THURSDAY 6/6-SATURDAY 6/8
THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN
1 p.m. Mulberry Mountain. $91-$507.
So maybe the organizers of this here festival were merely referencing the Dylan tune of the same name when they were deciding what to call a country music festival located at Mulberry Mountain near Ozark, but there was dang sure some actual thunder on that mountain for last week's Wakarusa festival hosted at the same location. Who knows how the weather will turn out for this festival? Such is the nature of outdoor events. Anyways, the inaugural Thunder on the Mountain is brought to you by Pipeline Productions, the same folks who produce Wakarusa and the Harvest Music Festival. But if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say there probably won't be too much in the way of audience overlap between those two events and this one. Headliners at Thunder on the Mountain include Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Big and Rich, Justin Moore, Gretchen Wilson, Thompson Square, Pat Green, Randy Rogers Band, Casey Donahew Band and many more. There's also going to be canoeing, fishing, hiking and lots more. RB
ARKANSAS SHAKESPEARE THEATRE: 'MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING'
7:30 p.m. Outdoors, The Village at Hendrix. Pay what you can.
It's June now, which means, among other things, that Shakespeare lovers in Arkansas are in for a treat: The return of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, which brings in dozens of professional actors and other stage talents to produce several of The Bard's works, as well as another play. This year, AST brings us "Much Ado About Nothing," "King Lear," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Oliver!", the musical based on the Dickens novel "Oliver Twist." The festival takes place at The Village at Hendrix, Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas and at an outdoor spot in the Argenta Arts District. Things kick off this year on Thursday at The Village (east of Hendrix College's main campus) with "Much Ado About Nothing," which will be performed June 6-8 and June 14 and 16. It will be performed June 21-22 in Argenta. All performances of this play are pay-what-you-can. "Oliver!" opens Wednesday at Reynolds, and runs June 13, 15, 25 and 28. RB
ARKANSAS TIMES CELEBRATE THE GRAPE
6 p.m. Sixth and Main in Argenta. $25 adv., $30 door.
Who doesn't love wine, right? And I'm not talking about your Night Train or your Wild Irish Rose. I'm talking about the good stuff — wines that have subtle notes of aloe and creosote and minerally noses and herbal smokiness and bright apple finishes that dance on the palate before dissolving into a charred blackberry finish that lingers for days and so forth. Well if you're into the good stuff, then you should definitely clear off your calendar for this Friday, because your good pals at the Arkansas Times are going to throw down with some very excellent wines — more than 200 of them, in fact. And what goes better with vino than food and music? So we've got food lined up from Argenta Market, Cafe Bossa Nova, Crush Wine Bar, The Italian Kitchen at Lulav and Reno's Argenta Cafe, and music from Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers and The Rex Bell Trio featuring Kasie Lunsford. In case you missed it, our cover story from last week had all the details. Check it out at arktimes.com/celebratethegrape. RB
BREWER AND SHIPLEY
5 p.m. Basin Spring Park, Eureka Springs. Free.
To be real candid about it, my mom is not exactly the most hip musical connoisseur. Back in 1970 or so, about the time The Stooges were recording "Fun House" and Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" was just hitting the shelves, my mom was a sophomore in high school. She was definitely not listening to either of those records, but one day, she heard this song on the radio that she really dug. It had a great rhythm and nice harmonies and it was called "One Toke Over the Line." It mentioned Jesus, so how could it not be wholesome, right? A duo called Dale and Gail even sang a version of it on the Lawrence Welk Show (seriously — this happened, just YouTube it). So she went to Walmart and bought the 45 for $0.77. Well, it'd be another several, several years before my mom learned what a "toke" was, and another many years before I'd find that record, along with the only other single she had ever purchased — "Close to You" by The Carpenters. After my grandmother died, we were cleaning out her house, and those two 45s had been stuck in a chest of drawers. I've got them both, and I listened to "One Toke Over the Line" and you know what? It's a great song. But you know what else? Brewer and Shipley had a bunch of great songs, released on several albums. If you dig folky country rock in the vein of "Workingman's Dead" or CSNY, definitely check out "Weeds" and "Tarkio Road." Tom Shipley and Mike Brewer have been keeping on keeping on after all these years. This show is free and it's from 5-7 p.m. and I don't think there's any opening band, which in my opinion is how every single concert should be. RB
FUTURE, ACE HOOD
7:30 p.m. Barton Coliseum. $50-$100.
Last year, you could've seen Future at Revolution for $20. That was before he became the rapper of the moment, though. If anyone not named Jay-Z or Kanye can command $50, he might be it. Like no one since 50 Cent, Future's managed to go pop without entirely alienating folks who like their hip-hop with a harder edge. What's his formula? An elastic notion of rapping. Sometimes Big Boi-esque speed rap. Sometimes a mumbled slow-roll. Sometimes heavily vocoder-ed T-Pain-style half-crooning. It's a vocal range that allows him to take aesthetic chances. Like on his massive hit, "Turn on the Lights," a half-sung, heavily processed torch song that's just about the sappiest thing you'll hear on the radio today (though I can say from experience, even with lyrics like "And if I get the number, you know I can't wait to dial it/And if we get together, girl, you know we gonna be wylin,' " once you've listened to it a couple of times, it becomes hard to switch stations). Some credit for the song's success has to go to producer du jour Mike WiLL Made It, who's also behind "Bugatti," the smash single from Florida rapper Ace Hood. Its swelling, synth-driven chorus recalls the wild-out days of Lil Jon, but Future, half-singing and heavily Auto-Tuned, makes it way weirder and druggy than crunk ever was. Also, Ace Hood ("Hustle Hard") murders it. Seeing him and Future do "Bugatti" together on stage might be enough to warrant the ticket price for a lot of fans. LM
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
There's some seriously great playing on some very, very good tunes on the new Amy Garland album, "Hang a Light." The singer/songwriter hosts the "Backroads" show on KABF-FM 88.3 (Fridays from 5-7 p.m.) and she's been a fixture on the Americana/roots scene for quite some time now. Her tunes would no doubt fit in seamlessly on one of her shows, tucked in somewhere between a Patty Griffin song and maybe something by Willie Nelson. The album boasts a murderer's row of great local talent (lots of Salty Dogs on here), including her husband Bart Angel, Mike Nelson and Nick Devlin, who produced the set. Other guests include Bonnie Montgomery, Jeff Coleman, Brad Williams, Shannon Boshears, Isaac Alexander, RJ Looney and Amy Williams. Highlights: "Blood Still Here in My Veins" kicks things off with an almost Dire Straits-backing-Nanci-Griffith vibe. "Runaway Boy" hits a sentimental sweet spot that'll tug on your heartstrings without ever seeming maudlin. "Mama's Tired" is a satisfying kiss-off with a killer central riff. Garland and crew take Rowland Salley's "Killing the Blues" (notably covered by John Prine and on that ubiquitous Robert Plant and Alison Krauss collab) and make it their own. This album release show will no doubt be a special night, with lots of guests getting up on stage to join Garland for a round. Bonnie Montgomery opens the show. RB