JONESBORO – Eight regional acts will take the stage Thursday and Friday nights, Oct. 17-18, during “KASU Music Nights” at the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival in Dyess. The performances are all free and will be held at the Dyess Colony Visitors Center.
These talented singers and musicians representing all parts of Arkansas will perform after the conclusion of symposium events in the Visitors Center. Each presentation will last 50 minutes.
Here is the lineup:
Thursday, Oct. 17
5 p.m. — Rodger King and Company from Lonoke; classic country and bluegrass.
Rodger King grew up in southeastern Arkansas in the small town of Humnoke where “everybody knew everybody.” King loved music and his parents bought his first guitar when he was nine. With that, his path was set. He developed into a sought-after guitarist and songwriter whose catalog includes country, bluegrass, gospel, blues and swing. His music has been featured at major bluegrass festivals and clubs and to record or share the stage with Josh Graves, Kenny Baker, Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss, Mac Wiseman, Chubby Wise, and Blues Boy Willie. He has opened shows for George Jones, Ricky Skaggs, Marie Osmond, Moe Bandy, The Kendalls, Marty Haggard, Ronnie Reno and Marty Stuart. He also learned from Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Jimmie Rodgers and others.
6 p.m. — The Natural Disasters from Batesville/Melbourne; pop, rock, country and Americana music.
The Natural Disasters are a multi-genre duo composed of John T. Parks and Sarah Jo Sample. The pair began their musical adventure in 1996 when Sample hired the 17-year-old Parks as the bass player in her band, Double Shot. They toured surrounding states for the next several years and were the opening acts for several artists and bands including Restless Heart, John Michael Montgomery, Doug Stone, Mark Chesnutt and B.J. Thomas. After Double Shot, the two set off to pursue college, family, solo albums and careers. In 2007, they reunited to add pieces to the puzzle in the energetic cover band, The Lockhouse Orchestra. Their blended voices, love for the audience, and curiosity for the unwritten song brought the two together in 2013 as a duo act.
7 p.m. — The PF Flyers from Jonesboro; 1960s and 1970s pop and rock music cover band.
The PF Flyers is a group from Jonesboro who play golden age classic rock from the 1960s and 1970s. Their tight sound results in realistic reproduction of rock standards by bands such as Bachman Turner Overdrive, the Eagles, the Beatles and the Hollies.
8 p.m. — The Billy Jones Band from Jacksonville; blues and rhythm and blues band.
Born in the deep south of the United States, Billy Jones grew up in his grandfather's bar, listening to blues in different juke joints and bars. Elmore James, Big Joe Turner, Jackie Wilson, B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke and other great blues and soul musicians were his influences and, when he was only five years old, he already had a guitar in his hands. Soon he started to perform for the American troops, which allowed him to travel all over the world and get a wide musical experience. Now he brings his recordings that accurately combine blues, funk and Southern soul, which make an actual urban sound, perfect to attract the new generations of blues music lovers. Ten powerful songs with an amazing punch and good rhythm, where Billy Jones’ well pitched voice and excellent guitar work shine like a dazzling star, perfectly supported by Corey Bray on keyboards, Rev. "Do Dirty" Kendrix on bass and Mark Flinoil on drums.
Friday, Oct. 18
5 p.m. — The Clark Family Trio from Searcy/Little Rock; folk, country, pop and Americana music.
The Clark Family Trio features Cindy Clark on bass and vocals, her daughter Sallie Ann Clark on guitar and vocals, and their friend Bill Nesbitt on guitar, mandolin, banjo and vocals. The Trio is listed with Arkansas Arts On Tour and has been featured at Silver Dollar City, the Ozark Folk Center, the Eureka Springs Folk Festival, the Eureka Springs Bluegrass Weekend, Our Saturday Musical in Mountain View, the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, Ozark Highlands Radio, KASU Bluegrass Monday, and many other notable venues. The Trio draws from a large variety of musical styles, including bluegrass, folk, country, jazz, pop and gospel, always infusing their sound with tight three-part harmonies and Nesbitt's instrumental work.
6 p.m. — The Salty Dogs from Little Rock; classic and contemporary country music.
Together for 14 years, the four-piece neo-classic country band is the Land of Opportunity’s honky tonk sage. Started as a lark retro-country act, the quartet immediately found chemistry, along with a lot of joy, as they dug into their craft. Their sound has expanded over a decade and a half, from uber-twang and purist classic country to equal parts 1954 Nashville, 1961 Bakersfield, and 1972 everywhere. The band has played countless shows sharing the stage with Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Old Crow Medicine Show, Billy Joe Shaver, Robert Earl Keen, The Gourds, Pete Anderson, David Rawlings, Kinky Friedman, Junior Brown and Kelly Willis. The band’s music has been featured on TLC‘s hit TV show, Trading Spaces, on the award-winning Sundance Channel hit show, Rectify, and most recently the motion picture release, Valley Inn.
7 p.m. — The Boss Tweeds of Mountainburg; 50s/60s rockabilly and country music.
Known for their genre of psychobilly, the Boss Tweeds include the sweet sounds of Joe Hamilton’s reverb-laden guitar solos and vocals worthy of an Alan Freed extravaganza. His backing crew, brothers Jody and Brad Birchfield (drums and bass respectively), provide vocal harmonies and occasionally perform under the spotlight. The band also salutes their Arkansas rock and roll forefathers, covering tunes by Ronnie Hawkins, Johnny Cash and Billy Lee Riley.
8 p.m. — The Akeem Kemp Band from Morrilton; blues and rhythm and blues band.
Akeem Kemp is a natural prodigy who is a singer, guitarist and songwriter from Arkansas. Influenced by Albert King’s string bending and soulful, smoky vocals as well as Jimi Hendrix’s overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, Kemp has managed to create his own style and unique tone. His powerful and heartfelt vocals with his smoking guitar strokes distinguish him as a real-deal emerging artist. Through the inspiration of life experiences, he uses his music to connect with all walks of life. Kemp is on a journey to create memories, conceive feelings and communicate lyrics people may feel they cannot say any other way except through music.
In addition to the “KASU Music Nights” concerts, the festival will also include symposiums Thursday and Friday in the Dyess Colony Circle visitors center and food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and demonstrations throughout the three days. The festival will wrap up Saturday, Oct. 19, with a ticketed concert in the cotton field adjacent to the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home featuring acclaimed Grammy Award-winners Marty Stuart and Rosanne Cash.
VIP Full Circle ticket packages that include seating in a special reserved section for the concert, field parking adjacent to the concert, admission to the ticketed Friday afternoon special presentations, and an invitation to a private Friday evening “suppertime stations” event with members of the Cash family have sold out.
A schedule of topics that explore “Our Musical Genealogy: Country Music and the American Experience” has been set for the academic symposium in the Dyess Colony Visitors Center and are free and open to the public. The symposium will run all day Thursday, Oct. 17, and Friday morning, Oct. 18.
Friday afternoon will feature a special “Titans of Film Making” event hosted by Rosanne Cash and featuring three prominent documentarians. This special event will be held at the Dyess Community Center.
Tickets for $15 (plus applicable fees) for the Friday Special Presentations are still available. Good seats for the Saturday afternoon concert are also available. Concert ticket prices are $35 plus applicable fees for general admission (bring your own chair); $100 plus applicable fees for reserved chair seating. A limited number of parking passes for the field adjacent to the concert are available to $100 ticket purchasers for $50 until spaces run out. They can be purchased by contacting the Central Box Office in A-State’s First National Bank Arena at the lower red entrance, or by calling 870-972-2781 or 800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased at JohnnyCashHeritageFestival.com. Parking passes cannot be purchased online. Passes will be mailed out, along with a parking map, directions and instructions.
The festival is coordinated through Arkansas State University Heritage Sites and licensed through the John R. Cash Revocable Trust.
This is a press release from Arkansas State University. More A-State news can be found here. Arkansas State University is the license holder of KASU 91.9 FM.