The Rebirth of Jazz on Beale Street at The Blue Note: A Tribute to Emerson Able

001 Memphis Jazz All-Stars002 Sidney Kirk003 Bill Hurd & Sidney Kirk Jr004 Ralph Collier005 Ralph Collier007 Ralph Collier, Bill Hurd & Sidney Kirk Jr008 Mickey Gregory & Sidney Kirk009 Emerson Able Tribute010 Mickey Gregory011 Mickey Gregory012 Mickey Gregory013 Johnny Yancey014 Kelvin015 Ralph Collier016 Sidney Kirk Jr017 Ralph Collier & Mickey Gregory018 Bill Hurd Quartet020 Johnny Yancey & Kevin021 Blue Note022 Blue Note
Jazz is the forgotten piece of the Memphis music puzzle. People who are familiar with Isaac Hayes, Al Green or Otis Redding have likely never heard of Frank Strozier, Booker Little, Joe Dukes, Jamil Nasser, Sonny Criss, Charles Lloyd, Harold Mabern or Phineas Newborn Jr. Yet the histories of jazz, blues and soul are interwoven in Memphis. A young Phineas Newborn Jr played on some of the early Sun blues records. Free jazz saxophonist Frank Lowe played with Con-Funk-Shun in the early 1970’s. Isaac Hayes’ first LP was a jazz trio record with Duck Dunn and Al Jackson Jr, and elements of jazz would be present in all his career. Much of our city’s jazz history springs from one particular high school, Manassas High School in North Memphis, which was home to Jimmie Lunceford, Jimmy Crawford, Frank Strozier, Booker Little, Harold Mabern and George Coleman, and much of that great legacy was the result of an incredible musician and band director, Emerson Able, who recently passed away. So when Johnny Yancey told me that there would be a jam session at the Blue Note on Beale Street in honor of Mr. Able, I decided to head down there, and found the club filled to overflowing. An all-star group of musicians was on stage, including Bill Hurd on saxophone, Sidney Kirk Sr. on piano, Sidney Kirk Jr on drums, Ralph Collier, Johnny Yancey and Mickey Gregory on trumpets and others. At least part of the purpose was to raise funds for instruments for the Manassas band program, and if it proved nothing else, the amazing Thursday night of music proved that Memphians will turn out to support authentic jazz in an accessible, welcoming environment. The jam sessions will continue to be held on the first Thursday of each month.

Blue Note Bar & Grill
341 Beale St
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 577-8387
http://bluenotebarandgrillinc.com


A Soulful Sunday in Southwind with the Prime Cut Band #LiveFromMemphis

023 Prime Cut Band024 Prime Cut Band025 Prime Cut Band026 Prime Cut Band027 Audie Smith030 Prime Cut Band031 Prime Cut Band
Audie Smith has been well-known around Memphis as an extraordinary keyboard player, so when I saw that his band Prime Cut was playing at the Southwind location of Huey’s on Sunday night, I made plans to go and check them out. Although Audie’s background is jazz, Prime Cut plays primarily neo-soul and R & B, although in a rather jazz-inflected way. His keyboard skills are absolutely tremendous, and the band featured a really soulful singer as well. Particularly impressive were jazzy takes on “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and Michael Jackson’s “I Can’t Help It”, neither one of them tunes usually associated with jazz. The music was great, and a decent crowd was in the house as well.



Celebrating the Legacy of Hill Country Blues On Its Biggest Day

001 Hill Country Picnic002 Hill Country Picnic003 Hill Country Picnic004 Hill Country Picnic005 Hill Country Picnic006 Hill Country Picnic007 Hill Country Picnic008 Hill Country Picnic009 Hill Country Picnic011 Joseph Burnside Band012 Garry Burnside on Drums013 Kenny Brown014 Joseph Burnside & Duwayne Burnside015 Joseph Burnside016 Kenny Burnside017 Joseph Burnside018 Joseph Burnside019 Kenny Brown020 Garry & Joseph Burnside021 Joseph & Duwayne Burnside022 Joseph Burnside & Duwayne Burnside023 Duwayne Burnside024 Kenny Brown & Garry Burnside025 Garry Burnside on Drums026 Hill Country Picnic030 Joseph Burnside031 Duwayne Burnside032 Garry Burnside033 Garry Burnside034 Bill Abel035 Bill Abel036 Bill Abel037 Bill Abel038 Bill Abel039 Bill Abel040 Bill Abel041 Hill Country Picnic042 Hill Country Picnic043 Hill Country Picnic044 Hill Country Picnic045 Hill Country Picnic046 Hill Country Picnic047 Cary Hudson048 Cary Hudson049 Cary Hudson050 Cary Hudson052 Cary Hudson053 Cary Hudson's Drummer055 Cary Hudson056 WWOZ057 Eric Deaton Trio058 Eric Deaton059 Eric Deaton060 Eric Deaton Trio061 Eric Deaton Trio062 Hill Country Picnic063 Eric Deaton Trio064 Hill Country Picnic065 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band066 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band067 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band068 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band069 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band070 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band071 Sharde Thomas072 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band073 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band074 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band075 Sharde Thomas076 Sharde Thomas077 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band078 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band079 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band080 Sharde Thomas081 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band082 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band083 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band084 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band085 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band086 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band087 Rising Star Fife & Drum Band088 Garry Burnside089 Garry Burnside090 Garry Burnside Band091 Garry Burnside Band092 Garry Burnside093 Garry Burnside Band094 Garry Burnside Band095 Garry Burnside096 Garry Burnside Band
Although the Friday night shows had been harassed by storms, no such problem occurred on the Saturday of the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic. In fact the day was a bright sunny blue one, with fairly cool temperatures compared to what we had been having, and it was the perfect setting for a full day of Hill Country blues. The gates had opened with R. L. Boyce at 10:30 in the morning, but by the time I arrived, Joseph Burnside was on stage, with Duwayne and Garry Burnside backing him up. He was followed by Bill Abel, then Cary Hudson of the band Blue Mountain, and finally Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band from the Gravel Springs community near Senatobia, one of the last Black fife and drum bands in America. Garry Burnside and his band went up on stage after that, and then I left to go to dinner at Lamar Lounge in Oxford. In addition to the live performances, there were lots of arts, crafts and clothing for sale at various tents up on the hill, and a raffle, which was being held to raise money for a gravestone for the late bluesman Robert Belfour. And the whole day’s proceedings were broadcast live by New Orleans’ superb radio station WWOZ.

Keep up with R. L. Boyce:
https://www.facebook.com/RLBoyceBlues

Keep up with Bill Abel:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bill-Abel/192999535686
https://myspace.com/billabel

Keep up with Cary Hudson:

Home


https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cary-Hudson-Music/124389767589979


https://myspace.com/caryhudson

Keep up with Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharde-fifemastor-Thomas/225158361001370

Keep up with Garry Burnside:
https://www.facebook.com/garrybluesmanburnside

Keep up with the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic:
https://www.facebook.com/nmshillcountrypicnic

Rain But Undampened Spirits As The North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Kicks Off

1423 Jimbo Mathus1426 Jimbo Mathus1432 David Kimrbough Band1436 David Kimbrough Band1437 David Kimbrough Band1440 David Kimbrough Band1442 Kinney Kimbrough1444 Sherena1447 Duwayne Burnside1448 Artemis1451 Duwayne Burnside1454 Kenny Brown & Duwayne Burnside1455 Kenny Brown & Duwayne Burnside1456 Duwayne Burnside
The North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic, sponsored annual at Waterford, Mississippi by Sarah and Kenny Brown, is arguably the most important annual event in the world of Hill Country Blues. It helps preserve the legacy of R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, and allows their descendants and disciples an opportunity to perform in the county where it all began, and takes on aspects of a music festival, a jam session and a family reunion all in one. But this year’s festival got off to something of a rocky start due to a series of violent thunderstorms, with lightning and hail that caused the festival grounds to become a mud-bog, and which caused a significant delay in the schedule. Fortunately, it all passed over eventually, and indie-blues/country/rock star Jimbo Mathus came out to perform with his band, followed by David Kimbrough Jr’s band, although David’s brother Kinney handled the vocal chores since David had a touch of laryngitis. And finally, Friday evening’s lineup was closed out with Duwayne Burnside fronting his newest band, which was extremely tight indeed, and which sounded great. Just as they were leaving the stage, the first flashes of lightning from a new round of storms appeared, but no rain could bring anyone down after all that great Hill Country blues.

Thursday Night Jazz With Ed Finney & Jeremy Shrader at The Cove

001 Ed & Jeremy002 Jeremy Shrader003 Ed Finney005 Ed Finney & Jeremy Shrader007 Ed Finney & Jeremy Shrader008 The Cove
Jazz is getting increasingly harder to find in Memphis these days, and if that wasn’t bad enough, it recently got voted the least-popular genre of music in America, although that dubious distinction was based on downloads, and I could argue that we jazz fans prefer to buy discs or vinyl. But at any rate, it becomes more crucial than ever for us to support the jazz events we do have, and a great one happens every Thursday night at a quaint nautically-themed bar in the Broad Avenue Arts District called The Cove. Ed Finney is of course a legendary jazz guitarist around Memphis, and Jeremy Shrader is a younger trumpet player and singer, and together this duo performs a satisfying mix of jazz standards and original tunes each week from 9 to midnight. It’s nothing loud, or brash or bombastic, just a cool, hip aural ambiance. It’s definitely worth checking out, and although I didn’t eat, I’ve been told the food at The Cove is remarkably good as well.


Keep up with Jeremy Shrader:
http://www.jeremyshradermusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/JeremyShraderMusic


Keep up with The Cove:
http://thecovememphis.com
https://www.facebook.com/cove.bar

The Cove
2559 Broad Av
Memphis, TN 38112
(901) 730-01719

The Soulful Sounds of Tawanna Campbell at the Afterthought in Little Rock

002 Afterthought003 Afterthought004 Afterthought005 Afterthought006 Afterthought007 Afterthought008 Cliff Aaron & Tawanna Campbell009 Tawanna Campbell010 Tawanna Campbell011 Tawanna Campbell012 Tawanna Campbell013 Afterthought014 Cliff Aaron016 Tawanna Campbell017 Cliff Aaron & Friends018 Cliff Aaron & Friends019 Tawanna Campbell022 Tawanna Campbell023 Cliff Aaron & Friends024 Cliff Aaron025 Cliff Aaron026 Tawanna Campbell027 Cliff Aaron & Friends029 Tawanna Campbell033 Tawanna Campbell034 Afterthought
I was really not familiar with Tawanna Campbell at all, but I was in Little Rock on business, and saw that she was performing at the Afterthought Bistro and Bar, which is Little Rock’s oldest jazz club, and that her drummer was Cliff Aaron, so I decided to swing by and check out the show before driving back to Memphis. The band was first rate (Cliff is an amazing drummer) and Tawanna Campbell proved to be a great vocalist and an exquisite show personality on stage. The crowd was engaged through both sets, and unlike so many neb-soul shows, I was amazed at how diverse the crowd was- young and old, Black and white. The Afterthought is a wonderful venue, and this particular Friday night show was worth coming from Memphis to see.







Keep up with Tawanna Campbell:
https://www.facebook.com/tawanna.campbell?fref=browse_search

Keep up with The Afterthought Bistro and Bar:
http://www.afterthoughtbistroandbar.com
https://www.facebook.com/afterthoughtbistroandbar
https://www.reverbnation.com/venue/afterthoughtbistrobar

A Youth Rally in Foote Homes

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A few days after the Tate Street Block Party, the anti-violence group Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives (FFUN) sponsored a youth rally at Foote Homes, the only remaining public housing project in Memphis. Toys were distributed to the younger children, hot dogs and chips were given out, and horseback rides were given to young people. A DJ provided the music for the occasion, and of course some politicians showed up as well.

Celebrating the Life of B. B. King in Indianola

002 B. B. King Homecoming003 B. B. King Homecoming004 B. B King Homecoming005 Blues All-Stars006 Blues All-Stars007 Blues All-StarsJPG008 Blues All-Stars010 B. B. King Homecoming011 B. B. King Homecoming012 B. B. King Homecoming013 B. B. King Homecoming014 B. B. King Homecoming015 Blues All-Stars016 Blues All-Stars017 Blues All-Stars018 Cody Dickinson & Sherena Boyce019 B. B. King Homecoming020 Food Trucks021 Food Trucks022 Eden Brent023 Eden Brent024 Eden Brent025 Eden Brent026 B. B. King Homecoming029 Eden Brent030 Eden Brent031 B. B. King Homecoming032 B. B. King Homecoming033 Eden Brent034 B. B. King Homecoming035 Eden Brent036 Eden Brent037 B. B. King Homecoming038 Marquise Knox039 Marquise Knox041 Marquise Knox042 Marquise Knox043 Marquise Knox044 Marquise Knox045 Marquise Knox046 Marquise Knox047 Marquise Knox048 Marquise Knox049 Marquise Knox050 Marquise Knox051 Marquise Knox052 Marquise Knox054 Marquise Knox055 Marquise Knox056 Marquise Knox057 Marquise Knox058 Marquise Knox059 Marquise Knox061 Marquise Knox062 Marquise Knox065 Lil Ray066 Lil Ray067 Lil Ray068 Lil Ray069 Lil Ray070 Lil Ray071 Sherena Boyce & Marquise Knox072 Lil Ray073 Lil Ray074 B. B. King Homecoming078 The Blue Biscuit079 The Blue Biscuit082 Sherena Boyce085 North Mississippi All-Stars086 Lightning Malcolm087 North Mississippi All-Stars088 North Mississippi All-Stars089 Lightning Malcolm090 North Mississippi All-Stars091 North Mississippi All-Stars093 North Mississippi All-Stars094 North Mississippi All-Stars095 North Mississippi All-Stars096 North Mississippi All-Stars097 North Mississippi All-Stars098 North Mississippi All-Stars099 North Mississippi All-Stars100 North Mississippi All-Stars102 B. B. King Homecoming103 Cody Dickinson104 Cody Dickinson105 Cody Dickinson106 Cody Dickinson107 North Mississippi All-Stars108 North Mississippi All-Stars109 North Mississippi All-Stars110 North Mississippi All-Stars
Each year in B. B. King’s hometown of Indianola, Mississippi, deep in the historic Delta region, the great bluesman returned in late May for an event called the Homecoming, where he performed for the people of his original hometown, and on the occasion of the 2014 Homecoming, he stated that that year’s event would be his last. The old man’s health was fading, and the travel was hard on him. But none of us could have imagined that he would not live to see the next one. This year’s Homecoming, coming a week or so after B. B. King’s death, was a sad occasion, and yet an opportunity for many great blues musicians to come together and honor King’s life and legacy on the grounds of the museum that bears his name. Just as the occasion was both joyful and sorrowful, the day was alternated by periods of heat and sunshine and downpours of rain, but in between the showers came a diverse array of performers, including Greenville blues diva Eden Brent, youthful St. Louis blues star Marquise Knox, Lil Ray, son of the Louisiana blues star Raful Neal, and the North Mississippi All-Stars, with Cody and Luther Dickinson, featuring Sharde Thomas on the keyboards and fife, and Lightning Malcolm on the guitar. The crowd ebbed and flowed due to the weather, but at its strongest seemed to be about 200 or so, equipped with lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets, and even sparklers. The North Mississippi All-Stars had barely finished their outdoor set, when the rains came a final time, more decisively, and some of the crowd headed around to the Club Ebony for the indoor evening performance. There really couldn’t have been a better way to honor B. B. King.













Keep up with Eden Brent:
http://www.edenbrent.com
https://www.facebook.com/edenbrent
http://yellowdogrecords.com/eden/
https://edenbrent.bandcamp.com

Keep up with Marquise Knox:
http://marquiseknoxblues.com
https://www.facebook.com/marquise.knox
https://myspace.com/marquiseknox

Keep up with the North Mississippi All-Stars:
http://www.nmallstars.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/nmallstarsmusic
https://www.facebook.com/nmallstars

https://myspace.com/nmallstars
http://www.nmorecords.com

Celebrating The Legacy of Black Moon, the Boot Camp Click and More at the @DuckDownMusic Bar-B-Que at @A3C @JarrenBenton @YoungRoddy @Smif-N-Wessun

015 A3C Main Stage016 A3C Main Stage017 SAE Institute018 A3C Main Stage019 A3C Main Stage020 Flip Boutique021 A3C Main Stage022 Hot 107.9023 Reebok024 Reebok025 A3C Main StageJPG026 A3C Main Stage028 DuckDown Bar-B-Que029 DuckDown Bar-B-Que030 DuckDown Bar-B-Que031 DuckDown Bar-B-Que032 DuckDown Bar-B-Que033 DuckDown Bar-B-Que041 Jarren Benton042 Jarren Benton043 Jarren Benton044 Jarren Benton045 Jarren Benton046 Jarren Benton047 Jarren Benton048 Jarren Benton049 Jarren Benton050 Jarren Benton051 Jarren Benton052 Jarren Benton053 Jarren Benton055 Jarren Benton057 DuckDown Bar-B-Que058 Ja
rren Benton059 Jarren Benton060 Jarren Benton061 Jarren Benton062 Jarren Benton064 Kicks N Kush065 DuckDown Bar-B-Que066 DuckDown Bar-B-Que067 DuckDown Bar-B-Que068 DuckDown Bar-B-Que857 A3C Main Stage069 Young Roddy070 Young Roddy071 Young Roddy072 Young Roddy073 Young Roddy859 DuckDown Bar-B-Que862 Jarren Benton076 Smif-N-Wessun077 Smif-N-Wessun078 Smif-N-Wessun079 Smif-N-Wessun080 Smif-N-Wessun081 Smif-N-Wessun082 Smif-N-Wessun083 Smif-N-Wessun084 Smif-N-Wessun086 Smif-N-Wessun087 DuckDown Bar-B-Que088 Smif-N-Wessun865 Young Roddy089 Smif-N-Wessun090 Smif-N-Wessun093 DuckDown Bar-B-Que094 DuckDown Bar-B-Q
ue103 DuckDown Bar-B-Que104 DuckDown Bar-B-Que105 DuckDown Bar-B-Que106 DuckDown Bar-B-Que107 DuckDown Bar-B-Que108 Duckdown Bar-B-Que109 DuckDown Bar-B-Que110 DuckDown Bar-B-Que113 A3C Main Stage114 A3C Main Stage115 A3C Main Stage866 Smif-N-Wessun
The Saturday afternoon event on A3C’s main stage was billed as the DuckDown Bar-B-Que, which provoked a fair amount of consternation, as there wasn’t any bar-b-que, only the usual food trucks. But it was sponsored by DuckDown Music, and was basically a concert, at which Jarren Benton, someone from Louisiana named Young Roddy, and Smif-N-Wessun performed. Jarren Benton I had seen before, a couple of years ago at SXSW, but I was far more impressed with him at this performance. He is quite lyrical and satirical, and at times is reminiscent of early Eminem. Young Roddy I was not at all familiar with (and I usually try to keep up with Louisiana artists), but I thought he was a decent performer. Obviously it was Smif-N-Wessun that most people came to hear, and when they started doing Black Moon material, I was especially thrilled, as I hadn’t expected that, and as Black Moon was one of my favorite rap groups and albums of all time. Hearing such gems as “Enter the Stage” and “Shit Is Real” made my day.

Opening Day of @A3C Hip-Hop Festival in Atlanta

001 A3C002 A3C003 A3C004 A3C781 A3C005 Nate006 Nate007 Torch008 Torch009 Torch010 Torch011 Torch012 Torch013 Erosol014 Voice of the People015 Torch016 Boulevard Street017 The Sound Table018 A3C019 Space 2787 Nate788 Torch791 Voice of the People020 The Music Room021 The Music Room022 A3C023 A3C024 A3C025 A3C026 Money Makin Nique027 Money Makin Nique028 Money Makin Nique029 Money Makin Nique030 Money Makin Nique031 Money Makin Nique032 Money Makin Nique033 Money Makin Nique034 Money Makin Nique035 Money Makin Nique036 Money Makin Nique037 Money Makin Nique038 Money Makin Nique039 A3C040 The Music Room042 The Music Room792 A3C795 Money Makin Nique043 Yac-Yan Da Biznessman044 Yac-Yan Da Biznessman045 Club Enclave046 Club Enclave047 Club Enclave048 Cash Out049 Cash Out798 The Music Room050 Cash Out051 Cash Out052 The Quad799 Cash Out053 Fort Knox054 A3C790 Voice of the People
When I got to Atlanta, I went immediately to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which last year had been the Melia Hotel, and registered for the A3C conference. Although it was only the first day of the event, the hotel was already crowded with rap artists, industry people and fans. After getting checked in at my hotel, and eating dinner, I headed down to the Edgewood Avenue area to attend showcases, ending up first at the upstairs stage of a building called Erosol or the Department Store, where an artist named Nate was on stage. He was soon followed by a Maybach Music Group artist named Torch, but the venue was extremely crowded, so I walked down Edgewood to the Music Room, where the Atlanta rapper Money Makin Nique was on stage. I had heard him first several years ago, but I was extremely impressed with the new material he performed this year, and spent some time talking with his manager on the sidewalk outside. But my homeboy Fort Knox was emceeing an event at Enclave, a club on Spring Street not far from the conference hotel, so I got the car and drove back over to the hotel, but ended up going into the Quad instead of the Enclave, and saw the rapper Cash Out on stage with his entourage. I realized that Fort Knox wasn’t hosting that event, and decided to go around the corner and into Enclave, but by then, the latter venue was closing and wouldn’t let me in. I got a brief chance to speak with Knox before he headed out, and I rode back to my hotel as well.