Country band Highway Five out of Sherwood edged past singer-songwriter Sean Rock and the Toltecs in Thursday night's fifth and last semifinal of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase at Sticky Fingerz.
Highway Five, made up of 19 and 20 year olds, joins Damn Bullets, Cooper's Orbit, Jeff Coleman and the Feeders and the Dean Agus Band on Friday, March 2, for the finals at the Revolution Music Room, 300 President Clinton Ave.
Despite a bass player pulling out on them at the last minute and their drummer getting sick, Sean Rock and the Toltecs managed a strong enough set to come within five points of Highway Five, which had a rollicking 30-minutes of Nashville style country with a front man who had the stage presence of Kenny Chesney or Brad Paisley.
The Global Test and Calcabrina also were within 25 points of the winning act in last night's close judging. The Global Test was a modern rock-jam act from Little Rock that had a creative, likeable sound. The heavy rock Calcabrina entertained with such songs as "Cheerleader Tank" with the lyrics "Proudly Wave Your Chinese-Made American Flag," but eventually it felt like the band had found 11 on the volume control and things got very loud.
All in all, it was a solid finish to the semifinals, but the best five bands in the contest did all advance to the final round.
We'll have more in the finals next week, plus video from Thursday night's performances and more highlights. Be watching here on the Little Rocking blog.