Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bringin' the ROCK to Little Rock

Everyone who knows me knows that I.LOVE.MUSIC.  Specifically, live music.  It is very close to the center of my world - right next to my family.  So my favorite band is on hiatus - that doesn't mean that I'm on hiatus.  I've always squeezed in some different "flavors" of music between my Panic shows.  This year, I've committed to seeing even more of the different flavors that make the live music world go round.

I've been in Little Rock for 13 years and have been a live music buff since before I arrived.  I've also been fortunate to almost always have great options of live music going on in my now-hometown to choose from.  This is no-doubt in LARGE part to the tremendous efforts of the awesome Chris King and Suzon Awbrey.  They not only provide 2 of the greatest establishments Little Rock has to offer (Sticky Fingerz and Rev Room), but they recognize so many different types of music that Little Rockers love.  I personally lean more toward the jamband flavor, and they always have great gigs in that arena.

I am super pumped about seeing Hayes Carll tonight at Rev Room.  Though he's now I worldwide sensation, I had the fortune of meeting and hearing him play at college gatherings my freshman year at Hendrix.  As it turned out, he was friends with some of the new friends I was making and I remember the first freshman party I attended (read White House) - he was playing some Bob Dylan on guitar and a few folks were gathered around singing along.  In high school, one of my best friends Sarah Hughes played routinely like this at our get-togethers, so I was drawn in to listening to Hayes et al.  This would not be the last time of my freshman year that I got to witness Hayes on guitar.  Hayes graduated Hendrix that year and I attended one more year before transferring to UALR (oh the regrets.........another blog).

Years later, and I'm talking probably 13 years later, I can't remember how I heard it (this was pre-Facebook and other social media) but I heard that Hayes Carll had just put out his first album in the previous year and its' reception was great!  I couldn't believe it!  I remember ordering 4 of the cds online and waiting anxiously for them to arrive.  I gave the other 3 cds away, as I wanted to get the word out about this great artist.  As luck would have it, Hayes was also playing at Sticky Fingerz for (I believe) the first time.  I gathered a few of my closest friends and we went.  Me and a couple of friends were instantly drawn in.  This guy has the most clever yet poetic lyrics and all of his tunes are catchy.  And the voice, oh the voice.........The best of all worlds.  I would venture to say that he is in my all time top 5 favorite artists.  That's a huge statement for me.

I have Hayes-brain today because he's playing tonight, but I listen to his music regularly.  He has released 4 albums, all of which are great.  Each album has a variety of tunes - something for everyone.  Hayes has a special love for Arkansas - even naming one of his albums Little Rock.  I am fairly certain that Arkansas is the home state of his lovely kick ass bride (who happens to be one of the many awesome friends I made during my Hendrix years).  Hayes usually plays in Little Rock twice a year.  Once during the spring and once around Thanksgiving.  I try my best to make each show, as it is always the best of times.  And often a mini-Hendrix reunion.  Awe.

So if any of you Little Rockers are reading this and don't have good plans for your St Patty's Day Saturday night, I implore you - go to Rev Room!  You will NOT regret it.

A hundred million thanks to Chris and Suzon, who make such great music and fun times available to central Arkansas.  You are appreciated, my friends.  Keep on rockin.


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