Bluegrass music icon Ralph Stanley and his group, the Clinch Mountain Boys, will highlight the Eureka Springs Bluegrass Festival beginning Thursday, Aug. 26. It’s the first in a series of major events in Eureka Springs during the next month.
The annual Eureka Springs Jazz Festival is Sept. 17-19, while country-rock/folk star Ani DiFranco will bring her “Vote Dammit” tour to Eureka Springs with the Indigo Girls and comedian Suzanne Westerhoefen on Sept. 23.
The city’s renovated historic auditorium will serve as the base for the festivals as well as playing host for the DiFranco concert.
The 77-year-old Stanley, whose already legendary status got a boost with the popularity of the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack, is the headliner for two shows, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27. Tickets are $25 for the matinee and $30 for the evening show.
The Mike Snider String Band is among three acts kicking off the festival Thursday, with shows at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Nashville Bluegrass Band headlines the 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. shows on Saturday, along with the Williams and Clark Expedition and Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys. Tickets are $25 for the afternoon show and $30 at night. The event concludes with a 3 p.m. gospel show Sunday featuring Al Brumley and Brightwater Junction, the Williams Family, Ozark Alliance and Eversong. Tickets are $15.
Call 888-855-7823 for ticket availability.
Stanley was inducted into the historic Grand Ole Opry in 2000, received the Living Legend award from the Library of Congress, and was the first recipient of the Traditional American Music award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Formed in 1985, the Nashville Bluegrass Band has become the most awarded bluegrass band on the music scene, winning Grammys for best bluegrass album for their latest release, “Unleashed,” and best bluegrass recording for “Waitin' for the Hard Times to Go.”
Tickets for the DiFranco-Indigo Girls show are $36 and are available by calling 479-253-7788 or 888-855-7823. DiFranco chose Eureka Springs as the only stop in a city under half a million population — and the only stop in Arkansas and the surrounding area — for her “Vote Dammit Tour,” which begins Sept. 10 in Pittsburgh. She performs in Eureka Springs at 8 p.m. Sept. 23.
“This is a serious score not only for Eureka Springs but for all of Arkansas,” said Pearl Brick, Eureka Springs’ special events coordinator. “Ani is a phenomenal guitarist, a brilliant vocalist and a passionate patriot who loves her country. Eureka Springs is a perfect fit for Ani and we are thrilled she chose us for this very important tour.”
The Indigo Girls — Amy Ray and Emily Saliers — are making three Southern tour stops with DiFranco.
The David Grisman Quintet and the Texas-based Los Jazz Vatos highlight the Jazz Festival.
B and the Buzz will open for Los Jazz Vatos at 8 p.m. Sept. 17. The David Grisman Quintet, led by mandolin player Grisman, incorporates swing, bluegrass, Latin, jazz and gypsy styles. The group plays at 8 p.m. Sept. 18. Besides two nights of shows at the auditorium, the festival will include jazz music at area clubs, restaurants and hotels, as well as free concerts in the historic Basin Park Bandshell through Sept. 19.
Call 888-855-7823 for tickets.
On weekend menu: a sub
NLR celebrates U.S.S. Razorback Sunday with music, fireworks, celebs.
The World-War-II-era submarine U.S.S. Razorback, whose addition to the North Little Rock riverfront will be the start of a planned maritime museum, will be unveiled to the public in a patriotic celebration Sunday, Aug. 29.
Music from local groups and military bands, appearances by celebrities and Navy submarine veterans and fireworks off the Main Street Bridge highlight the “American Homecoming” festivities that begin at 2:30 p.m. in the North Shore Riverwalk park. The riverfront park’s three gates — at Willow Street, Maple Street and at the defunct Gator’s Bar — will open at 1 p.m. The event is free. Food and beverages will be available.
More than 150 submarine veterans are expected Sunday, representing more than 25 states from Hawaii to Maine.
The sub, being prepared for its permanent anchoring in the North Little Rock park, is currently docked near a quarry on the Arkansas River upstream. At about 3:30 p.m. Sunday the sub will move downstream along with a flotilla of pleasure boats to the Clinton Presidential Center and then make its way back upstream to dock at a barge between the Main Street and Broadway bridges.
Entertainment will include a performances by Broadway veteran Lawrence Hamilton, the U.S. Ceremonial Navy Band, the 106th U.S. Army Band, the Navy Jazz Band, local groups the Groan-Ups and Deja Voodoo, international cruise line performers Donna and Barry Humphries, the University of Arkansas pep band and pom squad, the Arkansas Twisters’ Sirens dance team, and flyovers by the Arkansas Air National Guard and North Little Rock Antique Plane Squad. State political figures and other dignitaries are expected to attend.
The fireworks, which culminate the event, will begin about 9 p.m. Parking is available at Alltel Arena and other lots around Main Street.
Public tours of the sub will run from Monday, Aug. 30 through Sept. 5 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day, with the exception of Sept. 4, when tours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 758-1424.
On Saturday, Aug. 28, North Little Rock’s Laman Public Library will be offering special showings of WWII-era submarine movies, including 1958’s “Run Silent, Run Deep,” starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster, and the 1943 romantic adventure “Crash Dive,” starring Tyrone Power and Anne Baxter. The submarine movie doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m. and is free. Laman Public Library is at 2801 N. Orange St. in North Little Rock. Call 758-1720.
The sub, named for a species of whale and commissioned in 1944, was present at the Japanese surrender in 1945. It was decommissioned by the Navy in 1970 and transferred to the Turkish navy. North Little Rock acquired the sub from the Turkish navy for $39,685 in salvage costs and officials have spent the past six months getting the sub to its permanent home.