Celebrating The Legacy of R. L. Burnside at Hernando’s Front Porch Jubilee

New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos

The Clifton Gin was a large building that loomed over the West End neighborhood of Hernando, Mississippi where many blues musicians lived and played their trade in nearby jukes. The Rev. Robert Wilkins, Gus Cannon and Jim Jackson all lived in the area for a time, and Mississippi Joe Callicott was from nearby Nesbit, Mississippi. Now each year, the city of Hernando commemorates that musical legacy with an event called the Front Porch Jubilee, held on the grounds of the historic gin, as part of Hernando’s larger Water Tower Festival. This year’s jubilee honored the legacy of the late R. L. Burnside, and members of the Burnside family were presented with a plaque. Performers included Jack Rowell and Triple Threat, Desoto County native Kenny Brown, who was mentored by both Joe Callicott and R. L. Burnside, Duwayne Burnside, Lightning Malcolm, rockabilly legend Travis Wammack, and R. L. Burnside’s grandson Cedric, performing with Trenton Ayers as the Cedric Burnside Project. In addition to the great music, there was a considerable amount of great food too, including some excellent pulled pork and the homemade ice cream from Senatobia-based Bliss. A warm afternoon turned to a chilly evening, but a stalwart crowd of about a hundred stayed to the end of Cedric’s last set. It was a great day of blues in Hernando.








A Celebration of the Blues at On Location: Memphis

011 Butch Mudbone012 Butch Mudbone013 Terryl Saffold & Cecil McDaniel014 Butch Mudbone016 Butch Mudone018 Redd Velvet019 Cash McCall & Cecil McDaniel020 Butch Mudbone & Cash McCall023 Garry Burnside024 Garry Burnside025 Garry & Cedric Burnside026 Garry Burnside027 Garry Burnside028 Garry Burnside031 Garry Burnside032 Garry Burnside Band1802 Butch Mudbone1803 Redd Velvet1804 Redd Velvet1806 Cash McCall1809 Garry Burnside
This year’s On Location: Memphis International Film and Music Festival launched something new, a gala blues concert at Cooper-Walker Place in Memphis’ Cooper-Young neighborhood. Hosted by Memphis’ own blues diva Redd Velvet, the concert featured performances from Butch Mudbone, Cash McCall, Beverly Davis, Garry Burnside and Cedric Burnside, and drew a crowd of music lovers and film makers alike. Veteran Memphis drummer Terryl Saffold and bassist Cecil McDaniel anchored the rhythm section for the earlier acts, and it was quite an enjoyable event.





The Cassie Bonner Band on the Square in Holly Springs

001 Holly Springs002 Holly Springs003 Holly Springs004 Marshall County Courthouse005 Marshall County Courthouse006 Holly Springs007 Marshall County Courthouse009 Holly Springs010 Holly Springs011 Marshall County Courthouse012 Aikei Pro's Record Shop013 Holly Springs014 Holly Springs015 Holly Springs016 Hill Country Blues017 Holly Springs018 Holly Springs019 Holly Springs020 Holly Springs021 Holly Springs022 Holly Springs023 Holly Springs024 Holly Springs025 Holly Springs026 Holly Springs027 Holly Springs028 Cassie Bonner Band030 Holly Springs031 Holly Springs032 Holly Springs033 Holly Springs034 Holly Springs036 Holly Springs038 Cassie Bonner's Drummer039 Cassie Bonner's Drummer042 Cassie Bonner's Drummer043 Cassie Bonner Band044 Cassie Bonner Band045 Cassie Bonner046 Cassie Bonner Band047 Cassie Bonner Band048 Cassie Bonner049 Holly Springs051 Wobble, Baby, Wobble052 Wobble, Baby, Wobble053 Cassie Bonner Band054 Holly Springs055 Holly Springs056 Cassie Bonner Band057 Holly Springs058 Holly Springs059 Holly Springs060 Highway 7 & 4061 Holly Springs063 Little Joe Ayers065 Holly Springs066 Holly Springs067 Holly Springs068 Cassie Bonner Band069 Cassie Bonner Band070 Cassie Bonner Band071 Cassie Bonner Band072 Cassie Bonner Band073 Cassie Bonner Band074 Holly Springs075 Cassie Bonner Band076 Cassie Bonner Band077 Cassie Bonner Band078 Cassie Bonner Band079 Cassie Bonner Band080 Cassie Bonner Band084 Holly Springs086 Holly Springs087 Holly Springs088 Holly Springs089 Cassie Bonner Band090 Cassie Bonner Band091 Cassie Bonner Band092 Cassie Bonner Band093 Cassie Bonner Band094 Cassie Bonner Band095 Cassie Bonner Band097 Holly Springs098 Holly Springs099 Future Attractions1565 The Smiling Phoenix1568 Holly Springs1570 JB's On The Square1572 Holly Springs1574 Holly Springs1575 Marshall County Courthouse1576 Marshall County Courthouse1578 Holly Springs1579 Cassie Bonner Band1581 Cassie Bonner's Drummer1583 Cassie Bonner Band1585 Wobble, Baby, Wobble1587 Cassie Bonner Band1589 Cassie Bonner Band1591 Holly Springs1592 Holly Springs1596 Cassie Bonner Band1599 Cassie Bonner Band
Although the Delta of Mississippi is known as “The Land Where Blues Began”, the area to the east known as the Hill Country produced a unique style of blues that has become famous around the world. This subgenre of blues was especially prevalent in Marshall and Benton Counties, so it’s not surprising that Holly Springs, the county seat of Marshall County, is a town that emphasizes its blues heritage. The county was home to Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside, and each Thursday night during the summer, Holly Springs sponsors a weekly live music concert called Blues in the Alley, which is held directly on the courthouse square. On July 9, the featured artist was the Cassie Bonner Band, a group from Oxford that I was not familiar with. Cassie Bonner proved to be a keyboard player and a singer, and while the group’s style was more neb-soul than blues, I was quite impressed with them, particularly the young drummer. There were also food vendors and a DJ, and a crowd of several hundred people, as well as a number of motorcyclists, and a camera crew filming a documentary about Holly Springs and David Caldwell, the owner of Aikei Pro’s Record Shop. I also ran into Hill Country Blues legend Little Joe Ayers on the square as well.

Keep up with Cassie Bonner:
https://www.facebook.com/cassie.bonner.9
https://www.facebook.com/cassie.bonner.33

https://myspace.com/cassiebonnersoul








Happy 4th Birthday to Radio Memphis

001 Radio Memphis002 Radio Memphis003 Radio Memphis004 Radio Memphis005 DJ Bay006 Radio Memphis007 Radio Memphis008 Radio Memphis009 Radio Memphis010 Radio Memphis012 Radio Memphis013 Radio Memphis014 Radio Memphis015 Radio Memphis016 Radio Memphis017 Radio Memphis018 Radio Memphis019 Radio Memphis020 Jay DaSkreet, Devin & Donnon Johnson021 Radio Memphis022 Donnon Johnson023 Mason Jar Fireflies025 Mason Jar Fireflies026 Mason Jar Fireflies028 Mason Jar Fireflies030 Mason Jar Fireflies031 Donnon Johnson033 Donnon Johnson034 Devin036 Jay DaSkreet037 Jay DaSkreet038 Jay DaSkreet040 Jay DaSkreet042 Devin043 Donnon Johnson044 Ciara Oulette045 Ciara Oulette046 Ciara Oulette047 Ciara Oulette049 Radio Memphis050 DJ Bay052 Zeke Johnson053 DJ Bay054 Zeke Johnson055 Zeke Johnson & Sturgis Nikides056 Zeke Johnson & Low Society
Radio Memphis is a superb internet radio station that for the last four years has been supporting Memphis music and musicians. So for their fourth birthday, they threw a party at their studios with food and music, and broadcasted the music live on the air. The performers covered nearly all genres, from the folk of Mason Jar Fireflies, to the funky organic hip-hop of Tunica rapper Jay DaSkreet, who was backed by D-Squared, consisting of Donnon Johnson on drums and Devin Jordan on keyboards, to the country of Ciera Oulette, to the authentic blues of Zeke Johnson (who studied with the late Furry Lewis) and Sturgis and Mandy Nikides of Low Society. Rarely has so much great Memphis talent been in one building at the same time, and it led to some startling serendipities, as when Donnon Johnson got on the drums backing Mason Jar Fireflies as they played an instrumental riff as a warm-up. It was a great way to celebrate Radio Memphis and what it means to the local music community.

Keep up with Radio Memphis:
http://radio-memphis.com
https://www.facebook.com/radiomemphis

Keep up with Mason Jar Fireflies:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mason-Jar-Fireflies/316712228421086
http://www.masonjarfireflies.com


https://instagram.com/mjfireflies/
http://masonjarfireflies.bandcamp.com

Keep up with Jay DaSkreet:

http://www.datpiff.com/Jay-DaSkreet-Walk-The-Line-mixtape.467191.html
https://www.facebook.com/jay.daskreetteam
https://www.facebook.com/TTYL2BUSY.LMAO
https://instagram.com/daskreet/
https://twitter.com/skreetluv5

Keep up with Ciera Oulette:
https://www.facebook.com/SimplyCiera

http://cieraouellette.bandzoogle.com

https://www.youtube.com/user/ccouelle
https://instagram.com/cieraouellette/

Keep up with Zeke Johnson:
https://www.facebook.com/zeke.johnson.969

Keep up with Low Society:
http://www.screaminblues.com
https://www.facebook.com/LowSocietyBand

http://lowsocietyband.blogspot.com
https://www.bandpage.com/LOWSOCIETYBAND

https://lowsociety.bandcamp.com/releases











The Stooges Brass Band Brings A Taste of New Orleans to Overton Square

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Back in 2011, the Stooges Brass Band were one of the more active street brass bands in New Orleans, with a regular residency at the Hi-Ho Lounge in the 9th Ward, which is where I first heard them. Over the last four years, like the Dirty Dozen before them, they have morphed into more of a touring entity, although they have a street version that still marches for certain second-lines during the year. The traveling version of the band is somewhat stripped down, with fewer horns, a set drummer instead of the traditional snare and bass drummers, and the addition of non-brass-band instruments like keyboards and electric guitar. Still the band generates a considerable amount of crowd participation as it runs through its combination of standard brass band repertoire and unique originals like “Wind It Up” and “Why They Had To Kill Him”, the latter a tribute to Joseph “Shotgun Joe” Williams, a trombonist shot to death by the New Orleans Police in the year before Hurricane Katrina. Memphis has a number of New Orleans expatriates, and even more local fans of New Orleans music, and so Lafayette’s Music Room was packed for the performance, which was rescheduled from an earlier date that had to be cancelled due to snow and ice.






New Orleans Comes to Memphis with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at Lafayette’s

001 Dirty Dozen002 Dirty Dozen003 Dirty Dozen004 Dirty Dozen005 Dirty Dozen006 Dirty Dozen007 Dirty Dozen008 Dirty Dozen009 Dirty Dozen010 Dirty Dozen011 Dirty Dozen012 Dirty Dozen013 Dirty Dozen014 Dirty Dozen015 Dirty Dozen016 Dirty Dozen017 Dirty Dozen018 Dirty Dozen019 Dirty Dozen020 Efrem Towns Jr021 Dirty Dozen022 Dirty Dozen023 Dirty Dozen024 Dirty Dozen025 Dirty Dozen026 Dirty Dozen027 Dirty Dozen028 Efrem Towns Jr029 Julian Addison30 Efrem and Gary032 Efrem & Friends
Old Man Winter had other ideas when the Stooges Brass Band was supposed to play at Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis a few weeks ago, but Memphis had another opportunity to enjoy some New Orleans music last Wednesday when the Dirty Dozen Brass Band performed at the same venue. The Dirty Dozen was one of the young bands that appeared in the early 1980’s as brass bands began a strange renaissance in New Orleans after near extinction in the early 1970’s, and for awhile the Dirty Dozen played the second-lines, funerals and weddings that are the mainstays for brass bands, but eventually they moved away from that to focus almost strictly on touring and club dates. Toward that end, while the bass lines are provided by a tuba, the Dirty Dozen employs a set drummer rather than the traditional rhythm section of bass drum, snare drum and cowbell, and adds an electric guitarist as well. Nor did traditional New Orleans songs make up much of the evening’s repertoire, although they did play a version of “Li’l Liza Jane”. Primarily, the sound of the Dirty Dozen these days is much more funk oriented, and much of the material had that feel and direction. For that style, a funky drummer is mandatory, and Julian Addison proved up to the task, providing a firm backing for the band, and a groove that soon filled the dance floor in front of the stage. Trumpeters Gregory Davis and Efrem Towns (the latter familiar to fans of the TV series Treme) took turns bantering with the crowd between songs and keeping a jovial and upbeat mood. Many of the songs were taken from the band’s most recent album Twenty Dozen, including a rousing reading of the song “Tomorrow.” At show’s end the crowd was still begging for more, and an encore featuring baritone saxophonist Roger Lewis closed out the show.



Marcus Scott and the Deep Soul Band Rocking The House at Curtis Given’s All New @InLOVEMemphis @curtis_givens

001 In LOVE Memphis002 Marcus Scott003 Marcus Scott004 Marcus Scott005 Marcus Scott006 Marcus Scott007 Marcus Scott008 Marcus Scott009 Marcus Scott010 The Deep Soul Band011 Marcus Scott & The Deep Soul Band012 Marcus Scott & The Deep Soul Band013 Marcus Scott & The Deep Soul Band014 In LOVE Memphis015 In LOVE Memphis
The building had once been a Pig N’ Whistle barbecue restaurant, and later a rough-around-the-edges club called Two For One, but Curtis Givens’ latest venture, In LOVE Memphis is possibly the hippest and most elegant new venue in the city. The building is unrecognizable compared to its former self, and the decor inside is upscale and cozy. But the reason I came was the reason I usually go anywhere, live music, which at LOVE takes place on Mondays and Thursdays. On this particular Thursday, the featured artists was a singer named Marcus Scott, with whom I wasn’t familiar, although I soon learned that I should have been. Scott is a consummate showman, with a fine voice, ably assisted by the Deep Soul Band, which contained some faces I recognized, including Marless Flowers on drums and the incomparable Jackie Clark on bass. The show consisted mostly of soul and R & B covers, but Scott performed one original, “Sow A Seed”, a clever prod to get the crowd feeding the tip bucket for the musicians. And amazingly, all of this great live music was available without a cover charge, at least on this particular night.

In LOVE Memphis
7144 Winchester Rd
Memphis, TN 38125
(901) 497-8042
(901) 485-1119
http://inlovememphis.com
https://www.facebook.com/inlovememphis
https://instagram.com/inlovememphis/





Memphis’ Longest Running Spoken Word and Open Mic Event: The Word at the Rumba Room

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Every Monday night, musicians, singers and poets head down to a Latin club and restaurant in Memphis’ South Main Arts District for a weekly open mic event called The Word. Hosted by Memphis singer Tonya Dyson, The Word usually features a live band which backs up the singers, rappers and poets, and on the particular Monday night I was there, the band in question was Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, Memphis’ best local reggae and dub band. The main drummer for CCDE is Donnon Johnson, but on this particular night, he traded out with my homeboy Otis Logan on certain tunes, and Otis was featured on an amazing drum solo over a keyboard vamp. Several singers and poets performed, including Tonya Dyson herself, who had an incredible reading of the Jamaican festival classic “What A Bam Bam”.


Otis Logan and the 4 Soul Band at the Kickback at @HiToneMemphis

217 The Kickback220 The Kickback221 Otis Logan222 Otis Logan223  4 Soul Band224 4 Soul Band & DJ227 4 Soul Band228 4 Soul Band & DJ230 DJ231 DJ's at the Kickback233 Otis Logan & DJ
My homeboy Otis Logan had told me about an event that Devin Steel of K-97 was sponsoring at the Hi-Tone called the Kickback. The party was to feature several DJ’s, back by Otis on drums, and Otis’ band 4 Soul was supposed to play as well, so I decided to go. The new Hi-Tone on Cleveland seems somewhat smaller than the old Hi-Tone, but it filled up quickly. For most of the evening, Otis was on drums behind several different DJ’s, soloing, adding fills and breakdowns and amplifying the grooves. Briefly, the whole 4 Soul Band played behind the DJ’s as well. The drum and DJ format is new to Memphis, but the crowd seemed to enjoy themselves.