LIVE! Music: Kids can boogie down with Backyard Bugs; Paragon Ragtime Orchestra plays film scores

LIVE! Music: Kids can boogie down with Backyard Bugs; Paragon Ragtime Orchestra plays film scores

“It’s bananas,” Candy Lee says of Candy Songs Kids’ Music Fest and Fun that’s happening from 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 16 in Bentonville. The local musician, nurse, and mom of two adorable boys wrangled a magician, puppets, bouncy houses, crafts, a sensory station, and a giant lineup of kids’ music.

The festival is a fundraiser for Candy Songs, via which she shares educational songs about feelings, patterns and bugs — Backyard Bugs to be exact. Dressed as a ladybug, Lee sings and plays guitar with fellow bugs — Garrett Jones on bass, Joe Credit on mandolin, Sarah Busch on flute and accordion and Michael Schembre on fiddle — who combine to give the songs a bluegrass/old-timey feel.

Over the summer, Lee and her Backyard Bugs shared concerts at the Fayetteville Public Library, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and even a little show at Prairie Street Live where they were joined by fellow insect Jules Taylor, who is a local performer, educator and director. Taylor’s Shaky Bugs will appear again during the Sept. 16 festival.

“She’s going to be playing a bunch of kids’ songs that kids will definitely know, and they can join in,” Lee explains. “She has fun shakers. They can be interactive when she’s singing the songs. They can dance and move. So we’re really excited about her.”

Papa Rap, a longtime educator and Northwest Arkansas musician, will also perform.

“He does kids’ songs. He does a bilingual, English-Spanish performance. He is going to have drums and shakers so that’s also going to be an interactive performance; he’s going to allow the kids to play drums and play along with him.”

Jenny Dietzel of the Grateful Gals will also perform, and Will Brand will share music from his upcoming KMTV STREAMS YouTube channel. Lee will collaborate on that one, too.

Alan Burdick will perform magic, and Puppets in the Park will keep kids entertained in between sets.

“They are not going to do like a traditional puppet performance. It’s going to be more interactive. They’re going to allow the kids to kind of play with the puppets and play along,” Lee explains. “They kind of come up with a story as they go along. It’s like a story through play.”

She admits that there will be a lot happening at Bentonville Brewing Company for the four-hour festival.

“We actually are going to be utilizing two spaces. There’s an indoor space and an outdoor space,” Lee says. “We’re going to have stuff kind of happening simultaneously ‘cause I think I booked too much stuff!”

While Lee is on a selfless mission to rescue parents (including herself) from monotonous kids’ music, she also writes beautifully crafted songs for grownups. She released her solo album, “Ozark Mama,” in 2019. and is one half of Melody Pond with Emily Rowland. However, she says most of that is on hold as she gets Candy Songs up and moving.

Admission to the Candy Songs Kids’ Music Fest and Fun is $10 for adults and $5 for children 2 and older. There will be food trucks on site including Pedal Pops, and Bentonville Brewing has a kitchen. The outdoors is dog friendly.

The Backyard Bugs will also perform at 3 p.m. Sept. 9 at Ozark Folkways in Winslow. Learn more about Lee’s kids’ music at or check out her YouTube channel at


• Jukebox Confession performs at 7 p.m. Sept. 9; Vintage Pistol plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 15; Modeling performs at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 for the free Live on the Patio Concert Series at Bike Rack Brewing, 801 S.E. Eighth St., Suite 61.

• Alvvays with special guest Julia Jacklin performs at 8 p.m. Sept. 9; Format Festival with headliners LCD Soundsystem, Alanis Morrisette, Modest Mouse and Leon Bridges along with a giant lineup of more happens Sept. 22-24; Rina Sawayama performs Oct. 6; Wilco on Oct. 27; and Wu-Tang Clan on Oct. 28 at The Momentary, 507 S.E. E St. will take place at the Momentary Sept. 22-24.

• Nathan Bryce and Loaded Dice open for Taj Farrant at 7 p.m. Sept. 15; Bellwether Sirens play at 8 p.m. Sept. 16; Songwriters in the Round with Effron White, Lauren Blaine and Derrick and Jodi Mears (March to August) starts at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21; Metal Night with The Salesman, Grand Inquisitor, Under A Spell and Dissentious happens at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at Meteor Guitar Gallery, 128 W. Central Ave.

• Phalco Toutman, DJ Oplex and Jasper Logan ‘Set The Bar’ at 8 p.m. Sept. 30 at CACHE Studios, 1004 S.E. Fifth St. in Bentonville. Admission is free.


• Bryan Copeland plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 9; The Mountain Gypsies play at 7 p.m. Sept. 15; Chucky Waggs performs at 7 p.m. Sept. 16; Sprungbilly plays at 6 p.m. Sept. 18; Los Roscoes play at 5 p.m. Sept. 21; Whiskey Menders perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at Wanderoo Lodge and Gravel Bar, 216 W. Van Buren.

 Jason Kyle Wyles Band performs at 6 p.m. Sept. 9; Bajer performs at noon Sept. 16 in Basin Park next to the Basin Park Hotel at 12 Spring St.

• Joe Nichols performs at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15; The ShotGun Billys and Ian Moore perform a free concert for Bikes, Blues and BBQ at 8 p.m. Sept. 20; Quiet Riot performs at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22; Robert Cray performs at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1; The Hedgehoppers perform 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 for the opening of the Original Ozark Folk Festival. Trout Fishing in America and Matt the Electrician play at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 and John Fulbright shares the stage with The Melissa Carper, Brennen Leigh, Kelly Willis Trio perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 for the festival at The Aud, 36 S. Main St.


• Songwriters in the Garden continues at 6 p.m. with One Penny Shy on Sept. 9, Dominic B. Roy on Sept. 14, Patti Steel on Sept. 28 and Pat Ryan Key on Sept. 30; TV Preacher and The Phlegms perform Sept. 16 for the Hill City Rumble at Prairie Street Live, 509 W. Prairie St. in Fayetteville

• Bingo & Burlesque happens at 7 p.m. Sept. 11; Katie Alice Greer and Ozark Free Music Society perform an outdoor show at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at The AM/PM Bar, 546 W. Center St. in Fayetteville.

• Pecos & the Rooftops perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 14; Switchfoot plays at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15; Avatar performs at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25; Chris Renzema Manna plays at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7; Cradle of Filth & Devildriver perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10; Death Grips play at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13; Big Gigantic plays at 7:30 p.m Oct. 19; Bryan Callen performs at 8 p.m Nov. 3; Greensky Bluegrass happens at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15; The Head and the Heart and Yoke Lore play at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at JJ’s Live, 3615 N. Steele Blvd.

• Michael Bewley at 7 p.m. Sept. 9; Tyler George plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 14; JerGriffin plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 15; Emma Teresa plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 16; Latin Dance night starts at 6 p.m. Sept. 17; Meadowlark plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Six Twelve Coffeehouse & Bar, 3980 W. Wedington Drive in Fayetteville.

• The Steel Wheels perform a benefit for the Folk School of Fayetteville at 8 p.m. Sept. 13; Nick Shoulders and the Okay Crawdad perform with Riley Downing (of the Desolades) at 8 p.m. Sept. 15; Boom Kinetic and The Phase perform at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 16; John Fullbright Band and Taylor Smith play at 8 p.m. Sept. 18; Divas on Fire burn up happy hour at 6 p.m. followed by Jason Boland & the Stragglers with Jon Bailey at 9 p.m. Sept. 22 at George’s Majestic Lounge, 519 W. Dickson St.

• Scythian: Ukraine to Appalachia happens Sept. 10 for the 10×10 Series; Shaun Jones performs comedy Sept. 21; Monte Montgomery plays Sept. 22; and The Beach Boys perform a sold-out show Sept. 27 at the Walton Arts Center, 495 W. Dickson St.

• A special Welcome To Night Vale show starts at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at Clapp Auditorium at Mount Sequoyah, 150 N. Skyline Drive. (

• A&E perform at 6:30 p.m. and The Champagne performs at 10 p.m. Sept. 9; JT McCaffery plays at 10p.m. Sept. 14; Indiana Watford at 6:30 p.m. and Eli Adams at 10 p.m. Sept. 15; Leyton Robinson performs at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 22; Country Road 26 plays at 10 p.m. Sept. 21-22 at Tin Roof, 430 W. Dickson St. in Fayetteville.

• Dylan Earl, Christopher Seymour and the Western Cosplay and South Texas Tweek perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 29; Holy Anvil Recording presents Morbid Vision, Chrono Wizard and Claw Marks American at 8 p.m. Sept. 30; TV Preacher, Mud Lung and Dog Bite play at 8 p.m. Oct. 13; A Giant Dog! plays at 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at Smoke and Barrel, 324 W. Dickson St. in Fayetteville.


• Andrew Fiori performs Sept. 9; Drew Lynch performs Sept. 14-16; Greg Hahn performs Sept. 29-30 at The Grove Comedy Club, 808 S. Bloomington St.


• The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra performs live scores for silent films at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16; The Blackwood Quartet performs at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at King Opera House, 427 Main St. in Van Buren.

• Gallowwalker, LEONA, Theody and Lost Cause play at 8 p.m. Sept. 16 at Hero’s, 1002 Garrison Ave. in Fort Smith.

• Funeral Suit and TV Preacher host DOG BITE and Blanket of M at 8 p.m. Oct. 14 at Cousins Music “Upstairs,” 1604 Rogers Ave. in Fort Smith.

• Flatland Cavalry plays at 7 p.m. Oct. 20; Phillip Phillips performs Oct. 27; Josh Abbott Band plays at 8 p.m. Nov. 3; Donnie Baker performs at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at TempleLive, 200 N. 11th St. in Fort Smith. 222-6186;

• Rehab with Dark Below happens at 8 p.m. Sept. 15; Savannah Dexter and Brabo Gator perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 30 at Majestic Fort Smith, 817 Garrison Ave. in Fort Smith.

• Djarin with opener Escape Tones performs Sept. 9; Branjae performs on Sept. 16 (opener TBA); Voltaje and Fuego Cruzado happens on Sept. 23; and Dyer Davis and opener Chris & Lolly perform on Sept. 30. Concerts start at 6 p.m. with headliners at 7:30 p.m. Concert goers are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, picnic baskets and their dogs. Concessions, vendors, a food truck and children’s activities will be available. More information at

• Gone So Long performs at 11 a.m. Sept. 9 at the Chaffee Crossing Farmers & Artisans Market, 7317 Terry St. in Fort Smith.


• Blew Reed and the Flatheads play at 4 p.m. Sept. 21 at Pig Trail Harley-Davidson, 2407 W Hudson Road during Bikes, Blues and BBQ.

• Laugh in the Lounge with host Adam Kessler and comedians Chase Myska, Andy Davis, Kyle Gilbert and Julie Drake starts at 9 p.m. Sept. 9 at Wellington’s, 5102 W. Pauline Whitaker Parkway in Rogers.

• Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back in concert happens at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8; Tenacious D performs on Sept. 11; Jason Aldean with Mitchell Tenpenny, Corey Kent and Dee Jay Silver happens Sept. 14; Queens of the Stone Age perform with Viagra Boys and Jenny Beth at 7 p.m. Sept. 26; Koe WetzelTanner Usrey and Wade Bowen perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 29; Shinedown with Papa Roach and Spiritbox happens Oct. 5; ODESZA with TOKiMONSTA, QRTR and OLAN happens Oct. 6; The All-American Rejects with New Found Glory, Motion City Soundtrack and The Getup Kids starts at 7 p.m. Oct. 10; Sting with Joe Sumner close out the season at 8 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Walmart AMP, 5079 W. Northgate Road.

Jeron Marshall performs at 7 p.m. Sept. 9; Oreo Blue plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 15; Shawn Holt plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Music Depot, 206 W. Walnut


• Stand-up comedy starts at 8 p.m. on Thursdays withScott James on Sept. 14; Ryan Trickey Sept. 21; Adam Bush Sept. 28; Shawna Blake Oct. 5; BradChad Porter with Derek Smith on Oct. 12; Edward Bell with Austin Black Oct. 19; Stephen Taylor on Oct. 26; Mark Masters Nov. 2 and Dwight Simmons on Nov. 9 at Black Apple Hard Cider, 321 E Emma Ave.

• Sip and Sing starts at 7 p.m. with Maud Crawford on Sept. 9 at Tontitown Winery, 33. N. Barrington St.


• Backyard Bugs perform at 3 p.m. Sept. 9; Squirrel Jam starts at 5 p.m. Sept. 24; Daniel Moody, Jen Hajj and Dan Dean perform at 6 p.m Sept. 30 at Ozark Folkways, 22733 U.S. 71 North.

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

Categories: LIVE! In NWA