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Welcome to gozarks portal into the past, present and future of life as we know it.... researched, observed, intuited and empirically experienced from an isolated nook in a semi-rural cranny of The Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

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THE ARKANSAS RIVER BLUES SOCIETY
The videos of the contest are exceptionally good for live performances. Order a two-DVD set of the evening's musical performances and the "Celebration Jam" that followed for ONLY $15.00.....
FYI: $10.00 goes to ARBS, $3.00 goes to "Band Together & Fight Hunger," a ministry of the Amboy Community Food Pantry. CDs may be available soon.  Contact Jim Carpenter at carpenter8806@sbcglobal.net for details!!

UPDATE: The Arkansas River Blues Society will celebrate their annual Christmas Open Blues Jam on Friday, December 16, 2011, at the Cornerstone Pub & Grill,  located at 314 Main Street in North Little Rock.  Festivities start at 8 pm and the cover is only $5 per person! Unseen Eye will be the house band with Gil Franklin and Lucious Spiller as a special guest. Hope to see you there!!!

October 2011: A short time ago, through a chance meeting, I became acquainted with Aaron Crowder, Chairman of the Arkansas River Blues Society's 2011 Arkansas Blues Contest, which was held last Saturday night (October 29, 2011) at the Parrot Beach Cafe on Mac Arthur Drive in North Little Rock.

The event had yet to happen when Aaron and I met, and at his invitation I took up the position of 'official timekeeper' for the performances.

What a hoot!!!

The program started at 7pm. The club reminded me of the haunts (no Halloween joke intended) I'd haunted in my (much) younger days: countrified, casual and convivial. Everyone smiling and relaxed. There were even a couple young kids in the place, and everyone was making each other feel very much at home.

I was given my 'official timekeeper' training by the  lovely Babs Bearden, President of the Arkansas River Blues Society. We reviewed the rules and I set myself up on a barstool, with a good view of the stage and the 'official clock', ready to enter the  'start' and 'stop' time of each performance on the 'official timekeeper form'.

Josh Stoffer was first to the stage with his impressive mastery of  classical guitar, mandolin and lap steel accompanied by a kick drum and tambourine at his feet, resonating with folk-rock-blues.
 
Chris Thomson, a standard in clubs and festivals in Little Rock, Fayetteville, Eureka Springs, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Tulsa and Memphis since 1980, often appearing as "Blind Boy White," has a vibrant musical swagger all his own and shares it with gusto and professionalism.
 
Bluesboy Jag and Johnny Baxter made me think of 'the hippie and the cowboy' even though this duo act combines guitar, keyboard, vocals and harp with extraordinary finesse.
 
Ben "Swamp Donkey" Brenner is an acclaimed finger-style Delta Blues Master whose original songs express the heart and and come from the soul of the low side of the road.
 
Lucious Spiller radiates style and showmanship as his blues guitar lays down the slow, gritty and grinding tunes accentuated by his flamboyant vocals.
 
David Kimbrough Jr. leads the band in Mississippi guitar rhythms that define the spiritual vibe with sensual and suggestive flair, continuing in his father's tradition of repetition, salty licks, and funky soul.

Deb Moser of KABF's Blues House Party emceed the affair, which had only a $5 cover and played to a nearly-packed house.

The winners, Spiller in solo/duo category and Kimbrough in bands, will represent the Arkansas River Blues Society in Memphis, Tennessee January 31st through February 4th, 2012 at The Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge.

Sounds like a hoot! Maybe I'll apply as timekeeper...!!!

 



Josh Stoffer

 


Chris Thomson

 


Bluesboy Jag and Johnny Baxter

 


Ben Brenner

 


Lucious Spiller

 



David Kimbrough Jr. Band

 


Deb Moser of KABF's Blues House Party & Blues Competition Chair Aaron Crowder, drawing tickets to give away CDs!!!

A strumming good time was had by all....

 

~ celebrating professionalism in service ~


 

 

That you may be filled with strength and power, rooted and grounded in love that surpasses all knowledge: Be kind to one another; live with compassion, producing every kind of goodness; stand firm and hold your ground in truth, righteousness and peace; be courageous; embrace faith which is perfect trust in justice. ~Ephesians 3-6 (condensed)