by Robert Bell
You probably know Stephen Koch as the host of Arkansongs, the indispensable radio show (and cause of many driveway moments for public radio listeners across the state) that's devoted to exploring every inch of Arkansas's rich musical history.
Koch has highlighted scores of Natural State musicians over the years, but here's your chance to hear him play his own tunes. Arkopolis has a sound that's rooted in the past, but is in no way wedded to it. Many of the band's bluesy numbers are shambolic to the point of threatening to fall apart.
At times, the album sounds like Pavement circa "Wowee Zowee" got themselves on a real good drunk and took up a Hammond and a bunch of banjos and fiddles and acoustic guitars and harmonicas and set about trying to sleaze it up like the Faces. Koch's singing has an appealing swagger to it that fits well within the songs. This is a record release show for his band's new album, "Excruciating Circumstances." Buck Bell opens the show.