3x UK Blues Guitarist of the Year, Matt Schofield — Friday, February 17, 2023 at 7:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Matt Schofield
Maybe the Best British Blues Guitarist Since Clapton, Page, and Beck!

Friday, February 17, 2023 at 7:00PM

Join us on February 17 at 7:00PM, for the music of the man whom the Los Angeles Daily News called “the best Blues guitarist from any country in decades… head and shoulders above the herd,” while Guitar & Bass Magazine rated him in the top ten British blues guitarists of all time ranking him with icons Eric Clapton and Peter Green: Matt SchofieldThough he holds a British passport and is an inductee of the British Blues Hall of Fame, Matt Schofield has been making his mark globally as one of the top players in the new class of six string wunderkinds. Born in the industrial city of Manchester and raised amongst the rolling hills and locked in time Cotswolds, Schofield began playing guitar at the age of 12. “My dad relocated to America, but before he left he gave me a BB King video. I watched it before school every day; it was three or four tracks from a concert. Later, when I was in California with my father, he showed me BB King with Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan on video. It was like, ‘I’ve got to do this.’ There’s something about the way the three of them were jamming. B.B. really was majestic. As an 11-or 12-year-old watching him, I was mesmerized but didn’t think there was any way I could ever do that. It was too special. But when I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan playing with him, I thought maybe I could. Stevie made it seem accessible to people. I taught myself, working my way through my Dad’s great blues record collection. I did my first gig age 13, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

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Tickets are available now for Eli Cook’s Saturday, October 22 performance at

Seats are $15 and $18 in advance or $20 at the door and may be purchased online, or by calling (870) 391-3504.

OAC Ticketing Link

Eli Cook — Richest Vocals Plus Guitar Riches Equals One Fantastic Saturday! — Saturday, October 22, 2022 — Class at 3:00, Concert at 7:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Eli Cook
Maybe the Best Vocals
in Today’s Blues…and the Guitar Work
is Top Notch, Too!

At the Lyric for a Class and a Concert

Saturday, October 22, 2022
Class at 3:00PM — Concert at 7:00PM

Join us on October 22 at 7:00pm, for the guitar mastery and rich baritone voice that brought the writers of Blues Matters magazine to rank him as a “top international solo artist” above Devon Allman and Elvin Bishop…before he had reached his 30th birthday: Eli Cook’s busy hands and feet (resonator and 12-string, plus tambourine and stompbox) are coming back to the Lyric this Fall!

Even Better: Join us earlier in the day, too: from 3:00PM to 5:00PM Eli Cook’s Acoustic Blues Guitar Workshop returns! Ages 13 and up with a moderate skill level and an interest in “Blues-based music” are welcome. You must bring an acoustic guitar (no electric instruments will be allowed this time). If you know basic chords and want to play the Blues or incorporate its influences into your playing, there will be something here for you; if you know more than that, there will be something here for you, too! BUT: Get your concert tickets first, so that you save $10 on this class! (More info below!)

AllMusic noted that Eli Cook “has what it takes to be the best blues singer of his generation.” Blues Matters! stated that Cook is “among the top 3 solo blues artists world-wide.” Arnie Goodman’s words in Elmore Magazine immediately make sense when you consider Eli’s main influences—John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Soundgarden, and Rage Against the Machine—

What Eli is doing is giving an authenticity to the blues, but giving it the energy a modern rock band would give it. That’s the key to it.

As Eli himself says, “Everything I do is always deeply rooted in classic blues—meaning the feeling of it and the music theory aspect of it. It’s especially rooted in what they call pre-war blues, the more acoustic, rootsy stuff.” Joe McSpadden, writing in the roots music quarterly No Depression sums it up this way:

On the seventh album of his career the phenom from Nelson County, Virginia reins in his inner guitar god and makes his most focused roots blues album yet. High-Dollar Gospel finds Cook showcasing his acoustic mojo and the result is the most satisfying record of his career.

That album—released to universally rave reviews in 2017—was a blend of Cook’s love of country pickers to blues rockers and included covers from Muddy Waters and Roosevelt Sykes that have been in his live shows for years, as well as an outstanding cover of Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight.”

Through the years, Cook has performed and recorded both acoustic and electric blues, and his Primitive Son album (2014), contained guest appearances by Vinny Appice and Artimus Pyle (drums); Tinsley Ellis, Eric Gales, Leslie West, Pat Travers and Harvey Mandel (guitar); Sonny Landreth (slide guitar); Rod Piazza (harmonica); and Reese Wynans (Hammond B3 organ). He has shared the stage with B. B. King and other greats from Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, and Robin Trower to Shemekia Copeland and Parliament-Funkadelic, appearing every where from the Kennedy Center to the South by Southwest festival…and now we are pleased to welcome him back to The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater!

“Everybody knows the story of the crossroads, where blues guitarists go at midnight to trade their souls to the devil for musical prowess. It’s just a myth, of course, but if it were true, firebrand Eli Cook could have bragging rights, as his scarifying solo-country blues chill like a hellhound on your trail.” –  Guitar Player (2007)

Eli Cook is a mystifying soul. He’s a keen observer and a provoking thinker…but with swagger!

Under the messy blonde hair is a passionate heart with fingers of silver and gold that recalls John Lee Hooker, Chris Smither, and Chet Atkins, mixed in with a dirty, grungy sound. It’s clean playing mind you; it’s just his fingers are covered in the dirt left over from the crossroads.

Coming from Albemarle County in Virginia at the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Eli Cook grew up listening to the blues, country, classic rock, and alternative rock. He grew up with no TV, but radio shows like Prairie Home Companion were his Saturday night entertainment. Life moves slowly in this rural area of the world giving him time to hone his skills with his voice and guitar chops. At 18 he was opening up for B.B. King—a few years later he’s playing in Canada the one week and then the next week he’s blending in with his hometown locals.

“It’s what was around me, and I just tried to pick up on everything and everybody, including Doc Watson and Chet Atkins. In fact, hearing Chet fingerpick made me realize I didn’t need a band.” –  Guitar Player (2007)

Tickets are available now for Eli Cook’s Saturday, October 22 performance at Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater, now celebrating its 90th year. This is a venue perfectly constructed for a performer like Eli, with the maximized ‘live’ acoustics that were necessary for the first generation of talking motion pictures—and the dedicated Lyric fans that consistently fill our seats for blues concerts will make for the sort of electric environment this acoustic blues concert deserves, so choose your seats early for what promises to be an outstanding evening!

Seats are $15 and $18 in advance or $20 at the door and may be purchased online, or by calling (870) 391-3504.

Acoustic Blues Guitar Workshop tuition is $45—but only $35 if you have a concert ticket and use the code on it when you register! In this class, we will discuss the key elements of Blues based guitar playing. This entails crucial rhythmic and melodic concepts and touches on both acoustic and electric styles as well as various finger- and thumb-picking techniques and provides an overview of what makes good Blues guitar.

Classic turnarounds, walking patterns, tricks for transitioning between chords, and signature riffs and licks will all be included and discussed from both a player’s technical standpoint and from a historical perspective, using examples from players such as Robert Johnson, Son House, Albert King, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. This class will have something for anyone who wants to play Blues guitar or just enjoys the music and wants to learn more about it.

OAC Ticketing Link

He’s BACK! Albert Cummings — Sunday September 11, 2022 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Albert Cummings Returns to the Lyric with his newest album and, as you’d expect, it’s a
TEN!
Sunday September 11 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

From full on, straight ahead hard-edged to mellow-without-being-prissy, Blues-rock guitar with lyrical mastery is headed back, in all its glory, with local favorite The Hedley Lamar Band opening, to the historic Lyric Theater, as Harrison, Arkansas enjoys “TEN” on Sunday, September 11 at 7:00 PM, for which tickets are now available.

Rave reviews are hitting for TEN. “The opening track is pure Cummings blues/rock power. With Ten, it’s not so much the blending of genres that speaks the loudest but it’s the songs themselves…With powerful vocals and harmonies, Albert proves his talent…Albert Cummings gets a 10 on Ten.” – Rock and Blues Muse

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, 9/11/22 @ 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, “TEN,” 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, September 11, 2022, 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, 9/11/22 @ 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 in support of his new album, “Ten,” scheduled with opener local band The Hedley Lamar Band at the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square for Sunday, September 11 at 7:00PMTickets are now available.

tickets

Take a Break from Holiday Shopping: Comedian Sam Adams Returns! — Friday, December 17, 2021 at 7:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Comedian (and Hall of Fame Sportswriter) Sam Adams Invites you to
Laugh at the Lyric!
Friday, December 17 at 7:00PM

Join us on December 17 at 7:00pm, for a bit of refreshment from the busy-ness of the season! Sam Adams is a very funny guy—but much more, than that, as well, An acclaimed sports journalist, Sam is able to be both funny and serious in a way that draws you in, making him in great demand as a motivational speaker. Unlike some entertainers who are inclined to ‘coast’, Sam is both fearless (though sometimes a bit “concerned”) 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! Sam has continued honing his craft since then and came to help us out last November, as we started the Lyric’s recovery from the pandemic. Now he wants to bring even more of “the funny” and to see our lobby’s new look!

That’s just 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.

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 thrilled to bring Sam Adams back to the Lyric stage!

Comedian Sam Adams #LiveAtTheLyric Saturday, December 17, 2021 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–$18 in advance, $20–$25 at the door.

OAC Ticketing Link

The Remnants of Rock — July 23, 2022 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Get ready for that good times feeling to return,
those good times of Rock’s Golden Era, with…
The Remnants of Rock!
July 23, 2022 at 7PM

All the best from Rock’s Golden Era is headed back to the historic Lyric Theater, as Harrison, Arkansas relives those glorious days when The St. James Group brought that fantastic music to Harrison High School and NACC—as headliners and to open for such bands as The Amazing Rhythm Aces—on Saturday, July 23 at 7:00PM, for which tickets will go on sale at midnight on Halloween!

“The Remnants of Rock brought down the house during their recent appearance in the Woodlands Auditorium. Hot Springs Village residents were treated to an authentic experience from the Golden Era or Classic Rock and Roll. And from the crowd’s reaction, their music struck the right chords. The band presented a stellar performance to a full house and kept the crowd engaged throughout the evening. The audience was on its feet singing along…even after the encore. The Remnants of Rock produced an evening of new memories for the HSV residents fortunate to hear them play. Rock on.”

– Suzanne Sweeten, Hot Springs Village Voice

Rock and Roll was born in the late 1950s, and by the end of the 1960s, the music had produced such legends as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the Motown and Memphis sounds. The consensus among historians is that the greatest popular music of all time was created during this ten-year period. Unquestionably, the music defined a generation and continues to be embraced by younger generations.

The St. James Group in 1968
The St. James Group in 1968

The St. James Group formed in 1968 in the middle of this historic era and performed professionally until 1978. The original members all grew up within walking-distance of each other in the small town of Morrilton, Arkansas. The band shared the stage with some of the biggest artists of the 1970s and performed on college campuses from New Orleans to Chicago and all points in between. Unfortunately, The St. James Group quit preforming after the unexpected death of Chuck Gordon, the band’s original keyboard player. The Remnants of Rock is now the musical legacy of The St. James Group.

The Remnants today, ready to rock the Lyric on 2/19/22!
The Remnants today, ready to rock the Lyric!

The Remnants of Rock is composed of original band members that started out together in 1968, with the addition of the current keyboard player. The band’s goal is to successfully recreate the music of the 1960s as authentically as possible. Imagine walking into the student union for the homecoming dance on any college campus during the years 1965-1969 and hearing the best dance band you’ve ever heard! Close your eyes and think back, because this is the performance The Remnants will deliver! The band plays only the top hits from 1959–1969 – the sweet spot of the era.

“The Remnants (of Rock) put on a fantastic show at the Rialto Theater on June third. The crowd knew every word to every song in their set and even got up to dance in their seats! The performance was capped by a sing-a-long in front of the stage and followed by a couple of encores.”

– Rich Moellers, Manager Motown 92.5 Radio

Members of the band have performed with, recorded with, and served as engineers for some of the biggest names in music—from Alice Cooper to Willie Nelson…Dollie Parton, Styx, the Righteous Brothers, and so many more. Their production values are obvious when it’s mentioned thattheir keyboardist was the musical director for “50s at the Hop” in Branson, MO and their sound engineer from day one is the head of audio at Verizon Arena in Little Rock and has worked with Sir Paul McCartney in that capacity.

“The Remnants performed a spectacular concert to a capacity crowd and former classmates and the general public rocked to the awesome music of the 1960s. The band cycled through a collection of classic hits and many in the audience sang alone throughout the concert. The band performed a fast-paced show that kept everyone spellbound and everyone enjoyed the music.”

– Eleanor Stanley

Whether you were there when The St. James Group played the Jr./Sr. Dance in ’74 or when they brought The Amazing Rhythm Aces to NACC, or not, The Remnants of Rock will not only bring back memories, but create new ones! What a fantastic time to re-live that era, to introduce it to grandkids and great-grandkids, or just to admit what everybody knows: that the music of Rock’s Golden Age is a thing to rejoice in at any time and any age! Join us the historic Lyric Theater, as the Remnants bring the house down again on Saturday, July 23 at 7:00PM! Tickets are on sale now!

tickets

Ozarks DynaCom FiveStar Talent Contest Semi-Finals, November 6 at 7pm #LiveAtTheLyric!

 

Ozarks DynaCom FiveStar Talent Contest Semi-Finals II, November 6 at 7pm #LiveAtTheLyric!

We Believe…

Our region of the Ozarks is overflowing with talent.

Amazing vocalists, dancers, comics and musicians appear regularly on stages, at events, in theaters, restaurants, bars and festivals throughout the Ozarks.

And we know, there’s incredible talent that isn’t very well-known too. There are up-and-comers and less experienced performers who are dedicated and working hard on their skills. They might be young, or they might have had to put their talent on the back-burner, or just decided that their special gifts and talents were going to be a hobby, instead of a career.

Ozarks DynaCom wants to give striving performers, the unknown and the inexperienced their moment in the spotlight. The Ozarks DynaCom FiveStar Talent Contest is the perfect opportunity to dust off the cobwebs, fine tune performance skills, or test new material on a real audience.

Together with our listeners, online fans, and social media friends, we might even discover the next entertainment sensation of the Ozarks, or beyond!

Contest Basics

The second semi-final show will be performed #LiveAtTheLyric on November 6, and tickets are available through The Lyric’s ticketing page, priced at $17 for adults and $14 for students. As this is a regional contest, tickets are not expected to last. Face coverings for disease transmission are no longer required by the state, but no one will object if you still wish to wear one.

Tickets for the first semi-final show, which will be performed at Branson’s historic Owens Theater, are available through the Branson Regional Arts Council’s website.

FiveStar Talent Contest Is Brought to You by…

The stations of Ozarks DynaCom!

 

and…

 

as well as These Fantastic Sponsors:

OAC Ticketing Link

And for our next act…The One Where the Lyric Recovers!

Click/Tap the poster above to donate. Thank you!

And…if you can’t be with us at the Lyric for the FREE Live Entertainment, tune in on your radio, because it’s also an Old-Fashioned Radiothon
presented by The Original KHOZ!

Disaster…at the Lyric! — How the ‘next act’ goes…is up to you!

As if 2020 weren’t enough…

May 24, 2021

Dear Friend of the Lyric and of the Arts,

We began a letter to you…

It’s been a rough year, we know. We know it so well from how our own families and friends have had to struggle. From the moment Albert Cummings canceled his tour and we had to begin canceling or postponing theatre productions, we committed to getting through 2020 without adding to your own family’s or business’s struggles. The Arts are meant to enrich us, not to impoverish us. Through creative cost reductions, a couple of key grants, and so strictly complying with the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines as to maximize the earnings from the limited number of shows we could do, we are pleased to say that if the mandates ended tomorrow, we could open our doors by the weekend.

Water Damage, Initial Assessment
Our ceiling isn’t sealing anymore

…but then disaster struck…and we’ve had to take a deep look at things before completing our letter.

The disaster was a literal one: a burst pipe above the ladies’ restroom while we were shut down was only discovered when our friends at the Harrison Daily Times saw water flowing out of the box office wall onto the side­walk. Our immediate assess­ment—“the ceiling’s going to have to be repaired and we have a mess to clean up”—became more dire as our insurance called on MitiServe to keep us from having a future mold issue, etc. Not only the ceiling, but the floor and the walls had to be removed…not only throughout that restroom, but some in the men’s room, too. We guess it’s a good thing that the concert we had scheduled for late April had already canceled due to ongoing Covid concerns, as we’re still working on repairs.

Drying under the restroom floor
Let all the fans of Kevin Cronin say: “I believe it’s time for me to dry-y-y-y-y…It’s time for me to dry.”

While our original draft continued with, “we still will have several months to get through before any semblance of normalcy returns,” though, we are happy to say that those months are getting quickly behind us and the Lyric should soon be ‘physically’ ready to reopen. There is another concern, though, that is slowing that reopening down: as one might expect, insurance doesn’t cover everything we need to do, and our disaster has uncovered some other work that would really best be done now, rather than in the future when what is now exposed would have to be uncovered again at additional cost.

Thus, the fact is, while we were able to make it through the past year without asking you to renew your OAC membership with a donation, a continuing lack of events and now this repair work has really put us in a bind. After having worked down the mortgage and wiped out our other operational debt over the past five years, we really need your help to reopen and to keep moving ahead.

We have a phenomenal season planned for 2021-2022, from bringing the joy that was The Carol Burnett Show back to life on the Lyric stage to a series of comedies and musicals—as well as a couple favorite dramas, one in a world premiere new adaptation!—to the long-anticipated return of Albert Cummings and a growing list of other concerts and events (including the return of movie nights!). All we need is your help to bring about the completion of these repairs and additions and to get the ball rolling with restocking, paying for licensing, and so on.

Let’s simplify that last paragraph a little: all we need is you.

Regressing stools
“Quo vadis?” Forward, ever forward!

Just like the Lyric was saved from the wrecking ball in the 90s and built back into a functioning venue in the next decade by the involvement of our community, we believe that with your help we can not only overcome the pandemic shutdown and the damage of this winter, but move forward in bringing the Arts to greater prominence in our area for the enrichment of the lives of all. Please join the OAC as a member for the 21–22 Season as soon as you can, so we can continue to move forward in serving you.

Thank you for your continued devotion to enriching our community through the Arts!

OAC Ticketing Link

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