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Americana idol

Tony Furtado plays Juanita's.

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TONY FURTADO: Nimble fingers.
  • TONY FURTADO: Nimble fingers.
Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom welcomes prodigious banjo player turned slide guitarist and now accomplished singer Tony Furtado on Saturday, April 2. His careful examination of vagabond Americana, bluegrass and old-time music is his signature, and he’s shared recording or stage time with such sterling artists as Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Kelly Joe Phelps, Keith Richards and Earl Scruggs. His 15-year-plus career includes such albums as “Swamped,” “Within Reach,” “Full Circle,” “These Chains” (his solo debut) and the recently released live-show compilation “Bare Bones.” Furtado is not simply another singer-songwriter; he’s worked, studied and toiled at his craft, and brings it to appreciative roots music fans coast to coast. Tickets are $12, and he’ll start around 9:30 p.m. Furtado also will be appearing in Fayetteville at George’s Majestic Lounge on Sunday, April 3. Speaking of Fayetteville and George’s, there’s an outstanding lineup there this week as well, starting with Big Smith on Friday and Saturday, April 1-2, with Furtado on April 3. Then Steve Earle, the Grammy Award-nominated roots-country bard for the socially conscious, returns to George’s with his band, the Dukes, on Tuesday, April 5 (tickets are $25). Big Smith is a bluegrass band out of Springfield, Mo., that gained attention last year for performing at halftime of an Arkansas Razorback football game in Fayetteville. Also, acid-experimental jazz supergroup Garaj Mahal will appear at the venue on Wednesday, April 6. All tickets, with the exception of the Earle appearance, go for $10. The best way we could describe Southern Culture on the Skids is kitsch-a-billy, but don’t let our description steer you wrong. The SCOTS will play Juanita’s on Monday, April 4. The group’s members have changed a couple of times over almost two decades, and this current edition has founding member and guitarist Rick Miller, big-wig wearer and long-time bass thumper Mary Huff, and drummer Dave Hartman. They mix a mobile-home/Pearl-beer-and-bean-dip sensibility with gregariously catchy throwback and sometimes delightfully tacky rock ’n’ roll tunes. They appeal not only to the pork-rind circuit, they’ve gained attention from the more highbrow: Southern Culture was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” last year, for its release of “Mojo Box.” If you like Reverend Horton Heat, the Legendary Shack Shakers and any of the rockabilly-inspired bands touring these days, you’ll like these guys. Before “Mojo Box” (described on the SCOTS web site as “a mixed bag of swamp pop, garage, R&B and monkey-paw surf”), the group produced “Diggin’ Ditches,” “Girlfight,” and “Too Much Pork for One Fork.” The Weary Boys, a hillbilly rock ’n’ roll group trapped in the guise of a bluegrass quintet, open the show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. Vino’s Brewpub has an all-ages punk show that will double as a John Mancuso Productions’ skate and music DVD shoot, featuring both local and St. Louis-based hard rock, punk and emo bands on Saturday, April 2. Bands to be filmed for Mancuso’s “Daily Grind” series and performing Saturday are School Boy Humor, PM Today, After the Tragedy, Rushmore Academy, Dreamfast and In Place of Briar. Rushmore Academy and In Place of Briar are from St. Louis; the others are popular local acts. School Boy Humor and PM Today have performed in the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. Admission is $8. Showtime is 6 p.m. Midtown Billiards has on its weekend bill two jam bands perfect for late-night chicken dancers and jammers. Memphis jazz-funk improvisational foursome Yamagata will appear on Friday, April 1. Then on Saturday, April 2, the late night venue will host San Francisco-based psychedelic band Shady Groove. Both shows start just after midnight. Midtown is a private club. When El Paso-based (and critics’ darlings) At the Drive In broke up in 2001, band members went on to form two other groups: Mars Volta and Sparta. The latter group will appear at Sticky Fingerz on Monday, April 4. Formed by Jim Ward, Sparta has produced three albums. Also appearing at the all-ages show will be fellow El Paso natives Siva and the Thieves of Always. Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets are $12 at the door.

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