Soul Lives In Memphis at The Plexx

001 Melvin Live at the Plexx002 Melvino003 Melvino004 Melvino005 Juke Joint All-Stars006 Juke Joint All-Stars007 Juke Joint All-Stars008 Juke Joint All-Stars009 Juke Joint Horns010 Love Peace & Harmony011 Willie Hall & Friend012 Anthony Turner & Friends Band013 Anthony Turner014 Anthony Turner & Friends Band015 Anthony Turner & Friends Band016 Anthony Turner & Friends Band017 Randy "Wildman" Brown018 Randy "Wildman" Brown019 Randy "Wildman" Brown020 Randy "Wildman" Brown021 Randy "Wildman" Brown022 Randy "Wildman" Brown023 Juke Joint Horns024 Willie Hall025 Juke Joint Horns026 Willie Hall027 Willie Hall028 Gerard and Friends Band029 Willie Hall, Jesse & Friend030 Willie, Jesse & Friend031 Butch Mudbone032 Bertha Payne033 Bertha Payne034 Bertha Payne035 Bertha Payne036 Anthony Turner & Friends Band036 Anthony Turner & Friends Band037 Turner Friends Band Drummer038 Bertha Payne039 Turner Friends Band Bass Player040 Bertha Payne041 Bertha Payne042 Bertha Payne043 Bertha Payne044 Juke Joint Horns045 Juke Joint Horns046 Mr. Motown047 The Plexx048 Juke Joint All-Stars049 Juke Joint All-Stars050 Juke Joint All-Stars051 Anthony Turner & Friends Band052 Anthony Turner & Friends Band053 Anthony Turner & Friends Band054 Anthony Turner & Friends Band055 Anthony Turner & Friends Band056 Randy "Wildman" Brown057 Randy "Wildman" Brown058 Randy "Wildman" Brown059 Gerard & Friends Band060 Gerard & Friends Band061 Gerard & Friends Band062 Gerard & Friends Band063 Gerard & Friends Band064 Bertha Payne
On a rainy Friday night, after I had eaten dinner at AC’s Steakhouse in Hernando, Mississippi, I was driving back into Memphis looking for some live music, preferably blues or soul. Coming in on Elvis Presley Boulevard, I had stopped briefly at Club Superior in South Memphis, a place that at least in the past has sometimes featured live blues on weekends, but seeing three young teenagers coming out of the door just as I pulled up convinced me to look elsewhere, at least on this particular night. So I decided to head down Crump Boulevard and check on a place called The Plexx, a venue owned by a local doctor, Dr. Alfred Brown, where my friend Larry Chambers from Ecko Records told me that sometimes I could find live music. Since he told me that, I had periodically checked the place out on Friday nights, but invariably found it dark and locked up. I almost didn’t check it on this particular night either, but I finally did, and for the first time, found the parking lot absolutely loaded with cars. Better yet, when I got out, I could hear the boom of the bass drum and the thump of the electric bass out on the parking lot. Admission was $5, and I soon saw that not only was there a live band, the Juke Joint All-Stars, but a large horn section as well, and a man named Melvino was fronting the band and singing when I got there. The occasion turned out to be his birthday/anniversary party, and the joint was filled with his friends and area musicians, including legendary Memphis drummer Willie “Too Big” Hall, famous for his work with the Bar-Kays, Isaac Hayes and the Blues Brothers. After the Juke Joint All-Stars performed, a man named Anthony Turner performed with his band as well, and then a group who billed themselves as Gerard and Friends performed two funk tunes with Willie Hall on drums. Randy “Wildman” Stewart, a DJ from WMPR in Jackson, Mississippi had also come up, and performed a version of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”, and Bertha Payne, Butch Mudbone and an amazing singer named Joyce Henderson all performed. Payne’s song “It’s Friday Night” was appropriate for the occasion as far as mood, although by the time she performed it, it was Saturday morning, and Joyce Henderson’s 1 AM reading of “Wang Dang Dula” brought down the house. After her performance, the horns left, and I did as well, although I could hear that things were continuing inside. Out on the parking lot, another club down the shopping center was just getting started, and a group of teenagers was starting to argue in the line waiting to be admitted, and I figured it was time to go. Still, it was an amazing night of of the best Memphis soul and blues in an out-of-the-way spot that isn’t always open, but is always worth investigating on Friday nights.

The Plexx
380 E E. H. Crump Blvd
Memphis, TN 38126
(901) 744-2225









Big John Cummings and Friends With The Soul Connection Band Live at CJ’s Sports Bar & Blues in West Memphis @EckoRecords


I had heard from Larry Chambers over at Ecko Records that there was now a blues club on Broadway in West Memphis, Arkansas that had blues on Sunday nights. So I had gone out there to check it out, and they weren’t doing blues that particular night because the club had been rented by a motorcycle club, but the next Sunday was the day after Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, and despite a rather cold rain, the small club was packed to overflowing, and great music from the Soul Connection Band and some guest vocalists was already under way. Blues singer Ms. Dierdre came up to sing “Boogie Oogie Oogie”, and then the man of the hour, Big John Cummings, came up. Cummings is an excellent singer and songwriter, perhaps best known for the song “Too Many Mechanics” recorded by Donnie Ray, with which Cummings closed out his set. The club, CJ’s Sports Bar & Blues, has the authentic blues atmosphere that visitors to Memphis are looking for, and Sunday night is not to be missed.

CJ’s Sports Bar & Blues
3110 E Broadway
West Memphis, AR 72301
(870) 733-1575