135 Years of Bluegrass Excellence on One Stage! The New Kentucky Colonels!
Saturday, March 2 at 7:00PM
The New Kentucky Colonels are a premier bluegrass group with over 135 years of musical talent. They tour nationally across the US each year and have played internationally, as well. Leader Eric Lewis has been in love with country and bluegrass music ever since he heard the Grand Ole Opry in 1950 as a 7-year old. He began to play at music parties in the early 1960’s at people’s homes, and later in contests. In 1979 he joined the Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Association and formed his group, Southern Grass (later called, Southern Missouri Bluegrass) in 1981. In 2006, Mr. Lewis was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel and the group began booking as New Kentucky Colonels, They perform bluegrass, country, old time, gospel and the best in family comedy.
Over the past 38 years, a number of people have been part of the group and Eric has performed with many of the names in the business, has won several awards, has written and recorded several CD projects, and had his own live television show for several years in Arkansas and Missouri. Eric is an honorary member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, founded the George D. Hay Society at West Plains, MO (a historical society to preserve the Ozarks’ history and heritage). With his connection to the Grand Ole Opry, in 2005 he presented a lifetime achievement award to Louise and Earl Scruggs at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Current members of the band include Gary Shipley, Dennis Reese, and Corky Dow.
Gary Shipley, was born and raised in Granby, MO. He began playing and singing at an early age and plays multiple instruments—guitar, banjo, and dobro. Gary sings lead and harmony with the group, having re-joined the New Kentucky Colonels in 2016.
Dennis Reese was born and raised in Mammoth Spring, Ark and began playing the bass at an early age. He has played with several different people in his many years of music and is an accomplished musician and a great asset to the group, Dennis now resides in Alton, MO and has played for the group for two years.
Corky Dow was raised in Alaska and has played most of his life. He previously performed with the group, The Fabulous Back Roads Drifters. Corky plays mandolin, writes songs, and sings lead and harmony, having joined New Kentucky Colonels in 2016.
Saturday, March 2 is the date and tickets are $15 in advance ($12 for seniors), whether online or at the OAC Office (115 W. Rush, just to the left of the theater; hours 8–2, M-W-F; phone 870-391-3504) and $20 ($15 for seniors) at the door.
Chemistry + Talent + Energy = Husband & Wife Americana Duo Building Community Through Excellence as Crooked Creek presents Smokey & The Mirror!
Saturday, October 6 at 7:00PM
“Bryan and Bernice Hembree (Smokey & The Mirror) are making some of the best folk music today. The songs remind me of a time when Guy Clark was unknown and Ray Wylie Hubbard was still a folkie. Smart, cool and never pretentious.”
Smokey & The Mirror is husband/wife duo Bryan and Bernice Hembree. Based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Smokey & The Mirror has toured nationally and internationally over the past decade. The band has supported tours for Old Crow Medicine Show, The Wood Brothers, I’m With Her, Elephant Revival, John Fullbright, and many of their musical heroes. They tour most often as a duo, but also play many shows as a four-piece band. Whatever the configuration, the interplay of their two unique voices coupled with engaging, accessible songs form the foundation of Smokey & The Mirror.
The Hembrees work tirelessly on many musical and creative pursuits. They are committed to others’ music as much as their own. They have found that the most satisfying path to longevity in music is to put others’ art in the spotlight or to inspire others’ to find their voice. They believe that the future of music is not winning the “me first” battle, but rather building community. To this end, they are founders and co-creators of the Fayetteville Roots Festival and also spent a year (2017) with Austin-based international songwriting collaborative, House of Songs, to pilot House of Songs Ozarks in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The thing I love most about this band and the evening with them is not only the powerfully beautiful voice of bass player, Bernice Hembree, or the well-written songs of Bryan Hembree, sung with his rustic, true American voice – it’s the energy they bring on stage and to the audience! You can tell when they are performing; they truly treasure what they do. They feed off each other to the point it’s sometimes hard to tell where the guitar stops and the bass starts!” –
Summer Lip Sync Showdown! in support of Ozark Rape Crisis Center
Saturday, June 2 at 7:00PM
Ozark Rape Crisis Center is hosting a Summer Lip Sync Showdown fundraiser on June 2nd at the historic Lyric Theater. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
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.
“Just your run of the mill, post-structuralist cowgirl Americana…” Crooked Creek presents Winona Wilde!
Thursday, May 17 at 7:00PM
“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.”
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
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.’”
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.”
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.
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!