New Artists at Otherlands 

This weekend, Otherlands widens the circle of musicians who play the coffee bar. Friday, August 8th, and Saturday, August 9th, mark Otherlands' New Artist Weekend. Both nights feature long bills of up and comers on the acoustic scene.

Friday night kicks off with Savannah Long at 8 p.m. Long has a strong voice and shows a lot of promise in the songs on her ReverbNation page. She is extremely confident in hitting the vocal basics and is starting to master the touch required to finish a note like the pros. Jeffery Jordan works in the commercial country vein. He writes in the new-country, neo-Walt Whitman style of listing things. Roger Wild plays at

click to enlarge Savannah Long - ALEXANDRA BAKER
  • Alexandra Baker
  • Savannah Long

9 p.m. and enshrines Memphians' low panic threshold in relation to snow in "Come to Memphis," a vaguely tropical number that invites you to a "city that will kick your ass." Austin James Smith is not afraid to take a surly blow on a harmonica in the Bob Dylan tradition. Mary Owens takes an impressionistic jazz approach with a voice that hovers over the chords until it strikes like lightning. The Justin Ross Duo works in the skinny-jean mode of post-country: strummed acoustic instruments and great harmonies.

On Saturday, Kate Sweat takes the lead. She has an acrobatic voice and is one of so many young artists whose development happened on YouTube. Ben Callicot plays some serious guitar and works in the smooth-bro mold of Jack Johnson and John Mayer. Eric Crays of Thirty Paces is not new to the scene, but perhaps to this mode of performing. Christian-country-folkster Jessica Peace takes the penultimate spot. Nic Nall wraps up the weekend. Nall's SoundCloud stream points to a wandering talent in the John Sebastian mode.

This is a unique chance to sample Memphis' emerging songwriting talent.

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