“When in doubt, Second-Line”
In my lifetime at least, Memphis has not had much of a second-line tradition, but a sort-of impromptu second-line developed on Main Street late Sunday during the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, 9/2/12
One of the best places to catch authentic brass band music is the corner of Canal and Bourbon Streets beside the Foot Locker. Despite being in the French Quarter, this corner is close to the Iberville Projects, and here the brass bands play as much for their friends and relatives as they do for the tourists. There’s always a friendly vibe, good crowd interaction and some amazing dancing and/or second-lining. It’s also free, although the bands will pass the box around for donations. This is also the ground where many young bands get their start, from the To Be Continued to the Young Pinstripes. 7/4/12
The 2012 seasons for the Levitt Shell in Memphis’ Overton Park opened with the Stooges Brass Band from New Orleans. The youthful band brings a hip-hop street edge to traditional New Orleans brass-band music, and there are enough NOLA residents in Memphis that there was soon a small group of second-liners in front of the stage, decked out in full regalia, complete with decorated umbrellas in true New Orleans style. They were just as amazing here in Memphis as they were in Oxford, MS in February. If you missed them, keep up with them at http://www.stoogesmusicgroup.com/ or like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stoogesbrassbandpage. They play most Thursdays at the Hi-Ho Lounge on North Claiborne Avenue in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans, and believe me, it’s worth the drive to see them there.