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!
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.
Devoted to the King…
…Devoted to His Fans…
…Devoted to Harrison! Tony Award-nominated and recognized by Elvis Presley Enterprises as the “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist” Cody Ray Slaughter!
Saturday, June 15, 7:00PM
Cody Ray Slaughter is a Harrison original: a true Southern boy whose passion for the music and memory of Elvis has driven him to a life dedicated to serving the King’s fans. Cody has performed all across the country as “Elvis” in the traveling production of the Tony Award-winning sensation “Million Dollar Quartet” and was nominated as best featured actor for his role. This June 15, he returns home to Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater with the raw talent and passion that Elvis himself exhibited. Tickets go on sale online at 12:01 am on Saturday, March 16 and the Lyric box office will be open to sell tickets for his concert to those attending the Lyric’s 90th Anniversary concert with Guinness World Record setter Screamin’ Freeman that evening.
Cody Ray Slaughter is hailed as one of the most talented, young Actors, Singer and Elvis Tribute Artist in the country. Born and raised in Harrison, Arkansas, gateway to the beautiful Ozark Mountains, Cody Slaughter began entertaining at the young age of 13. A true Southern boy, Cody’s true passion for Elvis’ music and memory has directed his career path.
Cody has performed all across the country as Elvis in the traveling production of the Tony Award-winning sensation Million Dollar Quartet and was nominated as best featured actor for his role. Slaughter has performed in many theaters in Branson, MO, such as Tony Roi’s Elvis Experience, Legends In Concert, 50’s At The Hop and The Liverpool Legends as well as in Pigeon Forge, TN where Cody was the featured entertainer at The Tennessee Shindig for over a year at the young age of 17. Cody also appeared on MTV’s My Super Sweet 16 and Late Night with David Letterman. Slaughter has performed at special events, corporate functions, and entertainment venues throughout the United States, Canada, and the UK. His uncanny portrayal of Elvis Presley exhibits his amazing love for whom he calls, “the greatest entertainer of all time.”
“My greatest joy is when I’m paying tribute to Elvis, his music, and keeping his spirit alive with his fans.“
Cody Ray Slaughter, 2011 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Harrison, AR
Among some of Cody’s most exciting accolades were winning The People’s Choice Award during Elvis Week 2008. In July of 2011. At the Las Vegas Elvis Fest, Cody received The New Horizon Award for best new Elvis Tribute Artist. The award was given on the same stage where Elvis made history at the Las Vegas Hilton
Representing Tupelo, Mississippi (Elvis’ Birthplace) Elvis Presley Enterprises’ named Cody the 2011 ‘Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist’ in Memphis TN in 2011.
Cody Slaughter has the raw talent and passion that Elvis himself exhibited when he first started. Apart from his tribute to Elvis, Slaughter has a budding career as a country music singer and songwriter. But in spite of his repertoire and building a reputation with his own music Slaughter still says “My greatest joy is when I’m paying tribute to Elvis, his music and keeping his spirit alive with his fans.”
The doors of the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks—Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater—will open at 6:00 for a 7:00 performance on Saturday, June 15. Adult beverages and general concessions will be available throughout the concert, and tickets are available in advance for $25.00–$35.00; at the door, they will be $5 more.
Brick Fields is an Arkansas original musical group fronted by the ambrosial voice of Rachel Fields. With her husband, Larry Brick, who has spent over 40 years in the music business as a guitar player and songwriter (and was a worship leader during the California Calvary movement of the 1970s), there is a ‘two talents expressing one flesh’ vibe throughout the music—a unity of purpose in music and vocals that is neither forced nor self-conscious, but just is. Rachel cut her musical teeth first in the Arkansas River valley, by way of her Uncle Mike “Burger” Scoggins, then in the jam band circuit touring in the late ’90s east and west coast festivals, opening for acts like Government Mule and later singing on a tour with the Jerry Garcia Band. Together, they bring a true Americana Soul feel—weaving Folk, Gospel, and Blues together in such a way that former Buffalo River Concert Association president Rick Hinterheuer told Rachel, “You’re going to have a good time playing at the Lyric!”…because Rick knows what we like!
Brick Fields’ current core band is a treasure of solid creativity including Ben Sass, Kevin Bonner, Hoobie Daniels, and Chris Parker.
Ben Sass of Jerusalem, Israel is the vibrant enthusiastic steed on and off stage, possibly one of the world’s finest up-and-coming harmonica players on the scene.
Kevin Bonner is from Northwest Arkansas and honed his drumming chops in the Cate Bro’s garage; he has been the backbone for numerous of NWA’s most loved bands.
Bass player, Hoobie Daniels, of Southern Mississippi (via Austin Texas), joined Brick Fields in 2016 after retiring to the Ozark Mountains where he is continuing his musical journey.
Chris Parker adds his Tulsa guitar stylings with influences that largely play themselves out between Chet Atkins and BB King.
Comfortable with themselves and numerous surprise guests, it’s not unusual at a Brick Fields show for the night to end with a few or as many as 20 players on stage. As musicians’ musicians, Brick Fields has been called a magnet for other musicians and music lovers alike. Ever evolving, this couple’s original music can charm venues in an intimate relaxed setting with the acoustic duo telling stories of musical roots or bring a full-on band experience that brings the house to its feet.
The Ozark Arts Council is pleased to welcome Brick Fields to The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater, on Friday, April 5 at 7:00. Tickets are just $10 in advance, but $15 at the door; just click any of the ‘Get Tickets’ links here on our website and you’ll be taken to our ticketing page, or call Jules or Dill at (870) 391-3504 or visit Dill at the OAC office M-W-F 8:00–2:00 (or Jules by appointment).
The Lyric Celebrates: 20 years ago, Freeman Conner set a Guinness World Record and helped save his hometown’s historic theater.We say, “It’s high time for a party” with… Screamin’ Freeman and the World Record Band!
Saturday, March 16, 7:00PM
In 1999, Screamin’ Freeman laid claim to providing “Non-stop fun! Non-stop rock! and Non-stop Screamin’ excitement!” that no one else could match—and then Freeman Conner and his World Record Band proved that claim to be true even to the satisfaction of the Guinness Book of World Records, which noted their non-stop performance (shown at right on the Lyric’s then-much-smaller stage) as the longest continuous performance by a musical group. The band’s goal wasn’t only the setting of a world record, though: it was to help the Ozark Arts Council raise both money and awareness to make it possible to purchase the theater and transform it into the venue for live music, drama, and education that we all love today—and now it’s time to celebrate that historic concert and all the entertainment that followed it these past 20 years!
“The ever intense Mr. Screamin’ Freeman Conner”—lead guitarist, lead vocalist, harp player, songwriter, arranger, schmoozer, original in every sense of the word—is clear on why he leads a band that is no less intense today than it was in the ’90s: “The energy of the three piece band and the adrenaline rush from playing non-stop is why I do it.” What keeps the band “electric,” Freeman says, is John “Metronome” Schaffer, whose unfailing beat keeps the band tight from start to finish. With John’s steadiness, “The artist known as Paul” Woolston’s Fender P-Bass drives the music with every bit of intense energy that Fender’s naming it “Precision-Bass” was meant to convey: Precision = Power! Powerful rock and blues classics and the band’s own compositions drive up the excitement all night long.
Of course, Freeman is not the sort of guy to do things at the ‘exciting’ level if he has the opportunity to do them at the ‘super, massively exciting‘ level, so he is bringing in four great acts to make sure the celebration is even more memorable! Joined by Ben Olson, James White, Burlington, and Runnin’ N Gunnin’, Screamin’ Freeman is once again bringing a massive party to the Lyric stage!
Back for a full-length concert, Runner up of the 2018 Battle of the Bands: Earth Bone!
Saturday, January 26, 7:00PM
Earth Bone has an eclectic repertoire of multi-genre originals and uniquely played crowd-pleasing favorites that have been described as “Power Folk with a touch of funk.” From early rock classics to modern pop and rock, Earth Bone covers quite a lot of ground!
Armed with an incredible voice, Jerry Rowan has no fear in front of a microphone and always gives 150% every show. He is matched vocally by Susan Boone whose renditions of blues and ballads are exciting to hear to say the least. Dave Dore ties it all together with his vocals, keyboard and guitar. Wayne Angel’s conga, djembe and cajon riffs add a taste of the exotic to all of Earth Bone’s songs. The band is often joined by Denise Dore, who provides strong backup vocals.
“Wow! You guys were phenomenal! We’re just reeling over how polished and smooth and truly fantastic you all were, and your choice of songs was perfect… all songs that hadn’t been done and that we were wanting to hear! Thank you!! It was such a great time!”
Pam Fowler, The Buffalo Theater Jasper, AR
Most of the originals are written by Jerry, Dave and Susan and each song reflects a bit of what makes this group so exceptional.
“These guys are a blast!!! “Earth Bone”…They will be back very soon. Don’t miss it next time!!!”
Leslie Key, Meteor Guitar Gallery Bentonville, AR
The doors of the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks—Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater—will open at 6:00 for a 7:00 performance on Saturday, January 26. Adult beverages and general concessions will be available throughout the concert, and tickets are available in advance for $5.00; at the door, they will be $10.
Benefit Concert for Sanctuary featuring THREE great area bands: The Hedley Lamar Band, Earth Bone, & White Fox Kill! sponsored by Light Up Harrison, the OAC, and the Bands!
Saturday, October 13 3:00PM–8:00PM
Three bands that have consistently kept crowds coming back for more have banded together to support victims of domestic abuse by helping Sanctuary provide food and shelter. Sponsored by Light Up Harrison, which is committed not only to the lighting of the Square and streets of Harrison for the Christmas season, but to keep aglow the light of our area’s residents’ love for those in need, these excellent bands will perform to raise cash and food donations on Saturday, October 13, from 3:00–8:00.
Sanctuary will be able to continue in its mission of providing for those escaping abuse and Light Up Harrison will continue to show the world that our area takes seriously our duty to recognize and enhance all that is good, noble, and beautiful. The OAC remains committed to the contention that great art most often comes from great passion—which is, literally, great suffering, whether from agony or from ecstasy—so that the Arts help us to heal and to thrive, to turn victimization to survival and survival to triumph.
The doors of the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks—Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater—will open at 2:00 for a performance stretching from 3:00 to 8:00 on Saturday, October 13. Adult beverages and general concessions will be available throughout this concert, and there will be short (5–10 minute) intermissions between bands, as well. Tickets are available in advance for $2.50 and two food items* or for $5; at the door, they will be $5 and two food items.
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 2018 Battle of the Bands featuring FOUR local bands and a tribute to The Beatles!
Saturday, August 4 at 7:00PM
Four great area bands, playing the songs that keep crowds all over Northwest and Central Arkansas and Southern Missouri coming back for more, plus what they’ll be judged on in this show: their covering of a Beatles tune, whether in the original setting or in their own style! Who will most compellingly make a Fab Four song their own and take this Summer’s bragging rights—and the cash prize?
The Ozark Arts Council is delighted to host these wonderful musicians who have graciously chosen to play for us at this fundraising event, through which we are hoping to begin our restoration of the Lyric Theater’s original balcony restrooms, which have been out of service since the 1970s. Thanks to some fantastic sponsors, the bands are competing for a cash prize, as well as area bragging rights, and we’re expecting a dynamite show!
The doors of the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks—Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater—will open at 6:00 for a 7:00 performance on Saturday, August 4. Adult beverages and general concessions will be available throughout this concert, and there will be short (5–10 minute) intermissions between bands, as well. Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15.
As you can see from the videos posted here, our bands have very different styles, often showing blues and folk roots with an edge both in their covers and new compositions that shows a personal ‘backstory’ that can make even the same song relate in completely different ways.
Featured bands include The Hedley Lamar Band, LeadFoot 65, Sound Pilot, and Earth Bone, all of whom you’ve heard and loved for several years, and, thanks to our sponsors, you get to hear and love them again but all in one place. Many thanks to Milam Refrigeration, TLD Construction, GFI Inc., Anderson Electric & Plumbing, Quality Construction & Remodeling, Harrison Mini Storage, Elite Plumbing & Construction, The Arnold Team at Weichert Realtors, and Mitchell Electric for sponsoring the grand prize for our Battle!