LIVE! Music: Watkins and DJ Raquel to perform in Bentonville, Brianna Thomas Sextet in Fayetteville; Jake Scott nabs CMT nod

LIVE! Music: Watkins and DJ Raquel to perform in Bentonville, Brianna Thomas Sextet in Fayetteville; Jake Scott nabs CMT nod

Pop singer and songwriter Madison Watkins will perform for the first First Friday of 2023 on the outdoor square in at 7 p.m. April 7 in downtown Bentonville, 103 S. Main St.

The Fayetteville native released an EP, “Electric,” in 2022 that featuring a music video for the title track in partnership with Puma and LG. Her hit single “Someday” has surpassed 3 million streams on Spotify and Apple Music, while her song, “Blinded” was featured on CBS’s “Love Island USA.” She has opened for a number of internationally renowned artists, including Elle King, Gwen Stefani, and Jason Derulo and performed with Tori Kelly.

Watkins is promoting her latest single “Find You,” set for release on April 5. Stay tuned for more songs, and keep up with her bubbly personality by following her on Instagram @Madison_Watkins. More information on First Fridays are at

Also LIVE!

CACHE Studios brings back the Live Music Bentonville series April 8 with a performance by DJ Raquel at CACHE Studios, 1004 S.E. Fifth St. in Bentonville. DJ Afrosia and Avian Alia will perform April 20 at Releaf Center in Bentonville. More popups will happen at unconventional spaces throughout the city. Check out to find dates, times and locations.


 The Pinoy Rockstars perform at 7 p.m. April 14; Songwriters in the Round returns with Michael SchembreOpal AgafiaPat Ryan Key and Korey McKelvy at 6:30 p.m. April 20 at Meteor Guitar Gallery, 128 W. Central Ave.

• Home Sweet Home Festival featuring David Ramirez, Joshua James, Ira Wolf, Stephen Day, Smokey & the Mirror, Wilfred, National Park Radio, My Politic, Matt the Electrician and McKenzie Lockhart along with 23 local and regional musicians will be April 28-29 at various homes and back yards in Bentonville. Hosted by City Sessions.

• Caterina Barbieri performs at 8 p.m. April 8; The Roots at 8 p.m. April 29; FreshGrass with Caamp, Elle King, Mavis Staples, Sierra Ferrell, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, the Del McCoury Band, Tank and the Bangas, Cimafunk, The Lil Smokies, Alison Brown, Becky Buller Band, Miko Marks, Hawktail, Willie Watson, Arkansauce, Combo Chimbita, The Jacob Jolliff Band, Melissa Carper, Willi Carlisle, Alsarah & the Nubatones and Mesafa will be May 19-20; Rina Sawayama performs on Oct. 6 at The Momentary, 507 E.E. E St. in Bentonville.


• McLeod Nine performs at 7 p.m. April 7, Pajama Drag Brunch happens at noon April 8, Corey Timmons plays at 7 p.m. April 8 and the Gaudy Easter Bonnet Contest with a twist happens at 2 p.m. April 9; Sprungbilly performs at 6 p.m. April 10; Los Roscoes play at 5 p.m. April 13; Justin Larkin performs at 7 p.m. April 14; Avery Waltz plays at 7 p.m. April 15 at Wanderoo Lodge and Gravel Bar, 216 W. Van Buren. 363-6755.

• Sean Harrison plays at 5 p.m. April 8; Mick Byrd performs at 5 p.m. April 15, California Jeff at 5 p.m. April 21, Oliver Penn at 5 p.m. April 22, Bill Passalacqua performs at 5 p.m. April 28 and Circle of Thirds plays at 6 p.m. May 14 at Gotahold Brewery, 409 W. Van Buren.

• Sad Daddy performs at 6 p.m. April 30; The Infamous Fuzzy Goldwater plays at 9:30 p.m. May 13 at Chelsea’s Corner Bar, 10 Mountain St.

• Eureka Springs Blues Party will be June 1-4 with Funk Factory, Honey Island Swamp Band and King Cabbage Brass Band, Los Roscoes, Red Oak Ruse, Lucas Parker Band, Earl & Them featuring Jesse Dean, Brick Fields Duo, Brody Buster and headliners Ray Wylie Hubbard and Marcia Ball at The Auditorium and The Basin Park Hotel. Tickets and more information at


• Brianna Thomas Sextet performs at 7:30 p.m. April 7 in Starr Theatre at the Walton Arts Center. Tickets are $53 for cabaret seating) and $33 theater seating at

• Jonivan Jones performs at 10 p.m. April 19, Cola and OrOrOr play April 28, Unwed Sailorzzzahara and Modeling play at 8 p.m. May 4 at Smoke & Barrel, 324 W. Dickson St., Suite 2.

 Jed Harrelson plays at 8:30 p.m. April 8; Tenci performs at 8 p.m. April 9; Elvie Shane with Ozark Riviera happens at 8:30 p.m. April 12; Shakedown Strings with Noah Richmond & Friends happens at 8:30 p.m. April 13 at George’s Majestic Lounge, 519 W. Dickson St.

• Michael Bewley plays at 7 p.m. April 8 at Six Twelve Coffeehouse & Bar, 3980 W. Wedington Drive.

• Kiss Army performs at 8 p.m. April 7; Dawes plays at 7:30 p.m. April 11; Badfish (Sublime Tribute) play at 7:30 p.m. April 12; Judah & the Lion peform April 15; The Wood Brothers April 18, Umphrey’s McGee April 19; Lucero April 21, Shakey Graves April 30, moe May 2 and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit June 15 at JJ’s Live, 3615 N. Steele Blvd.

• Caden Crawford with Peter Rexford and Kin and Company perform at 7:30 p.m. April 7; Tao of Lucy performs at 8 p.m. April 15 at Nomads Trailside, 1863 N. Pluto Drive.


• Comedians performing soon are Tom Thakkar, April 7-8; Dale Jones, April 14-15; Keith Alberstadt, April 21-22; hypnotist Flip Orley April 28-29; Jamie Lissow May 5-6; Jodi White May 12-13; and Pauly Shore May 18-21 at The Grove Comedy Club, 808 S. Bloomington St.


• Blackberry Smoke performs at 8 p.m. April 13; Casey Donahew Band plays at 6:30 p.m. April 15; C-Kan, MC Davo and Dharius perform at 8 p.m. April 18; Clutch, Amigo the Devil and Nate Bergman play at 8 p.m. April 19; Ginger Billy performs at 7 p.m. April 22; Jo Dee Messina plays at 7 p.m. April 29; Kidd G performs at 8 p.m. May 4, Logan Mize plays at 8 p.m. May 5; TechN9ne plays at 8 p.m. May 6; Josh Wolf performs at 8 p.m. May 12; Mark Wills plays at 8 p.m. May 13; Flatland Calvary performs at 8 p.m. June 8; Bored Teachers Comedy Tour is at 8 p.m. June 22 at TempleLive, 200 N. 11th St. 222-6186;

• Chad Prather and the Ragamuffins perform at 7 p.m. April 14; Giovannie & the Hired Guns with Austin Upchurch play at 7 p.m. April 20; Kid Kentucky’s Spring Thaw Out Throwdown (Kid Rock tribute) happens at 8:30 p.m. April 21; Scotty Austin (Saving Abel, Pump 5) plays at 8 p.m. April 22; Cameron Sacky Band and Aidan Canfield play at 8 p.m. April 28; Treaty Oak Revival performs at 7 p.m. May 4; American Aquarium and Emily Nenni play at 6 p.m. May 14; Young Buck performs at 8 p.m. May 19; Paul Cauthen plays at 8:30 p.m. June 10; Uncle Lucius and Nolan Taylor happens at 8 p.m. June 24 at Majestic Fort Smith, 817 Garrison Ave.

• Dominic Bryan Roy plays at 8 p.m. April 14; The Swade Diablos at 8 p.m. April 15; Hero-Fest (free live music) starts at 7 p.m. April 21 with Sleep Clinic, The Salesman, Sabertooth, Fight Dream and FaceDancer; then at 7 p.m. April 22 with Stash Hag, OxyToxin, Tao of Lucy, Mildenhall and Turquoise Tiger at Hero’s, 1002 Garrison Ave.

• Backwoods Music Festival at Mulberry Mountain is April 20-23 with Big Gigantic, Lettuce, The String Cheese Incident and The FlooziesAndy Frasco & The U.N., Apashe, Arkansauce, Boogie T, Keller WilliamsRiver Valley Comics and more.

• Best Night of the Year, a benefit show for Good Samaritan Clinic, will feature music from Tim Rushlow of Little Texas, Larry Stewart of Restless Heart and Richie McDonald of Lonestar starting at 7 p.m. April 28 at the Kay Rodgers Park Expo Center, 4400 Midland Blvd. in Fort Smith.

• ByrdFest 26 with music from The Schwag, Nonstop Reggae Band, Moonlight Drive, Miles Over Mountains, Huckleberry Jam and more will be April 14-15 at Byrd’s Adventure Center, 7037 Cass Oark Road in Ozark.

• Peacemaker Music Festival happens July 28-29, in Fort Smith featuring Shane Smith & the Saints, Marcus Kin, Muscadine Bloodline, 49 Winchester, Tanner Usrey, J.R. Carroll, Red Clay Strays, Slade Coulter, Joe Stamm Band, The Lowdown Drifters, The Weathered Souls, Taylor Hunnicutt, Palmer Anthony, Reid Haughton. .


• Walker Hayes performs on April 21; Tyler Childers with Charley Crockett and Wayne Graham perform April 22; Parker McCollum and Larry Fleet on May 5; Godsmack with I Prevail on May 9; Dave Matthews Band, May 23; Incubus with Coheed and Cambria on May 26; Foo Fighters (sold out) June 14; The Avett Brothers and Gov’t Mule June 17; Matchbox Twenty performs June 23; Fall Out Boy on July 11; Foreigner and Loverboy perform July 14; Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khlifa, Too $hort, Warren G and Berner on July 15; Nickelback with Brantley Gilbert on July 20; Eric Church with Midland and Ray Wylie Hubbard July 27; Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top with Uncle Kracker happens July 28; Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin with JINJER on July 29; Three Doors Down and Candlebox, Aug. 9; Luke Bryan with Chayce BeckhamAshley CookeJackson Dean and DJ Rock on Aug. 10; Pantera with Lamb of God on Aug. 15; The Smashing Pumpkins with Interpol and Rival Sons on Aug. 16; Beck and Phoenix with Weyes Blood and Sir Chloe on Aug. 18; KidzBop Never Stop tour on Aug 19; Sam Hunt with Brett Young & Lily Rose on Aug. 20; Jelly Roll and Struggle Jennings, Caitlynne Curtis with host Josh Adam Meyers on Aug. 24; Jason Aldean with Mitchell Tenpenny, Corey Kent and Dee Jay Silver on Sept. 14; Odesza with TOKiMONSTA, QRTR and Olan on Oct. 6 at the Walmart AMP, 5079 W. Northgate Road. Tickets and more information at


• Live! at Turnbow Park concert series opens with Funk Factory on April 27; Bonnie Montgomery, May 25; Ensemble Ibérica, June 29; Carver Commodore, July 27; Fayetteville Jazz Collective, Aug. 31; and Branjae on Sept. 28 at Turnbow Park on the Shiloh Square in downtown Springdale. All concerts are free and start at 6:30 p.m.

• Sip and Sing starts at 6:30 p.m. with Michael Scott Thomas on April 7; Tony Alvarez on April 8; Bert & Heather on April 14; Tater, Mater, Butterbean & Polk Salad on April 15; Jenna & Tony April 21 and The Mountain Gypsies on April 22 at Tontitown Winery, 33. N. Barrington Street.


Audio Crush plays at 9 p.m. April 7; Mayday By Midnight performs at 9 p.m. April 8; Tom Basler performs at 8 p.m. April 13; Sara Evans performs a free concert at 9 p.m. April 14 at Seven in Cherokee Casino, 2416 U.S. 412.

Send info about your upcoming concerts and events to Monica Hooper, music editor, at

Categories: LIVE! In NWA