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.
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”).
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.
I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be returning to Spain for a tour this November. This will be the first time I’ll be able to bring my own full-time Memphis band with me: Shawn Zorn on drums, Preston Rumbaugh on bass, and Gerald Stephens on keyboards. Can’t wait!
It was an honor to host the Memphis tribute to Scotty Moore this summer with Will Tucker and Brad Birkedahl at Lafayette’s Music Room. It was recorded for Beale Street Caravan, along with an interview with Will and myself (Will plays Scotty Moore in the upcoming CMT drama, Million Dollar Quartet). This was one of the most special nights in Memphis music I’ve ever gotten to participate in, as we were joined onstage by Sun Records drummer J.M. Van Eaton, and Jerry Phillips, son of Sam Phillips. The episode just came out – enjoy. Here’s to you again, Scotty! (And thank you to the great band that night! Earl Lowe, Preston Rumbaugh, and Gerald Stephens with some help from Johnny Mac and Griffin Rone).