It's the big one. There's tons of fun to see and hear. Take a cab.
Patrick Dodd Band at the Blue Monkey
Dead Soldiers, Jack O and The Tennessee Tearjerkers, and The Sheiks at the Hi-Tone
Star & Micey at the Poplar Lounge
DuWayne Burnside and Friends at Newby’s
Ratboys. Real band. Real voices. Real deal. Go.
Do you get punked-out sometimes? Hey, that's OK. Perfectly normal. Who's gotcha covered? Grits & Soul.
Ross Johnson celebrates his buddy Alex Chilton with a redux of Flies on Sherbert. The band is heavy. The album is great. This is THE thing to do. Go get down with the Baron of Love. You need that.
Had enough? No? Look right here:
The Ingram Hill guy can sing. Have a look at this playlist full of the band playing massive radio hits in somebody’s living room. They have the voice and the sense to play songs that will make fools dance with their ladies. That’s all we can ask. Good job, Ingram Hill. You have our support.
I’m OK with Zac. Country gives me an advanced case of the creeps when it gets Nashville polish all over it. Zac ain’t having that. Their music manages to keep a fuzzy (marijuana-addled?) relatable aspect to them. You won’t get impaled on hair gel if you go see Zac Brown Friday at FedExForum.
Let's just assume you laid down a sick shine on those dancing shoes and are headed to hear Tyrone Smith Revue at Newby’s. They might be from Nashville, but we can overlook that to hear one killer party band. One day Mr. Smith is going to hurt himself with those dance moves. Be there to offer support. Thanks. You’re a great person.
Spend Christmas Eve with your mama and your greasy granny. They raised you. But by Christmas night, you're gonna need a pound or two of hot metal. Hi-Tone is ready to pour a vat of molten XMAS steel all over your fancy sweater with Tanks and Heavy Eyes. You've earned this. Merry Christmas, pal.
Look who's gotten the holiday spirit, a buncha punk rockers. That's who. Hell yeah.
Elvis had only been gone for three months when a second Million Dollar Quartet, helmed by Johnny Cash, formed to honor him with a rendition of the gospel song "This Train." Cash's fantastic Christmas special aired Nov. 30, 1977 and featured Sun Studio notables Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison as well as longtime Cash sidemen Marshall Grant and W.S. Holland.
Cash's special also showcases the talents of Roy Clark, The Statler Brothers, and June Carter Cash. If you like your Christmas with a Memphis twist, this one's worth a click through.
Clark: My first paid gig as a musician was in 1969. I was writing songs and working in a studio by the middle '70s. I worked at Pop Tunes in the 70s and had shows on WLYX for a number of years. All of that experience culminated into a situation where I fell into writing in the 1980s. Besides writing, I had sort of a rep among certain people in Memphis during the ‘70s and ‘80s. I programmed all of the music for TGI Friday’s, the Bombay Bicycle Club, the Peabody, rock-and-roll clubs, urban cowboy shit, punk rock, German restaurants, Japanese restaurants. So I got a rep for being the guy who could program music, who could choose music.
#2. Know the right people.
Clark: The Oxford American thing would never had happened if it hadn’t been for Jim Dickinson. So when Jim was in discussions with Marc Smirnoff about this idea for the music issue and CD idea, Jim recommended me. That’s how it happened. I wrote liner notes on Big Star Third and the Number One Record/Sister Lovers twofer CD. I recorded with Alex on a number of things with Alex. Some of which I regard as the worst stuff he ever did. It was more colorful as the experience.
#3. Develop themes.
Clark: Trying to address Tennessee is the most daunting task of any of the Southern states. Unlike any other state, there’s no music industry center. Nashville and Memphis make Tennessee ground zero for some of the most important and influential music of the last century. It’s insane. One of the things that I had to address is the nature of Memphis and Nashville being the centers that they are. It wouldn’t be capturing a big part of the story if I didn’t acknowledge and address the journey to these places. If I just had artists that were born in Tennessee, I don’t think that I’d be telling the story. Al Greene, Elvis, a huge chunk of Texas moved to Nashville in the last 40 years. I had to have the narrative of the journey, the pilgrimage aspect.
Complexity and Loss
Clark: While the lines of demarcation seem apparent to most people, the cross pollination is important. I was going for the smear between Nashville and Memphis. It’s interesting; the DeVilles were looking for a white lead singer who sang like a black guy. They found Alex Chilton singing at the Central High Talent Show. One of the songs he sang was by [Bobby Hebb] a black guy from Nashville, who had actually played with Roy Acuff in the Grand Ole Opry. “Sunny,” which has always been one of the most interesting hits of the 60s. He wrote it in the wake of his brother’s murder. It was shortly after JFK had been murdered. It appealed to trying to keep a positive disposition in trying times. It’s almost like a jazz song in many ways. It’s an attempt to highlight the many complexities of Tennessee.
#4. Mix the dang thing up.
Clark: I could easily have filled the CDs with big artists or with big hits from homegrown Tennesseans. I’ve always felt on these CDs that the little chestnuts that you don’t know about share the same air as the well known artists. To have them side by side on these CDs is a way of dignifying their equal importance. Their equally worthy. So that’s why Van Buren or Tommy Hoehn would be on this CD with Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, and Al Green. In some ways a more familiar artist is always served as a kind of emotional palette cleanser. If you do two CDs of stuff that’s only obscure, the emotional landscape flattens out.
Local production company Inside Sounds will take over the Buckman Performing Arts Center at St. Mary's for two nights this week. Thursday they present An Evening of Acoustic Blues with David Evans, Wally Ford and Eddie Dattel, and the Ghost Town Blues Band, winners of the 2014 Memphis Blues Society IBC Competition. Friday night they return with another installment of Fried Glass Onions. The Memphis-plays-Beatles concept that has now spawned four releases. Friday's performance celebrates the release of the fourth installment, Memphis Loves the Bealtes. Performers include
Daddy Mack, Sir Charles Ponder, Nora Tucker, Dave Smith, Matt Isbell, and Dave Smith.
Tickets are $15.00 in advance at www.buckmanartscenter.com $20.00 the day of the show.
The impossibly news-worthy Bo-Keys just announced that their single "I'm Still In Need" will appear in the major motion picture Grudge Match starring Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone as aging boxers with a score to settle. The film debuts on Christmas . While technically not Jake LaMotta versus Rocky, it's another great get for Percy Wiggins and the band. Congratulations, again. Here's the trailer: