Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hump Day to the Max: Sons of Mudboy and Oblivians Light Up the Week

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 3:22 PM

click to enlarge Sons of Mudboy - JOSH MINTZ
  • Josh Mintz
  • Sons of Mudboy
A flurry of inspiring music will ring through Midtown today and tomorrow, as players rooted in the 1990s, but tapping into much older influences, make mid-week performances. Time to call it an early weekend and phone in sick tomorrow? Perhaps.

It starts tonight at 7:30 pm, when Sons of Mudboy start their set at Bar DKDC. The group features the progeny of the legendary underground rockers Mud Boy & the Neutrons — Ben Baker, Cody and Luther Dickinson, and Steve Selvidge — along with the last surviving Mud Boy, Jimmy Crostwaithe, and other friends to re-imagine the roots-rock Mud Boy sound for this century. While Selvidge and Baker often lead a version of the group in this weekly time slot, tonight's show promises to be special, as the Dickinson brothers, who are often away on tour, will join in the fun.

Mud Boy has been hovering over the city a lot these days, with many still reeling from twin release parties for Robert Gordon's newest book, Memphis Rent Party, featuring interviews (and an accompanying LP) with Jim Dickinson and others connected to the bohemian scene of 30-40 years ago. Pat Rainer, another member of that artistic community rooted in the '70s, also launched her photography exhibition at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music at the same time, with many striking images of Dickinson, Sid Selvidge, Tav Falco, and others from that era. It's still on view at the museum through this July.

Tomorrow, Luther Dickinson will still be in town, this time at the Old Dominick Distillery's Pure Memphis Music Series. This series provides a unique, intimate space to hear its well-curated artists. The sound is stunningly good, and the drinks are, well, very fresh. Dickinson will be joined by Amy Lavere and Sharde Thomas, with whom he worked in his side project The Wandering, which also featured Shannon McNally and Valerie June.

In an interview with Jarrett Bellini from "Apparently This Matters,” Luther Dickinson recently reflected on the connection he feels to musical history and the songs of his father and those he learned from. “It's the repertoire. It doesn't matter, the stylistic trappings, or production. It can be electronic interpretation, whatever. Whatever it takes to get yourself off, and to trick a new generation into listening to it...It's hard, but the repertoire is what has to be carried on. That has been my biggest realization. My dad and his friends, they weren't hippies, they were beatniks, they were bohemians. Before the hippies. They were rock 'n' rollers turned folkies, and the folkies were song collectors. That was the hippest thing, who had the most obscure song.” Expect some choice rarities in this unique ensemble gig. 
click to enlarge The Oblivians
  • The Oblivians
And also tonight at Bar DKDC, on a very different tip, we'll hear another version of roots music from the Oblivians. Though most would call the group post-punk, when the trio started in the early '90s they were known for bringing a hint of the blues back into DIY garage rock. How much this was deserved is debatable, for they really were mining their own territory. But it can't be denied that very few punk bands covered songs by Blind Charles White, as they did. Nowadays, they reunite occassionally, and this year will be especially busy for them, as they play the Debauch-A-Reno festival in Reno, Nevada next month, with many dates following in Europe in May and June. But this may well be their only Memphis appearance. Expect a packed house tonight!

Sons of Mudboy play Bar DKDC Wednesday, March 21, at 7:30 pm. The Oblivians play there at 10:30 pm. Luther Dickinson & Friends play Old Dominick Distillery Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 pm.

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