Tyrannosaurus Chicken returned to
Memphis for a standing room only show at the Cove (it's the new New Orleans-style cocktail and oyster bar
at 2559 Broad street). There is a lot of talk about these two in Memphis musical circles--keep Rachel Ammons
and Smilin' Bob Lewis on your radar. photos >
|Tyrannosaurus Chicken |
Wendy Moten is a guest vocalist on the new
Eric Clapton album. Moten got the call to work on the recording of "Old Sock" via a
strong recommendation from guitarist/producer
Doyle Bramhall II. She has finished
tracking vocals on a project in Nashville with
Dave Stewart (the Eurythmics, etc.) after a ten week string of dates with
the Faith Hill/
Tim McGraw band in Las Vegas.
Mother's Finest have just finished recording their new album,
look for it's release from the Hannover, Germany based
SPV label this May.
They are hitting the road this
summer and the Atlanta based funk-rock outfit would "love" to play Memphis again but they "just need an offer! Hopefully, soon!"
Joyce Kennedy spoke with jungleroom.com about her musical roots, touring in the 1970's arena-rock circuit and her new recording projects.
Everyone senses that 2013 is going to be the year of Valerie June.
She literally hypnotized the audience during her set at the Java Cabana in the Cooper-Young arts district and has just landed a
slot opening for the
Rolling Stones at
their massive outdoor Hyde Park concert in London, England on 7/13/13.
|Valerie June |
Sandy Carroll is preparing to master a new album which will be released in early fall. It was recorded at Bessie Blue Studio with Jim Gaines producing and features Dave Smith,
Steve Potts and a host of others Memphis musicians.
Diane Steinberg-Lewis the princess of Memphis musical royalty (remember her as "Lucy"
from the Sgt. Pepper's movie?). Please include her in your prayers--she just had knee replacement surgery in California this week.
Claudia Lennear tells jungleroom.com that "Miramax has bought the documentary
film "Twenty Feet From Stardom" at the Sundance Film Festival! There is a lot of excitement about the movie and I cannot wait to share it
with you all." Look for her to launch an official web site next month.
Gary Hager and his band Work Release sounded great during their latest set at Huey's on Poplar--
guitarists Bill Parsley (formerly of the Memphis Hurricanes, he use to write for CREEM magazine) and Steve McGraw have never sounded better.
Work Release drummer Chuck Bratton told a story about the late Memphis music impresario Bobby Kizer once landing his band Wyzard
an opening slot for Meat Loaf
at the Ritz in midtown and bassist Bobby Tait explained that he has released his first singles titled "Paula’s in Love Tonight" and
"It's You" with both in rotation on Indiecast Radio and available online. Tait said that "the drums on both songs are performed by
Chuck Bratton and I did everything else." Mastering on “Paula’s in Love Tonight” was by Larry Nix and
Kevin Nix at Ardent Studios. Look for more new music from Tait, he explains that "what I am doing is...a new one and
then an old one until I get through my back catalog. At least the ones I feel like releasing."
|Work Release |
Robert Krieger is a fantastic Florida-based singer/songwriter who tells jungleroom.com
that "Memphis is the home of some of the best music ever made." Krieger is originally from Chicago and you can hear the influences of
Roy Orbison, the Eagles and Elvis in his work. Give his new songs a listen:
Joe Perry paid a visit to Graceland on his way to Oklahoma City for the start of
Aerosmith's new "Global Warming" tour (photo credit: John B). Look for a
stop at the Fed Ex Forum on the second North-American run of Aerosmith dates (possibly co-headlining with Van Halen) in the late summer or fall. Wouldn't their former touring partners
Mother's Finest be a great opening act for a Memphis show?
|Joe Perry @Graceland |
Get ready to party on the patio with Lance Daniels and his band Strangelove every Thursday at the East End Grill on
Hacks Crossing @Winchester
Bad Feelings is the title of the new EP from Ciera Ouellette--released
on the Simply Grand Music label.
Simply Grand Music Inc. is a music publishing and production
company that has been in business in Memphis since the late 1950s
with an extensive catalog with over 1,000 songs, some of which have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis
and Etta James.
Look out for a big announcement from Marie Pizano and the
MVP3 Entertainment Group.
Don Nix has just returned from a tour of Japan with band mates Joel Williams,
Craig Yarborough and Terry Wall. In April, the Real Gone Music
label re-issued his classic 1971 "Living by the Days" album (for the first time on compact disc) with new liner notes from Grammy award
winning author Colin Escott and a faithful duplication of the artwork from the original Elektra records release.
Please keep Pat Taylor and
Susanne Jerome-Taylor in your prayers. The "Pat Taylor Rock 'N Roll benefit" concert at Neil's music room on 9/30/12 was a huge success. After three weeks of negotiations,
the original members of 1970's Memphis rock band Target
(Jimi Jamison, Buddy Davis, Paul Cannon, Tommy Cathey and Bill Marshall ) were convinced to reunite for the event and despite
not having played together in years, it was amazing how tight they sounded in rehearsal.
Lisa Marie Presley was gracious and "glad to be back home" looking absolutely stunning sporting her '68 comeback
type of black dress during her visit to Sun studio.
|Lisa Marie Presley |
Keep your fingers crossed for a Carlos Santana/
Steve Miller Band double-bill in Memphis. Look for a
Sheila E concert at your favorite local casino in the fall.
Rick Dees sighting at Memphis International Airport?
Does anyone doubt that Boz Scaggs will sell out his Orpheum theatre show on
4/30/13? His new Willie Mitchell-inspired
album Memphis drops on 03/05/13 (check out this video of Scaggs recording in Memphis) just as
Paul Rodgers finished work on his upcoming
Stax/Hi Records soul-themed album (with
Steve Cropper producing) at Royal Studio.
The Duck Dunn tribute concert at Minglewood Hall featurd Stax guitarist
Steve Cropper leading a reunion of the original
Blues Brothers band. All proceeds will benefit the
Stax Museum of American Soul Music.
There was a great set of music at Otherlands from Kris Acklen the other night. His next release will be titled the Fallin EP and will "be out by the beginning of 2013, it will be more r'nb/blues/jazz influenced, than my first release The Trainsets EP which is more pop/rock/songwriter."
|cast & crew with Greg Bizzaro |
Chicago based videographer Greg Bizzaro of Jaffe Films shot scenes for the new Jimi Jamison video (titled "Never Too Late") in several downtown Memphis locations last weekend. Jamison has reunited with the band
Survivor and has just finished work with
Billy Gibbons (Gibbons recorded basic tracks in
Houston with Joe Hardy while Jamison did his parts at Young Avenue Sound in Memphis) on the
ZZ Top guitarist's first solo album.
"Stax was everything to me" says Michael Des Barres. His new album "Carnaby Street" is a brilliant collection of no-nonsense blues based rock that was recorded in the "one take" manner of "that whole movement...Otis Redding, Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn...God bless his soul. Stripped down music. That is what I really loved." More from the conversation with Des Barres later this week--he shared his thoughts about getting the call to sing for the Power Station at Live-Aid ("a week later I'm backstage with Ozzy telling me about a new restaurant while Tina Turner was writing song lyrics on her hand"), recording with
Jimmy Page, the state of today's music and his progression from rock and roll bad boy to vegetarian health fanatic "obsessed with broccoli, not Aleister Crowley."
It is always good to a have friend from one of those huge 1970's British rock bands. Little Rock concert impresario Butch Stone has been the guest of Roger Waters for five of "The Wall" concerts this summer. Stone says of Waters
"I just love him. He's just a great human being, he's the last real genius we have in the music business. He's the only one who's really saying something out there." Stone is semi-retired from the concert promotion and artist management business and is busy writing his autobiography titled Rock and Roll Refugee.
|Butch Stone & Roger Waters |
Stanley Sheldon is known as one of the first advocates of the fretless bass in classic rock music. He returned to Memphis for the first time since 1979 to play with
Peter Frampton's "Frampton Comes Alive! 35 Tour" show at the Mud Island amphitheatre. Sheldon explains to jungleroom.com that
"Duck Dunn is a huge influence on me and my early years learning how to play bass! Especially the Booker T and the MG's records "Soul Dressing" and "Hip-Hug-Her"--not to forget
Eddie Floyd, and
Sam and Dave: we played all the stuff in my early band back in Kansas.
We play a lot of funk based feels with Peter and of course you can hear the influence of Motown, Stax, New Orleans funk all throughout our repertoire."
The new Joey Molland (of
Badfinger fame) album was mastered at L. Nix Inc. this week. "Return To Memphis" was produced by Carl "Blue" Wise.
|Carl Wise & Joey Molland |
Blues guitarist/singer Ana Popovic has relocated to Memphis to record her new album at Ardent Studios.
Jack Douglas said he "would love to come to Memphis" to record some music. Memphis needs your ears Mr. Douglas.
Lance Daniels received the call from Elvis Presley Enterprises to string and intonate the King's favorite Gibson J200 guitar (it is insured for $1,000,000) at Graceland before Kid Rock used it while filming his PBS television special. Daniels has been playing at Jack Magoo's with guests John Sheperd and Steve Ingle.
Bobby Keys (the saxophonist with the
Buddy Holly, etc.) sat in with Memphis band
Down2 Five at
Rooster's Blues House in Oxford, Mississippi.
Josh Haynes, Bobby Keys,|
Ron Herron, Steve Spear
The boy from Illinois sounded great inside the Memphis Botanic Garden! It felt like 1979 again during the
Cheap Trick set at the final show of the
"Live in the Garden" concert series. Hats off to Sherry Misner and company for booking some great shows this
year, who would have ever guessed Rick Nielsen would be playing in the old neighborhood?
John Long was the program director at WHBQ-AM during the Q's late 1970's heyday. He co-founded the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2007 and serves as president. He is semi-retired and living on the Georgia coast.
Elizabeth Derringer is busy with her public relations firm in New York but she was kind enough to email a scan. If anyone needs a PR rep, she is the best.
The Captain Midnight band from Nashville crash landed into Memphis with another amazing
set of their 70's inspired "waterbed rock and roll" music at Newby's on the Highland strip.
|Captain Midnight |
Jim Dandy Mangrum
just recorded an interview with old friend Alice Cooper for a segment on the Nights with Alice Cooper radio program. The working title for the new
Black Oak Arkansas album is Memphis Mean Time--it will include a guest appearance from
Billy Bob Thornton on drums. Jim Dandy explained that "despite being ripped off for $4,000,000" he will offer "a bit of levity" in the new music.
Rest in peace opera diva Marguerite Piazza. She was a musical genius with a wicked sense of humor--you had to love the plastic toy gorilla hidden in her kitchen chandelier. Few people know the behind-the-scenes story and just how important a role she played in the effort that located St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. What a wonderful lady that lived an amazing life...
It was sad to hear that Atlanta-based booking agent Danny Capes has passed away, he took care of business in music manager/agent
David Franklin's office for several years--working for Peabo Bryson, Cicely Tyson, Bobby Brown, Roberta Flack and others.
It was Wednesday "biker night" on Beale Street and the over capacity audience melting in the ninety degree un-air conditioned New Daisy theatre waiting for Ted Nugent to take the stage could have been quite the challenge for any opening act. The brilliant and
beautiful Lisa Bouchelle won over the jaded crowd with her first song--in this era of young Pro-Tools posers, she is the real deal.
|Lisa Bouchelle |
Look for the new album from punk-blues maestro John "Lowebow" Lowe.
"I'm working on my first vinyl release: Johnny Lowebow I'm a One Man Band," he said. " It's 12 original songs all played on Lowebow instruments. I play all
parts and sing live at Xanadu with studio quality. Jim Medlin is the engineer, Pat MacDonald (from Timbuck 3) chose the song order and L.
Nix Mastering mastered to CD and vinyl. Billy Riley is working on the art from Combustion . All songs BMI, co-writers are Megan Owens,
Heidi Spencer, Lance Lazlow, Steve Hamilton and Craig Lothson. Two of the cuts
("Trailer Park on Mars" and "The Place I was Born is now a Prison") are selected to be on a Bang! Records release (in France) as part of a Memphis Music Sampler
album. This will be Lowebow Records #1, as soon as the paperwork is done it will be pressed in Nashville."
The Steve Miller Band accented their set of classic rock radio gems with some Stax
inspired soul during their show at the Memphis Botantic Garden in Audubon Park. The audience ignored the summer evening heat and humidity in the park as keyboardist Joseph Wooten exuded Memphis cool onstage sporting his Stax logo t-shirt while
Kenny Lee Lewis was an
absolute monster on bass. He pushed the other band members
(acknowledged by Steve Miller and Lewie Steinberg after the show) and the boundaries of musical
tightness for the Memphis crowd. Lewis has just posted an eloquent assessment of the past decade for classic rock bands and details
the future of the music business in this blog on the Guitar Player
|Kenny Lee Lewis |
The editorial staff of Wall Street Journal and Kate Tuttle from the Boston Globe have included
Preston Lauterbach’s The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll
on their list of the year's best nonfiction works. Lauterbach's next book will chronicle the history of Beale Street.
Paul Brown is "super thrilled" to announce that Bobby Rush's album Show You A Good Time (produced at Ocean Soul Studios in Nashville) has been nominated for Best Soul Blues Album at the upcoming 2012 Blues Music Awards. Brown
has been producing tracks on Louise Mandrell and Stacy Michelle Plunk (from Kid Rock’s band) as well as tracking keys and B3 for Stacy’s fiancée
Rickey Medlocke's (guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd )
first solo project as well as laying down some B3 organ parts for the upcoming Deborah Bonham
|Paul Brown, Rickey Medlocke |
"Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and the Women They Loved" is the new book from Chris O'Dell. She explains that "I came to Memphis on many tours, as well as lived there for a few months. That was in the 70's. But my best time was in 2000 when I came with my son and a friend and her son. We went to the MLK museum and Graceland and it just felt like really being there. I loved the feeling of the downtown and that really old hotel, what's it called? It just is a very special city."
The Memphis Rejects are
Robert Kent Haines,
Joey Skelton, Buddy Davis
(check out his story of Jeff Beck's oxblood Les Paul customized at Strings and Things) and Frank Monteleone. Look for them to play more in East Memphis this summer.
|Memphis Rejects |
Rusty Burns told jungleroom.com about his days in Memphis and the new Point Blank album. "This is the first studio record that we have put out in 27 years so we are really stoked to get to lay another bit of musical strata in our discography. It is also the first studio record that we didn't record in Memphis...bummer! I own a recording studio these days and record a lot of artists ranging from gospel to metal to country. The band likes the sound and vibe of the room, so we decided to do it here. There is an instrumental song that I wrote for my father two days after I buried him titled "My Soul Cries Out" which adds another element to the direction and depth of the band." He explained "I do have some very fond memories of Solomon Alfred's, The Breaks (great band!), Earl's Hot Biscuits and some very good music/musicians. Strings and Things built the guitar that I still play today. I love Memphis and really miss it! We are working on doing some dates in the USA soon after our return from the European/Scandinavian tour."
The jambalaya from the Bayou Grill was fantastic
and the music from Amy LaVere and her band was perfect for a Saturday afternoon in midtown Memphis at the Overton Square Crawfish Festival.
|Amy LaVere |
Sandy Carroll has finished work on her new album. She enlisted guitarist Evan Leake, keyboardist Rick Steff, drummer Steve Potts ( from Booker T. and the MG's, Wynonna Judd, etc.) and bass player Dave Smith to record tracks with producer Jim Gaines (he has recorded Santana, Steve Miller, Huey Lewis, Stevie Ray Vaughn, etc.) behind the board. The title is Just As I Am.
Sad to hear that Chips Moman has suffered a stroke--he is recovering at home in Georgia.
Bill E. Burk (a/k/a "007"), the music columnist for the Memphis Press-Scimitar, has
passed away. You should have been there when Mr."007" wast blackmailing the Scorpions
at the Peabody.
Former Memphis music biz guru
Phillip Rauls was ambushed by his wife Midori with a surprise birthday party in Seattle.
Roger Fisher (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer as the original guitarist in
Heart) played a set that wowed the cheerful gathering of friends and family at the celebration. Fisher and his brother Michael Fisher are working together on a film project.
|Roger Fisher, Phillip Rauls |
Delmar Preston told me "the Peaches show was a great time! I played on after Wyzard with Meatloaf for three years and then I played a while with Babara Mandrell and Roy Orbison for a few shows, until he died. I got out of the music business, I've owned a couple of companies and am now 'retired' living in St. Petersburg, Florida with my third wife, hah!"
Remember the 1980's Memphis group Ransom? Bill Kellon and his brother Kenny Kellon are working "on putting something together" for this spring.
"Pay Some Attention" is the new song from
David Hull and listeners say it sounds like Memphis. Hull said "that sounds like a compliment from where I stand. Gotta warn you that the whole album is not all strictly in that style, there are a lot of different flavors in the stew. But, a lot of them originated in your part of the world." interview >
|David Hull |
A favorite new find is the Plunk Chronicles. Quite a bit of music in the family bloodline.
Mike Plunk toured Europe with
James Burton last June. His singer/songwriter cousin Carol Plunk played at Dru's Place in midtown on Valentine's Day
and Stacy Michelle Plunk is a background singer with Kid Rock.
Daryl Hance (formerly of Mofro and JJ Grey) showcased songs from his new album Hallowed Ground at Swanky’s Taco Shop. Chris Chew & Kirk Smithhart opened the show...
|Daryl Hance |
Remember 1970's band
Detective (they made a couple of killer albums for Led Zep's Swan Song label)? Jon Hyde explains that "I'm still playing drums in several different projects, the main one being a band with Bobby Pickett, the bass player from Detective. We're rehearsing now and should be out playing around LA within the next month."
Klaus Voormann was in Memphis to work on his upcoming album with his old friend Don Nix at Ardent Studios. Bonnie Bramlett flew into town to sing on covers of "Mockingbird" and "My Sweet Lord" backed by Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood, Memphis studio session drummer Joel Williams, keyboardist Rick Steff, guitarists
and John Fohl. Voormann had a camera crew from Germany film the session as mixing engineer Jason Lattner worked the board. Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Dr. John, Don Preston and others contributed on tracks for the project.
|Don Nix, Bonnie Bramlett, Klaus Voormann |
Check out the newly launched
Voice of Golden Eagle website...
Australian singer/songwriter Chris Pickering has just finished recording new music in Memphis with producer Don Nix at Ardent studios. His manager Leonie told me they are "back in Australia now with a brilliant new album. The recording process was a lot of fun and Chris loved working with Don and the guys at Ardent. We can't wait to get it 'out there'!"
Dustin Starr told me about meeting
Gene Simmons on Beale Street. "I was hanging with my buddy Derrick King. We are friends with
Kevin and Bethany Paige. We were watching them at Alfred's. Kevin and Bethany know Gene from way back and wanted to go say hello. So, they were taking a break from the stage and we went out of the back door of Alfred's and down the street to meet him. There he was. We talked for a few moments and I remember that he was one of the most famous rock stars of all time. So, I reached out as he was walking away and grabbed him by the arm and asked for a quick picture. Boom. There ya have it. It was a brush with greatness, I guess you could say."
|Derrick King, Gene Simmons,|
and Dustin Starr
Jacksonville, Florida based Rocco Blu Band has plans to storm the market with some original music and great live entertainment. Look for their first album soon...
had "a blast" during her visit to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge. "So many incredible things happened while I was there, ain't no way I'm ever missin' it again, competition or not!"
Hammond sat in with Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms, Victor Wainright and a stage full of Memphis' A-list studio musicians with the World Famous Band Box All Star Jam and was a guest on
Vinny Marini's "Music on the Couch" pod cast. Look for the story behind her Memphis outing in the April issue of Blues-E-News and give a listen to "Proof"--her latest CD release.
Why was there no Creed reunion show this year? James Flynn, Chip Thomas, Jimmy Rusidoff, Steve Ingle and
Hal Butler always play before a packed house of fans, friends and family at the New Daisy theatre every Christmas and there is
always a great turn out. It had become a tradition for their long-time fans...
Don't be surprised to see Pam Grier in town for the
Paul McCartney concert at the Fed Ex Forum in Memphis on 5/26/13.