Moon River Festival at the Shell 

Drew Holcomb loves Memphis. He lives in Nashville, but cut him some slack. He made a video about his love for Memphis and organized the Moon River Festival, which is at the Levitt Shell on Saturday, June 7th.

Drew and Ellie Holcomb are a husband-and-wife songwriting team. Ellie is a Christian artist in her own right and joins her Memphian husband in the Neighbors. Holcomb has done religious and secular work and has landed several songs in cable shows. The band has toured with bands from Los Lobos to the Avett Brothers.

click to enlarge afterdark_baird-w.jpg

Another Memphian is on the bill! Rob Baird (pictured) plays in a similar vein to the Holcombs. He's working the Nashville playbook. His 2012 album I Swear It's the Truth is loaded with pristine acoustic guitars and immaculate drums. The harmonies are sturdy, and the guitars have the sparkle and fuzz of people who know what they are doing.

Knoxville sends us the Dirty Guv'nahs, a dust-kicking mess of electric hillbillies. Their energetic live set is the pride of K-Town and a regular "best band" winner in the Metro Pulse readers' poll.

Will Hoge was signed to Atlantic in 2004. He ended up like too many: made a record or two and hogtied to apathetic label management. To his credit, he got his masters back and hit the road. Never Give In, his record from 2013, has a hint of Springsteen and Petty to it. His voice has a lot of character. He's performed at the Opry with Vince Gill singing backup. Dang.

Holly Williams, Judah & the Lion, Dwan Hill, Myla Smith, Idle & Wild, and the Stax Music Academy Alumni Band (more on them later) round out the bill. — Joe Boone

Speaking of Drew Holcomb, Moon River Music Festival


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