Wouldn’t you want to go see a show at a place called Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack? I sure as hell did, and my wish came true. Dash Rip Rock, a band from way back in the BRP arsenal but one I’ve never seen live, was in Little Rock the same day I was, and they were the headliner at Stickyz. I love going to shows that include music I want to see at a price I want to pay, but I must admit that I was feeling a little cheap when all they wanted to see 3 live bands was $10. $10!! And since I bought tickets at the door, there was no additional ticket, service or handling fees involved. Can I get an Amen? Thank you.
We didn’t catch the first band as we were still eating dinner elsewhere when they came on. But we caught the second act, whose name I can’t recall. They specialized in psychedelic country rock. I think that’s what it was. Whatever it was, it was pretty good, and they kept us interested for a half hour. We cadged a table right up front, stage left, and were feeling pretty smug that we had beaten the crowd that would surely emerge for the headliner. Oh, and the beer and beverages at Stickyz were also budget friendly, so we helped ourselves to plenty.
Usually it takes about ½ hour between bands as the first one has to pack up all their gear, and then the second one has to set up all of theirs. On this particular night, the bands were sharing the drum kit and microphones, so that cut down on the time needed for the roadies to work their magic. In fact, they were swift, and within 15 minutes of the previous band finishing, Dash Rip Rock took the stage. Yowza! But where was the crowd?
Well, the crowd never materialized. I’ll bet there were no more than 75 people in the club that night. Still, DRR put on a terrific set of material that was highly entertaining. Playing their characteristic cowpunk, the set moved from song to song swiftly. And the songs were swift, too. In fact, hearing hillbilly lyrics sung to Ramones-style pacing was something that my redneck/punk butt enjoyed quite a bit.
We noticed that a number of their original songs were sort of nasty. Other bands may try to be subtle with their lyrics, or try for the artsy crowd. Not DRR. If they want to pick up a girl at a bar and do the dirty with her in the parking lot, then they sing a song called Let’s Go F*ck in My Truck. If they think that a wealthy woman is a bit too much for them to take, the song is called Rich Little Bitch. This stuff is in your face.
But the band, a blazing hot trio featuring leader Bill Davis, is tighter than a duck’s behind, and they were clearly there to bring it that night. There were some great tunes that were creative and funny, such as a send-up of the two most requested rock songs ever (Stairway to Heaven and Free Bird) that was called Stairway to Free Bird and that featured hooks from each original tune, plus a mash-up of lyrics that made you smile. Or how about a tune called Let’s Go Smoke Some Pot that used Danny and Junior’s doo-wop song Let’s Go To The Hop with more modern lyrics. It was funny to have them doo-wopping the word “pot” when Danny used “hop.” They did a campy and punk-fast version of Delta Dawn. And they even played a Mojo Nixon song, which led directly to a Philly reference. Someone in the crowd said “who?,” and Davis replied “if you don’t know about Mojo Nixon than this place can use some fixin’” which is right out of the Dead Milkmen song Punk Rock Girl. Where are the Dead Milkmen from? Philly, naturally. Irrespective, It worked. And the boys played plenty of music that simply made your guitar-loving heart sing.
Davis can rip it on the 6 string. This guy is super-talented, but also cognizant of the fact that hardly anyone wants to hear lengthy guitar solo after lengthy guitar solo. So he sped up the songs, ripped off short bursts of artistry, and then went back to playing rhythm to carry the tune. And he has a good enough voice to make the whole thing entertaining.
The people in the club who were smart enough to pull themselves away from their TVs that night enjoyed the show, too. Lots of whooping and hollering among the crowd at the end of each tune. No one really stood up and raved on, but there was some jamming going on in the seats. One guy was trying to keep up with the drummer the entire evening to no avail, but he was fun to watch.
So who the heck gets lucky like me on this whim 24 hour trip to Little Rock? I know of no one. To be able to say that I’ve been to Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack and seen Dash Rip Rock tear the joint up is just too much. Even better, we simply strolled 4 blocks back to our hotel at the end of the show, and didn’t have to hassle with the whole driving, parking, transportation thing. How refreshing. I do understand that DRR is on tour now, and if they come to Philly, you might want to take a look-see. I doubt you’ll do it for $10, and I doubt you’ll stroll up to a front row seat like we did, but I don’t doubt that you’ll have a rollicking good time.
With that, I’m done with Arkansas for the time being. And now, I’m done with this post. I told you that I had much to write about from my trip to the mid-south, and I wasn’t lying. What’s up next? Well, you’ll just have to take some time away from those other screens in your house and take a look at what foolishness I’ve been up to since the last time you were dumb enough to swing by. I promise you that I’ll try to make it worth your while. OK? Ok! See ya.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.