This September, Sessions at South on Main was curated by local show promoter and drummer fantastic Cliff Aaron.
Aaron hails from central Arkansas and as good a musician as he is, it is remarkable that he didn’t start playing until his freshman year at UCA. For many reasons, Aaron was inspired by those around him to dedicate himself to becoming a versatile drummer. “I learned a lot about people [in college], and it changed my whole mindset about everything,” Aaron said. “And when I got into music, I realized, music is family, there’s no division.”
He played in several bands, while also pursuing his interests in business and marketing. Since leaving school, he has found a way to combine music and business with Drummerboyinfinity, a unique promotion, music production, and management company based in Little Rock. “When I was on tour, I figured out how to make live music successful,” Aaron said. “All of Arkansas, but especially Little Rock, is a melting pot of musicians [that] people just don’t know about.”
The Drummerboyinfinity home base is the Rev Room, where the organization puts on a variety of instrument-specific showcases throughout the year, as well as tribute shows, in addition to their normal calendar of concerts. “Our goal,” Aaron explained, “is not to do the same thing that everyone else is doing.”
Aaron has eclectic taste and he has picked a little something from every genre to represent Drummerboyinfinity on the Sessions stage, ranging from rhythm and blues, soul (and its derivatives), gospel, folk, country, and good old fashioned rock and roll. Indeed, some great artists will be playing, and there will even be a tribute to the late, great spaceman himself, David Bowie. Mark your calendars, everyone.
Sept. 7 — Charlotte Leigh. Hailing from Little Rock, “she has that Colbie Callait kind of sound, mixed with Kelly Clarkson, and Pink,” Aaron said. “The quality of her single [‘Not Another Love Song’] is ridiculous. She’s the real deal. She can sing [and] she has a major band,” with background singers and killer rhythm section anchored by Aaron himself.
Sept. 14 — Stellar Wayz. Another group anchored by Aaron’s drumming, Stellar Wayz is a fusion rock band that combines a bit of reggae with a bit of Jeff Beck. Aaron describes the sound “as if someone told 311, ‘you guys go make an instrumental album.’”
Sept. 21 — David Bowie Tribute Featuring Charlie Askew. Askew is a former American Idol contestant out of Los Angeles who will be fronting a band whose members are all from Arkansas, including Tyndall Jackson on guitar, Bruce Johnston on bass, and Anna Jordan on percussion. Did I mention there will be horns and background singers? Bowie will be proud.
Sept. 28 — Genine Perez. Of Lagniappe fame, Perez will be fronting a band with a jazzy, gospel-influenced take on the sound and feel of Lena Horne. This evening promises to be some combination of elegant, courageous, and powerful.
All the Sessions shows are all-ages and begin at 8:30 p.m. with a cover charge of $5. Get involved in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #SessionsAtSOM.