Wildly popular ’80s blue-eyed-soul practitioners Huey Lewis & the News return to Memphis this week for a rare nightclub appearance Thursday, January 27th, at Minglewood Hall. The band is touring in support of their first new album in more than nine years, Soulsville, which was released in November on the independent W.O.W. Records label.
Recorded in town at Ardent Studios and featuring an original work by local folk artist Lamar Sorrento on the cover, Soulsville is a heartfelt tribute to the legacy of the Stax Records catalog and succeeds on the strength of Lewis’ and the band’s well-established blue-collar charm, as well as their obvious devotion to the material. And with the exception of a version of the Staple Singers’ “Respect Yourself,” the album’s 14 cover songs are mostly (and thankfully) off-the-beaten-path selections, culled from B-sides and deep album cuts from the legendary soul label’s immense library. It’s also still a safe bet that Lewis will favor the crowd at Minglewood with an array of his own more well-known A-sides, including such chart-topping gems as “The Power of Love,” “I Want a New Drug,” and “The Heart of Rock ’n’ Roll.” Joining Huey Lewis & the News on the bill are some fellow Stax devotees: the excellent local soul-jazz trio the City Champs. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $40. - J.D. Reager