American Fiction have just released their first song "Dumb Luck" (recorded with legendary music producer
Eddie Kramer behind the mix board) and look for "Stay A While" to follow. In April, the band will do more
recording with Kramer at Ardent Studios in Memphis.
American Fiction |
Eddie Kramer is also recording guitar prodigy
Ray Goren in Los Angeles. He told jungleroom that Goren "plays
blues primarily" and that he "has performed with the some the greats that are still with us--
Buddy Guy, B.B. King, etc. Phenomenal player."
Mother's Finest have just finished recording their
look for them to hit 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.
Shelia E. will not be included in this year's Live in the Garden concert series (the schedule for the 2014 season will be announced
on Wednesday, April 9th) but look for an appearance at a Mississippi casino in the summer.
Earl "the Pearl" with Paul Rodgers |
Everyone in Memphis is complaining about the pathetically weak lineup at this year's Beale Street Music Festival...
BSMF should have gotten Jeff Beck and Hall & Oates.
Paul Rodgers and the
Memphis All-Stars sounded absolutely amazing at "The Royal Sessions" album release party, delivering a lesson in
unprententious, no-gimmick music making at the Stax Music Academy on 2/15/14.
Rodgers is known for his tasteful, soulful approach that pulls no punches and his takes of "Born Under A Bad Sign" and
"I Can't Stand The Rain" took the audience to a Sunday morning church service on a Saturday evening.
Keep your fingers crossed for Rodgers to team with local players from
the sessions for a show in Memphis at the "Stax to the Max" event on 4/26/14.
Is it possible that Jasmine Rodgers will earn her Memphis cool credentials
by serving as an honorary "royal singer" for the evening?
It was great to speak with Hollywood filmmaker Iren Koster and share some old stories and thoughts about the late Dee Dee Bellson.
Koster worked on the musical soundtrack for the 1986 cult classic Never Too Young to Die (which included Bellson's song "It Could Be You") that starred
Vanity, John Stamos and Gene Simmons. Koster has a new project in the works, details soon...
Tracey Cayolle |
Hey, Zoe Kravitz! --know you are reading this. Please dial the area code (901) number. The jungleroom hotline is open for you 24/7.
There have been a lot of people getting thrown under the bus at Graceland since the new company has taken over! Elvis has left the building for damn sure...
The Pistol & the Queen are the "sexiest band in Memphis" and they created an alluring set of their
"regal rock and roll" at Earnestine & Hazel's on Main Street during the "trolley night" festivities. Working together,
and Pete Wood are minimalist masters of delta cool
exploring the delicate balances of melodically subtle yet dramatic song structures. "Run of Luck" was formidable and exciting
while "It Should Be Easy" was a more than worthy addition for the evening's show.
Rick Dees sighting at Memphis International Airport--what is going on?
Pete Wood |
Return to Memphis is the new album from
(of the original Badfinger)
released from the Gonzo Media Group in London, England. Memphis music veteran
Carl "Blue" Wise produced this
stellar effort out of Royal Studios--wait until you hear this...
Also at Royal, the mixing of tracks for the next Keith Richards solo album has just wrapped up at
Willie Mitchell's workshop...
Wendy Moten was absolutely amazing at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts
during the Memphis Symphony's "Home for the Holidays" shows. Moten is working with producer
Don Was (the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer, Elton John, etc.) on a top-secret recording
project for a musical heavy in Los Angeles and was a guest vocalist on the new
Eric Clapton album after getting 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. Moten has finished recording in Los
Angeles with double-grammy winner
Paul Brown producing her for the Woodward Avenue
Records label. The new album is titled Timeless.....Wendy Moten Sings Richard Whiting--look for it in February.
Tyrannosaurus Chicken returned to Memphis
for a show at the Young Avenue Deli. There is a lot of talk about T-Chicken in Memphis musical circles--keep Rachel Ammons
and Smilin' Bob Lewis on your radar. photos >
Tyrannosaurus Chicken |
Josey Scott, the former lead vocalist of Saliva is going to Nashville to do country music?
You can expect big changes in 2014 around the University of Memphis district. In the spring, The Peddler
bike shop is moving into the abandoned Mason YMCA building on
Walker avenue (next to Mike Garibaldi's Pizza restaurant) and the Southern Meat Market is relocating near Park and Goodman.
Jimi Jamison joined Jack Holder and The Line-Up onstage during the
"Benefit for Debbie Goodwin" at the Crossing Bar and Grill in Olive Branch. 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. photos >
Claudia Lennear has been extremely busy since the release of the
"Twenty Feet From Stardom" documentary film,
attending it's premiere at the Barcelona Film Festival in Spain. "I was invited to Barcelona to promote the film,"
she explains, "sang two songs...and after the screening, answered questions from the audience. This is La Sagrada
Familia in the background--the very famous cathedral by Antonio Gaudi. The Spanish people are very warm and friendly!"
Claudia Lennear |
"Twenty Feet From Stardom" has been nominated for an oscar and the Hollywood Reporter leaked the news that
Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman (his partner with Jagged Films) are in negotiations to develop
adaptations of the film as a broadway play and reality television series. Lennear reunited with Leon Russell at
his Los Angeles concert and has been booked to appear at the Paris premiere of the documentary just as the
Real Gone Music label released her 1973
album Phew! for the first time on compact disc.
Stax tenor saxophonist Joe Arnold (he played on all the famous songs from the Mar-Keys, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, etc.)
has been "under the radar" and living on the Mississippi gulf coast. Look for a new album from him in 2014...
had "a blast" during her visit to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge.
JR Williams is an internationally renowned wildlife/nature
photographer based in the treasure island area of Florida--he has posted excellent examples of his stunning work.
Kirk Whalum |
Kirk Whalum delivered a
magical evening of his amazing saxophone music as part of the 2013 Free Music Concert Series at the Levitt Shell in Oveton Park.
The Memphis Guitar Spa has opened at 2561 Broad Avenue. They recently delivered a custom bass to
Rick Rosas, which he is using on tour with
Neil Young after recording with the instrument on
Pegi Young and the Survivors latest album. They offer modificationss, restorations and repairs (even for
classical instruments) and specialize in finish work and custom inlay (which they do for several other high end builders) as well as being the only retailer outside of Nashville
for P3 Amplifiers and one of only nine dealers for Louis Electric Custom Amps.
Jack Douglas said he "would love to come to Memphis" to record
some music. Memphis needs your ears Mr. Douglas.
It was sad to hear that Atlanta-based booking agent Danny Capes has passed away, he took care of business in music
David Franklin's office for several years--working for Peabo Bryson, Cicely Tyson, Bobby Brown,
Roberta Flack and others. Danny had some of the best
Whitney Houston stories...
Lou Gramm |
It was a close call--Lou Gramm and his band were stranded in the Atlanta airport for hours before their
Delta Fair appearance at the agricenter. Despite no soundcheck and arriving just minutes before showtime, they sounded great, delivering a solid set that included
all of the great
Foreigner songs. photos >
After a year of touring in the Mississippi Delta, the
Voo Davis band has released their second album. Vicious Things was recorded in Louisiana (at Dockside Studios and
Studio in the Country).
Jagged Films will start work on their Elvis Presley "biopic"
in Tupelo, Mississippi this winter.
Mick Jagger is co-producing the project and
Jim Stamos' name is being
floated around--as the 1970's-era Elvis? What are the odds that Sir Mick and his film crew will expose the
"Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum" as a fraud?
Everyone sensed that 2014 would 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 later, opened for the Rolling Stones at
their massive Hyde Park concert in London, England. After appearances on both the
Late Show with David Letterman and
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno she strolled into
Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios for some recording. Let's be honest,
this woman is a bad-ass and she is on her way... photos >
Valerie June |
Ann Peebles just received a brass note on Beale Street this week. Deborah Bonham tells jungleroom.com that "ooooh, I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to tour with
Ann Peebles and I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to come to Memphis!
We've just signed a record deal with US label Spectra and are planning a US tour for next year.
I will definitely request Memphis!"
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 next North-American run of Aerosmith dates. The first batch of Perry's new "Rock Your World ®" brand
barbeque sauce has just rolled through the production line and you can bet the magic goo will have a Memphis
influence to it...more details soon.
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.
Sandy Carroll has just released her new album.
Unnaturally Blonde was recorded at Bessie Blue Studio with Jim Gaines
producing and features Dave Smith,
Steve Potts, Will McFarlane, Big Baby, Daunielle Hill, Rick Steff,
Yon Rico Scott and
Spider Murphy is an authentic musical pedigree and holds a
degree in music arrangement and composition from the country's most prestigious musical institution,
the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has an extensive background in writing soundtracks as he resided in Los Angeles and worked
with the film industry for years. Murphy worked as a sound technician before embarking upon a stage career as the banjo player with
Leon Redbone and toured the country extensively during Redbone's
heyday. Yet, Spider claims his own original style of music is Cajun influenced with a twist of the sound of Memphis
and Muscle Shoals. He playfully refers to his music as being coined "Acid-Bluegrass". For the past 20 years he has lived at
an elevation of 10,000 ft. in Cripple Creek, Colorado. "Down On Greasy Street" features thirteen original songs and is
delightful offering of music treasures.
Spider Murphy |
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.
Amy LaVere |
Amy LaVere@ the Cooper-Young festival.
It is great to hear that the Hi Tone Cafe has reopened at
a fantastic new location (412 Cleveland street) across from the old Crosstown Sears building.
The idea to develop a greenline trail starting at the old Sears and extending to the Mid-South Coliseum has already started to bring new life to the area...
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. Nix is producing Mississippi bluesman Mark "Muleman" Massey at Ardent studios this week...
It's not the same without Duck Dunn around, he was one of the first artists kind enough to add a link to
jungleroom.com from his official site. 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.
Robert A. Johnson (remember his
stint as lead guitarist in John Entwistle's Ox or his 1979 Close Personal Friend album? ) is "working more than ever"
but is now based out of "a sleazy apartment in Greenwich Village" and a "swanky pad in Santa Monica" instead of Memphis.
Wouldn't it be great if he made it back home for a show during the holidays?
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 |
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 Rolling Stones,
Buddy Holly, etc.) sat in with Memphis band
Down2 Five at Rooster's Blues House in Oxford, Mississippi.
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 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.
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."
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."
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 |
Blues guitarist/singer Ana Popovic has relocated to Memphis to record her new album at Ardent Studios.
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. Who would have ever guessed Rick Nielsen would be playing in the old neighborhood?
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 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 |
"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 >
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.
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.
"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."
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!"
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 |
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.
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...
Check out the newly launched
Voice of Golden Eagle website...
Lisa Marie Presley |
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.
"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."
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.
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."
Captain Midnight |
TheCaptain 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.
Black Oak Arkansas just played the Whiskey A-Go-Go in Los Angeles for the first time in
forty years. Back Thar N' Over Yonder is their new album (on the Atlantic label!) and the gig on the Sunset Strip was just like old times in 1970's Hollywood for
Jim Dandy should have invited
David Lee Roth to the show?
Sir Mack Rice celebrated his birthday at the
Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale Mississippi on 11/16/13.
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" was blackmailing the
at the Peabody.