by Robert Bell
Another year, another round of having to make tough choices about which bands will play in the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase.
Much like last year, we had a veritable metric crap-ton of entries, with way more quality bands than we have room for. After much listening to of songs, biting of fingernails, running of hands through hair and generally hashing it all out, we've got it down to the 20 semifinalists who'll start squaring off Jan. 24 at Stickyz.
As a refresher, here's how it works: each week, four bands or solo performers will play half-hour sets at Stickyz for a panel of judges, who'll assign scores based on originality, songwriting quality, musicianship and showmanship. The scores are added up, and the winner of each semifinal round will advance to the finals, March 1 at Revolution.
We're still working out the details of the prize package, but it includes some really swell stuff and chances to perform all over the state, including slots at Riverfest (May 24-26), Valley of the Vapors (March 15-19), Arkansas Sounds and more that I hope to confirm soon. We'll be doing some killer giveaways as well, so be sure to come on out each week.
Mainly, the whole thing is just a lot of fun. You'll hear some bands you already dig, for sure, but you'll probably also hear some performers you might not encounter otherwise. We'll announce the schedule soon.
Semifinalists are listed after the jump.
The Bad Years
Collin Vs Adam
The Sound of the Mountain
Stephen Neeper Band
This Holy House
Tom & Hebron
Trey Hawkins Band