CEDRIC BURNSIDE AND LIGHTNIN' MALCOLM
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $7.
Hill Country blues, that raw and rhythmic sound of North Mississippi, came into widespread prominence just as the towering figures of the genre, R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, were near the end of their lives. Fat Possum, the Water Valley, Miss., label that released their albums, built itself on the backs of the last of the Mississippi blues men. Now the label puts out mostly indie-rock; just about all of its blues acts are dead or dying. But just as we're ready to call the Hill Country sound dead and gone comes Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, the self-dubbed “juke joint duo.” Burnside, the grandson of R.L., soaked up plenty from his grandfather, not just from living with him, but also from years on the road with him as his drummer. And guitarist Malcolm, raised in rural Mississippi on the blues and in juke joints, also brings an impressive grasp of the Hill Country sound. The two aren't revivalists; they infuse thick hip-hop beats and rock flourishes into their blues, but damn if it doesn't have that hypnotic swing. Burnside and Malcolm come to White Water to celebrate the release of their new album, “2 Man Wrecking Crew.” They'll follow the show with two others, at Chelsea's in Eureka Springs on Friday and Maxine's in Hot Springs on Saturday. LM.
9 p.m., Revolution. $15-$18.
Indie rockers, stand up. If you've ever bitched about Little Rock being a backwater that never, or hardly ever, pulls name indie talent, it's time to put up or shut up. Because within the Pitchfork set, few names are bigger than Canada's Wolf Parade. Originally championed by Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock, the band signed, in 2005, to Sub Pop, where it's put out two critically beloved full-lengths. Its music, a textured combination of sounds and styles from the last three decades of rock 'n' roll, often reaches into soaring, anthemic heights. Perfect for fist-pumping. Listening Party opens the concert, which is open to ages 18 and older. LM.
LARRY THE CABLE GUY
7:30 p.m., Alltel Arena. $42.50.
Not that you can't be a redneck without stretching your diphthongs, but have you heard Larry the Cable Guy's actual accent? It's pure Nebraska cornfield, as twang-less as Tom Brokaw. If that undermines his “git-r-done” shtick, no one's showed sign of caring. The 45-year-old comedian, real name Daniel Whitney, is perhaps the most beloved funny man in the country. Two of his comedy albums, “Lord, I Apologize” and “The Right to Bare Arms,” have been certified gold. He's starred in a number of films — “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector,” “Delta Farce,” “Witless Protection” — all of which have inspired critical skewering, but made money at the box office. His endless string of one-liners (he's said he often packs 700 punch lines into a set) might baffle a lot of us, but you better believe Alltel will be packed out. LM.
OZARK FOLK FESTIVAL
City Auditorium, Eureka Springs, $20-$65.
The nation's longest continuously running folk festival returns to Eureka Springs for four days of as authentic a genre celebration as you're likely to find anywhere. The event features 14 performers, several free concerts, a songwriting contest, open mic events, a downtown parade and arts and crafts. Nightly headliners include Noah Earle and 3 Penny Acre, Vagabond Van and Patty Larkin. This year's featured headliner, New York-born Melanie Safka, who performs on Sunday at 2 p.m., hit the national stage as the voice of “flower power” with her song, “Beautiful People,” at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival in 1969. She was booked as the first solo pop/rock artist ever to appear at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, the Sydney Opera House, and in the General Assembly of the United Nations. The event is guest hosted by Greg Klyma, noted by the Buffalo News as “a man hellbent on becoming Buffalo's own Woody Guthrie.” The festival is divided among venues including the City Auditorium and the Gem. For a complete performance schedule and venue listing go to www.ozarkfolkfestival.com/schedule.html or call 888-855-7823. PP.
WINNIE THE POOH
3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Alltel Arena. $42-$50.
It's Pooh and his menagerie of friends come to life — as giant muppets. The crew's traditional stomping ground, the Hundred Acre Wood, gets compressed into the floor space at Alltel, with Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and Rabbit tramping about as they try to plan a surprise party for the unsuspecting Pooh. Along the way, the party planners get distracted and entice the audience to bounce to the “Whoop-de-Dooper” dance, catch Rabbit's “runaway garden vegetables,” practice “stoutness” exercises with Pooh and sing at the top of their little lungs classic Pooh songs. “House at Pooh Corner,” anyone? LM.
9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.
I haven't seen Punkinhead since 1992 or 1993, but its “New South Soul” album has remained in my CD rotation stack for the better part of 15 years. Never got my paws on the follow-up, “America Dreaming,” but while simultaneously recording at Barry Poynter's in early 1993, I learned that drummer Chuck P utilized only a kick, snare, high-hat and ride cymbal to lay down his drum tracks. Ah yes, less can be more. Simply put, Punkinhead owned Little Rock and Fayetteville for a long stretch, and fans of All That is Funky will want to secure tickets and arrive early for this reunion, as seating at Sticky's can often be a crying bitch to secure. No opening act has been announced as of press deadline. For a preview, dig some of Punkinhead's jams at myspace.com/punkinheadlive. That should be enough to whet the taste buds. PP.
‘ELEGIES FOR ANGELS, PUNKS AND RAGING QUEENS'
7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $14-$18.
Inspired by the NAMES Project AIDS Quilt and Edgar Lee Master's “Spoon River Anthology,” “Elegies” includes monologues from the perspectives of those felled by AIDS and songs by those they left behind. With lyrics by the Tony-award nominated Bill Russell (“Side Show”) and music by Janet Hood, the play ranges from tales about a “regular Joe who dropped into a brothel, to a granny who was given an infected blood transfusion.” The music, too, covers broad ground, with blues, jazz and rock featuring. As with all Weekend Theater musicals, “Elegies” runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Next Thursday, the theater hosts a benefit performance and reception at 6:45 for $30 to benefit children living with AIDS. Bill Russell is scheduled to be a special guest. LM
9 p.m., Cajun's. $5.
Local stalwart Shannon Boshears and her band celebrate the release of her sophomore CD, “Black Mascara,” the follow-up to her 2001 release, “Chicksinger,” at what's certain to be a memorable show at Cajun's Wharf. The Little Rock native was raised on blues, country, rock and gospel. For the past eight years, Boshears has worked with the same band members — Charlie Macom on drums, Lori Stidham on bass and vocals and her nearly-20-year accompanist Walter K on guitar. Other musicians featured on the record are Mark Sallings of the Famous Unknowns on saxophone and harmonica, Matt Dickson on saxophone and Becky Haynes on African djembe drum. “Black Mascara” will be available on CD at all Boshears' live shows and also can be purchased or downloaded from her Web site at www.shannonboshears.com after Nov. 8. Proceeds from the CD sales at the release party will be donated to Hope Equity at www.hopeequity.org, an online philanthropy tool created by Heifer International Foundation. PP.
PLAIN WHITE T'S
7 p.m., the Village. $16-$20.
Oh, the kids will flock. With earnest lyrics of love and loss, sparkly punk-pop hooks and hipster haircuts, the Chicago-based five-piece has recently ascended into the modern rock pantheon. After laboring in emo clubs for the last decade, two years ago, their weepy ballad “Hey There Delilah” got nominated for two Grammys, and the band's made the rounds on all the late night shows and on the soundtracks of all the teen-soap TV shows and in the pages of all the music mags that matter. On their recently released “Big Bad World,” the T's forgo trying to follow-up “Delilah” with another acoustic-ballad, instead focusing on the pop-punk that's formed the cornerstone of the group's success for years. Local pop collective Bear Colony opens with Box Wine. LM.