Willy Porter, a 6- and 12-string guitar player/songwriter and Milwaukee native, brings his charismatic stage show to Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom on Friday, Feb. 18.
His fast and frantic speed-picking has garnered comparisons to Leo Kottke. Also, audience participation is routine at a Porter show. He’s known for soliciting unrelated topics from the crowd and incorporating the ideas into a song in various musical styles – the audience can even make the choice of musical genre.
The veteran Porter’s first album, “The Trees Have Soul,” was released 15 years ago. Most recently he’s recorded a live album, “High Live Wire.”
The show starts at 10 p.m. and admission is $10.
Under the Ground, Little Rock’s hip-hop torch bearer, presents an all-ages show on Friday, Feb. 18, at Vino’s Brewpub with Phonographics, 607, Juggernaught Glitch, Conduit Entertainment and 9th Scientist. The show has an 8 p.m. start time; admission is $5.
Vino’s performance room will be closed Saturday, Feb. 19, for a private function, though the restaurant will maintain regular business hours.
Catch cool, trance-like dance-electronica rock on a weeknight with Nashville-based Nation at Sticky Fingerz on Thursday, Feb. 17. The band has a new album, “Six Pack,” with six new translations in their style of urban-pop and hip-hop, along with a video of one of the new selections, “Electronic.” Admission to the 10 p.m. show is $6.
Also at Sticky Fingerz this week:
Fun ’80s cover band Venus Mission starts off a fun weekend on Friday, Feb. 18 (9:30 p.m., $8), and is followed Saturday, Feb. 19 by the touring Dave Matthews Tribute Band (9 p.m., $7).
Redneck party and country music cowboy Charlie Robison seems to enjoy playing Stickyz when he comes to Little Rock, and he’ll make yet another stop here on Wednesday, Feb. 23. Robison’s latest album is “Good Times.” The Randy Rogers Band, which played just Monday in a double-bill with Wade Bowen, will open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.
And a heads-up for Grammy-nominated artist Alvin Youngblood Hart, who is as big in stature as Howlin’ Wolf and has as many dreads as Bob Marley did. Hart is coming to Sticky Fingerz on Thursday, Feb. 24.
He has played with such names as Taj Mahal and soul artist Bobby Rush (Hart played lead guitar on Rush’s “Folkfunk” album, released last year). His last visit treated us with not only to blues, but also reggae, soul and rock, and Hart even covered a Tom Petty tune.
Admission to the 9 p.m. show Feb. 24 is $8.
Lookback Marys, led by singer/songwriter guitarists Jeff Clanton and Sean Rock (along with Arkansas Times advertising employee Roland Gladden on stand-up bass) have been writing new songs in their pop-meets-roots-rock style and will debut them at Cornerstone Deli and Pub in North Little Rock on Friday, Feb. 18. Lookback Marys last played a standing room-only show at the club on New Year’s Eve.
Music will start around 10 p.m.; the cover is $5.
Hippy-rockers Weakness for Blondes, led by Chris DeClerk, take the stage Saturday, Feb. 19, at Cornerstone, starting around 9 p.m. The cover is $5.
Local musicians Nick Devlin, Mike Nelson and Bart Angel do double duty at the White Water Tavern this weekend. Devlin, bassist Nelson and drummer Angel are three-fourths of the country-styled Salty Dogs, who will play on Friday, Feb. 18 ($5, 10 p.m.). Singer and songwriter Brad Williams, who also plays with Big Silver, is the fourth member of the Salty Dogs.
Devlin, Nelson and Angel are back on stage Saturday, Feb. 19, with their other project, the folk-rock Amy Garland Band ($5, 9 p.m.) fronted by Amy Garland Angel, who’s married to her drummer, Bart.
If you’ve never seen Devlin work on guitar (the sitdown pedal steel variety or the regular electric type) you’re in for a real treat. The rest of the musicians in these two shows are pretty solid in their own right, too.