Southern-Rock Road Trip 

Missed out on Bonnaroo and still looking to take a musical road trip this summer? Well, there's another Tennessee-based festival in the works: Mucklewain is billing itself as a "Southern American Rock Festival" and will take place Saturday, August 19th, at Whicker Park in Harriman, Tennessee, located about 35 miles west of Knoxville.

Among the 30 artists scheduled to play the festival are plenty with Memphis connections: local faves Lucero, Memphis-bred singer-songwriter Cory Branan, Murfreesboro/Memphis band Glossary, and onetime Memphians Todd Snider and Garrison Starr. Other acts of note include headliner Steve Earle, Nashville country-punk pioneer Jason Ringenberg, Drivin' N' Cryin' frontman Kevin Kinney, alt-country chanteuse Allison Moorer, and roots-rockers Dash Rip Rock.

Mucklewain begins at noon August 19th, though gates to the park open at 6 p.m. the previous night for camping. Tickets are $30. For more information, see

Two of the Memphis-connected artists at Mucklewain have new records on tap. Snider's The Devil You Know will be out August 8th. Lucero's Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers, perhaps the band's most ambitious record yet, is set for release September 26th. But you don't have to wait that long to hear the album, which the band recorded in Virginia with Camper Van Beethoven founder David Lowry producing. A digital download of the record is currently available via the band's Web site,

click to enlarge Cory Branan
  • Cory Branan

Local Music Notes: Tom Waits' August 4th show at The Orpheum sold out quickly, but there are still some big shows worth marking on your calendar. Mary J. Blige, who rivals R. Kelly as the most important soul artist of the past decade without being a lunatic or perv, headlines FedExForum Saturday, August 12th. Cult-fave Austin singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo plays Automatic Slim's Wednesday, August 16th. The Gibson continues its rebirth as a concert venue with the Robert Cray Band on the rooftop Saturday, September 2nd, and New Orleans piano man Henry Butler at the Lounge Friday, September 8th. And dates for the next Goner Fest have been set for September 28th-30th ... If you can't catch William Lee Ellis' release show for his new album God's Tattoos (see Record Reviews, page 34) at the Church of the Holy Communion Friday, July 28th, you've got a second chance when he plays Huey's Midtown Sunday, July 30th, at 4 p.m. ... A new album from local rap duo 8 Ball & MJG was supposed to hit the streets this week, but the release has been pushed to September 26th and with a new title, Ridin' High

click to enlarge p._35_local_beat1.jpg
... Classical guitarist Lily Afshar's new album, Hemisphere, was released Tuesday, July 25th, on the local Archer Records label ... Looks like a trend was started when local band Crippled Nation changed their name to The United, as two other established local bands have followed suit. Metal stalwarts Mrs. Fletcher have been rechristened The Adversary, and Makeshift indie-poppers Walkie Talkie are now Side Walk Talk ... Speaking of Makeshift, the local label is keeping busy. Now moved into offices on Cleveland, the label follows the release of the new Snowglobe/Brad Postlethwaite disc Oxytocin with a national release of Augustine's Broadcast, local releases next month from singer-songwriters Dan Montgomery and Holly Cole, and a project in the works from The Coach & Four ... If you're wondering what former Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission president Jerry Schilling has been up to since his rather unceremonious departure from that post a couple of years ago, here's your answer: The "Memphis mafioso" will release the memoir Me and a Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship With Elvis Presley, published by Gotham, on August 17th ... Memphis music was celebrated last weekend in Porretta, Italy, during the annual Porretta Soul Festival, which was held at Rufus Thomas Park. Beale Street stalwart James Govan was among the Memphis artists who performed. Look for a report from Porretta in this space next week.


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