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.
The Memphis chapter of The Recording Academy had their Grammy GPS event yesterday at the Stax Music Academy in South Memphis, with an array of speakers that included Steve Jordan, activist rapper Talib Kweli, southern rapper and producer Fiend, and Mississippi poet and activist Charlie Braxton. The event also attracted a number of local Memphis artists, including Scott Bomar of the Bo-Keys, Al Kapone, Knowledge Nick, Cities Aviv, Miscellaneous, James Alexander of the Bar-Kays, Jason Da Hater and Montana Trax. Memphis TN, 9/29/12
William Bell returns to the neighborhood where it all began on Saturday 4/28/12 at the Stax to the Max Soulsville Street Festival, backed by Memphis’ own Bo-Keys, with the sun setting in the west. A supreme end to a truly awesome day in Memphis.
The Bo-Keys are a living repository of Memphis soul. Unlike many other bands that attempt to recreate the classic sounds of soul, the Bo-Keys involve Memphis soul legends like Howard Grimes, Nokie Taylor and Archie Mitchell, and back soul greats like Percy Wiggins and William Bell. They were the final act at the Stax to the Max Soulsville festival in South Memphis on Saturday, 4/28/12. Learn more about the Bo-Keys here: http://www.thebokeys.com/. Like them on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/thebokeys. Follow their Electrophonic label on Twitter @electrophonic. Learn more about the genius behind the Bo-Keys at http://www.scottbomar.com.
In some ways, Charles “Packy” Axton was the forgotten man in the Stax Records saga. The son of one of the partners, Estelle Axton, he was a saxophone player in the original Stax band, the Mar-Keys, along with Don Nix and others. Exiled from Stax by his uncle, Jim Stewart (by some accounts due to drugs and/or alcohol), he recorded only a handful of sides before dying tragically in 1974, only in his thirties. But the really hip Light in the Attic Records label out of Seattle has assembled all the material they could find into one cool CD called “Late Late Party”, and the album release party at the Stax Museum was something of an all-star gala, despite the odd time of 4 PM on a Tuesday afternoon. Scott Bomar of the Bo-Keys was there, as well as Andrea Lisle, local Memphis music writer, Robert Gordon, the author of It Came From Memphis, legendary bluesman/photographer Don Nix, who had been Packy’s bandmate in the Mar-Keys, and L. H. White, who was the “L.H.” in L. H. and the Memphis Sounds, who cut four sides under Packy’s direction that would ultimately come out on the Nashville-based Hollywood label. Altogether, it was a good time with good music, and the only sad thing being that Charles “Packy” Axton never saw such acclaim during his lifetime.