Cedric Burnside’s Hill Country Blues at Memphis’ @LevittShell

Bands, Blues, Concert Reviews, Concerts, Dance, Drummers, Drums, entertainment, events, music, Parks

001 Levitt Shell002 Cedric Burnside003 Cedric Burnside004 Cedric Burnside006 Cedric Burnside007 Cedric Burnside008 Dancers009 Cedric Burnside010 Crowd011 Cedric Burnside014 Cedric Burnside Project015 Trenton Ayers016 Cedric Burnside017 Cedric Burnside018 Cedric Burnside019 Trenton Ayers020 Trenton Ayers021 Cedric Burnside022 Trenton Ayers023 Cedric Burnside024 Cedric Burnside025 Cedric Burnside Project027 Cedric Burnside028 Trenton Ayers029 Cedric Burnside034 Cedric Burnside Project035 Cedric Burnside Project036 Cedric Burnside Project037 Cedric Burnside038 Trenton Ayers039 Cedric Burnside040 Cedric Burnside042 Cedric Burnside Projct043 Cedric Burnside Project044 Trenton Ayers045 Cedric Burnside046 Cedric Burnside047 Trenton Ayers048 Cedric Burnside049 Cedric Burnside050 Cedric Burnside Project051 Cedric Burnside Project052 Cedric Burnside053 Cedric Burnside054 Trenton Ayers055 Cedric Burnside056 Cedric Burnside057 Cedric Burnside058 Trenton Ayers060 Cedric Burnside061 Trenton Ayers062 Cedric Burnside063 Cedric Burnside064 Trenton Ayers065 Cedric Burnside066 Trenton Ayers067 Cedric Burnside068 Trenton Ayers070 Cedric Burnside Project071 Cedric Burnside072 Cedric Burnside073 Cedric Burnside Project074 Cedric Burnside Project075 Cedric Burnside Project077 Cedric Burnside078 Trenton Ayers079 Trenton Ayers080 Cedric Burnside081 Cedric Burnside
R. L. Burnside was one of the most famous musicians in the blues tradition of the North Mississippi Hill Country, and many of his children and grandchildren have carried on that great tradition, including Cedric Burnside, a grandson of the late R.L. who is accomplished on both the guitar and the drums. After coming to prominence as part of a duo with another Mississippi bluesman, Lightning Malcolm, he more recently has formed a band called the Cedric Burnside Project, which is really just him on drums and Trenton Ayers on guitar (I suspect that Trenton Ayers is kin to the older Marshall County bluesman Little Joe Ayers). On Saturday June 21, Cedric brought his music to the Levitt Shell in Memphis’ Overton Park, and an overflow crowd despite hit and run showers early in the evening. Beginning on acoustic guitar, Burnside soon switched to drums, and performed most of the Hill Country standards, including “Coal Black Mattie”, “Don’t Let My Baby Ride”, and even the late Junior Kimbrough’s “Meet Me In The City.” It was a great evening of great Mississippi blues.

Big Star Third Live Kicks Off the Summer Concert Series at the @LevittShell

Bands, entertainment, events, music, rock

Big Star Third Live 0001Big Star Third Live 0002Big Star Third Live 0003Big Star Third Live 0004Big Star Third Live 0005Big Star Third Live 0006Big Star Third Live 0007Big Star Third Live 0008Big Star Third Live 0009Big Star Third Live 0010Big Star Third Live 0011Big Star Third Live 0012Big Star Third Live 0013Big Star Third Live 0014Big Star Third Live 0015Big Star Third Live 0016Big Star Third Live 0017Big Star Third Live 0018Big Star Third Live 0019Big Star Third Live 0020Big Star Third Live 0021Big Star Third Live 0022Big Star Third Live 0023Big Star Third Live 0024Big Star Third Live 0025Big Star Third Live 0026Big Star Third Live 0027Big Star Third Live 0028Big Star Third Live 0029Big Star Third Live 0030Big Star Third Live 0031Big Star Third Live 0032Big Star Third Live 0033Big Star Third Live 0034Big Star Third Live 0035Big Star Third Live 0036Big Star Third Live 0039Big Star Third Live 0040Big Star Third Live 0041Big Star Third Live 0042Big Star Third Live 0043Big Star Third Live 0046Big Star Third Live 0047Big Star Third Live 0048Big Star Third Live 0049Big Star Third Live 0050Big Star Third Live 0051Big Star Third Live 0052Big Star Third Live 0053Big Star Third Live 0054Big Star Third Live 0055Big Star Third Live 0057Big Star Third Live 0058Big Star Third Live 0059Big Star Third Live 0060Big Star Third Live 0061Big Star Third Live 0062Big Star Third Live 0063Big Star Third Live 0064Big Star Third Live 0065Big Star Third Live 0066Big Star Third Live 0067Big Star Third Live 0068Big Star Third Live 0069Big Star Third Live 0070Big Star Third Live 0073Big Star Third Live 0074Big Star Third Live 0075Big Star Third Live 0076Big Star Third Live 0077Big Star Third Live 0078Big Star Third Live 0079Big Star Third Live 0080Big Star Third Live 082Big Star Third Live 0083Big Star Third Live 0084Big Star Third Live 0085Big Star Third Live 0086
After two albums that had done little on the charts, Memphis rock band Big Star was basically falling apart when Jim Dickinson, Jody Stephens and Alex Chilton went into Ardent Studios to start work on an untitled new album. By some accounts, the album was tentatively named Beale Street Green, an indirect protest of the city’s demolition of the Black neighborhoods around legendary Beale Street. By others, the album (or perhaps even the band) was to be called Sister Lovers, since Jody Stephens and Alex Chilton were dating two sisters, Lesa and Halladay Aldridge. Today we know and love it as Big Star Third, but nothing prepared me for the experience of hearing that music played live by an all-star cast of musicians including a string orchestra to kick off the Levitt Shell’s Summer Music Concerts in Memphis. After a brief introduction by John Fry, the owner and founder of Ardent Records, all the songs from the album were performed by a whole host of great singers and musicians, including Pat Sansone of Wilco, Star and Micey, Van Duren, Jody Stephens and Lesa Aldridge herself. This presentation highlighted Alex Chilton’s amazing talent and the timeless quality of his songwriting. It’s just a pity that he didn’t live to see Memphis honor him as they should.

Duwayne Burnside Joins The North Mississippi Allstars at @LevittShell @CTDickinson @Grammy365

Bands, entertainment, events, music

To close out the Memphis Recording Academy’s 40th Anniversary concert, Luther and Cody Dickinson’s North Mississippi Allstars came on stage along with bluesman Duwayne Burnside. Any North Mississippi Allstars show is great fun, and this was a rousing and appropriate way to close out the night.

The Bo-Keys and William Bell Celebrate the Recording Academy’s 40th at the @LevittShell @Grammy365 @Electraphonic

Bands, entertainment, events, music, videos

Memphis soul revivalists The Bo-Keys have played a huge role in the rebirth of interest in the classic Memphis sound, and they have frequently provided the backing for Memphis soul great William Bell, so it was not at all surprising that Bell was tapped to perform at the Recording Academy celebration. He performed several of his biggest hits, including “I Forgot To Be Your Lover”, probably his biggest hit ever.

Carla and Marvel Thomas Perform at the @LevittShell @Grammy365

Bands, entertainment, events, music

First lady of Memphis soul Carla Thomas and her brother Marvel Thomas made rare Memphis appearances on Saturday night July 13 at the 40th Anniversary Concert of the Memphis chapter of The Recording Academy at the Levitt Shell. They performed several songs that had been written or made famous by their father, the late Rufus Thomas. Rufus and Carla’s unexpected meeting with Jim Stewart as Stax Records was moving into the old Capital Theatre on McLemore Avenue led to the label embracing the recording of Black music instead of the country and rockabilly they had intended to record, and thus changed the whole history of Memphis music.

The Rebirth Brass Band (@RebirthBB) Live at @LevittShell @Grammy365

Bands, entertainment, events, music

The Memphis chapter of The Recording Academy includes all of Louisiana, so it was great that the Rebirth Brass Band happened to be in town for a gig at Newby’s and agreed to perform on the 40th Anniversary concert. Of course, with them having to go to another gig, they kept their appearance at the Levitt Shell brief, but the audience responded with a great deal of enthusiasm.

Shannon McNally (@McNally) Live at @LevittShell @Grammy365

Bands, entertainment, events, music

Originally from the New York area, blues-roots singer Shannon McNally has lived a little bit of everywhere, from Austin to New Orleans, before choosing to settle down in North Mississippi. She has garnered national attention for her most recent release Small Town Talk, an album which celebrates the late Louisiana songwriter Bobby Charles, and has been extremely active in both the Memphis and North Mississippi music scenes. Her appearance at the 40th Anniversary concert of the Memphis Recording Academy chapter included a rousing rendition of “Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City” and a couple of Bobby Charles compositions from her recent album.

Memphis Indie Vocalist Susan Marshall and Friends at the Recording Academy 40th @Grammy365 @LevittShell

Bands, entertainment, events, music

Madjack Records artist Susan Marshall is yet another past president of The Recording Academy’s Memphis Chapter. Her performance at the 40th Anniversary concert at the Levitt Shell included appearances from two other great Memphis vocalists, Wendy Moten and Stephanie Bolton.