Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Summer Symphony and album release parties

Posted By on Tue, May 30, 2017 at 6:25 PM

click to enlarge Colleen Radish, Beth Wilson, Liza Rauth, Locke Isaacson and Kristin Smith at Summer Symphony at the Live Garden at Memphis Botanic Garden. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Colleen Radish, Beth Wilson, Liza Rauth, Locke Isaacson and Kristin Smith at Summer Symphony at the Live Garden at Memphis Botanic Garden.

Transformers began exploding over an hour after the last firework exploded May 28 at “Summer Symphony at the Live Garden.”

The fireworks display and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” the final selection performed by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, were finished at 9 p.m. The storm hit around 10:30 p.m.

A total of 2,310 attended the event, said the garden’s executive director Mike Allen. “With the support of the Symphony we decided prior to the show to eliminate the intermission, which was 22 minutes, and one number, which was nine minutes, so we could get people out early and home safely,” Mike said. “Which was wise.”

The audience didn’t get to hear that one selection, which Mike thinks was the “Vienna Waltz,” but they left with their coolers, blankets and chairs before the strong winds arrived.

“There was no damage in what’s called the ‘Live Garden.’ There was one large tree along the eastern edge by Audubon Lake that we lost. The Live Garden, the stage, all that was unaffected. Thankfully.”


click to enlarge Chris Milam and Elen Wroten at Chris Milam's album release concert. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Chris Milam and Elen Wroten at Chris Milam's album release concert.

Toward the end of his outdoor concert, Chris Milam said listeners to his songs probably were thinking, “Maybe this has a happy ending,” and “Maybe this relationship will work out.”

Chris on guitar and Elen Wroten on cello performed songs from Chris’s new album,”Kids These Days,” May 27 on the front porch of the record store on Madison.

“The album itself comes from basically one year of my life that was an especially trying time,” Chris said. “While there are moments of hard won optimism, a lot of the songs are about a dark time. And so, yeah, sometimes if people haven’t heard the songs before or are new to my music, I can see over the course of a concert maybe they’re looking for some comic relief or a bit of levity. I’ll provide it if I can.”

click to enlarge Kyle Bors-Koefoed at The Warehouse. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Kyle Bors-Koefoed at The Warehouse.


Kyle Bors-Koefoed paid homage to Memphis at his album release party May 27 at The Warehouse near South Main.

A native Memphian now living in Nashville, Kyle said the event was the “official album release” for “Becca’s Mix Tape.” “I wanted to launch it in Memphis because Memphis is where I have my roots for music,” he said. “That’s where I started in music.”

He described the album as “a range of singer-songwriter style music that is blues heavy. It’s got a bit of Pink Floyd, John Mayer-ish-type stuff. Very modern sounding.”

Blues artist Blind Mississippi Morris was among the guests. “He’s the one that I followed,” Kyle said. “I shadowed him for about five years. He’s the one that really taught me how to play the blues harp the way I play it. He’s like family now. We love Morris.”

Asked if he planned to move back to Memphis some day, Kyle said, “There’s possibly not more exposure, but a different kind of exposure here in Nashville for my singer-songwriter stuff. So, that’s why I’m still staying out here.”

But, he said, “If it wasn’t for Memphis, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t have learned to play the 

music that I play the same way. Memphis has that soul that I haven’t been able to find in Nashville.”

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