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

 

tickets

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

#KeepTheLyricCool with The Hedley Lamar Band! — Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 7:30 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Classic Rock and Blues with
The Hedley Lamar Band!
Saturday, September 23 at 7:30PM 

Join us on September 23 at 7:30pm, for a party to kick off the OAC’s “90 for 90” campaign, featuring the Rock and Blues trio that is always in demand at festivals and clubs across the area, and that was chosen to open for guitar superhero Albert Cummings when he played the Lyric in 2016, The Hedley Lamar Band!

From the Allman Brothers to Zeppelin and ZZ Top, with possible stops at Clapton, Hendrix, Robin Trower, Skynyrd, and Stevie Ray Vaughn along the way, The Hedley Lamar Band hits that fusion of UK and Southern rock and blues that has been “the best of both worlds” from the ’60s to today. Billy Youngblood (primarily bass and vocals) and Tim Taylor (primarily guitar) often switch roles during their concerts, expanding their repertoire to keep the party going all the time. Joined by Jason Ruff or Will Youngblood on percussion, they remind us that it only takes a trio to fill the Lyric with music that keeps the heart pumping.

The Hedley Lamar is helping us raise money to repair extensive water damage in the Lyric. We already have a grant that will cover a lot of the water damage, but part of the water wasn’t the rain that tore up our walls before the wonderful folks at Harness Roofing donated a new roof a few years ago…it’s from malfunctioning air conditioning units in the Bailey Annex. (It would cost nearly as much to do a non-guaranteed temporary fix as to replace them.) By the time it was discovered, a large section of our ten-year-old building’s floor was already ruined. Before we fix the floor with the money we’ve been given for that purpose, we have to repair the AC…and that’s $8,500 that we need to raise as quickly as we can. (Actually, it would be a lot more than that, but Ken Allen of Conward’s remains a great supporter of the Arts and has worked out a great deal for us.)

This party also kicks off a new campaign for the OAC: 90 for 90. We want to increase our OAC membership by 90 members and raise $90,000 by the end of The Lyric’s 90th birthday in 2019. This money will go, first, toward restoration of parts of the theater that have been out of use for decades, beginning with the (original) balcony restrooms. From there, along with upkeep and programming needs, we want to increase both the beauty and the functionality of our already-wonderful venue.

All of the usual Lyric Theater concessions will be available, including beer and wine in our ‘speakeasy’, The Balcony, as well as guacamole and corn chips.

Get $1 off of your first Balcony drink by purchasing your ticket in advance by clicking this link or calling (870) 391-3504!

Two-Time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber Returns! — Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 7:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Two-Time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber Returns to The Lyric!
Saturday, September 22 at 7:00PM

Join us on September 22 at 7:00pm, for universally acknowledged master of the guitar, Laurence Juber!

Laurence JuberThis 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!

Seriously, How Good Is He?

Well, let’s put it this way…when C.F. Martin & Co. make a series of signature guitars named after you, you’re a bit beyond “pretty good.”

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

OAC Ticketing Link

Sunpie Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots — March 11, 7:00PM — #LiveAtTheLyric

Sunpie Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots
March 11, 7:00PM

New Orleans music icon Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots, his world-class 6-piece band, will be performing at 7:00, Saturday, March 11, at the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison square. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are now available for $15.

It is no exaggeration to say that Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes is one of the most talented and compelling artists we have ever welcomed to the Lyric stage. Having interned as a river guide right here on the Buffalo, he has been a National Park Ranger in Louisiana for most of his life, spent time as a professional football player with the Kansas City Chiefs, is a photographer, actor, and author, a former high school biology teacher…and his multi-instrumentalist skills, great band, and beautiful baritone vocals make blues/zydeco fusion music that has to be experienced to be understood—but
from the first chord, you’re hooked for life!

Sunpie recently completed a 58 city tour spanning 34 countries, playing in the bands of both Paul Simon and Sting in their “Paul Simon and Sting Together” tour. Along with his musical group, he has traveled worldwide playing festivals with his unique style of what he calls Afro-Louisiana music incorporating blues, zydeco, gospel, Caribbean and African influenced rhythms and melodies. He is a multi-instrumentalist, master accordion and harmonica player, and also plays piano, rubboard, talking drum, and dejembe. His sound is known as Bouje Bouje music meaning “music that moves” and is Louisiana music at its best. Sunpie has performed for over 20 years at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and shared the stage at festivals with artists from across the globe including Willie Nelson, BB King, Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, Willie Dixon and Phish. He has recorded 6 critically acclaimed CDs with his compositions currently featured in 16 Hollywood film productions.

When Sunpie plays in Harrison, it is always to a packed house!

With sponsorship by Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Café, the Ozark Arts Council is thrilled to invite you to the return of a Lyric Theater favorite, Sunpie Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots! Tickets are on sale now; head to our ticketing page or call (870) 391-3504 early to choose your favorite seats!

 

 

 

OAC Ticketing Link

New Year’s Eve EVE Party with the Downtown Livewires! – December 30, 2016 at 7:00

New Year’s Eve EVE Party
w/The Downtown Livewires!
December 30, 2016 – 7:00PM to Midnight
(Party Begins at 7:00, Live Music Begins at 8:00)

The Downtown Livewires, based in one of the fastest growing regions in the nation, Northwest Arkansas (Bentonville/Fayetteville), play high energy Electric Blues/Rock, Memphis blues, and legacy blues. Audiences of their shows love to dance and sing along, no matter the venue, whether it be clubs, festivals, private parties, concerts, or city events. Now, they’re coming to The Lyric to provide music for our five-hour-long New Year’s Eve EVE Party! Come at 7 to grab some drinks and food, find a seat with your friends, and be ready for the show to begin at 8!

Down home Memphis blues in Northwest Arkansas? You bet—Just call THE DOWNTOWN LIVEWIRES! I’ve mixed countless bands over the years and these guys lay it down right. Always a pleasure to work with, too!

~ Evan Chronister, SCB Audio Productions

The band’s first gig was on Halloween 2011. They have played at many venues since, including a two-night weekend gig at Club 152 on world famous Beale Street in Memphis, multiple Oklahoma casinos, special events including The Grape Festival as the “warm-up” band for Country Platinum recording artist Collin Raye, and for The Reverend Horton Heat concert in Downtown Bentonville, AR in Oct 2015.

Their first CD, “Cruisin’ for a Bluesin,”came out August 2nd, 2013 with a Release Party (with 2 hours of live music from the band) at George’s Majestic Lounge on Dickson St in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Their new CD “I’ll Do It Today, But Not Right Now” came out in January, 2016.

The Downtown Livewires are exactly that! LIVEWIRES! It’s like hiring a party in a box; They come with enthusiasm, talent, energy and always bring a happy crowd! The Downtown Livewires is a group of dedicated, knowledgeable, well- rehearsed and hardworking professional musicians who come to play their hearts out and raise the roof every time…

~ Andy Green, Director of Productions, Downtown Bentonville, Inc.

  • The leader of the band is Roger Thomas from Bentonville, Arkansas.  Roger was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee (South-Central, Oakhaven neighborhood) until he was 30 (with some time in Harrison, Arkansas, during high school), playing professionally there through his 20’s.  Roger is known for talking and picking out people in the audiences with whom to have on-stage conversations, sometimes jumping off the stage and playing, dancing and singing within the crowd. He also invites guests to sing songs on-stage, and maybe even play tambourine.
  • Bob “Super Harp” Coleman is out of New Haven, Connecticut, and is a world-class harmonica player who also sings some of the lead vocals. Bob has played with blues legends all over the country throughout his illustrious career.
  • Dan Doebele from Kansas City, Missouri is an absolute beast on lead electric guitar, is known by all other professional musicians to be one of the elite guitarists in the region, and plays slide with anything handy!
  • Kurt “Where’s Kurt?” Haas is on keyboards and vocals from Lone Star, Texas, and is known for his stellar new arrangements of old blues songs.
  • The rhythm section of Mark Vanderhoof on drums and Jan Sallings on bass is one of the most tenured blues rhythm sections in the country, and audience members often find themselves fixated on their musicianship and killer beats and fretboard runs.

The Downtown Livewires put on a show that is out of this world, absolutely engaging, full of fun and great party music, in which audiences keep calling them back for more!

I am never surprised when Roger Thomas and The Downtown Livewires Band brings the largest crowd of the summer to our City of Bentonville’s Orchard Concert Series. They bring their own crowd, and they have a great following. Over the last two years, they have proven to be professional, and one of the best sounds of any band we hire. We will continue to hire them for events in our city.

~ David Wright, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Bentonville

 

 

Need more recommendations? See Roger’s personal Facebook page where he not only has 4,200+ “Likes,” but segments them by town/city based on where the band plays for events. The Downtown Livewires have fans from all over—and a lot of them travel to every show within a few hours’ drive…so don’t sleep on this, thinking that you’ll always be able to get tickets! This will  be a sold out show!

Go ahead and “Like” and “Share” the band’s Facebook page, too; share the good times with your friends!

This is a great video of the band performing in the studio when they were recording their first single, “Just Say It Once”, released August 2nd, 2013:

 OAC Ticketing Link

Northern Ireland’s Blues and Soul Darling (and Belfast Arts Ambassador!) Kaz Hawkins – December 17 at 7:00

Kaz Hawkins in Concert
December 17, 7:00PM

Kaz Hawkins—winner of Blues and Soul Magazine’s 2014 “Rising Star” Award and Blues Matters Magazine’s “Best Studio Album of 2015” award, among many others—is taking a little trip 13537668_1716331345322124_5139429188037214098_naway from Ireland in December…because, where else would anyone be when they could be downtown on the Harrison, Arkansas square at our historic Lyric Theater!

Tickets are on sale now for the December 17 appearance of Kaz Hawkins. Kaz has been favorably compared to both Etta James and Janis Joplin; mixing through the kazkatgenres of music she finally found her niche in roots music bringing a fun,
inspiring and hopeful message with her debut album Get Ready self-released in August 2014…and, as indicated in the first paragraph, she’s been out conquering the world ever since!

For a little introduction to Kaz, check out the video below and read this article from the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts.

Called “A Vocal Force” on stage, Kaz Hawkins envelops the fighting spirit of a true powerhouse singer. Kaz is loved for her down to earth attitude, brings fun to every performance and is loved not only by her fans, but anyone who meets her.

OAC Ticketing Link