Third Round of the Memphis Drum-Off at @GuitarCenter

Drum Solos, Drummers, drumming, Drums, entertainment, events, Funk, Gospel, jazz, music, videos

As I posted last week, the Memphis metropolitan area has an amazing level of talent when it comes to drummers, and that was obvious again during the third round of the Memphis Drum-Off at Guitar Center on September 23rd. Two winners from each of the rounds advance to the store finals on the 30th, from which one will advance to Nashville for the state competition, from which one will advance to Atlanta to battle for the regional award, and one drummer from the South will go to Los Angeles for the national championship, which includes a drum set, endorsements and $25,000. And yes, a Memphis drummer has won nationally in the past.

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Remembering the Life and Legacy of Mario “Yoggi” Stewart in Music at the Blue Worm

Blues, Drummers, Drums, entertainment, events, Funk, Gospel, music, musicians, Night Clubs, soul

437 Cowboy Neal438 Three Drummers439 Musicians Jam440 Musicians Jam441 Musicians Jam442 Musicians Jam443 Musicians Jam444 Musicians Jam445 Musicians Jam446 Musicians Jam447 Cowboy Neal448 Musicians Jam449 Musicians Jam450 Musicians Jam451 Danny Peterson452 Musicians Jam453 Musicians Jam454 Three Drummers455 Musicians Jam456 Tony Gentry463 Musicians Jam464 Musicians Jam465 Musicians Jam466 Musicians Jam467 Musicians Jam468 Musicians Jam469 Musicians Jam470 Musicians Jam471 Musicians Jam472 Danny Peterson473 Danny Peterson474 Musicians Jam475 Musicians Jam476 Musicians Jam477 Musicians Jam478 Musicians Jam479 Musicians Jam480 The Blue Worm481 Cowboy Neal482 The Blue Worm
Memphis musicians were shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of a young drummer, Mario “Yoggi” Stewart, but on September 10, a number of musicians and relatives came together to honor his memory in the most appropriate way possible, with music and song. The setting was the Blue Worm AKA The Blues Night Club, a neighborhood fixture on the backside of the Lamar/Airways Shopping Center in Orange Mound. The band was anchored by three drummers playing three sets on stage, with “Cowboy” Neal on guitar and my homeboy Danny Peterson on bass. I had intended to observe, enjoy and film, but I got called to the stage to play keyboards. Other guest musicians and singers included Tony Gentry, Deij’rah Terrell, Gerod Rayborn and Terry Wright. The night closed with a drummers’ shout shed in memory of Yoggi, and Cowboy thanking all of those who came out. It was a great night of Memphis music, with nothing but love and respect between the musicians.

Arkansas’ Best Drummers Highlighted at the @RevRoomLR #TheDrummerIsInTheHouse

Bands, Concert Reviews, Concerts, Drum Solos, Drummers, Drums, entertainment, events, Funk, Gospel, Gospel Music, jazz, music, musicology, Night Clubs, soul, videos

001 The Drummer Is In The House002 The Drummer Is In The House003 Revolution Roon004 Revolution Room005 Rod Pleasants006 The Drummer Is In The House007 The Drummer Is In The House009 The DJ011 The Drummer Is In The House012 Revolution Room013 The Drummer Is In The House015 Yvette Preyer and Band016 Yvette Preyer017 Yvette Preyer's Band018 Yvette Preyer's Band019 Yvette Preyer020 Yvette Preyer Band022 Yvette Preyer024 The Drummer Is In The House025 The Drummer Is In The House026 The Drummer Is In The House027 Yvette Preyer028 The Drummer Is In The House029 Yvette Preyer and her student030 Yvette Preyer031 Rod Pleasants032 Rod Pleasants034 Rod Pleasants035 Rod Pleasants036 Rod Pleasants' Bass Player037 Rod Pleasants038 Steve Bailey039 Steve Bailey040 Steve Bailey042 Jamaal Lee's Bass Player043 Jamaal Lee's Guitar Player046 Jonathan JJ Burks047 Jonathan JJ Burks048 Jonathan Burks049 Jonathan Burks051 Jonathan JJ Burks052 Jonathan JJ Burks053 Jonathan JJ Burks054 Jonathan JJ Burks055 Jonathan JJ Burks056 Revolution Room057 Jonathan JJ Burks058 Jonathan JJ Burks059 Jonathan JJ Burks060 Jonathan JJ Burks063 Charles Anthony Thompson064 Charles Anthony Thompson065 Charles Anthony Thompson's Bassist066 Charles Anthony Thompson's Guitarist067 Charles Anthony Thompson068 Charles Anthony Thompson069 Revolution Room070 The Roundabout073 The Roundabout074 Aerion Jamaal Lee076 Jamaal Lee & JJ Burks077 JJ Burks and Steve Bailey078 Jamaal Lee & JJ Burks079 JJ Burks & Steve Bailey080 The Roundabout081 JJ Burks082 Steve Bailey083 Jamaal Lee084 Jonathan JJ Burks & Steve Bailey085 Drummer Is In The House086 Jonathan JJ Burks & Steve Bailey087 Jamaal Lee & JJ Burks088 Jonathan JJ Burks089 Jamaal Lee & JJ Burks090 Steve Bailey091 Steve Bailey092 Jonathan JJ Burks093 Jamaal Lee094 Jamaal Lee & Band095 Jonathan JJ Burks & Steve Bailey096 Jamaal Lee & A Singer097 Jonathan JJ Burks & Steve Bailey098 RevRoom Sculpture100 Downtown Little Rock101 Revolution Room102 The Rev Room103 Cache
In the field of Black music worldwide, no other musical instrument is as important as the drums. Not only is percussion the musical foundation for much Black music and dance, but the instrument looms large in the cultural memory of people throughout the African diaspora. So it was only fitting for Arkansas’ best drummers to be honored at an event called The Drummer Is In The House, which was held at the Revolution Room on President Clinton Avenue in the River Market area of Little Rock on Thursday July 10. The event, sponsored by Clifford Drummaboy Aaron, featured performances by current and former Little Rock drummers Yvette Preyer, Rod Pleasants, Steve Bailey, Aerion Jamaal Lee, Jonathan “JJ” Burks and Charles Anthony Thompson. Rather than just a lot of extended solos, most of the drummers played with their individual bands, and even some singers, performing songs from the neo-soul, jazz and gospel traditions. But there were great solos too, including one from Jamaal Lee full of afro-caribbean rhythms and patterns, and one from Charles Anthony Thompson exhibiting extended sticking and tone techniques including pitch bends, and plenty of jazz influence. The final highlight of the evening was an event called the Roundabout, at which drummers moved across the stage from the first drum set, to the second, to the third, while Yvette Preyer kept a basic conga pattern for them on an octapad. As one drummer would exit the stage, another would come on from the left, enabling all the drummers to have an opportunity to shed three at a time, and to play each of the three drum sets. The Drummer Is In The House was truly a major event that highlighted some really great drummers, and a lot of other great horn players, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists and singers. I am told that future events will be held at the Revolution Room to highlight the other instrument families, and I am looking forward to it.

A Quiet Easter Afternoon in Como

entertainment, events, Food, Gospel, music, Record Labels, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants

After Easter morning services at my church, Easter Sunday proved to be dull indeed. I have no relatives in Memphis, my best friend had to work, and a lot of restaurants were closed. But I had seen on Facebook that Windy City Grille in Como, Mississippi would be open, and with evening church and choir practice canceled due to the holiday, I decided to drive down and have a leisurely lunch. Perhaps afterwards I could find a blues picnic, car show or something else to get into. I have to mention that Windy City Grille is an amazing restaurant with an incredible pizza recipe that is said to be similar to Uno’s in Chicago. Having never had Uno’s, I can’t say how Windy City compares, but it’s good enough that Memphis people used to occasionally make the drive to Como for it. More recently, a location has opened closer to Memphis in Hernando, and the food there is just as good, but I still prefer the Como location’s ambiance, and the town of Como itself. Next to the grille, I noticed a poster for a group called the Como Mamas, which I had never heard of until I was reading an article about Mississippi artists at South By Southwest. The three gospel singers are signed to Daptone Records, the same label that earlier had released the excellent Como Now compilation.
After lunch, I saw signs around the town of Como for a car show at a place called LP’s Ball Park, but try as I might, I could not find it. While trying to find it, I found something else, the beautiful Davis Chapel Church from 1851 on the Old Panola Road west of Sardis. When I finally stopped at the convenience store in Como and asked about the car show, I was told it had been postponed a week due to the weather. There was a Lightning Malcolm birthday party scheduled for 7 PM in Clarksdale, but that was still three hours away, and I couldn’t think of how I’d possibly kill three hours in Clarksdale on Easter Sunday. So I reluctantly drove on back to Memphis.

Tennessee Mass Choir at the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival 2011

Bands, entertainment, events, Gospel, music

The Tennessee Mass Choir is one of Memphis’ finest gospel choirs, and their performance at the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival was especially noteworthy, with legendary drummer Edward “Hot” Cleveland and bassist Jackie Clark backing them up. The rain could not dampen their enthusiasm, and it was a masterful performance.