by John Tarpley
The songwriter whose collaborations with John Prine, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell and Jimmy Buffett is the namesake of what's starting to look like an annual Hot Springs tradition. The Keith Sykes Weekend lands yearly in the Arlington Hotel for two days of songwriting shop-talk, Bloody Marys and gigging.
This year's bullpen includes Roger Cook, whose songs have been performed by Elton John and Neil Diamond, amongst others, and who made what we estimate to be a bajillion dollars when he wrote "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" for Coca-Cola; Buzz Cason, the Nashville songwriter whose track, "Soldier of Love," was famously covered by The Beatles on the "Live at the BBC" album; Jed Zimmerman, a young Memphian and Sykes protege; Grace Askew, a young folk-soulstress making waves in that world; Delta Joe Sanders, another mud-soaked Memphian, and rootsy Little Rock lady Shannon Boshears. Tickets are available at KeithSykes.com.