Labor Day blues
Enjoy the bluesy stylings of such name artists as Marvin Sease and Willie Clayton at the Labor Day Weekend Blues Bash Festival at the North Shore Riverwalk in North Little Rock on Monday, Sept. 4. Gates open at 2 p.m., and the show begins at 4 p.m.
Also on the bill are T.K. Soul, Pat Brown and Bill Coday. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the gate. Tickets are available at Ugly Mike’s Records, Uncle T’s Food Mart, Club Elevations, Record Rack in Pine Bluff and Lindsey Hospitality in North Little Rock. Call 603-9538.
Spa City blues
Scorching blues guitarist Wes Jeans from Longview, Texas, will have a pair of shows, and several other big names will play in clubs and on the blues stages downtown during the Hot Springs Blues Festival on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2-3.
Hosted by the Spa City Blues Society, the ninth annual festival gets cranking with Jeans and his band playing a free concert in Arlington Park at 7 p.m. Friday. Immediately after that show, blues lovers can join in on a Club Crawl as it makes its way down historic Central Avenue to nine different venues. Wristbands will be available for $10 and will get blues fans into any of the clubs (a $5 cover charge will get folks into one club of choice).
Bands and Club Crawl venues are: The Hump Night Band, Dad’s Place (inside the Velda Rose Hotel); The Stella Vees, The Barking Frog (a new Spa City venue); Jeff Guerin and the Community Blues Band, Schapiro’s on Central; Big Joe Shad and the Co., The Exchange; Jelly Brown and Co., Garbonzo’s; Levon Walkin and company, Martini Lounge (above Porterhouse and Belle Arti), and Yard Dogs, The Club (above Porterhouse and Belle Arti). Brau Haus will have a band yet to be announced.
Saturday’s activities, which are free, start at 1 p.m. at a stage near the Transportation Depot downtown, and food and drink will be available for purchase (no coolers or containers are allowed). Afternoon artists are Dayton Waters, Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain, Joe Vicino and the Smokedaddys from Long Island, N.Y., and the Stella Vees, a four-piece group from Lexington, Ky. The nighttime headliners start off with Arkansas’s own Mark Sallings and the Famous Unknowns, who served for a time as the first house band at BB King’s in Memphis. E.G. Knight, deemed the “female Delbert McClinton,” follows, with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, who drummed, sang and played harmonica in Muddy Water’s band for nearly two decades, and legendary blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin, who has played with such notables as James Cotton and Howlin’ Wolf.
The party then moves to nearby Boogie’s Night Club for a Jeans show from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is $5 (Spa City Blues Society members will be admitted free).
Klezmer band performs for LR Folk Club
The Little Rock Folk Club had to cancel a Sept. 9 show with Lynn Doyle, but the folk club has added a show for this weekend with popular local act Meshugga Klezmer Band.
Meshugga, Arkansas’s first and only klezmer band, will perform Saturday, Sept. 3, at Thomson Hall in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1818 Reservoir Road. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students, with children 12 and under admitted free of charge.
The seven-member ensemble — Jim Harper, clarinet; Meredith Maddox, violin; Casey Huey, trombone, Steve Giles, piano; Arnie Jochums, bass; Peter Miller, guitar, and Rand Retzloff, drums — was formed five years ago has performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and Jewish food festivals, bar and bat mitzvahs, and at Juanita’s, the Afterthought Lounge, Acoustic Sounds Cafe and private parties. Klezmer music, with its Eastern European Jewish folk roots, is characterized by the often almost crying style reminiscent of Jewish prayer.
Boxing set for Statehouse
The ESPN2 network will bring in its cameras for “Rumble in the Rock,” a boxing event set for Friday, Sept. 2, at the Statehouse Convention Center. The matches will be part of the network’s “Friday Night Fights,” featuring champions and top-rated contenders, and Little Rock native Jermain Taylor, the world middleweight champion, will provide color commentary during the broadcast.
The first co-headliner pits undefeated Lamont Peterson of Memphis against the former No. 1 contender in the light welterweight division, Lamar Murphy of Miami. The other co-headliner is a heavyweight bout featuring Little Rock’s Terry Smith against 7-footer Julian Long.
The six-match card also pits Little Rock’s Alvin Manley (9-0-1, 3 knockouts) against Michael Hamilton in the feature fight, and Little Rock’s Ray Smith against Marquis Adams in Adams professional debut.
Tickets range from $15 for general admission to $50 for ringside seats, through all Ticketmaster outlets (975-7575, or www.ticketmaster.com). Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the first bout beginning at 8 p.m. Live television coverage on ESPN2 airs from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
‘Children’s Hour’ delayed a week
Weekend Theater’s opening of “The Children’s Hour” was delayed one week because of a death in the family of a cast member. Weekend Theater will now debut the show on Friday, Sept. 2. “The Children’s Hour,” directed by Laura Danley, will run three successive weekends at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $14 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.
Premiering on Broadway in 1934, “The Children’s Hour,” about society’s control of our lives, is based on a true story of two female teachers condemned by their community when a student alleged that they were having a homosexual affair. The 1952 revision and stage revival served as artistic criticism of the so-called McCarthy hearings going on at the time.
Call 374-3761 for reservations.
Run the river
The Arkansas Running Klub is inviting runners to enjoy a 5K race along the Arkansas River and help support the River Trail in the process. The ARK Riverfront 5K is Saturday, Sept. 3, and day-of-race registration is 6 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. under the Main Street Bridge at the North Shore Riverwalk in North Little Rock. Preregistration is available Friday, Sept. 2, at Easy Runner from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Registration fee is $15 ($20 the day of race, $15 for runners under age 18). Proceeds go the River Trail. Call 868-1072, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.arkansasrunner.com via the Internet.