Cellular South Stage • 2:15 p.m.
Memphis rockers Sore Eyes play an energetic, radio-friendly brand of heavy modern rock. They've shared stages with such Memphis-connected bands as Shinedown, Saving Abel, and Saliva.
Boys Like Girls
Cellular South Stage • 3:50 p.m.
Boston emo-pop band Boys Like Girls went gold with their eponymous 2006 debut and appeal to fans of such modern rock bands as My Chemical Romance, Panic at the Disco, and Taking Back Sunday.
Five Finger Death Punch
Cellular South Stage • 5:25 p.m.
Thrash-metal band Five Finger Death Punch was formed by a couple of members of the notorious metal band W.A.S.P. The heavy groove band became an underground sensation on the strength of albums Way of the Fist and War Is the Answer.
Cellular South Stage • 7:05 p.m.
Although this Chicago-based power trio honed their craft amidst headbangers on the Ozzfest circuit, Chevelle's sound focuses more on the tightrope between sound and silence than bona-fide heavy metal. Inspired by bands such as Helmet and Tool, Chevelle contrasts thumping guitar riffs and melodic vocals. The band's latest album, 2009's Sci-Fi Crimes, draws inspiration from the paranormal, but the sonic crunch is still the same.
3 Doors Down
Cellular South Stage • 8:45 p.m.
Mississippi-bred 3 Doors Down are one of the most successful bands of the past decade. They rocketed to fame on the success of their debut single, "Kryptonite," and the album The Better Life, which went six times platinum, the start to a decade that saw the band sell some 16 million albums in all. The band's sound is heavy, but it's a radio-friendly sound that's proven to have a wide appeal, driven by the powerful vocals of frontman Brad Arnold.
Truth & Salvage
Budweiser Stage • 2 p.m.
Truth & Salvage is an emerging North Carolina-based roots band whose eponymous 2009 debut album was produced by Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson. The band boasts four singers who share lead vocals.
Budweiser Stage • 3:35 p.m.
A prolific singer-songwriter, John Hiatt has been nominated for 11 Grammys and has had his songs performed by a wildly eclectic group of musicians (Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt, Three Dog Night, the Neville Brothers). Though he'd been releasing solo albums since the mid-'70s, Hiatt hit his stride in the mid-'80s with the albums Riding With the King, Bring the Family, and Slow Turning, the last two, in particular, both critical and commercial successes. He released his fifth album, The Open Road, earlier this spring.
Band of Horses
Budweiser Stage • 5:35 p.m.
After a long run in the indie band Carissa's Weird, Ben Bridwell and Mat Brooke formed the rootsy, emotional Band of Horses in 2004 in Seattle. After a successful 2006 debut, Everything All the Time, Brooke left the band and Bridwell relocated to South Carolina and recorded the band's second album, Cease To Begin, which not only consolidated the band's considerable indie audience but, rather surprisingly, broke into the Billboard Top 40 album chart. This year, Band of Horses releases its major-label debut with the surging, confident Infinite Arms.
Alison Krauss & Union Station
Budweiser Stage • 7:20 p.m.
Bluegrass prodigy Alison Krauss became a superstar within that genre's tightly knit community before being introduced to the wider musical world on the terrific 1995 compilation Now That I've Found You: A Collection. The Krauss that new fans discovered then was one of the strongest, finest singers in any music, an Appalachian crossover queen who seemed like a prim bluegrass angel. But Krauss took to celebrity surprisingly well, morphing into a saucier, sexier model of her old self in time for her close-up on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Krauss' ostensible modesty has belied a prolific drive that saw her more than standing her ground alongside Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant on the terrific 2007 duet album Raising Sand. Fronting her longtime virtuoso band Union Station, Krauss will be back in bluegrass mold here — a good bet to be one of the highlights of this year's Beale Street Music Festival.
Sam's Town Stage • 2:10 p.m.
The flamboyant Rock Sugar taps into the early-aughts mash-up phenomenon (the hip-hop-connected process of mixing two familiar songs into one new one) and turns it into live music for strictly rock fans. Blends such as AC/DC with Madonna ("Shoot Me Like a Prayer") and Bon Jovi with Loverboy ("Prayin' for a Sweet Weekend") are silly, over-the-top party music. Rock Sugar comes with a fictional backstory about being lost on a desert island for 20 years, only to finally return and display their rock-and-roll brilliance to the masses.
Sam's Town Stage • 3:30 p.m.
With previously scheduled Poison frontman Bret Michaels unable to perform due to medical reasons, Michaels' old '80s metal cohort, Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil, has stepped in to fill the slot. Fans looking forward to Michaels' mix of straightforward rock and familiar pop-metal hits can expect a similar set from Neil.
Booker T & the MGs
Sam's Town Stage • 5:15 p.m.
Legend has it that MG stands for Memphis Group — an appropriate moniker since this band was the mainstay at Stax for two decades. With two black players (organist Booker T. Jones and drummer Al Jackson Jr.) and two white players (guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn), the MGs epitomized the racially integrated music scene that dominated Memphis in the '60s. As the rhythm section that became the core of Stax's funky, soulful sound, the MGs backed such greats as Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, and Sam & Dave. But the MGs also scored big on their own with "Green Onions." The group backed Neil Young on the 2006 Grammy-winning album Prairie Wind, and Booker T released a rare solo album last year, Potato Hole.
Earth, Wind & Fire
Sam's Town Stage • 7 p.m.
Led by the Memphis-born Maurice White, the sprawling, visually spectacular Earth, Wind & Fire was one of the leading R&B bands of the '70s and early '80s, recording such classic singles as the funky "Shining Star," the discofied "Boogie Wonderland," and the perfectly titled "Let's Groove," which surely does. A key influence on the past couple decades of R&B, a re-formed Earth, Wind & Fire was paid back on their last album, 2005's Illumination, with guest turns by inheritors from the worlds of hip-hop (Outkast), soul (Raphael Saadiq), and jazz (Kenny G.).
Robert "Wolfman" Belfour
FedEx Blues Tent • 2:05 p.m.
Robert Belfour was born and raised in the north Mississippi hill country but relocated to Memphis more than 40 years ago. Belfour's understated acoustic blues style, considered "a link between Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside" by Fat Possum producer Bruce Watson, remains largely unnoticed by local blues fans, but his albums (What's Wrong With You and Pushin' My Luck) have received rave reviews around the world.
FedEx Blues Tent • 3:30 p.m.
Greenwood, Mississippi-born Hubert Sumlin got his start on KWEM radio in West Memphis, playing with Pat Hare and James Cotton back in the 1950s. Howlin' Wolf took Sumlin north to Chicago, and blues guitar hasn't been the same since. Sumlin's unpredictable twisting riffs and solos led him to be crowned the "King of the Outer Space Guitar." Now in his 70s, Sumlin never ceases to astonish.
FedEx Blues Tent • 5:05 p.m.
Louisiana slide-guitar master Sonny Landreth has been a sideman and session ace for many notable artists, including Little Feet, Jimmy Buffet, and John Hiatt. On his own, Landreth has released a series of albums, starting with 1992's Outward Bound. His most recent album, From the Reach, finds him more than holding his own alongside such high-profile guest guitarists as Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Robben Ford, and Eric Johnson.
FedEx Blues Tent • 6:50 p.m.
The reigning "B.B. King Entertainer of the Year" at the Memphis-based Blues Music Awards, Janiva Magness has emerged over the past decade as one of the biggest stars on the contemporary blues scene. She'll be sticking around Memphis after her Beale Street Music Fest performance this year for another shot at a Blues Music Award, as she's been nominated for the sixth time for "Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year." Magness' husky, sultry vocals have most recently been captured on her soul-schooled 2010 album, The Devil Is an Angel.
FedEx Blues Tent • 8:35 p.m.
One of the great session players in rock history, piano man Leon Russell has contributed to classic recordings for the likes of the Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis, and George Harrison. As a solo artist, Russell's soulful swamp-pop sound found success on such '70s albums as Carney and Will O' the Wisp. Most recently, Russell has been writing songs with Elton John and Bernie Taupin for a John album produced by T-Bone Burnett. He also appeared on this year's Grammy telecast playing alongside "Best New Artist" winners the Zac Brown Band.
SoCo Blues Shack • 2:15, 3:45, 5:15, & 6:45 p.m.
The son of late north Mississippi blues legend Junior Kimbrough, the Holly Springs, Mississippi-based David Kimbrough is true hill-country blues royalty and has kept the sound alive with his own spin on the form.
3, 4:30, & 6 p.m.
Richard Johnston, a late-blooming street performer, has become one of the rising stars on the independent blues scene, winning the 2001 International Blues Challenge and releasing an acclaimed debut album, Foot Hill Stomp. Solo, Johnson is sure to wow audiences with his world-weary howl and his picking ability on the cigar-box lowe bow, a one-stringed cousin of the electric guitar.a>