My pick for New Year's Eve live music and fun: An up-and-coming Eureka Springs band consisting of three brothers -- Josh, Chris and Nick Bower -- is headlining a super-fun NYE party in neighboring Fayetteville. And plans are in the works for a "party bus" to drive folks from here to there and back next Monday night.
The band, called SxRex -- pronounced S-X-Rex -- has one of the most unique and melodic folk-rock sounds I've heard in a while. Their sound features hard-rock drumming, blues-influenced bass lines and a heavy dose of Celtic and folk musical flavor -- and a mandolin to boot; think Queens of the Stone Age plus a mandolin meets Mumford & Sons.
SxRex's biggest strength is its soulful, on-the-mark lead vocals by personable and fun-to-watch frontman Josh Bower, who also plays mandolin and guitar, depending on the song.
His brother, Chris Bower, a contributing songwriter, mans a mean bass guitar and contributes vocals as well. Youngest brother Nick drives the drum-kit and is a contributing songwriter.
All three add their own flavor to the band's overall sound and the development of the group's scores of original tracks, which range in sound from straight-out rock to Celtic-flavored folk-rock and progressive-bluegrass tunes.
The group is known for long, variety-filled sets that include trippy instrumentals -- think Ireland's answer to Widespread Panic, plus psychedelics -- and songs covering a wide range of genres, including Celtic rock (a la Flogging Molly and the Pogues), modern blues-rock (a la The Black Keys), reggae (a la Bob Marley), and progressive jam-grass (a la Mumford and Sons or Trampled By Turtles). They even have a comically heart-felt country song about a dog.
SxRex also covers a wide range of popular hits, including tracks by Queens of the Stone Age, The Black Keys, The Misfits, Rage Against The Machine, Scissor Sisters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ween and Mumford and Sons, among others.
The group -- formed in early 2011 after Josh Bower brothers had performed solo and with other groups in Colorado and Austin, Texas -- has already played two tours in Colorado, including venues in Conifer, Carbondale, Denver and Steamboat Springs.
SxRex puts on a hell of a show that will appeal to a wide variety of music fans: folks who dig everything from Widespread Panic, Flogging Molly, The Pogues, The Black Keys, Mumford and Sons, and Trampled By Turtles to Queens of the Stone Age, Ween, and Murder By Death.
The band will begin playing around 9:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24 at Rogue on Dickson, which is located at 402 W. Dickson St. There is NO admission charge for the SxRex New Year's Eve party at Rogue.
For more information about party bus plans or to reserve your seats, email Josh Bower at SxRex@yahoo.com or check out Rogue's page on Facebook for details.
Following is the weekend schedule of live music for entertainment venues in Eureka Springs:
* Chelsea's, 10 Mountain St., 479-253-6723: Jazz Night, 9 p.m.
* Squid and Whale, 37 Spring St., 479-253-7147: Open Mic Musical Smackdown featuring Bloody Buddy and Friends, 7:30 p.m.
* Berean Coffee House, 4032 E. Van Buren, 479-244-7495: Live music, 7 p.m.
* Cathouse / Pied Piper, 82 Armstrong St., 479-363-9976: Live music, 8 p.m.
* Chaser's, 169 E. Van Buren, 479-253-5522: Live music, 9 p.m.
* Chelsea's: Cetnerfuze, 9 p.m.
* Eureka Live!, 35 N. Main St., 479-253-7020: DJ & Dancing 9 p.m. to close
* Jack's Place / Centerstage, 37 Spring St., 489-253-2219: DJ Goose, 8 p.m. to midnight
* The Lumberyard, 104 E. Van Buren: DJ & Karaoke, 8 p.m.
* New Delhi Cafe, 2 N. Main St., 479-253-2525: Skinny Gypsies, 6:30 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Den, 45 Spring St., 479-363-6444: Free jukebox, 7 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Tavern, 417 W. Van Buren, 479-253-8544: Ladies night Lingerie Show / PJ party, with music by Skillet Lickers, 8 p.m.
* Squid & Whale: 3 Cent Genius, 7 p.m.
* Voulez-Vous Lounge, 63A Spring St., 479-363-6595: Ruby Revue Burlesque Show, 9 p.m.
* Cathouse / Pied Piper: Live music, 8 p.m.
* Chaser's: Live music, 9 p.m.
* Chelsea's: Whistle Pigs, 9 p.m.
* Eureka Live!: DJ & Dancing 9 p.m. to close
* Jack's Place: The Chad Emmert Band, 9 p.m.
* The Lumberyard: DJ & Karaoke, 9 p.m.
* New Delhi Cafe: Springbilly, 6:30 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Den: John Harwood, 7 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Tavern: Karaoke with Tiny, 7 p.m.
* Squid and Whale: 3 Cent Genius, 8 p.m.
* Voulez-Vous Lounge: Ruby Revue Burlesque Show, 8 p.m.
* Chelsea's: Springbilly, 4 to 8 p.m.
* Eureka Live!: Customer Appreciation Night specials 5 p.m. to close
* Squid and Whale: "Local Kine" Local Musicians Showcase, 7 p.m.
* Voulez-Vous Lounge: Big Bad Gina, 7 p.m.
*MONDAY, DEC. 31 NEW YEAR'S EVE
* Chelsea's: NYE Party with Lil Slim Blues Band, 9 p.m.
* Chaser's: NYE Party with Ozark Thunder, 8 p.m.
* Cathouse: NYE Party with Live music, 8 p.m.
* Jack's Place: NYE Party with The Chad Emmert Band, 9 p.m.
* The Lumberyard: NYE Party with Martin Sims, 8 p.m.
* New Delhi Cafe: NYE Party with Skinny Gypsies, 6:30 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Den: NYE Party with Jesse Dean, 7 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Tavern: NYE Party with Rockhouse, 7 p.m.
* Squid and Whale: NYE Party with Slam Boxx, free party favors and champagne toast at midnight, 8 p.m.
* Voulez-Vous Lounge: NYE Party with Big Bad Gina with Jerod Goodman & The Stringbreakers, 7 p.m.