Summer Lip Sync Showdown II! in support of Ozark Rape Crisis Center Saturday, June 1 at 7:00PM Doors open at 6:00PM to view silent auction items and to grab refreshments and get to your seat!
Check out this video on how you can get involved & support victims of sexual violence in our community.
The Ozark Rape Crisis Center provides 24-Hour Crisis Intervention and Advocacy services for victims of sexual violence, as well as violence prevention education for the general public in Boone, Carroll, Johnson, Marion, Newton, Pope and Searcy Counties in Arkansas.
“Fun, Fun, Fun” is on Its Way: Sail On: The Beach Boys Tribute
Sunday, July 22 at 2:00PM
“Better than the actual Beach Boys!” “Our all time favorite program at the Club EVER!” “How soon can we have them back?” are just some of the comments our club members made after Sail On performed on our stage. Our 450 members of the audience enjoyed great harmonies and the musicianship that each member of the band brought to the show. Sail On delivered a fun, high energy show of classic songs that filled our evening with summery good vibrations.
– Director of a Private Club in Dallas
Sail On: The Beach Boys Tribute, the world’s fastest-growing tribute to the music of The Beach Boys, will be playing all your favorite hits such as Good Vibrations, Fun Fun Fun, Barbara Ann and more at Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater at a special matinee performance on Sunday, July 22.
Tickets are available in advance at a deeply discounted price, thanks to our wonderful sponsors! Sail On has consecutively sold-out multiple shows ranging from 300 to 700 seats and is sure to sell out very rapidly at the Lyric with these radically-discounted prices!
Sail On: The Beach Boys Tribute focuses on performing songs by America’s Band, The Beach Boys, to sheer perfection. Members of Sail On have performed with musicians from Brian Wilson’s band, The Zombies, Earth Wind and Fire, Cheap Trick, Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere and the Raiders), and produced recordings for Micky Dolenz.
Boone County Original Southern Confession
and Special Guest Harvey Stone!
Friday, July 20 at 7:00PM
Get ready for some killer Alternative Southern Rock with a Boone County Original: Southern Confession, comes home to Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater for a special performance with Branson’s favorite alternative rockers, Harvey Stone on Friday, July 20, 2018, at 7:000PM. Tickets are available in advance at a deeply discounted price, thanks to the desire of these great bands to give back to the communities that launched them!
Over the past five years, Southern Confession has played all over the mid-south region of the country and has become well known both for the breadth of styles that they cover (both with their own songs and those that have resonated with all of us for decades) and for the live show energy that draws you in and keeps you there throughout the evening.
With the closing of some live performance venues in the Harrison area and a need to keep performing, Southern Confession has had to schedule shows farther away from home lately (and for the rest of the year), but wants to take the opportunities it can to give back to the community that has so embraced them throughout their history. For that reason, they have not only scheduled themselves to play for the free “May Days on the Square” during Harrison’s Crawdad Days festival, but drummer Jody Marshall actually undertook the coordination of all of the live music on the Square for that weekend! Along with that, though, the band wants to give everyone a great time in the middle of summer, bringing you into the cool environs of the historic Lyric…and that with their good friends from Branson, Harvey Stone, and all at a highly-discounted price…or two…!
Yes, there are two prices for tickets purchased in advance: the already-amazingly-low $7.50, and the even-more-amazingly-low $5.00, which is offerred to anyone who wants to see both Southern Confession on July 20 and Sail On: The Beach Boys Tribute on July 22! The band doesn’t want anyone to be left out because feeding the kids and paying the mortgage need to come before seeing them, but they also realize that to keep the Lyric open we have to pay bills, too…so they and we have cut things to the point of just barely covering expenses, so that our whole community can come together to celebrate the summer together at the Lyric. Thanks to the sponsors for Sail On, that means that you can come to both concerts for less than we would typically have to charge for one—and far less than Sail On tickets alone are costing in most venues!
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!
Extraordinary Nomadic Roots/Folk
with Ordinary Elephant
Thursday, February 8 at 7:00PM
“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
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
“North Americana” — Quebec to Boston to NOLA to Harrison, Arkansas…
Ray Bonneville Returns to the Lyric!
Tuesday, February 13 at 7PM
“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
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.
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.”
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 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.
RFD TV Star David Church with Terri Lisa
Saturday, January 6 at 2:00PM
Steeped in the music of Hank Williams Jr., David Church brings classic country and his own roots music compositions to the Lyric stage.
From the iconic “Hank Williams” to his own “roots/retro” country music, David Church has made a huge impact on music enthusiasts all over the world. David & Terri Lisa have reignited a passion for traditional “RETRO” country music. They have made a connection that has crossed generations, from college students to great grandparents.
The “Star” of RFD-TV’s MIDWEST COUNTRY for over 10 years, David Church, along with his wife, Terri Lisa, has been lighting up TV sets throughout the US. Midwest Country is featured on prime time Saturday night. With Nielson ratings in the top 3 on the RFD-TV network, David Church is the “most requested and most popular” artist! They have captured the hearts of millions, from baby boomers to college students. With their dazzling rhinestone suits, this dynamic couple has thrilled audiences around the world. David Church is recognized for his authentic rendition of “Hank Williams,” and recognized by music historians, celebrities, and family members as the “#1 tribute to Hank.”
David Church carries the torch for traditional Country music! His voice and music touches the soul of millions around the globe! The true fans of traditional Country music need a standard-bearer to help keep this sound alive. Luckily, they don’t need to look any further than David Church.
The RFD-TV network has grown by leaps and bounds and is now broadcast to over 65 Million viewers throughout the US. Church has been featured as a regular on the popular show “Midwest Country.” It is easy to understand why he is RFD-TV’s “most requested” artist. Amazingly, without a major hit on mainstream radio, Church has millions of fans all over the world. Bruce Maier, the editor of a major music magazine, Damn Good Tunes called David, “a rare entertainment entity”. He went on to say “he creates a visual presentation that is absolutely dazzling to witness. He does something that 99% of all other artists cannot do and that is stand on their own with their own music.”
A strong advocate for American made products, David and Terri Lisa made the decision a few years ago to only sell American manufactured products on their merchandise table. In April, 2014, The Church’s joined forced with “American Made Matters®” organization as members and ambassadors. The mission is, “to educate consumers that buying US-made products strengthens the American dream,” and to bring awareness of American made products and manufacturers to consumers and strengthen the economy.
David Church can be mesmerizing when performing, as you close your eyes and go back years listening to Hank’s songs. His presentation is done with style, integrity of the music, and from the heart. David has some songs of his own that I believe are some of the very best country music has had in many a year. Catch his performances live and I’ll guarantee you’ll come away totally satisfied and waiting to tell your friends about it and ready for another show.
– Minnesota Times, Larry Rose 5/2013
David has been featured in numerous major country music magazines including, Country Weekly, Country Music Report, Nashville, Music Guide, Dreamwest, Damn Good Tunes, Furious, and many others.
Church attributes his success in the music business to the millions of “true country fans” that are tired of what they hear on the radio. “The success that I have had has come from the fans that so long for the traditional sound of country that they have heard in the past, but no longer find in mainstream country music. Those are the fans that have been forgotten. I also feel that a lot of RFD-TV’s success can be attributed to the country music shows that they have been airing, which go along with the country and farm lifestyle. We are proud to be a part of this family oriented TV network.”
David performs throughout the world along with his talented wife, Terri Lisa Church. Terri Lisa is also a recording artist/songwriter. She sings lead and backup vocals. Terri Lisa is a published journalist.
David Church is a rare entertainment entity. David performs the songs and creates a visual presentation that is absolutely dazzling to witness! And, if that were all that David could do in this music business, one would think that’s quite an accomplishment, but David stands on his own with his original music. And that, my friends, makes for a very powerful package! My Rising Star pick: David Church.”
– Bruce Maier, Editor, Damn Good Tunes Magazine, 3/12/11 www.damngoodtunes.com
RFD’s most requested artist, David Church and Terri Lisa will perform at downtown Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater on Saturday, January 6, at 2:00. Tickets available now at our ticketing page or by calling (870) 391-3504.
Americana Legend David Olney
Friday, December 1 at 7:00PM
Master craftsman, acclaimed singer/songwriter and globe-trotting performer David Olney has released more 30 solo albums over four decades, including six live recordings. His music has been prominently featured in ABC-TV’s Nashville
and his stellar songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury, Tim O’Brien, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Young, and Steve Earle, among many others. While you can (and should!) catch up with David on his weekly live, You Never Know streamcast—starring “Nashville’s Answer to the Bard” performing a song and sharing the story behind it—every Tuesday on DavidOlney.com and YouTube., you can catch him #LiveAtTheLyric, as he will be heading to “The Roots Palace of the Ozarks,” Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater on Friday, December 1, 2017, at 7:00, accompanied by while longtime bass player, Daniel Seymour.
“Olney is a talented musical enigma, and he is unquestionably a founding father of Americana music.”
Though a folksinger at heart, Olney incorporates wide-ranging inspirations from honky tonk to rock into his standard repertoire. Born in Rhode Island, David moved to Nashville during the early ’70s and became a major player in the city’s underground folk/country scene, recording a half-dozen albums before the end of the decade. His output during the ’80s slowed considerably, but in the ’90s he recorded with an impressive cast of roots-rock all-stars—Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Rodney Crowell, John Prine, and Brian Ahern, among others. Beside his own albums, his discography on AllMusic.com features 288 credits…so far!
“Though he’s best known as a masterful wordsmith, Olney has a knack for creating the ideal atmosphere for his gothic noir tune.”
– Acoustic Guitar Magazine
Olney remained prolific throughout the coming decade, delivering several studio albums and, with his increasing popularity as a touring artist in Europe, three different live albums, all recorded at various locations in Holland. As previously mentioned, he began hosting a weekly interactive streamcast video series (originally called Hear & Now, but now titled, You Never Know) on which he performs a handful of songs and shares the stories behind them, as well as offering his observations on other things and recitations of classic poetry. Between his weekly videos and busy touring schedule, Olney found the time to release a studio album, When the Deal Goes Down, in 2014 and released another this year, Don’t Try to Fight It, so you can expect to hear music from a wide repertoire, including whatever fresh project he might be working on during this tour!
The late Townes Van Zandt was the best songwriter in the whole wide world, Steve Earle said in an oft-cited quote, “and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.” Seventeen years after Van Zandt’s death, the Americana artists who followed in his wake still speak of him the way rockers invoke John Lennon or Jimi Hendrix — as a standard bearer who represents a pinnacle of credibility and craft.
Had he been the coffee-table orating type, however, whose name would Van Zandt have declared?
“Anytime anyone asks me who my favorite music writers are, I say Mozart, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Bob Dylan, and Dave Olney,” Van Zandt wrote. “Dave Olney is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard — and that’s true. I mean that from my heart.”
We’ll excerpt some of the rest of Mr. Anderson’s article here because, as producer and music writer Tommy Goldsmith is quoted in it, “He’s not a household name, but, my God, look at what he’s done over the years. It’s a really impressive body of work.” Thus, Anderson writes, “Olney is a talented musical enigma, and he is unquestionably a founding father of Americana music. And yet, perhaps reflective of his career as an invisible giant, Wikipedia doesn’t even list him among the 135 artists it associates with the genre.”
If David Olney were less of a leader and more of a follower, he might have had an easier path commercially. But as with Van Zandt, the varied and hard-to-summarize gifts that make Olney a marketer’s challenge make him a hero to other songwriters and musicians.
“When I met him, he was a rocker, but he was also this sensitive songwriter,” says Billy Block, longtime host of the radio show, webcast and TV series The Billy Block Show and a session drummer. “He’s got more soul than everybody I can imagine. He embodies what Americana is.”
Unquestionably a founding father of Americana music, David Olney will perform with bassist Daniel Seymour at downtown Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater, “The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” on Friday, December 1, at 7:00. Tickets available now at our ticketing page or by calling (870) 319-3504.
Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman:
Celtic Traditional, Baroque, Bluegrass, Swing
with Harp and Guitar
POSTPONED Due to Visa Problems Thursday, November 2 at 7:00PM
The celebrated virtuoso partnership of “the doyenne of Irish harpers” (Scotland on Sunday) and “one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” (fRoots) is coming to “The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater, Thursday, November 2, at 7:00! Their performances—described by The Irish Times as “music of fire and brilliance from the high-wire act in traditional music”—are rooted but eclectic, emotional but adventurous: a breathtaking blend of traditional Irish music, hot jazz, bluegrass and baroque, coupled with striking new compositions and Chris’s delightfully subversive wit.
The children of the neighborhood teased Máire Ní Chathasaigh and her sister as they walked down the street. Her family in Brandon, West Cork, Ireland was the only one playing traditional music, so they would be teased for being out of step with the times. “We used to be laughed at by other kids because they thought we were being old hat, she says. But that first Planxty album let people see that traditional music could be modern and sophisticated, that it wasn’t some sort of hick music.” (Quoted from “Harping in the Traditions,” by Rob Adams.)
Not only her name (pronounced, Moyruh Nee Kha-huuh-sig), but her upbringing was in keeping with the traditional ways of the Gaelic-speaking Irish, her family featuring generations of musicians and poets carrying forward the folklore of her heritage. She and her sister, fiddler Nollaig Casey (Casey being the Anglicised version of Chathasaigh), were trained in both classical and folk music, both instrumental and vocal. While many worked at bringing forward the old music in new forms for pipes and fiddle, Máire revitalized the harp tradition virtually all by herself. “Since then, there’ve been lots of young people playing traditional music on the harp but there wasn’t anybody else playing when I was coming up,” she says. “If you played the pipes there were loads of recordings and a whole tradition to learn from. But I had nobody, just my ears, and I created techniques and ornaments, ways of doing things, and it was all done by trial and error, by myself. So if I got a lot of attention, it was because I was the first to do it.” (Quotes from “Harping in the Traditions.”)
Having become the first harpist to record an album primarily off Irish dance music in 1985, Máire first teamed up with English guitarist Chris Newman two years later. Celebrating their thirtieth anniversary of collaboration with their current tour of the United States, Máire and Chris will bring their internationally-heralded mastery of styles from traditional Celtic to Baroque to Swing along with a penchant for inventive soloing and challenging interaction between the artists to Harrison’s Lyric Theater for a 7:00 performance on Thursday, November 2.
“When I met Chris, he liked, but didn’t know that much about, traditional music, so he spent a lot of time learning from me,” says Maire. “Then we started experimenting with things he was proficient in, like swing, which he played with Stephane Grappelli as a teenager. We’re completely open, if we hear something nice, we’ll just say, ‘let’s play that.’ It’s extremely enjoyable to experiment and see just what your instruments can do, and we never run out of things to play.” (Quotes from “Harping in the Traditions.”)
Máire won the Senior All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil Harp Competition three times in succession, in 1975, 1976 and 1977—a record that is still unsurpassed. More recently, she was Female Musician of the Year in the Live Ireland Music Awards 2016, where she was described in the citation as “the greatest Celtic harper of our age”. This recognition is not confined to Ireland, though, as she also was named Female Musician of the Year in the Chicago Irish American News Top TIR Awards 2016.
She is the best harp player in Irish music. There are several great Irish harpists—we think of Michelle Mulcahy, Catriona McDonald, Ailie Robertson, and Emer Mallon. There are more. They are all uber-fab. But, then there is Maire. Her new album is called Sibling Revelry. Really, there are no words. Just know this.
Máire has also won awards with Chris Newman, including “Album of the Year” (Live Ireland) and also the “Best Celtic Instrumental Album” (JUST PLAIN FOLKS AWARDS Nashville, Tennessee), 2009 for their album FireWire, as well as “Folk Album of the Year” (The Daily Telegraph) for their 1987 album The Living Wood.
Traditional Celtic music, along with Baroque, Bluegrass, and Swing will be performed by Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman at downtown Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater, Thursday, November 2, at 7:00. Tickets available now at our ticketing page or by calling (870) 319-3504.