The Jam is Better in Northwest Arkansas: WSP, Dead, Phish & Talking Heads in one Weekend


Northwest Arkansas swallowed down a heavy dose of jam music this weekend and it was sweet as, well, jam. Widespread Panic started their summer tour in Rogers, AR and tributes to the Dead, Phish and the Talking Heads made little ol’ NWA the place to be for jam music enthusiasts.

Widepread’s Summer Tour opener was a scorcher. “Pigeons” “Aint Life Grand” Protein Drink” made the cut as well as an incredible “Tall Boy > Little Lilly > Jam > Drums > Machine > Barstools & Dreamers” for the meat of the second set. The tone for the weekend was set without a doubt by that two-set rager.

You can see a full review of WSP’s Rogers show here.

Local favorites in the event world, Deadhead Productions, continued the party down the street in Bentonville, AR at The Meteor Guitar Gallery with Isayah Warford’s All-Stars’ tribute to the Grateful Dead. That city was not ready for the amount of dreads DHP brought to their downtown. A packed house got to witness the pure love of Grateful Dead music Isayah and co. brought to the venue. Jeff Gray and Ryan Viser screamed some trumpet solos out on “Mr. Charlie” and and the group was later joined by Jimmy Tebeau (The Schwag) on “Brown Eyed Women”. The band was electric and it was truly a beautiful way to properly cap off a night of WSP!

Sunday night was no day of rest. Deadhead Productions’ Road to Highberry Music Festival was a dance party. Phish and Talking Heads fans got two high energy sets of some of the respective bands catalogs. By the time A Live One’s incredible guitarist, Josh Pearson, stretched out on “Tweezer” the remaining patrons at George’s Majestic were officially freaked out . Heart Byrne, played the classics for the Talking Heads catalog with eclectic high energy and  great harmonies. They also continued the jam on several sections with bass, sax and guitar solos making their interpretation of the songs fresh and creative. Andy Harn does an incredible job of recreating David Byrne’s music and vocal style. Sunday night was a beautiful trip down nostalgia lane for a lot of people. Heart music for sure. Both of the bands from Austin, TX, delivered and created the perfect ending to a weekend of heavy rocking. If you don’t know these guys, get familiar. We need them back to NWA as soon as possible.

Here are some awesome photos from Jamie Seed from the WSP afterparty.

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Check out more of Jamie’s Work here:

This past weekend was spectacular in NWA and is a not-so-subtle reminder why this part of the world is so special. The berries are sweet, this weekend the jam was sweeter.

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