WEVL FM-90 is one of Memphis' best institutions: an independent station, listener-supported, staffed mostly by volunteers. And they put on one of Memphis' best music events: Blues on the Bluff. WEVL's 18th annual Blues on the Bluff fund-raiser is this Saturday, with Central BBQ on hand to sell the delectables they're famous for and with drink vendors to keep you cool. All proceeds from the night go to the station.
Kicking off the evening musically is the Last Chance Jug Band, exulting in joie de jug as they get their Will Shade and Gus Cannon freak on. Soul follows as the Bo-Keys -- fronted by producer, bassist, and film scorer Scott Bomar and backed by his merry band of Stax alum groove-stars -- resurrect the sound that kept Memphis on the map. The Burnside Exploration closes out the night with a dose of hill-country blues. The band includes scions of the late north Mississippi blues legend R.L. Burnside, and before the night's over, they will have turned the bluff into a juke joint.
One thing Blues on the Bluff has over any other local music event is its venue. The concert takes advantage of a stunning vista overlooking the river at the National Ornamental Metal Museum. It's a unique moment on the Memphis calendar: the river a snake dancing to the rhythms of the region's sounds, your foot keeping time as the music washes over you.
Blues on the Bluff, at the National Ornamental Metal Museum, Saturday, July 22nd, 6:30 p.m., $15