Laugh…at the Lyric! Featuring Comedian Sam Adams! — Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 7:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Comedian (and Hall of Fame Sportswriter) Sam Adams Invites you to
Laugh at the Lyric!
Thursday, November 19 at 7:00PM

Join us on November 19 at 7:00pm, for a great time with Sam Adams! Sam is an acclaimed sports journalist, who is able to be both funny and serious in a way that draws you in, making him in great demand as a motivational speaker, as well. Unlike some entertainers who are inclined to ‘coast’, Sam is both fearless and a student of places to which he travels to entertain—even becoming a dedicated fan of Harrison Golden Goblin Football before his first trip to the Lyric! Now, he has heard of how this year’s pandemic has harmed our theater and is coming to provide us all with some time to laugh and to raise some funding to keep the Lyric alive.

That’s the kind of guy Sam is: his humor comes from caring and his performances are hilarious precisely because of his deftly touching on things that everyone can relate to, in a way that doesn’t just entertain, but helps you see ‘the funny’ in things, so that the show goes on long after he has left the stage and you have left the theater. That’s why his comedy has resonated so well at the Lyric, where we are not typically bombarded with entertainers to distract us from life, but enjoy concerts, plays, and the like that involve a lifestyle and help us get more out of life. That is to say, the comedy of Sam Adams ‘fits’ an organization that has as its goal the enriching of lives through making the Arts available to all—his comedy shows him to be what his listing with the Denver Speakers’ Bureau says: a true Renaissance Man.

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About Sam Adams

On the pages and the stages, Sam Adams always tells a story. They are shared often when he performs an energetic, hilarious brand of comedy that is 100-percent profanity-free.

Sam is the only dual prize winner in the history of the Great American Comedy Festival. It happened in 2009, just four months after his newspaper employer of 13 years abruptly went out of business. Sam won the festival’s amateur competition, and when asked to compete with the professionals, he placed second — giving him an impetus to pursue a professional career in stand-up comedy at age 49.

During the summer of 2018, the “True Color” video clip from Sam’s Dry Bar Comedy special (titled ‘Incoherently True’) went viral, with more than 10 million Facebook views in less than 72 hours. Since then, the “True Color” video clip has amassed more than 32 million Facebook views, and the overall social media views from all of Sam’s Dry Bar Comedy clips for one year have surpassed 41 million.

Sam has received a befitting label of ‘Renaissance Man.’ Prior to his established career in entertainment, Sam spent three decades as an award-winning newspaper sports journalist. In October 2019 he was honored by the prestigious Denver Press Club with induction to its Hall of Fame. Sam is the first African-American sports journalist to be inducted, and only the fifth African-American journalist inducted in the club’s 153-year history.

Sam's Book Cover
Sam’s book is a great read that moves from ‘sports’ to ‘more’.

In 2003 Sam’s media peers elected him Colorado’s Print Journalist of the Year. His experiences as a sports journalist for major daily newspapers in the U.S. began with the Denver Post in 1986, included a stint with the Charlotte Observer (1995-96) and finished with 13 years at the Rocky Mountain News. His coverage for many of the world’s most popular sporting events (from Super Bowls to Olympiads) helped Sam gain perspective for his book titled, If You Don’t Believe Me: Lessons Learned from Listening To The Greats (released in April 2013.) In the book, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway offers the following tribute to Sam…“Through the ups and downs of an NFL career, I developed great trust, respect, and appreciation for him. Blending an uncanny ability to mix humor with keen insight and knowledge, Sam is a one-of-a-kind storyteller.”

Sam’s motivational keynote presentation is titled ‘Going Up: Taking Steps To Elevate Your Levels Of Success.’ The keynote offers riveting stories and intriguing references from his personal and professional odysseys. The audience will gain insightful and humorous tips for success gleaned from Sam’s numerous encounters with an A-List of stars — from professional sports Hall of Famers to world-renown, award-winning entertainers.

Comedian. Storyteller. Journalist. Speaker. Commercial actor.

Count on Sam Adams to live up to the professional quality of entertainment he promises to give audiences of all ages.

There were two stars on the night…….Host Sam Adams….not the beer guy…..who was hysterical in a PG way that reminded us of Bill Cosby. They should have let him do the whole two hours. The other big winner was the funnel cake fries which were sweet and delicious and served in a big basket. Sam Adams, in my opinion, is a spectacular talent waiting to be discovered on a national stage. If you see him on the list of performers, you should go. — Review of Comedy Works of Denver

Sam has appeared with the likes of Daniel Tosh, Mike Epps, Jake Johannsen, Wendy Liebman, Greg Warren, and Frank Caliendo, as well as opening for musicians and bands like The Guess Who, Three Dog Night, Al Jarreau, Air Supply, Al Stewart, and Starship. A world-class entertainer—and a classy guy in general—the Ozark Arts Council is thankful for the sponsorship of Arvest Bank (and the Arvest Foundation) that allows us to bring Sam Adams back to the Lyric stage to fight the financial and emotional damage caused by nearly a year of Covid-19 and the attempts to prevent its spread!

Comedian Sam Adams #LiveAtTheLyric Saturday, November 19, 2020 at 7:00. Tickets are available on our ticketing page, by visiting the OAC office at 115 W. Rush Ave. (just to the left of the Lyric doors) or by calling (870) 391-3504; $15 in advance, $18 at the door.

OAC Ticketing Link

Got Albert Cummings? You’d Better “Believe” It! — RE-RESCHEDULED to April/May 2021 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

NEW Blues from and for the Working Man: Albert Cummings Returns to the Lyric—Believe!
Re-Rescheduled to April/May 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

Hard-edged and mellow-without-being-prissy, Blues-rock guitar with lyrical mastery is headed back,  in all its glory, to the historic Lyric Theater, as Harrison, Arkansas enjoys “An Evening with Albert Cummings” on Sunday, September 20 at 7:00 PM, for which tickets are now available.

Entertaining audiences from his phenomenal guitar work to his incredibly impassioned lyrics and overall songwriting prowess – one thing has certainly become clear about Albert Cummings’s music: he is far more than simply just the guitarist or the bluesman he’s often painted as by fans and the media alike. He offers the complete package.

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 3/22/20 @ 7pm

Though undoubtedly a masterful guitar player who burst onto the blues-rock scene in the early 2000s and almost immediately began gaining praise in that realm, his latest live release “Live at the ‘62 Center” and his new studio album, “Believe,” further portray not only his versatility as singer/songwriter and live performer but as an artist first and foremost.

While generally performing live as a trio, the true spontaneity and creative spirit of these albums show Albert’s mastery of the whole art form, as he put together a newly formed version of his usual trio that afternoon of the October 2016 recording, along with keyboards and backing vocals that hint at just how massive Albert’s talent for composition and improvisation really is. With longtime friend and Grammy Winner Jim Gaines behind the soundboard, what comes through in both sight and sound is an incredible journey into the live performance world and true artistry of one of today’s most seasoned musicians.

“His muscular guitar work is simply outstanding. He’s a great blues singer as well, with passion for the tunes inherent in his full-throttle approach.”

– Rock and Blues Muse on Live at the ‘62 Center

Like many greats before him who’ve been painted into a corner as merely great blues players, or guitar players, or singers, Cummings seeks to rise above these labels and be praised for the devotion to his overall craft as a true musician. In artist terms, he’s sought to be known for ‘the overall pallet of his music’, rather than one specific color. From greats like Eric Clapton to the more recent stylings of John Mayer, his artistic integrity has allowed him to focus on the big picture, writing songs from the heart rather than catering to his specifics strengths as a singer, guitarist, or bandleader (all of which he does impeccably, however!).

His musical journey began when young Albert first picked up a guitar – learning the requisite three chords from his father, but later switched over to banjo at the age of 12 after becoming a bluegrass fan. After hearing the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, he was impressed by the sheer virtuosity of the artist, and following his first chance to see him live while in college in Boston he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

“He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

– Guitar One

The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. As he continued to grow in his newfound passion, he landed on the Northeast blues circuit with his first band Swamp Yankee. Then, in 1998, after walking into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, Cummings won the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge the following year. By 2000, his debut single “The Long Way” was released to rave reviews, and began opening new doors for the artist. 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, March 22, 2020, 7pm

His first big opportunity came in the form of a chance 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. Having begun his musical journey in part due to Vaughan’s inspiration, it seemed Cummings’ passion had brought him full-circle.

Cummings’ soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock then caught the attention of Blind Pig Records (Muddy Waters, Jimmy Vivino, Elvin Bishop), 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 all-original release showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, fully showcasing his well-rounded talents.

 “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, furthered a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting, leading Billboard Magazine to exclaim “This recording is the calling card of a star who has arrived”

2008 saw Albert’s first live album “Feel So Good,” recorded at the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts which has 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.” Music Connection also called it “one of the best live albums recorded in a long time.”

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 3/22/20 @ 7pm

As he continued to grow, playing with the likes of legends from B.B. King (who called dubbed him “a great guitarist”), Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, and many more – Cummings built on not only his all-around songwriting and musicianship but his guitar playing skill as well. Using his knowledge to give back to fellow guitarists wanting to advance in their craft, he released the instructional DVD “Working Man Blues Guitar” in 2011. His next album, 2012’s self-released “No Regrets” followed as a return to his true musical roots, poignantly capturing the core of his influences and 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.

Now, as he continues writing and performing, relentlessly devoting effort to his craft, Cummings is ready to continue on his ever expansive musical journey. “An Evening with Albert Cummings” in support of his new album, “Believe,” is scheduled at the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square for Sunday, September 20 at 7:00PM Tickets are now available.

tickets