AMASA HINES RETURNS WITH IVORY LOVING GLASS
Little Rock – Try as we might, it’s hard for us to silo the music of Amasa Hines. And perhaps that’s the point. Whether touching on elements of soul or jazz, more straightforward indie rock, or even a little bit of gospel, the brilliant central Arkansas outfit is keen to keeping your on your toes. And with the release of their new record, Ivory Loving Glass, the band does just that.
The album may only contain five songs, but sometimes that’s all you need. Amasa Hines is singer, songwriter and guitarist Joshua Asante, guitarist Judson Spillyards, bassist Ryan Hitt and saxophonist/keyboardist Norman Williamson. Together, the group expertly weaves together their range of influences to deliver an incomparable sound. That work has helped the band produce a brilliant follow-up to the excellent debut release, 2014’s All the World There Is.
Ivory Loving Glass sees the band mature and expand on its sound and features radio-ready tracks in “Zatoichi,” “7,” and “Nimbus,” but the entire record, at least to us, should be listened to in full and appreciated as a complete piece of work. It’s refreshing and unique and sounds like what you might imagine if an indie rock church needed accompaniment.
Whether crossing into Beatles or Beach House territory on “Zatoichi” with groove-like bass lines and trippy, psychedelic keys, or the driving, energetic indie vibe of “7,” Amasa Hines knows exactly what it is doing — exploring and being unafraid to try new things. And growth is a big part of what the band does. It urges its listeners to do the same.
Asante told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that the band explored different styles and textures on this record by adding more keys and synths to their sound. He said the group has “grown to where we understand the dynamics of space and control.” That’s quite evident on Ivory Loving Glass, as it’s a record we keep turning to and hearing something we didn’t on the previous listen.
But don’t expect this to be the last you hear of the band this year, as they’re wrapping up studio work on an additional batch of five songs that are slated for a December release, as well as touring the country. Catch their tour dates here.
NWA MUSIC DELEGATION ATTENDS MUSIC CITIES CONFERENCE
Northwest Arkansas – Lafayette, Louisiana is the host for the 2018 Music Cities Convention. The Music Cities Convention is the largest and most extensive global gathering on the topic of Music Cities. Over October 11 and 12, the conference will bring together leaders from governments, cities and regions, academics, organisations and the music scene to discuss, debate and introduce new thinking. This years event will feature keynote speaker Al Bell. Bell is the former Chairman and Owner of Stax Records and President of Motown Records Group.
The Northwest Arkansas music delegation is represented by Brian Hembree (Smokey and the Mirror/Fayetteville Roots Fest), Neil Greenshaw (Haxton Road Studios), Troy Campbell (House Of Songs), Jerad Sears (Bike Rack Brewing), Graham Cobb (Bentonville Chamber of Commerce), Kyle May (Walton Arts Center), Robert Ginsberg (Walton Arts Center), Sam Lopez (Teen Action and Support Center), Travis Smith (Emerg Entertainment/Shindigmusic), Shey Bland (Main Street Rogers, Inc.), Molly Rawn (Experience Fayetteville), Katy Henriksen (KUAF), Lia Uribe (Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra), Susan Norton, Jake Hertzog and Anthony Ball.
Betsy Brumley-Bernier and Kevin Bernier from the Power of Music Festival and the I’ll Fly Away Foundation are also in attendance.
Photo courtesy of Anthony Ball
RECORD STORE DAY BLACK FRIDAY TO FEATURE ARKANSAS ROOTS
National – A trio of albums with an Arkansas connection will be available on Black Friday during Record Store Day 2018. Blue Oyster Cult’s second live album, Some Enchanted Evening, guitar hero Roy Buchanan’s live album Live at Town Hall 1974 and rock-n-roll raconteur Tav Falco’s latest LP, Cabaret of Daggers are all slated for RSD release on Friday, November 23.
It’s somewhat common knowledge that the seven songs on Some Enchanted Evening were recorded live across multiple cities on Blue Oyster Cult’s 1977-78 tour. Of those songs, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” — perhaps the group’s signature tune — was recorded at Little Rock’s Barton Coliseum on April 9, 1978. This version of Some Enchanted Evening is being billed as the “Legacy Edition” and has never been released on vinyl. It includes bonus tracks, and packaging that includes an LP obi (side spine), cardboard gatefold jacket with two pockets, black inner sleeves and translucent blue vinyl, according to the RSD release information.
Tav Falco, the Philadelphia-born dark, brooding deviant hill country psych/blues musician, will release Cabaret of Daggers on the date as well. Falco grew up around Gurdon, Arkansas, a city about 85 miles south of Little Rock, before hitting his musical groove in Memphis. He’s been fronting the psychedelic avant-garde outfit Tav Falco’s Panther Burns since the late ’70s. Cabaret of Daggers is the group’s first studio album since 2015’s Command Performance. Cabaret of Daggers was tracked in Rome with the same ferocious line-up, the unapproachable Panther Burns. Vocal overdubs were recorded at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, according to RSD information.
Additionally, RSD brings us a full-scale 21-song release of the late, great Roy Buchanan’s famed live set at New York City’s Town Hall on November 27, 1974. Only six of the 21 songs Buchanan, a native of Ozark, Arkansas, played that night came out on Live Stock, and one other, a version of Neil Young’s “Down by the River,” came out on a subsequent compilation. That leaves 14 unreleased performances—and now, Real Gone Music presents Live at Town Hall 1974, a 3-LP set that captures both shows in their entirety, drawn from the original multi-track tapes recorded that night by The Record Plant Mobile Studio. The album displays Buchanan’s raw power and swagger and features what many consider Buchanan’s best backing band, with Malcolm Lukens on keyboards, John Harrison on bass, Ronnie “Byrd” Foster on drums, and Billy Price sharing a role with Buchanan on lead vocals, according to RSD information.
PRYOR CENTER TO HOST LEVON HELM BUST UNVEILING IN FAYETTEVILLE
ASHTYN BARBAREE, BROTHER MOSES AND HULLABALOO SHINE ON BIKE RACK COMPILATION
Bentonville – Bike Rack Records Volume 1, the new compilation featuring music from Jamie Lou & The Hullabaloo, Ashtyn Barbaree, and Brother Moses hit streaming services this past Monday.The 10-song album is the brainchild of Jeff Charlson, partner and CEO of Bike Rack Brewing Co., and Neil Greenhaw, music producer and owner of Haxton Road Studios.
Melody Pond kicks off the album in excellent form. In the grand scheme of all things Northwest Arkansas folk, Fayetteville’s Melody Pond rarely gets the credit or attention due for representing the region as soundly as they do. The country thump of “The River” finds the band discovering both new territory and a well deserved chance of a much wider audience.
Fayetteville indie pop kings, Brother Moses have long been favorites in the offices of Shindigmusic, this slightly more polished take of the Magnolia track “Bushes” reaffirms our affection for this beloved band. The production lends a much better shine to Bro Mo vocalist, James Lockhart’s often lengthy delivery.
Will Gunselman. What a welcomed surprise this was. After multiple listens “Buffalo River Run” proved to be one of this albums finest moments. Americana with a steady feel that isn’t too far off from being a lost The War on Drugs track.
Between winning the 2018 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase and wowing crowds at Valley of the Vapors, Flux, Riverfest and Creekfest, Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo have had quite the year. This Russellville quintet continues their modus operandi of delivering top quality songwriting at every level with the addition of “Highway Men” to the bands already impressive catalog.
“Some say you asked for this, some say you asked for a fight, walking into the room, by turning off all of the lights” Hullabaloo frontwoman, Jamie Lou Connolly sings on the chorus. Offering a somewhat bleak take on the country’s often contentious response to the #MeToo movement.
Other artists on the album include Will Gunselman, Smokey & The Mirror, Kevin Kiehn, The Silver Lining, Josh Noren, and Emily Nance. All in all this compilation is a fairly accurate representation of the current musical climate rising out of Bentonville. The vinyl version of the record is set to be released with a special album release party on November 9 at The Record in Bentonville. Available on Spotify and iTunes.
HILLBERRY MUSIC FESTIVAL 2018
Eureka Springs – Hillberry Harvest Music Festival return to The Farm this week. The annual event is anchored by not one, but two nights of bluegrass legends Railroad Earth. Hilberry will also feature sets by Trampled By Turtles, Lettuce, The Wood Brothers, Arkansauce, Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings, Big Smith, Dirtfoot, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Squarshers and more. Be sure to check out Red Oak Ruse’s Late Night All-Star jam for what will surely be one of the highlights of the entire weekend. For more information check out their website.
JAMIE LOU CONNOLLY AND DAVE DERSHAM AT STAGE 18
Eureka Springs – Hullabaloo songstress, Jamie Lou Connolly hits Stage 18 with folk singer-songwriter Dave Dersham on Friday. 8PM
THE INNER PARTY AND ADVENTURELAND INVADE STICKYZ
Little Rock – Fayetteville rockers The Inner Party make their way south to Stickyz with special guests Adventureland. 9PM
DEADBIRD CELEBRATE NEW LP WITH DUEL RELEASE SHOWS
Little Rock/Fayetteville – Deadbird return with a brand new album titled III: The Forest Within The Tree with two album release shows. Check out our interview with the band and check Deadbird this Friday at the White Water Tavern or this Saturday at Backspace in Fayetteville.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
SHAWN JAMES “I TRY” ACOUSTIC VERSION