by Robert Bell
For the last few years, Velvet Kente, the Little Rock quartet that swept the 2009 Times Musicians Showcase, has played fairly regularly at several venues. But for those that haven't caught the group live, here's an excellent opportunity.
Velvet Kente doesn't really fit into any musical pigeonhole. Sure, the group's influenced by a mish-mash of rock, blues, Afro-beat and soul, but it's still utterly singular.
Among Little Rock acts, you won't find a more compelling singer than Joshua, the front man and guitarist who, as we've said before, has the type of commanding stage presence that halts bar chatter and forces everybody to pay attention. Lead guitarist Steve Robinson plays choice licks, while the rhythm section of Tim Anthony and Jamaal Lee is incredible, especially Lee, who's a ferocious yet hella tight drummer.
Little Rock bedroom pop ensemble The Evelyns opens the show.