July 27, 2017

Upcoming Tour Dates and Special Events

Lots of big things happening in the coming weeks. I’ll be heading out on tour in August up through the Midwest with my band Motel Mirrors, including August 2nd when we open for the great Lucinda Williams at Knucklehead’s in Kansas City. I’ll also be doing my own set at the Lowertown Guitar Festival in Saint Paul, MN August 5th.

On August 12th, I’ll be playing the Jam For Justice benefit at Loflin Yard in Memphis, to benefit the Community Legal Center, an organization providing civil legal services for those of modest means, including immigration law. It’s an important cause and I’m happy to contribute.

August 13th I have the honor of hosting a Salute to Sun Records at Graceland’s Soundstage A for Elvis Week 2017. The band will feature Will Tucker (he played Scotty Moore in CMT’s recent drama, Sun Records) and Brad Birkedahl (who played Scotty in the film Walk the Line). Special guests will include Jerry Phillips, Sam Phillip’s son, and J.M. Van Eaton, who was a session drummer at Sun and played on all of Jerry Lee Lewis’s hits. Elvis Week 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the passing of the King, so this is a huge honor. We did this Sun tribute twice at Lafayette’s over the past year, and both shows were highlights for me. And if that wasn’t enough, I’m going to be one of three judges at this year’s Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artists Competition at Graceland. As my buddy George Klein aka “the G-ker in your speaker” likes to say, America has had 45 Presidents, but only one King.

I’m also excited to announce that I’ll be heading over to Europe in September playing guitar for my buddy Coco Hames, who has a wonderful debut album out on Merge. We’re bringing my rhythm section with us, Preston Rumbaugh and Shawn Zorn, and we’ll be hitting some places I’ve never been.

I’m also chomping at the bit to announce the upcoming release date for both the Motel Mirrors full-length debut, In the Meantime, and my new solo record Heart Shaped Shadow. We’re dropping both records together on the same date on Last Chance Records. Stay tuned!

I’m gigging around Memphis all the time, too, so check out the tour dates page for a complete listing of local gigs. Full list of upcoming tour dates and special events below. Those with an asterisk are JPK/Motel Mirrors double bills:

7/28 Clarksdale, MS – Shack Up Inn
8/2 Kansas City, MO – Knucklehead’s (Lucinda Williams with special guests Motel Mirrors)
8/3 Springfield, IL – Bar None *
8/4 Mankato, MN – Nakato Bar *
8/5 Saint Paul, MN – Lowertown Guitar Festival
8/6 Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge *
8/12 Memphis, TN – Jam For Justice, Loflin Yard
8/13 Memphis, TN – Graceland (A Salute to Sun Records)

Coco Hames European Tour:
9/19 London, UK – The Old Blue Last
9/20 Paris, FR – La Maroquinerie (w/ Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)
9/21 Amsterdam, NE – Paradiso (Indiestadt 2017)
9/23 Copenhagen, DK – Loppen
9/24 Aarhus, DK – Atlas
9/26 Berlin, DE – Privatclub (w/ The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer)
9/28 Vienna, AT – Vienna Waves Festival
10/3 Madrid, ES – Café Berlin

(More European dates TBA)

June 8, 2017

Red Hot: A Memphis Celebration of Sun Records

I’m honored to have contributed to Red Hot: A Memphis Celebration of Sun Records, which comes out this month thanks to the Americana Music Society, with all proceeds going to benefit St. Jude’s Research Hospital. The album was recorded at both Sun Studio and Sam Phillips Recording Service, produced by Tamara Saviano and Luther Dickinson, and engineered by Matt Ross-Spang and Kevin Houston. I was in the house band on guitar, and I contributed a track, my version of Warren Smith’s “Red Cadillac and a Black Mustache.” The Memphis Flyer has a nice story about the tune, and you can listen below.

March 8, 2017

My New Blog: NewMemphisBeat.com

I’m happy to announce the launch of a new venture, New Memphis Beat, a blog covering the Memphis recording industry.

New Memphis Beat grew out of our desire to tell the continuing story of music being made in Memphis studios.

Few cities can boast of as many historically significant, still-operational, and analog-capable studios as Memphis. And while it’s true that Memphis has one of the richest and deepest musical legacies of any city in the world, it also has one of the brightest futures. The reason? Its world-class studios and recording professionals.

Please bookmark the site, and follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Here goes nothin’.

February 23, 2017

Don Bryant’s New Album, Don’t Give Up On Love

Memphis soul legend Don Bryant has a new coming album out May 12 on Fat Possum, Don’t Give Up On Love. It was recorded at Electraphonic Recording by Scott Bomar (where both the forthcoming Motel Mirrors album and my forthcoming solo album were recorded), and features a song that I co-wrote with Scott especially for the project called “One Ain’t Enough (And Two’s Too Many)”. I also got to play a little guitar on that track, along with The Bo-Keys. It was an honor and a thrill. Read more about it from the Commercial-Appeal and from NPR, and watch the video for the first single, a beautiful Don Bryant original, “How Do I Get There”. I was very honored to participate in this very special project.

(Side note: I did not realize until I read this article that Don wrote “99 Pounds”, a song I assumed his wife Ann Peebles had written. The line “99 pounds of pure cane sugar” is where I got the idea for my song “Pure Cane Sugar”).

February 17, 2017

Celebrating CMT’s “SUN RECORDS” With a Special Memphis Tribute Show

Join us Monday, February 20th at Lafayette’s Music Room as we celebrate the upcoming premier of CMT’s new series SUN RECORDS with a special night of Sun music, featuring special guests Chuck Mead and Will Tucker, plus many more. (Here’s more on the series and the concert from the Memphis Commercial-Appeal).

Nashville’s Chuck Mead is an old friend of mine, best known for his work with BR-549 and as musical director of the hit Broadway musical based on Sun, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET. Chuck was here all last summer working on the CMT show and worked with many of us local musicians on it.

Will Tucker is a talented young Memphis musician who is well-known to Beale Street regulars, and appears in SUN RECORDS as Elvis’ guitarist Scotty Moore. Will and I paid tribute to Scotty when he passed last summer, and it was a very special night with many guests. We hope this will be too.

JM Van Eaton, original Sun Records drummer is going to drop by and sit in. My drummer Shawn Zorn appears as Carl Perkins’ drummer WS “Fluke” Holland in the show, and he’ll be there of course. Griffin Rone, who plays Bill Black, is going to come up and help us do the little Blue Moon Boys mini-tribute portion again. And who else knows who will show up.

The CMT series premiers on Thursday, February 23rd. Come to Lafayette’s on Monday, February 20th, to pay tribute to the Memphis music that started it all, Sun Records.