The water is always hot in the Spa City and the hills will be alive with music at the third annual Hot Water Hills Music & Arts Festival, Friday night and Saturday afternoon and evening in Hill Wheatley Plaza, downtown on Bathhouse Row. In addition to music, there will be arts, crafts and children’s activities.
Friday, the music starts at 5 p.m. with the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts Folk Music Ensemble, who are junior and senior students under the direction of teachers James Katowich and Brian Monson. The evening continues with A.J. Gaither at 6, followed by The Memphis Dawls at 7:30, Telegraph Canyon at 9 and Kentucky Knife Fight at 10:30.
Saturday, the music gets underway at 5 p.m. with the Arkansas Songwriters Showcase, featuring songs and stories from Amanda Avery, Amyjo Savannah, Ben Robbins and Claire Turkal. Brian Martin will perform at 6, followed by Adam Faucett and the Tall Grass at 9 and the Jamaican Queens, from Detroit, at 10:30.
Faucett, a singer-songwriter who lives in North Little Rock, says he’s honored that the festival has chosen as its symbol his last name. That is, a faucet (with a bit of a drip) is depicted on the Hot Water Hills news release and poster.
“I think that may be more or less a coincidence,” Faucett says with a laugh. “This will be my third year to play there. The first year I played solo and then last year I had my band, called the Tall Grass, which is Johnny D on bass and Will Boyd on drums.”
Faucett has lived in Sparkman, Pine Bluff and Benton,and even tried the Windy City for a year or so.
“A year was all I could take of the winter there,” he says. “I was walking everywhere, and I didn’t know what I was getting into, playing bars and open mikes, so I just decided to move back to Arkansas.”
After three solo CDs, Faucett is preparing his fourth album for February release. He put out his debut, The Great Basking Shark, in 2007, following with Show Me Magic, Show Me Out in 2008 and More Like a Temple in 2012. He notes that he was also part of a band, Taught the Rabbits, that was based in Russellville and released two albums in 2001 and 2006: One But Just Another and Mallet and Watch.
He cites as his influences Tim Buckley, Neil Young and Otis Redding, and has opened shows for Calexico, Lucero, Damien Jurado and The Legendary Shack Shakers.
“I think my music has been progressing in a more efficient manner,” he says. “When I was in Taught the Rabbits, we were doing a lot of long songs, thanks to our heroes, Pink Floyd and Sonic Youth.”
Children’s activity tents will be hosted by Emergent Arts of Hot Springs, the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center of Little Rock and the Hot Springs Farmers Market. There will be a tepee village and other interactive experiences provided by local artists.
There will also be a Retro Rummage sale and artisan market, which will be powered by solar energy, provided by Bill Ball of Stellar Sun. The sale will focus on vintage wares from 1983 and older and the market will showcase handmade art including paintings, photos, pottery, jewelry and other items.
A Cardboard City contest begins at noon Saturday and will be judged at 4 p.m. Teams will create recyclable structures using only cardboard, tape and twine, with cash prizes of $400 and $100. Judging will be based on creativity, design and structural integrity. Team registration is $25 and will be open until 10 slots are filled. To register, contact Bill Solleder at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Hot Springs Sk8Park Project will set up a pop-up skate park from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday that will be free and open to skaters who sign a waiver in order to skate.
Patrons should take lawn chairs for seating but outside refreshments are prohibited, as there will be food vendors offering Grapette soda, New Belgium beer, La Pasadita tacos and Maxine’s Chicago-style beef sandwiches.
There will be official “after parties” at 11:30 p.m. Friday with an encore performance by The Memphis Dawls and at 11:30 p.m. Saturday with Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes. Both parties will be at Maxine’s, 700 Central Ave.
The Low Key Arts organization founded and continues to support the festival.
Third annual Hot Water Hills Music & Arts Festival
4 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday, Hill Wheatley Plaza, 629 Central Ave., Hot Springs $5; free for children 12 and under (501) 282-9056 www.hotwaterhills.com
Weekend, Pages 34 on 10/03/2013
Print Headline: Hot Water Hills festival heats up for weekend