Ozarks DynaCom FiveStar Talent Contest Semi-Finals II, November 6 at 7pm #LiveAtTheLyric!
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!
Show details and winner prizes will be announced as those items are confirmed.
• Online Entries: August 16 – September 12, 2021 • Online Voting: September 17 – October 10, 2021 • Live Semi-Final Shows: November 5 and November 6, 2021 • Live Final Championship Show: Mid November 2021
NEW Blues from and for the Working Man: Albert Cummings Returns to the Lyric—
Re-Rescheduled to September 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
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, to the historic Lyric Theater, as Harrison, Arkansas enjoys “An Evening with Albert Cummings” on Thursday, September 23 at 7:00 PM, for which tickets are now available.
Entertaining audiences from his phenomenal guitar work to his incredibly impassioned lyrics and overall songwriting prowess – one thing has certainly become clear about Albert Cummings’s music: he is far more than simply just the guitarist or the bluesman he’s often painted as by fans and the media alike. He offers the complete package.
Though undoubtedly a masterful guitar player who burst onto the blues-rock scene in the early 2000s and almost immediately began gaining praise in that realm, his latest live release “Live at the ‘62 Center” and his new studio album, “Believe,” further portray not only his versatility as singer/songwriter and live performer but as an artist first and foremost.
While generally performing live as a trio, the true spontaneity and creative spirit of these albums show Albert’s mastery of the whole art form, as he put together a newly formed version of his usual trio that afternoon of the October 2016 recording, along with keyboards and backing vocals that hint at just how massive Albert’s talent for composition and improvisation really is. With longtime friend and Grammy Winner Jim Gaines behind the soundboard, what comes through in both sight and sound is an incredible journey into the live performance world and true artistry of one of today’s most seasoned musicians.
“His muscular guitar work is simply outstanding. He’s a great blues singer as well, with passion for the tunes inherent in his full-throttle approach.”
– Rock and Blues Muse on Live at the ‘62 Center
Like many greats before him who’ve been painted into a corner as merely great blues players, or guitar players, or singers, Cummings seeks to rise above these labels and be praised for the devotion to his overall craft as a true musician. In artist terms, he’s sought to be known for ‘the overall pallet of his music’, rather than one specific color. From greats like Eric Clapton to the more recent stylings of John Mayer, his artistic integrity has allowed him to focus on the big picture, writing songs from the heart rather than catering to his specifics strengths as a singer, guitarist, or bandleader (all of which he does impeccably, however!).
His musical journey began when young Albert first picked up a guitar – learning the requisite three chords from his father, but later switched over to banjo at the age of 12 after becoming a bluegrass fan. After hearing the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, he was impressed by the sheer virtuosity of the artist, and following his first chance to see him live while in college in Boston he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.
“He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”
– Guitar One
The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. As he continued to grow in his newfound passion, he landed on the Northeast blues circuit with his first band Swamp Yankee. Then, in 1998, after walking into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, Cummings won the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge the following year. By 2000, his debut single “The Long Way” was released to rave reviews, and began opening new doors for the artist. Bluesprint magazine said it was “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix.”
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.”
As he continued to grow, playing with the likes of legends from B.B. King (who called dubbed him “a great guitarist”), Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, and many more – Cummings built on not only his all-around songwriting and musicianship but his guitar playing skill as well. Using his knowledge to give back to fellow guitarists wanting to advance in their craft, he released the instructional DVD “Working Man Blues Guitar” in 2011. His next album, 2012’s self-released “No Regrets” followed as a return to his true musical roots, poignantly capturing the core of his influences and displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country, and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada, and France.
Now, as he continues writing and performing, relentlessly devoting effort to his craft, Cummings is ready to continue on his ever expansive musical journey. “An Evening with Albert Cummings” in support of his new album, “Believe,” is scheduled at the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square for Thursday, September 23 at 7:00PM . Tickets are now available.
Fifty Years Later, the Music of
Led Zeppelin Still Holds Up…
Especially, when It’s…
LIVE at the Lyric!
Saturday, September 14 at 7:00PM
Join us September 14 at 7:00pm for the rock you’ve loved your whole life! When Tim Taylor, Billy Youngblood, and Will Youngblood won the OAC’s 2018 Battle of the Bands, they decided not to use the concert opportunity that was part of their prize simply to put their band on the stage for a full-length show, but to gather other musicians to pay tribute with them to the most influential rock band in history. Tickets are available now…for only $5, ifyou buy now!
PLUS: Eli Cook’s Acoustic Blues Guitar Workshop October 5 from 3:00–5:00! Ages 13 and up with moderate to advanced skill levels and an interest in “Blues based music.” 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 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 and 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 5 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!
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.
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).
Jack Williams is a songwriter, singer, and guitarist with few (if any) peers. HIs songs are a literary record of the joy, brilliance, disappointments, and aspirations of our American experience. His live shows romp through the melodic and lyric wit of the Jazz Era, the sentimental strains of doo-wop, and the birth of rock and roll. This is all set against the backdrop of steamy South Carolina, the wilds of the Sonoran desert, and vast stretches of interstate… on and on he’ll go, until you find yourself in Mama Lou’s kitchen with her wood-fired stove, breathing in the scent of maternal love in the form of fried chicken.
Friday, February 8 is the date and tickets are $10 in advance, 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 $15 at the door.
It’s been said already, but I’ll say it again: Jack Williams is a national treasure. When it comes to pulling the
worlds of blues, country, rock and roll and jazz together on an acoustic guitar, I’ve never heard his equal.
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.
For 17 years, Black Stone Cherry has put forth a new, vicious breed of Southern rock, injecting youthful vitality and a myriad of fresh new influences into the beloved American rock tradition. To date, the band has released five critically-acclaimed studio albums and one well-received blues EP. Black Stone Cherry has also rocked 12,000-cap arena shows, topped the UK charts, and shared the stage with a diverse roster of superstars, including Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Motörhead, and ZZ Top.
Family Tree is the much-anticipated follow up to 2016’s Kentucky, which debuted at #5 on the Official UK Album Chart and went to #1 on the Billboard Album
Chart. Drummer John Fred Young says, “Family Tree showcases all of our collective musical influences and how we have taken those to create something that is truly our own unique Southern American rock ’n’ roll sound.” Two special guests appear, one bringing the concept of family full circle: lead guitarist/vocalist Chris Robertson’s 5-year-old-old son contributes backup vocals on the swaggering You Got The Blues, while the other, revered jam-band musician Warren Haynes (Allman Bros/Gov’t Mule) offers a guitar cameo and vocals on the delta stomp of Dancing In The Rain. “I remember coming to New York when we first were signed, and hearing Warren’s voice behind me the minute my feet hit the street,” recalls bassist Jon Lawhon. “Hearing him play on this track all these years later gave me chills.”
We grew up in the Kentucky Headhunters’ rehearsal space, looking up at posters of Cream, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, the Stones, Montrose, and the Faces. We were like kids someone took in a time capsule and put in the woods.
— John Fred Young
Family Tree rocks hard with the immediacy and spontaneity of in-the-moment takes, and Chris Robertson mixing perfectly fits the loose, creative process that birthed the album—and makes it so easily translate to the ever-evolving jams of their incredible live show.
The concept of family looms large in the world of Black Stone Cherry’s four band members. John Fred Young’s father Richard and his uncle Fred, are founding members of the Grammy Award-winning country rock n’ roots band, The Kentucky HeadHunters. BSC’s four high school-aged friends—Young, plus frontman/guitarist Chris Robertson, guitarist Ben Wells and bassist Jon Lawhon—grew up honing their craft in the Headhunters’ practice house, an abandoned property on the Young family’s farmland. John Fred says, “We grew up in the Kentucky Headhunters’ rehearsal space, looking up at posters of Cream, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, the Stones, Montrose, and the Faces. We were like kids someone took in a time capsule and put in the woods.”
It’s a great time for Black Stone Cherry to return to the Lyric, “The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” as they have recently moved to Mascot Label Group, home of some of the finest blues icons of this generation, such as Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Walter Trout, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Jonny Lang, Robben Ford, Bernie Marsden, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Sonny Landreth. The move came with the release of their EP of blues covers, Black to Blues, which shows both the foundation and the progress of music through the past century. The band selected 6 of their favorite tunes by Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, and Albert King, and reimagined them with the meaty moxie of classic BSC.
“It’s amazing to me how four good old boys from nowhere Kentucky can still be around 17 years later,” singer/guitarist Chris Robertson says. Guitarist Ben Wells concludes: “I don’t remember how life was outside of Black Stone Cherry. The four of us are family.” Every album, every concert, is a family reunion, and Black Stone Cherry is happy to have you join the family this October.
With the support of a great team of sponsors—including the “Boulder Bankers” at Stone Bank, the Harrison Convention and Visitors Bureau, and media sponsors ESPN Arkansas 104.3 (“Hit That Line!”), KHOZ 102.9 (“102.9 the Z”), and the Harrison Daily Times—the Ozark Arts Council is pleased to welcome Black Stone Cherry back to the historic Lyric Theater on Friday, February 15 at 7:00. Tickets are just $25 in advance, but $30 at the door (in the unlikely event that any are available); 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).