American Princes, Arkansas Blues Society, Blue October, Charles Mingus, Chase Pagan, Chris Pickens, Damage Plan, Dan Dyer, Erin Hurley, Evanescence, Galactic, Hitchhiker Entertainment, Jon Love, Juanita's, Little Rock Free Press, Lovedrug, Miles Davis, North Mississippi All Stars, Pharoah Sanders, Shemekia Copeland, Singleminded, Sonny Boy Williamson, Sugar and The Raw, Taj Mahal, The Black Keys, The Starkz, Todd Snider, Unwed Sailor
Walking into Juanita’s Café and Bar at 13th and Main, pictures of current luminaries like Maroon 5, Rooney and North Mississippi All Stars vie with a plasma TV for the attention of patrons clustering around the stainless steel bar.
Much like the images flittering across the screen, the pictures seem transitory in contrast to American icons including Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Taj Mahal, Sonny Boy Williamson and Pharoah Sanders adorning the opposite blue wall. But since a smoky haze often engulfs Little Rock’s ear-candy headquarters, most won’t notice the mural until they’ve taken a seat.
Few patrons know the history of the figures on the blue wall, but most didn’t come for a lecture about the shifting of music’s historical burden to today’s generation; they came to jam.
Hitchhiker Entertainment promoter Erin Hurley roams the crowd to make sure they get their money’s worth. His ear for talent promises to continue the 19-year tradition of Juanita’s hosting great music from so many bands that a staff T-shirt cannot mention them all.
“Juanita’s caters to every listener of every age,” general manager Chris Pickens says. “I think Erin does a good job. There’s a nice mix of music. Some weeks it’s mainly rock, but if the week itself doesn’t have a good mix, at least the month does.”
Last month was no exception, as the lineup included Blindside, Bowling for Soup, 2 Live Crew, Silvertide and Five Bolt Main. While Juanita’s Summer Showcase features top up-and-coming local acts getting their music before the industry, Hurley and partner Jon Love plan to do more to increase awareness of Little Rock’s homegrown talent. Continue reading