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MUSIC

Rock ‘n’ rolling Rouxster struts out with debut CD

By JACK W. HILL SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

This article was published March 28, 2013 at 2:11 a.m.

Like a bunch of banty roosters is how one might describe the new central Arkansas band, Rouxster, pronounced “rooster,” as band member Dave Hoffpauir explains.

“Just think of the word ‘roux’ like you start a gumbo with, and combine it with the word ‘rooster,’ and all of that is because three of us have Louisiana connections,” he says.

Hoffpauir, drummer and singer, is referring to himself, plus bassist Dane Clement and guitarist Mark Wyers, leaving guitarist/singer Wade Derden and guitarist Chris Michaels the persons not connected to Arkansas’ neighboring state to the south.

Rouxster is celebrating the release of the band’s debut album, Hard Pan, which he explains has another “poultry” connection.

“That term refers to a rooster and chicken pecking on hard dirt,” Hoffpauir says with a laugh.

Hoffpauir has performedon many a central Arkansas stage, naming Ho Hum and The Boondogs, plus The Jim Mize Band as his most recent groups. He notes he also was a member of Ebo & the Tomcatz and even did some gigs with Billy Lee Riley. Wyers has played with Michael Goodrich, Jimmy Powell and Mike Nelson, while Derden played with Sean and Stephen Rock.

“Dane and I are both social workers at the VA, and professors at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Social Work,” Hoffpauir says. “His brother, Paul Clement, plays bass in Cowboy Mouth and lots of great bands in New Orleans. Dane and I have a good connection, not just musically. Chris is all over the record on guitar, but not in our photos. He won’t let his picture be taken.”

The CD will feature original songs, primarily written by Derden, with a couple thatwere co-written by the rest of the band. Shows might feature the occasional cover song, which are likely to be songs written by Jesse Winchester, Will Kimbrough and David Lowery (of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven fame).

“It took us two years to make the record, but we were in no hurry,” Hoffpauir says. “We had decided we would put it out when we had enough tunes. We made it at Jason Weinheimer’s studio, and he produced it, or co-produced, it with the band.”

Rouxster’s music owes more to rock ’n’ roll bands like the Rolling Stones and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, rather than the Americana movement popular in recent years, Hoffpauir says.

The show will feature two opening acts, Hoffpauirsays: Amy Garland and Nick Devlin, both members of The Amy Garland Band, as well as Arnold Kim, of Merced, Calif., whom Hoffpauir says also finished recording a new CD at Weinheimer’s studio.

Several special guests will also join the performance at times, including Weinheimeron organ and Matt Stone, who has played with Runaway Planet and Cody Belew and the Mercers, on accordion and mandolin.

Rouxster

Opening acts: Amy Garland/

Nick Devlin, Arnold Kim

9 p.m. Friday, The After

thought, 2721 Kavanaugh

Blvd., Little Rock

Admission: $7

(501) 663-1196

afterthoughtbar.com

Weekend, Pages 35 on 03/28/2013

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