This Friday, the two most prominent music venues in town will hold tribute concerts honoring the late, great Purple One. The New Daisy will host an evening of "Catalog Sessions" documenting the music of Prince with a performance of three different sets of his music, while Minglewood Hall will be hosting a "Memphis Does Prince" benefit with all the money going to St. Jude. Much like the Minglewood show, "Memphis Does Bowie," curated by Graham Winchester, the "Memphis Does Prince" benefit this Friday features a ton of local musicians covering Prince's music. On the other side of town, the New Daisy will have Larry Springfield along with Chris McNeil and friends on hand to perform Prince covers all night long. I caught up with Winchester to learn more about his tribute concert at Minglewood Hall this Friday. — Chris Shaw
The Memphis Flyer: How will this be different than the "Memphis Does Bowie" benefit?
Graham Winchester: The band lineup is very different, which I'm excited about. Through these "Memphis Does..." benefits, I want to incorporate as many local artists as possible. The music itself is also very different stylistically. Bowie definitely had some party tunes in his catalog, but not to the extent of Prince. I think this show will be one for the dancers.
Prince, much like Bowie, had a pretty unique, instantly recognizable style of music. Did that factor into how you picked the bands?
I definitely tried to pick bands that have an upbeat, funky vibe. There is also a strong need for great vocals and guitar work with this benefit. I didn't get every band I wanted, but I got the main ones, and I'm happy with the results.
How appreciative was St. Jude about the Bowie benefit?
They were extremely appreciative and have been so helpful the second time around. I've had several meetings with employees at the hospital about not only this benefit, but how they can help with future shows as well. Everybody at St. Jude has been incredibly enthusiastic, appreciative, and even surprised at what is going on.
The Bowie benefit was a huge success. Do you expect a similar turnout?
I feel like the turnout may even be slightly larger than last time. I think there's a lot of momentum and expectation going into this second benefit. My goal is to raise $25,000 this time.
Talk about the after party that's 21 and up. What's that going to be like?
My good friend Graham Burks is going to play the after party with his band mars HALL. It's in 1884 Lounge, connected to the main room of Minglewood Hall, so it'll be a great way to continue the Prince party without having to drive anywhere. There may be some impromptu collaboration involving all the musicians after mars HALL is done.
How will the show be formatted? How many songs does each band get to play? Will there be deep Prince cuts or solid hits all night?
Most bands will be playing three or four songs each. Toward the end of the night, my band is going to play seven or eight songs, and we've incorporated several special guests into our set.
After that Hope Clayburn plays for about 45 minutes, then Steve Selvidge plays the final 45 minutes. This time around I wanted to get a few headliners to play some solid, full sets so the night ends with a good flow. Overall, there are over 60 songs being played, so there is a good mix of hits and deep cuts.
"Memphis Does Prince," featuring Steve Selvidge, Hope Clayburn, Winchester and the Ammunition, the Incredible Hook, Southern Avenue, Clay Otis and the Addults, Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, Lightajo, the Erotic Thrillers, Marcella Simien, Another Green World, Kitty Dearing, Jesse Davis, and more Friday, June 10th at Minglewood Hall. 8 p.m. $15-$17. All ages.
"Catalog Sessions" with Larry Springfield and Chris McNeil, Friday, June 10th at the New Daisy Theatre, 8 p.m. $30.00.