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The Smittle Band featured in concert as part of AETN Arts Fridays Nov. 18

Posted 18 Nov 2011

“AETN Presents: On the Front Row With the Smittle Band – Featuring Stephanie Smittle” will premiere on the Arkansas PBS (AETN) Friday, Nov. 18, at 6:30 p.m.

“AETN Presents: On the Front Row” is part of AETN Arts Fridays, featuring world class arts and culture programming and locally produced series.

The Smittle Band formed two years ago and features vocalist Stephanie Smittle from Cave Springs, Ark. The Smittle Band has been described as “jazzy Americana” featuring smooth vocals and a pop sensibility and is reminiscent of Smittle’s childhood Baptist church stylings. The group produced its first CD, “Bright Street,” in Oct. 2010 and features the songwriting of Smittle and Wythe Walker. The Smittle Band features Stephanie Smittle on vocals; Wythe Walker on acoustic and electric guitars; Jim McGehee on keyboard; Ray Wittenberg on drums; and John Davies, who spent a decade with The Cate Brothers and several years on the road with Michael Burkes, on bass.

“AETN Presents: On the Front Row With the Smittle Band – Featuring Stephanie Smittle” repeats Sunday, Nov. 20, at midnight following “Austin City Limits” and Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 6:30 p.m.

Also airing Nov. 18 at 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from Cleveland “Women Who Rock.” From Bessie Smith to Janis Joplin to Lady Gaga, this performance documentary vibrates with energy as it traces the indelible mark that amazing women musicians have made on America’s soundtrack. Inspired by the “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, “Women Who Rock” reveals new insights into what it means to be female in the male-dominated world of rock and roll, while exploring how those dynamics between the sexes have changed with time. Cyndi Lauper, who appears in the program, hosts. The film is produced by Susan Wittenberg and Carol Stein with assistance from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The evening’s presentation is in collaboration with PBS member station WVIZ/PBS ideastream®.

"I think there's a league of women in rock who are really adamant about their art, and those are the people that really stand out to me and are inspirational to me,” musician Shannon Boshears of the Shannon Boshears Band said.

“When I listen to Joni Mitchell, she's in a realm that I probably would never go to had she not taken me there, and other artists, like Janis Joplin, Bonnie Rait and Adele are powerful and enormous musical forces [with] appeal for women and men."

AETN Arts Fridays delivers world class arts and culture programming to viewers. The locally produced arts and culture series “AETN Presents,” featuring Arkansas authors and bands, airs at 6:30 p.m., and the unprecedented PBS Arts Fall Festival airs at 9 p.m. More information about AETN Arts Fridays and the PBS Arts Fall Festival, including previews, is available at

“AETN Presents” features a variety of arts and cultural subjects. Previously included in the series have been the Arkansas Acoustic Festival; performances by the Cate Brothers, Trout Fishing in America, Dale Hawkins, Wayland Holyfield and Friends, Shannon Boshears Band and Epiphany; and “On the Same Page” with authors Buzz Bissinger, Billy Collins, John T. Edge and Kenneth L. Smith.