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Releasing the Rock

Local Americana singer-songwriter Sean Rock has a new CD to show off.

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Clarendon native Sean Rock is well known to local music followers who like his Americana folk and rock music — a style that sounds as if it was crafted from a fine sawdust of heartache, intuition and Southern romanticism. He has completed his first solo CD, “Somewhere From Now,” with a release party set for Friday, Aug. 18, at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom.

Rock says growing up in the Delta germinated the songwriter seed in him. “There really wasn’t anything else to do but sit on the levee and make up songs,” he said. “My mother and grandmother always sang to me — Hank Williams, folk songs, the Beatles.”

Early training also came from hanging out with his uncle, Sonny “Red” Baker, an early rockabilly voice on the Helena/Memphis music circuit. Discovering Steve Earle in junior high, namely Earle’s album “Guitar Town,” set the pace for his musical ambition.

Rock often plays solo, and occasionally as a duo with brother Stephen (as the Rocks). Friday, he’ll play with his full band, the Toltecs — Roland Gladden on bass, multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin) Jeff Clanton, and on drums Bart Angel (Salty Dogs) and jazz percussionist Brian Withers. The newest member of the project is classically trained Crystal Wallis on viola.
Acoustic guitarists Brian Frazier and Stephen Rock open the show at 10 p.m. Admission is $6 for ages 18 and up.


We’re surely sad that Al Green won’t be here to sanctify on Saturday, Aug. 19 — the concert was postponed until Oct. 27, when things will be a lot cooler, everyone hopes — and perhaps not only us, but the many other couples who were planning to let Al put them in the mood for the rest of the night. But how about late night with a local interest instead: a KABF benefit will be held at White Water Tavern on Saturday with Clicking Beetle Bad Omen Band, the Moving Front and American Princes lending their talents to help the community radio station. Music starts around 10 p.m. and admission is $5.


Speaking of Little Rock’s American Princes, who have long been one of our favorite groups from anywhere, they’ll also be playing at Sticky Fingerz on Friday, Aug. 18, starting at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $5.


Say the name Air Supply and you WILL get a response (not always bad … and not necessarily good either). Those of us who get a retro thrill may want to check them out at the Timberwood Amphitheater in the Magic Springs and Crystal Falls Theme Park in Hot Springs.

Last year the group was scheduled at the same venue but a mighty storm swept through the city, and so they had to cancel. The price of the concert is included in the park admission, which is $49.95 for the season or $29.99 after 5 p.m. You can also get a re-served seat for an extra $5.
We hope “Lost in Love,” “I’m All Out of Love” and “Every Woman in the World” stick in your head all day.


You may think of First Impressions as a reggae or R&B band, but their massive list of songs covers everything from funk to pop to Latin to timeless classics. Check out this outstanding local party band at the Peabody’s Friday night RiverTop Party starting at 8 p.m. Aug. 18. Admission is $5 for ages 21 and up. … While you’re out and about Friday, stop in at Cajun’s Wharf, where the fun local cover band The Intruders will be playing at around 9 p.m. The Intruders — Chris Newell and Johnny McKay on vocals and guitar, Troy Baker on drums, Mike Walsh on keys and Doug Bramlett on bass and vocals — formed in 1987 and can always be counted on for classic, danceable rock with New Orleans-style roots. … Tonya Leeks, who recently sang with Beyonce, is back in town with the Tonya Leeks Band for a show at the Afterthought on Friday, starting at 8 p.m. … Max Recordings artist The Contingencies have 14 tracks of original music on a new CD they’ll release at the White Water Tavern on Friday, starting at 10 p.m. … If you’ve yet to catch Chris Denny, you’re missing out on a terrific singer-songwriter. He’ll be at Cornerstone Pub in North Little Rock on Friday at 9 p.m. On Saturday at Cornerstone, check out the talented band Grand Serenade, out of Heber Springs. … Shannon Boshears can always be counted on for a rocking good show of originals and covers, and she’ll be at Cajun’s Wharf on Saturday at about 9 p.m. … Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame inductee John Plunkett will be on the piano on Monday, Aug, 21, at the Afterthought for the weekly Monday Jazz Project show starting at 8 p.m. The Jazz Project Trio will be backing Plunkett up. Admission is $5. More local music with Chris “Blind Boy White” Thomson, his guitar and old-school music offerings will be at the After-thought on Tuesday, Aug. 22. He’ll start at 8 p.m. Cover is $3. … And looking ahead to next week, two near-legendary Texas peas in a pod are playing back to back in Little Rock: Ray Wylie Hubbard will appear at Juanita’s on Thursday, Aug. 24, and Robert Earl Keen plays the Revelution Room on Friday, Aug. 25. Keen’s show will also have Reckless Kelly on the bill.

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