleigh Mitchell, Dylan Newby, Emmalynn Parker, Raelynn Pendergrass, Emma Pruitt, Jessica Wheeler.

Charlotte’s Web was one of my all-time favorite books and movies as a child, so when Michael asked me to help out with the show, I could hardly say no. The show is a challenging one for sure! Asking actors to portray animals and humans all at the same time…well, that gets tricky; but we have an extraordinary cast who is both dedicated and fearless in this adventure and I couldn’t be prouder of them. I am thrilled we were able to get some area schools to attend and I look forward to future projects where we can also involve our local school children. That is what it is all about, right? We are bringing the Arts to our community and we are having so much fun doing it. As always, I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Michael Mahoney and North Arkansas College, as well as the Ozark Arts Council. Charlotte’s Web is fun entertainment for the whole family that also provides some amazing life lessons and heartfelt human emotions to which we can all relate.  I hope to see everyone in our community come out and support the children and adults who have worked so hard to bring this show to life!
— Bekah Wilson
Area schools were invited to four special matinee performances and will be filling the theater with their laughter. We weren’t able to fit all of the students from all of the schools into the theater, though, (and those who get to see it with their classmates will want to come back and share it with Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and their siblings!), so make sure not to miss your chance to once again delight in this story of friendship: get your tickets while seats still remain!
Charlotte’s Web LIVE at the Lyric Theater May 5, 6, 12, 13 at 2:00 PM. Join us at The Lyric for this heartwarming tale of friendship. Tickets for Charlotte’s Web are available by clicking any “Get Tickets” link on this site or by calling (870) 391-3504. Advance Tickets are $8 children, $10 seniors, $12 adults. Ticket prices at the door will be $11 children, $13 seniors, $15 adults.

OAC Ticketing Link

Lawless & Mae — Friday, April 6, 2018 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Classic Country Duets that Rock the Lyric
JMA Fan Favorite Winners Lawless & Mae!
Friday, April 6 at 7:00PM

“We really enjoyed your singing. You both sound so good together and it’s obvious you enjoy what you do.”

–  Don Blankenship “Coffee Talk” on Macon County’s Country 102.1

Lawless & Mae, a classic country and rock n’ roll duo will perform at the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater on Friday, April 6, 2018, at 7:000PM. Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15. Don’t miss their superb quality and high energy entertainment, for lovers of country, bluegrass, and even rock n’ roll!

Jack Lawless and Rebecca Mae instantly capture their audience with their fabulous tonal quality, impressive stage presence, dynamic energy, style, and personable interactive charm.

This incredible duo, which won the Josie Music Awards prestigious 2017 “Fans’ Choice” award, provides top shelf, world-class entertainment that wows crowds of all ages with a wide variety of tunes that span the decades. They are well known for performing many of the great duets of Country Legends like George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash & June Carter, Waylon Jennings & Jessi Coulter, along with favorites from great Country Legend soloists like Patsy Cline, Lynn Anderson, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Dolly Parton, and others.

Their show doesn’t stop there, though! Beside their Classic Country sounds, they perform Bluegrass, New Country, and traditional Rock’n’Roll, including great original material.

Jack Lawless has traveled the U.S. and Canada performing at casinos, on cruise ships, festivals and fairs. He has opened for many of the greats, like Kenny Rogers, Exile, The Gatlin Brothers, Lynn Anderson, Ronnie Milsap, Little Eva, Jerry Reed, Sawyer Brown, and many more. On May 27, 2012 at “Thunder On The Rock” in Monte Eagle, TN Confederate Railroad invited Jack up on stage to play guitar and Jack has since gone on to perform as a guest at several of their concerts. Jack not only sings great country but also performs songs from the 50’s and 60’s along with many popular rock n roll and R&B hits.

 

Do yourself a favor and go see Lawless & Mae…and listen to some real, traditional, Country and Gospel music!
– Douglass Chapel UMC

Rebecca Mae is an award-winning vocalist and entertainer who has traveled the North America performing as a featured soloist at casinos, fairs, and festivals, including featured-artist performances at the Country Tonite Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN, Silver Dollar City, the American Lawn Mower Racing Association festivals, and just about anywhere that fans of country music will gather to have a good time…like at our own “Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” the historic Lyric Theater!

Lawless & Mae, Friday, April 6, 2018, at 7:000PMTickets are available in advance for $10 through our ticketing site or by calling (870) 391-3504 (please leave your name, number, and the number of tickets you need on our voicemail and we will call you back); at the door, tickets will be $15.

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Nunsense — Saturdays, March 10 & 17 @ 7:00 & Sundays, March 11 & 18 @ 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

 

It’s Funny…but…#itshabitforming!
It’s Nunsense!

Saturdays, March 10 & 17 at 7:00PM
Sundays, March 11 & 18 at 2:00PM

A hail of fun and frolic—Nunsense, like the holy mother church, is a bona fide institution.
 – The New York Times

Nunsense begins when the Little Sisters of Hoboken discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, has accidentally poisoned 52 of the sisters, and they are in dire need of funds for the burials. The sisters decide that the best way to raise the money is to put on a variety show, so they take over the school auditorium, which is currently set up for the eighth grade production of Grease. Here we meet Reverend Mother Mary Regina (Jeanie Hunt), a former circus performer; Sister Mary Hubert (Lisa Johnson), the Mistress of Novices; a streetwise nun from Brooklyn named Sister Robert Anne (Ann Lemley); Sister Mary Leo (Serena Bolonsky), a novice who is a wannabe ballerina; and the delightfully wacky Sister Mary Amnesia (Karen McKaig), the nun who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head.

Want to get a little taste in advance? Check out the Nunsense YouTube Channel!

Want a little local taste in advance? Besides watching this site for upcoming cast photos, etc., be sure to watch Hometown TV’s 726 and The Weekly Daily Show with Jim and Alicia for upcoming interviews!

Featuring star turns, tap and ballet dancing, an audience quiz, and comic surprises, this show has become an international phenomenon. Join us at The Lyric to see these singing, dancing, trapeze-ing nuns! Tickets available by clicking any “Get Tickets” link on this site or by calling (870) 391-3504. Advance Tickets are $12 Adults, $10 Seniors/Students; tickets purchased at the door are $15 Adults, $14 Seniors/Students.

OAC Ticketing Link

Ordinary Elephant — Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Extraordinary Nomadic Roots/Folk
with Ordinary Elephant
Thursday, February 8 at 7:00PM

Photo by Richard Herron Studios, http://herronstudios.smugmug.com

“Their harmonies, singing, the whole presentation…as genuine as it gets”

–  Lloyd Maines

Ordinary Elephant will perform at the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater on February 8 at 7:00PM, with special guest opener Kerri and Stefan Szabo (National Park Radio). Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15. 

Brought to the Lyric Theater by the Crooked Creek Concert Association, Ordinary Elephant captivates listeners with their well-honed combination of insightful writing, effortless harmonies and intertwined clawhammer banjo and guitar. Husband and wife duo Crystal and Pete Damore have been performing together since 2011, but their 2017 sophomore release ‘Before I Go’ established them nationally and internationally. Quickly receiving the support of the folk community, the album reached No. 2 on the Folk DJ Chart for January of this year with their opening track ‘Best of You,’ not only setting the tone of the record, but capturing the No. 3 Song of the Month slot, and also secured them slots as a 2017 Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Finalist and Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist. Crystal and Pete have lived the song’s message—being moved to create, perform, and put everything into what they do.

‘Before I Go’ is also exciting European ears. Upon his review of the album, Dani Heyvaert of Rootstime.be said “I remember when Gillian Welch and David Rawlings were here for the first time…I suspect that this couple is going to play in the same league in the foreseeable future.”

These were particularly welcome words given that it was Gillian’s playing that led to Ordinary Elephant’s particular configuration. From an early age Pete has been a guitarist, but once Welch’s “Hard Times” came across his car stereo speakers, the banjo beckoned. The realization of how well the clawhammer style he was unearthing complemented Crystal’s lyrically rooted singer-songwriter approach was a happy accident at the kitchen table one night, which led to many more nights of collaboration.

…their voices were made to go together and we’d all feel deprived if for some reason they chose not to sing together.
– Bill Aspinwall, Texas Music Journal

This collaboration of husband and wife, their connection, and their influences (such as Guy Clark, Darrell Scott, Anais Mitchell, Mary Gauthier, Cahalen Morrison and Eli West) all meet on stage. You see it, hear it, and then you find

Photo by Kerry Scherck Photography, http://www.kerrysherckphotography.com/

yourself truly feeling it. Pete’s understated, melodic and mellow banjo weaves through Crystal’s steady and clean rhythm guitar, and poetic lyrics are purposefully delivered in rich harmony, “like their voices were made to go together and we’d all feel deprived if for some reason they chose not to sing together.” (Bill Aspinwall, Texas Music Journal)

After growing up a state apart, Crystal in Louisiana and Pete in Texas, the two found each other at a weekly songwriter night in Bryan, Texas in late 2009. After a couple of years of co-writing and developing their sound, Ordinary Elephant brought their music to Houston with a move in late 2011. They recorded their 2013 debut album ‘Dusty Words & Cardboard Boxes’ there, which garnered a nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2014 Texas Music Awards. Today, they happily call the road home after shedding most of their possessions in 2014 to take on nomadic life. Living full-time in a van and travel trailer with their dogs, they are exploring the country, creating, and uncovering attentive audiences with which to share the conversation of their music.

I’m impressed by many things, but mostly by the songwriting style…[the lyrics are] very economical and stripped down, but seem to effortlessly evoke the kind of poignancy and emotion someone expects of artists with more salt on their shoulders.

– Chuck Hawthorne

Ordinary Elephant will perform at the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater on February 8 at 7:00PM, with special guest opener Kerri and Stefan Szabo (National Park Radio). Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15. 

Listening to Ordinary Elephant live was a real treat. Tight harmonies, solid songwriting, and an overall musical experience comparable to the best of T Bone Burnett
– Ray Younkin

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Ray Bonneville — Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

“North Americana” — Quebec to Boston to NOLA to Harrison, Arkansas…
Ray Bonneville Returns to the Lyric!
Tuesday, February 13 at 7PM 

Photo by Rodney Burseil Photography, https://rodneybursielphotography.com/

“Ray Bonneville is THE one songwriter you need if you love to get lost in words. Words that create pictures like the best movies you’ve never seen. Stark. Honest. Stripped to the bone.”   –  John Hahn

The poetry, the raw honesty of heart and voice and instrument that is Ray Bonneville, is headed back to The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater, on Tuesday, February 13 at 7:00PM Tickets are now available.

Red House recording artist Ray Bonneville is a blues poet of the demimonde whose acclaimed performance groove is the product of a unique, electric guitar style, unrivaled harmonica tone, smoky vocal and unwavering foot percussion. A native French Canadian, Ray is a celebrated songwriter and lives in Austin, Texas. He plays more than 150 shows a year in the US, Canada, and Europe. His performances are riveting and deep, yet full of humor and joy.

Ray has created and mastered a fusion of traditional American Roots and Blues music all his own and deeply influenced by his upbringing in French Canada and the years he spent writing and playing music in New Orleans. He is known as the master of the slow burn, the groove, and is one of the best harmonica players alive today.

Honing his songwriting craft for the last 35 years, “Bonneville’s raw, tell-it-like-it-is storytelling style has won him critical acclaim” (Jim Blum, “Ray Bonneville: True-to-Life Troubadour” NPR Music – Favorite Sessions, May 28, 2008). He has “shared the stage with blues heavyweights B.B. King, Muddy Waters, J.J. Cale, and Robert Cray, and has been nominated for three Juno awards (Canada’s version of the Grammys), winning the 2000 Best Blues Album for his third album Gust of Wind (1999). His fourth release Rough Luck was also nominated, as was his 2004 Red House debut Roll It Down. Since then, his star has been on the rise, with his award-winning release Goin’ By Feel, his folk-charting cover of Bob Dylan’s song “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” (featured on A Nod to Bob 2: An Artists Tribute to Bob Dylan on His 70th Birthday).

In 2009, Ray won the Folk Alliance International Song of the Year award for I Am the Big Easy, featuring post-Katrina New Orleans, and in 2012, he won the International Blues Challenge solo category in Memphis. Having released Easy Gone in 2014, Ray announced this past Summer that he would be releasing a new album in the near future, so he brings to the Lyric’s stage both his previous treasury of great songwriting and what is currently inspiring him to write and perform, so we are in for a great show in Harrison!

Ray is a hard driving, blues dipped, song and groove man who writes about people who live on the fringe of society with a vibe that is loose and soulful. With a greasy guitar style, horn-like harmonica, smoky vocals and pulsing foot percussion he rivets audiences. As John Hahn has said,

Ray Bonneville is the master of rainy nights, of black and white footage of bar lights going out as a man turns up his collar and heads home alone. He captures the outsider inside all of us.


Ray’s last appearance at the Lyric was in 2010, so it’s been a long, long wait for us, but the Ozark Arts Council is pleased and proud to present the hard-driving honesty of Ray Bonneville in a special Tuesday night performance at 7:00 on February 13. Tickets are now available.

“Ray Bonneville is like gunpowder and opium.”
–  Ray Wylie Hubbard

 

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An Evening with Albert Cummings — Friday, March 23, 2018 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Gritty Blues from and for the Working Man Albert Cummings Returns to the Lyric!
Friday, March 23 at 7PM 

The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin’ band, and that’s exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does[…]. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places.” – Guitar Edge Magazine

Blues-rock guitar in all its glory is headed back to the historic Lyric Theater, as Harrison, Arkansas enjoys “An Evening with Albert Cummings” on Friday, September 23 at 7:00 PM, for which tickets are now available.

Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. He has played with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, and Buddy Guy.  Taken with Albert’s fire and passion bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton, of the band Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section, volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart.

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 9/23/16 @ 7pm

From these blues greats to Merle Haggard to Led Zeppelin, Albert’s influences coalesce in lyrics that display a country/working man’s sensibility and the guitar virtuosity that rock fans love—a style that covers the best of hard-driving blues, slides comfortably over to intricate ballads, and comes charging right back again “with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness…his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

The Massachusetts native learned the requisite three chords on the guitar from his father, but then switched to playing banjo at age 12 and became a fan of bluegrass music. In his late teens he encountered the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan and was floored by the virtuosity. While in college in 1987 he saw Vaughan perform and he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. Soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee. In 1998 he walked into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, which led to Cummings’ winning the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s 1999 International Blues Challenge. The following year Albert released his debut recording, The Long Way. Bluesprint magazine said it was “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix.”

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, September 23, 2016, 7pm

That in turn opened up an opportunity for him to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray’s passing. No less a giant of the blues than B.B. King dubbed Cummings “a great guitarist.”

Cummings’ soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the album rocks hard from start to finish. The all-original release showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, leading Guitar One to exclaim, “He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

 “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix. – Bluesprint Magazine

Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert’s music to a much larger audience.

His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, betrays a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting. From the punchy, stomping cover of Merle Haggard’s blue collar standard “Working Man Blues” to the deeply emotive ballad “Last Dance” that closes the disc, Albert’s songs are always concise and direct, driven by his uniquely muscular yet polished guitar wizardry. Billboard said, “This recording is the calling card of a blues star who has arrived. Cummings’ guitar work is sizzling. This is one of the top blues albums of 2006.”

In 2008 Albert recorded his first live album, Feel So Good, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the historic Colonial Theatre, a 95-year-old “little jewel box” – that’s what James Taylor calls it – that’s hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way that’s rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, “It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night.”

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 9/23/16 @ 7pm

Albert and his band responded with a blistering set of great originals and killer covers of Zeppelin, Little Feat and Muddy Waters tunes. With producer Jim Gaines again at the controls and Albert’s incredible display of guitar virtuosity and deep emotion, this is one live performance that is bound to become a blues rock classic.

Guitar Edge magazine said, “The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin’ band, and that’s exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does on his new Feel So Good. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places.”

Music Connection called it “one of the best live albums recorded in a long time” and Blurt added, “Cummings’ first live album provides the perfect showcase for the fiery guitarist’s axe-handling skills and enormous onstage charisma.”

In 2011 Albert released an instructional DVD for the Hal Leonard Corporation entitled Working Man Blues Guitar. Cummings’ next CD, No Regrets, was self-released in 2012. It was a return to his true musical roots for the six-string virtuoso, poignantly capturing the core of his influences, displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.

“An Evening with Albert Cummings” is scheduled at the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square for Friday, March 23 at 7:00PM Tickets are now available.

 

tickets

Northark Drama Presents: All in the Timing — Thur–Sat Nov. 16–18 @ 7:00 & Sunday, Nov. 19 @ 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

 

Award-winning One Acts:
All in the Timing
Thursday–Saturday, Nov. 16–18 at 7:00PM
Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2:00PM

All in the Timing, a Northark Drama production, will be performed at Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater Thursday through Saturday, November 16–18, at 7:00pm and Sunday, November 19, at 2:00pm. Advance tickets: $4 general public, $2 Northark students (with Northark ID); at-the-door tickets: $5 general public, $3 Northark students. Advance tickets available at TheLyric.org or by calling (870) 391-3504.

This fall, live at the historic Lyric Theater on the downtown Harrison, Arkansas squareNorthark Drama brings to life a series of curious events that defy dimensions and transcend time. The award-winning All in the Timing, written by David Ives, is a collection of five one-act plays that detail happenings in apparently dissimilar worlds that are, upon deeper inspection, more alike than not.

Beginning this journey is the story of Bill (Jesse Janus), who sets his sights on an attractive young woman named Betty (Shelby Stracner). Bill tries flirting with Betty, but she only has eyes for…William Faulkner. When Bill begins to fail horribly in his attempted wooing, he is granted merciful aid by Mysterious Fate (Brianna Marcil) and her Magic Bell, which rings every time Bill sticks his foot in his mouth.

The setting fades (and the times change!) to a laboratory where an eccentric scientist has captured three chimps, intending the trio to “write into infinity,” if need be, until they create of their own accord the famous and much beloved Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet. This apparently eternal sentence brings the chimps to question their existence…and why they’re named Kafka (Callie Johnson), Milton (Raelyn Selvidge), and Swift (Stacy Fisher). Kafka is more than thrilled to attempt this feat, while Swift rocks the boat, and Milton tries to protect the scientist.

We are then swept into a darkened room where a young woman named Dawn (Jacklyn Walker) appears, quiet, nervous, and stuttering. She’s greeted by a mysterious man named Don (Carrie Armstrong), who speaks a language all his own. As Don begins to teach Dawn his tongue in hopes of ridding her of her stuttering impediment, Dawn begins to realize that there is much more to communication than words.

The scene changes to a dimly lit diner where, under the greyness of a world with no concept of time, a sleazy man named Al (Landon Helsel) tries to order more than food from a waitress (Ariel Uildriks) who has more than once seen players like him. He is interrupted by his friend Mark (Jacob Kolb) who begins to explain the odd occurrences that have been happening to him all day.

In the final display of a universe gone wild, the tale of a famous historical figure is on display. Trotsky (Matthew Joyner) is busy, feverishly writing at his table when his wife, Mrs. Trotsky (Kaleigh Billings), tells of him a very unfortunate event: that he died the previous day. 

Says Director and Northark Drama Instructor, Michael Mahoney:

“I’m certainly enjoying working with this young cast. Out of all of them, only one has been in a small play, and all the rest are making their stage debut. These students are doing excellent work with David Ives’s material. These are very challenging scripts because of the way they are written, and the language is extremely hard, but their concentration, hard work, and dedication is sure to make this a fun evening at the theater!”

Come and spend your time with this wonderful cast as they spend their time(s) with us!

Please Note: This production contains adult themes and content;
parental guidance recommended.

OAC Ticketing Link

Cult Classic Alert: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on the Big Screen…and Prop Bags Available! — Friday, October 27, 2017 at 9pm!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Friday, October 27 at 9:00PM 

Let’s do the Time Warp again!

Some people like “prop comics” and some people don’t…but everybody loves a whole theater full of happy people adding to a movie’s hilarity because they all have the right props!

On October 27th at 9:00 pm, join your fellow Time Warp enthusiasts for The Rocky Horror Picture Show! In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet, stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a scientist. Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker and a creepy butler. Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.”

If you have yet to see this cult classic, now is the time! Costumes and props are encouraged! Don’t have a clue? You’re just a click away from the official guide for first time attendees! And if you don’t know what to bring (or don’t have the time to gather the materials), don’t worry: Prop Bags will be available for $5 to the first 100 people through the door OR by reservation onlineNO water or fire (or hotdogs or prunes!) permitted in our historic building. Advance tickets are $10 online or by calling (870) 391-3504, and tickets at the door are $15.

OAC Ticketing Link