News Column

EDITORIAL: Outdoor Venues Offer Plethora Of Musical Entertainment All Summer Long

May 29, 2013

YellowBrix

May 29--The performer USA Today calls "the best female rock singer in the country right now" will take the stage Thursday in Fort Smith, setting off a summer of live music under the sun or stars throughout the area.

Rolling Stone says Grace Potter moves from "Janis Joplin-esque bluster, to laid-back singer-songwriter soul that recalls a toughened-up Norah Jones, to Alanis-like blasts of epic recrimination." She'll give us a taste of all of it when she takes the stage with her band, the Nocturnals, around 8 p.m. Thursday at Neumeier's Rib Room.

If you can't wait until tomorrow to get out in the open air and hear some great music, Rock4Revival Tour with Saving Abel, Art of Dying and Blacklite District is 7:30 p.m. today at Neumeier's.

Thursday also will be the kickoff of four days of top-notch bands playing great music out in the open air by the Mulberry River during the Wakarusa Music Festival.

Set on Mulberry Mountain just outside of Ozark, the festival will feature the Black Crowes, Snoop Lion, Widespread Panic, Of Monsters and Men and Icona Pop, to name just a few of the more than 100 acts that will take to one of the multiple stages over the weekend.

Norway's Of Monsters and Men has made a splash on the charts in the past few months with its single, "Little Talks." And Icona Pop's hit single, "I Don't Care," blows up the most requested charts often on SiriusFM's Hits One.

Even those who don't care about the international acts should be impressed by this little grass-roots festival that has continued to grow each year since moving to our area after leaving its home in Kansas five years ago.

For those wanting to taste the country side of music while enjoying the country life, Thunder on the Mountain will boast top acts like Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich when Mulberry Mountain hosts the musical festival just a few days after cleaning up from Wakarusa.

Thunder on the Mountain, scheduled for June 6-8, will have a lineup "second to none" according to Brett Mosiman, festival director.

"If you look at the country lineup across the board, it's so impressive. Luke Bryan was just voted the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year, Thompson Square was voted ACM's Best Vocal Duo and Easton Corbin has a hot new record out now," Mosiman said in a recent Times Record report.

If that's not enough, the Fort Smith Riverfront Blues Festival will feature stars like Johnny Winter, Eric Sardinas and Jeff Strahan June 21-22 at Harry E. Kelley Park.

Yes, all summer long, we will be blessed to hear some great bands while sitting in the great outdoors.

Though there's no river running beside the stage, Neumeier's will continue to bring in great acts, including The Cate Brothers on June 22 and Reverend Horton Heat on Aug. 17.

What'Ya Do Ya'll Bar and Grill, formerly known as the Rib Shack, will have live music in its outdoor beer garden area all summer long, as will La Huerta on Garrison.

With an abundance of musicians taking the stage in outdoor venues throughout our area, there is no excuse for saying there's nothing to do in this town. No, now is the time to get outside, breathe some fresh air, find a new band to love and enjoy your summer.

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(c)2013 Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.)

Visit Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.) at www.swtimes.com

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