Flyer InteractiveSound Advice

The Flyer's music writers tell you where you can go.

Chris Ardoin
Considering that the heart of zydeco country is just six hours away, it's surprising that we don't get to hear more from the blues' bayou brother here in Memphis. So it's a treat when any zydeco band makes the trip up I-55, but 17-year-old accordionist Chris Ardoin, who'll be at the Hi-Tone Cafe this Thursday, has more to recommend him than curiosity. With his brother/drummer Sean, Chris comes from one of the most famous musical clans in Louisiana. Their father fronted the popular Ardoin Brothers Band in the '60s and '70s, their grandfather still plies the traditional Creole beat in dance halls, and their great uncle was one of the first to put the indigenous music of South Louisiana down on wax. The younger Ardoins are doing their best to keep the two-step beat going but are also adding their own contemporary bent to the music. Chris Ardoin and Double Clutchin's album Turn The Page features a unique medley of their own, "Stay In Or Stay Out," and Musical Youth's 1983 dittie "Pass The Dutchie." And the group is famous for its modern R&B, Boyz II Men-style vocal harmonies.

Easily one of the more unusual and enlightening concerts to hit the Memphis area in awhile (aside from Shania Twain, of course) is this Monday's performance by the Mystic Arts of Tibet. The group is made up of monks from the Drepung Loseling monastery who fled Tibet with the Dalai Lama and other monastic orders in 1959 following China's invasion. Today, the group travels the world trying to raise awareness about their culture and their plight. Monday's show at St. Mary's Episcopal School's Buckman Performing Arts Center will offer plenty of fascinating glimpses into monastic life and Buddhist spirituality. But for music buffs, the real point of interest will be the monks' polyphonic singing. Through years of training, the Drepung Loseling monks have mastered a technique that allows them to sustain as many as three notes at once, a feat previously thought impossible. The music their voices combine to create is a hypnotic drone that is understandably perfect for meditation, though other pieces serve important ritual and day-to-day functions as well. The Mystical Arts of Tibet's current tour is being presented by Richard Gere Productions (Gere is a longtime acolyte of the Dalai Lama) and the Loseling Institute. Tickets are $10 and are available at Unity Church of Memphis (2570 Kirby Road, 754-4241). -- Mark Jordan

This Week's Issue | Home