Stephen Neeper and The Wild Hearts
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Stephen Neeper and The Wild Hearts

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
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On June 20, Little Rock favorites (and former Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase contestants) Stephen Neeper and The Wild Hearts will play in town, at Midtown Billiards, and it will probably be a better representation of the group's mellow, `70s swamp rock vibe than anything they've ever recorded (the dankness of that place can only add to the effect), but you should know anyway that the band has a new album out, called "Southern Truth," and it's a good listen. It's an album best appreciated on a boat, in a denim jacket, on the Fourth of July.

It opens with a song called "New Momma," which isn't a cover of Neil Young's "New Mama," but is sort of a spiritual descendant — the intertextuality of the whole thing gets you in the right head-space. There are Southern rock anthems with titles like "Whiskey, Texas" and "Dance and Drink," and I've never actually listened to The Black Crowes, but part of me suspects that Stephen Neeper and The Wild Hearts sound like The Black Crowes. (Context clues.) "Southern Truth" is the most quintessentially Wild Hearts-ian name they could have chosen for this record too, which forces you think in phrases like "dual guitar interplay." It reminds you that Lynyrd Skynyrd were always better songwriters than they got credit for being. - Arkansas Times


Stephen Neeper and the Wild Hearts -- a band new to Eureka Springs but very familiar and highly respected among Little Rock music fans and critics -- comes to town this weekend for a Friday night performance at Chelsea's Corner Cafe & Bar.
The young four-piece, bluesy-Southern-rock band competed in and won its semi-final round of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase early this year, and since then has been trying its hand at writing more music as a group; when the band started last year, it based much of its performances on originals written previously by Stephen Neeper, who plays lead guitar and sings.

Arkansas Times music critic Robert Bell wrote this about Neeper and the Wild Hearts' performance at the Showcase: "Up next was the aforementioned Stephen Neeper Band. It's hard to convey the extent to which this band has swaggering, blues-steeped Southern rock down cold. And frontman Neeper is a shred-meister extraordinaire. Seriously, dude can waaaaail on that guit-box. And when you account for the fact that the rest of the band members are stone-cold bad-asses too? Well, that right there is a recipe for a face-melting rock experience."

A regular on Little Rock's two most popular stages, Rev Room and Stickyz, Neeper and the Wild Hearts bring a decidedly Allman-Brothers-like sound modern to Southern rock, even whipping out two-part electric guitar harmonies at times. The band will appeal to fans of the Black Crowes, Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, the Rolling Stones, and Tom Petty; expect to hear mostly originals with a few impressive, classic-rock covers ("Whipping Post," "You Wreck Me" or "Voodoo Child") thrown in here and there. - The Lovely Citizen


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Bio

Stephen Neeper & The Wild Hearts play rock ‘n’ roll music. The Neeper sound represents a coalescence of influences, ranging from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and ZZ Top to The Black Crowes, Ryan Adams, and Pearl Jam. The Neepers, Stephen and Zeke, started learning the art of guitar picking from their father so long ago that it is a part of who they are. After multiple tenures with various local bands, SN&TWH formed through jam sessions in the Neeper garage with other Arkansas musicians with the addition of drummer Evan Barr in late 2011.  Since then, the band has shared the stage with the likes of Cody Canada and the Departed, The Wild Feathers, Whiskey Myers, and The Dirty Guv’nahs. SN&TWH has garnered attention from the press as well. In the Arkansas Times, Robert Bell wrote, “It’s hard to convey the extent to which this band has swaggering, blues-steeped Southern rock down cold….frontman Neeper is a shred-meister extraordinaire… and the rest of the band members are stone-cold bad-asses, too.” Stephen & The Wild Hearts guarantee one thing: a rockin’ good time.

Band Members