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Stories by Jocelyn Murphy

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'Beautifully' Enduring

King the songwriter you didn’t know you knew

Subscriber onlyFalling in love at 16 and getting married too young, going through a divorce, having children and having what you thought was going to happen not work out -- Carole King's story is about so much more than her music. Continue reading...

Charming Chemistry

Musicians find magic in on- and off-stage harmony

Subscriber onlyWhen a musician has solo and group credits on her resume, it seems to be the norm that she achieved some level of success as part of a group and eventually broke off to pursue a solo career. That is (sort of) the case with two members (Sara Watkins, Aoife O'Donovan) of folk trio I'm With Her. The third member, Sarah Jarosz, took the more unusual path from solo (Grammy Award winning) artist to joining a trio. Now, just shy of four years after the first time the threesome came together for an impromptu performance in Colorado, they've seen the name of their band co-opted by a presidential campaign, released their debut album and embarked on a world tour. Continue reading...

ON THE COVER: Take note

Country rocker, AMP lineup both defy expectations

Talking to Brantley Gilbert on the phone is like calling up any one of your down-home buddies -- he's friendly, casual, charming. His easy warmth and laid-back disposition are abundant, even though he's busy completing his "honey do list" while home in Georgia for only a few days. He talks about his wife and his new son, and you can hear the pride through the phone. Continue reading...

Engage, Educate, Encourage

Performance artists invert viewers’ expectations

Subscriber onlyIn its third year, Inverse Performance Art Festival continues its mission of fostering a community of support and understanding around artists and the performance genre. Fifty local, national and international artists will implement their thought-provoking, contemporary, engaging works from Fayetteville to Bentonville April 12-15 -- a different city for each day. Because of the variable nature of the form, and to avoid limiting it through definition and explanation, a few participating artists shared their insights with What's Up! so that readers might gain a better understanding of their motivations in their work and their hopes for the festival. Continue reading...

Y'all Come Back Now

Comics continue in Southern vein

Subscriber onlyThe liberal rednecks are back at it again in Northwest Arkansas as they bring their comedy tour, "wellRED: From Dixie With Love" to the Walton Arts Center on April 14. Trae Crowder, Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester gave three sold-out performances at Meteor Guitar Gallery in Bentonville this time last year (plus one at the end of 2016) following the release of their best-selling book "Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin Dixie Outta the Dark." Now they're at a bigger venue with "roughly 80 percent new material," Crowder estimates, and the same love for the South. (Along with plenty of satire thrown in, he promises.) Continue reading...

Let Your Voice Be Heard

A cappella competition bigger, better than ever

Subscriber onlyThe aca-awesome Walton Arts Center-produced VoiceJam A Cappella Festival returns to Fayetteville for its fourth consecutive year. The festival will see groups from across the nation take to the Baum Walker stage in competition and will give local and visiting musicians the opportunity to enhance their skills through workshops. It will again host the "father of contemporary a cappella" and producer of NBC's "The Sing-Off," Deke Sharon. Just before their arrival in Fayetteville, What's Up! heard from a few of the competitors: Continue reading...

Shining Support

Community raises up local musicians with new festival

Subscriber onlyWhen Ryan Woodland got his start in the Northwest Arkansas music scene some two and a half years ago, he found other artists in the area struggling to support their art in the same way he was. A disparity exists, Woodland realized, between artists' worth and the price of their creativity. Less than six months after gauging community interest on a project to support and benefit local musicians, the Limelight Music Festival comes to fruition April 7 with eight musicians taking the stage and myriad vendors, sponsors and community businesses contributing to the inaugural event. Continue reading...

Yarrow Seeks To Heal, Unite With Music

Subscriber onlyAsk Peter Yarrow what he wishes more people would ask but rarely do, and his answer is prompt and certain: Continue reading...

Empathetic Engagement

Speakers encourage understanding through innovation

Subscriber onlyWhen staff members at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art build the lineup for a new Distinguished Speaker Series, they consider so much more than speaker availability. Continue reading...

Material, Corporeal Fragility

Exhibition explores vulnerability through delicate details

Subscriber only"Many works explore the uncertainty of our physical condition and the vulnerability of the human body. Intimate objects, delicate materials and obsessive processes on display will tantalize viewers with their exquisite fabrication and physical presence of materials." Continue reading...

All About The Why

Music speaks to artist, audience

Subscriber onlyWhen you talk to Jason Mraz, he is thoughtful in his word selection. The pauses in conversation most people rush to fill, he leans in to as he searches for the best way to explain exactly what he means. He will admit, though, he does usually try to subtly add to the conversation (in interviews, at least) the why of what he does. No one ever asks the why, he says. Continue reading...

Something Special

WAC season offers irresistable debuts and returning favorites

Subscriber onlyPerhaps the best thing about the 2018/19 Broadway season at the Walton Arts Center, according to vice president for programming Scott Galbraith, is the shows' relatability and their simultaneous transcendence of being niche productions. Continue reading...

Listen Closely

Sight, sound offer deeper understanding of art

Subscriber onlyJust as the pieces displayed in the "Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power" exhibition reflect how their creators were responding to and processing the world around them during the tumultuous civil rights movement, Dr. Mark Anthony Neal's Listening Sessions and Film Series programming reveals how artists and musicians draw inspiration from each other during this time and continually throughout history. Continue reading...

Venues provide new stages for live music

Subscriber onlyVenues, old and new, provide stages for local favorites and world renown musicians to perform live in Northwest Arkansas. Continue reading...

Four Minutes, Four Questions Dublin Guitar Quartet

Subscriber onlyBlending traditional and modern, the Dublin Guitar Quartet is the first professional guitar quartet to come out of Ireland and the first classical guitar quartet entirely devoted to new music. Their exciting repertoire comprises adaptations and new commissions and has earned the group their worldwide reputation as a unique ensemble within the genre. Group member Brian Bolger took a few minutes to answer these questions for SUP! ahead of the quartet's performance tonight at the Walton Arts Center -- which includes a pre-show conversation with the artists and an after-party as part of the 10x10 Arts Series. Continue reading...