Family and musical friends will pay tribute to the late Sid Selvidge at a free memorial concert at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park on Tuesday, June 25th.
Selvidge was a major figure in Memphis music over the past several decades — a key folk/blues revivalist who was instrumental in the reemergence of classic Memphis blues artist Furry Lewis, a member of the scene-starting underground blues/rock band Mudboy & the Neutrons, a solo artist whose work was marked by a startlingly beautiful vocal style, and a behind-the-scenes figure who produced the internationally syndicated Beale Street Caravan radio program. Selvidge passed on May 2nd, at age 69, after a long battle with cancer.
"So many people were reaching out," Selvidge's musician son, Steve, says. "The service was small and private, but we wanted to do something where people could get together and commiserate and also celebrate his life."
The historic Levitt Shell proved an appropriate location.
"The first time he played there he was probably barely in his 20s," says Steve Selvidge. "All the country blues festivals and all the Mudboy shows. We grew up going to see him play at the Shell, and then we all started playing there."
The memorial concert will open with Crawpatch, the bluegrass band led by Don McGregor who released a 1979 debut album via Selvidge's own Peabody label. Crawpatch will be followed by Alvin Youngblood Hart and John Kilzer, two artists Selvidge admired.
Finishing up the night will be Sons of Mudboy, featuring Steve Selvidge, Jim Dickinson's sons Luther and Cody, Lee Baker's son Ben, Paul Taylor, and lone remaining original Mudboy member Jimmy Crosthwait. Sons of Mudboy will play an acoustic set preceding video footage of Sid Selvidge, then will follow with an electric set featuring guest performers.
The Sid Selvidge Memorial Concert is Tuesday, June 25th, at 6:30 p.m.
Gambling Days Aren't Over
As we reported a few weeks ago, the classic Memphis garage-punk trio the Oblivians are back, but with this return is the welcome one-night-at-least offshoot: The return of the Compulsive Gamblers. A partnership between two-thirds of the Oblivians — Greg Cartwright and Jack Yarber — the Gamblers both pre- and post-dated the original Oblivians run. The band morphed into the harder-edged Oblivians when third member Eric Friedl came on board but released a dual comeback/swan-song album — 2000's Crystal Gazing, Luck Amazing — after the Oblivians' initial breakup. But Cartwright and Yarber will give a Compulsive Gamblers performance on Friday, June 21st, at Young Avenue Deli as a benefit show for the Church Health Center. Think of it as a mini-Rock for Love, with Rock for Love co-organizer J.D. Reager opening.
They Want to Hold Your Hand
Local label Inside Sounds continues its series of compilation albums featuring Memphis artists covering the Beatles with Fried Glass Onions Vol. 4: Memphis Loves the Beatles. Among the highlights of the 12-song disc: Ross Rice putting a Memphis soul spin — with a slinky, bluesy groove and hot, buttered backup singers — on the early Beatles hit "Please Please Me." The Stax-style pleading Redd Velvet injects into "From Me to You." The faithful but sharp "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" from the Ghost Town Blues Band. And Harlan T. Bobo checking in from France with a fragile reading of John Lennon's White Album nugget "Julia."
This week, producer/organizer Eddie Dattel is putting on a concert extension of the album, with some featured artists and others playing a selection of Beatles covers. The "Fried Glass Onions" concert is Friday, June 21st, at the Buckman Arts Center in East Memphis. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Among the artists scheduled to perform are Daddy Mack, Matt Isbell, Lamar Sorrento, Redd Velvet, Nora Tucker, and Sir Charles Ponder.