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2015 music preview: Stevie Wonder, Taj Mahal, Jackson Browne and more

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AUTUMN DRIVE-BY: Alt-country favorites Drive-By Truckers play at Revolution in October.
  • AUTUMN DRIVE-BY: Alt-country favorites Drive-By Truckers play at Revolution in October.

This fall's concert season has something for most, if not all, of the state's music fans: symphony denizens, jazz buffs, crust punks, nostalgic baby boomers, heartland country bros, hip-hop heads and whoever listens to Dirt Nasty. In the span of a few months, we'll see the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Indigo Girls, Motley Crue and Warren G. Plus yacht rock and Miami rap and wind symphonies and Delta blues — it will get loud, it will get weird and it will almost certainly get expensive.

Chicago rapper and Def Jam signee Lil Durk comes to Juanita's on Sept. 24 with the unhinged Rick Ross-affiliate Gunplay. That same night, New York punks Dirty Fences play at the White Water Tavern with local garage rockers Bombay Harambee and Nashville's Faux Ferocious. On the 25th, New Orleans funk rock group Bonerama returns to Stickyz and Aaron Watson, the country singer from Amarillo, Texas, plays at Revolution. Also on the 25th: Kid Rock brings his "First Kiss: Cheap Date" tour to the Walmart AMP in Rogers. Baton Rouge blues singer Tab Benoit comes to Revolution, and local country favorites The Salty Dogs play at White Water (Sept. 26). Comedy rapper and former MTV VJ Dirt Nasty headlines at Discovery (Sept. 26) and Chicago industrial band My Life with The Thrill Kill Kult plays at Revolution (Sept. 27). The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents Grieg's Piano Concerto at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center (Sept. 26-27).

Cincinnati garage rock group Heartless Bastards plays at Revolution on Sept. 30, while indie rock duo IAMDYNAMITE plays at Juanita's and Canadian country singer (and visual artist) Daniel Romano comes to White Water. The Hot Water Hills Music & Arts Festival returns to downtown Hot Springs' Hill Wheatley Plaza Oct. 2-3, featuring Ghost Bones, Adam Faucett, Big Piph and more. Atlanta rapper Young Dro comes to Revolution on Oct. 2. The great blues guitarist and Arkansas native CeDell Davis returns to White Water on Oct. 2, and the Swedish indie folk singer José González performs at Juanita's on Oct. 4.

BACK TO KING BISCUIT: Taj Mahal, in October. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • BACK TO KING BISCUIT: Taj Mahal, in October.

Atlanta indie rock band Manchester Orchestra plays at Juanita's on Oct. 4, and Southern Gothic Nashville songwriter Adia Victoria plays at White Water on Oct. 6. In Helena, the King Biscuit Blues Festival returns Oct. 7-10, featuring performances by Taj Mahal, Bobby Rush, Jimmie Vaughan, Leo "Bud" Welch and many more. On the Oct. 8, debauched '80s rock legends Motley Crue play at Verizon Arena, electric blues hero Cedric Burnside returns to White Water and The Strokes' guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. plays at Juanita's. The Arkansas State Fair returns Oct. 9-18, featuring concerts by Naughty By Nature, Grand Funk Railroad, Styx, Eddie Money, Montgomery Gentry and more.

On Oct. 14, gently psychedelic alt-country singer Israel Nash plays at Stickyz, while Detroit rap duo (and Insane Clown Posse compatriots) Twiztid play at Revolution. On the 15th, G-Funk legend Warren G (best known for the 1994 single "Regulate") comes to Juanita's. Nashville folk duo Birdcloud plays at Juanita's on Oct. 17, while the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the longtime New Orleans brass funk institution, plays Revolution. Legendary '70s songwriter Jackson Browne performs at the Walmart AMP in Rogers (Oct. 17). The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 on Oct. 17-18, with Hungarian-born guest conductor Imre Pallo. Seattle rock group Girl On Fire performs at Juanita's on Oct. 18, and Tav Falco, the Gurdon (Clark County) native and art-rock legend, plays at Stickyz on Oct. 19.

BRING THE FUNK: Warren G plays his funk-inspired gangsta rap at Juanita's on Oct. 17.
  • BRING THE FUNK: Warren G plays his funk-inspired gangsta rap at Juanita's on Oct. 17.

On Oct. 20, upbeat, cultish indie rock group The Polyphonic Spree plays a "15th Anniversary" show at Stickyz, and alt-country favorites Drive-By Truckers play at Revolution. Eighty-three-year-old blues guitarist Leo "Bud" Welch plays at White Water with Jimbo Mathus on Oct. 22. Local indie rock band Knox Hamilton — currently blowing up due to the Internet-radio-famous single "Work It Out" — plays at Juanita's on Oct. 24. The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs "Cirque Musica: Crescendo" at Pulaski Academy's Connor Performing Arts Center Oct. 24-25. "Jessie's Girl" songwriter Rick Springfield performs at UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway Oct. 29, and alt-country stalwarts Old 97s play at Revolution with Banditos on Oct. 30.

Minneapolis punk band (and Sonic Youth pals) Babes in Toyland play at Juanita's Nov. 3, and jazz virtuoso and composer Aaron Diehl performs at South on Main on Nov. 5. Stevie Wonder comes to Verizon Arena on Nov. 5 and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents "Beethoven & Blue Jeans" at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center Nov. 7-8. Richmond metal band Windhand plays at White Water on Nov. 8, and Peter Case (of The Nerves and The Plimsouls and a long, thriving solo career) comes to White Water on Nov. 14. Jacksonville alt-rock band Shinedown plays at Verizon Arena with Breaking Benjamin on Nov. 14 and pop-punk band Plain White T's performs at Juanita's on Nov. 16. On Nov. 19, Pasadena glam metal band Autograph ("Turn Up the Radio") plays Juanita's and Diana Krall performs at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. Ozark classic rock favorites The Cate Brothers perform at the Ron Robinson Theater on Nov. 20. On Nov. 21, Phoenix punk band Andrew Jackson Jihad and anti-folk songwriter Jeffrey Lewis play at Juanita's. Also that day, Israeli jazz clarinetist Anat Cohen comes to the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.

THEY'RE BACK: You thought Motley Crue was finished touring? Fear not; the Crue plays at Verizon Arena on Oct. 8.
  • THEY'RE BACK: You thought Motley Crue was finished touring? Fear not; the Crue plays at Verizon Arena on Oct. 8.

Yacht rock legend Michael McDonald performs "This Christmas: An Evening of Holiday and Hits" at the Walton Arts Center on Dec. 1. The Indigo Girls and Patterson Hood perform an evening of Georgia music to kick off the Oxford American's Georgia Music Issue at South on Main, Dec. 3. "America's Got Talent" veteran Cas Haley comes to Stickyz on Dec. 3. Christian rapper TobyMac performs at Verizon Arena on Dec. 4. Grammy-winning gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama performs at UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall on Dec. 6. The Little Rock Wind Symphony presents "Christmas Festival" on Dec. 10, and the Ron Robinson Theater hosts the Arkansas Sounds Holiday Concert on Dec. 11, featuring the Dave Rosen Big Band and the Maumelle High School Jazz Band. Multimedia prog-rock extravaganza Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to Verizon Arena on Dec. 17, and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents "Holiday Pops with the ASO" at Pulaski Academy's Connor Performing Arts Center Dec. 19-20.


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