Rodney “King” Ellis and the Fifth Element Band with Jolynn Diggs Live at @MemphisSounds

Bands, entertainment, events, music, videos

Wednesday night is becoming more of a night for live music in Memphis. In addition to Jerome Chism’s weekly performance at the Silver Spoon in Hickory Hill, Memphis soul singer Rodney “King” Ellis has started hosting a weekly Grown Folks Wednesday event at Memphis Sounds downtown, featuring the superb Fifth Element Band, and singer Jolynn Diggs. The club is down a flight of stairs underground, which gives it a sort of speakeasy atmosphere, and the band plays great soul and blues music all night long. And there’s no cover charge either. Meanwhile, Ellis is said to be hard at work on his forthcoming new album.

(Courtesy of the Memphis Flyer)

Smooth Jazz with @5thandyork and Exquisite Desserts at Charlotte’s Bar Cocoa @MadamCocoa

Coffee, Desserts, Food, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants

While walking around downtown Charlotte, I happened to notice Bar Cocoa, a swank dessert bar adjacent to the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Lured inside by the beautiful cakes in the window, I had a hard time choosing between cupcakes, gelato, truffles, macaroons or slices of cake. I ultimately settled for a chocolate cupcake and a cup of coffee, which I took down into the lobby bar, where a smooth jazz/neo-soul band called 5th and York was playing. Deciding to hang out awhile, I ordered another cup of coffee from the lobby bar, and was amazed (and thrilled) to see it brought in a french press. Altogether, my evening at Bar Cocoa was very pleasant, and from what I could tell, there is a food menu as well.

Bar Cocoa
201 East Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 972-4397

Eric Thomas and Elevate The Quest With Smooth Jazz and Soul on The Reserve rooftop @elevatethequest @CafeCirca #A3C

Bands, entertainment, events, music, Music Conferences, videos

When I got back to the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, I could hear a band playing on the roof of Cafe Circa, which was actually a separate tapas bar known as The Reserve. My attention had been drawn to the place on Wednesday night when I had noticed two tuba players walking down Boulevard toward Edgewood while waiting for the A3C shuttle outside the Sound Table. Later, I could hear a New Orleans-style brass band playing on the rooftop of the Reserve, and was just about to go up there, when the shuttle arrived. So on this Thursday night, I headed up the stairs eagerly and took a seat to enjoy the band, which was known as Elevate The Quest and led by jazz/fusion saxophonist Eric Thomas. The music was great, and it was pleasant and comfortable out on the rooftop. Afterwards, I got to talking to the conga player, who told me that the tuba players I had seen might have been part of a group known as the Wolfpack, and he showed me a YouTube video of what appeared to be a large marching band playing what Atlantans call “crunk music” at a hip-hop show. I did some research online on my phone and discovered that they would be playing Saturday night at midnight in a neighborhood called Castleberry Hill.

Derick Kemp Duo Outside Club Vegas in Clarksdale #SunflowerBlues2013

Bands, entertainment, events, music, videos

There had been instruments set up all afternoon outside of Club Vegas across the street from Ground Zero, but nobody was outside playing them because it was so hot. Finally, it cooled off enough that a drummer named Derick Kemp and a keyboard player came out and played some tunes for the people on the sidewalk.

Garry Goin Band (@GarryGoin) at the Stax to the Max Festival at the @StaxMuseum

entertainment, events, music

The hard-working band behind the great Memphis vocal groups at the Stax to the Max Festival on Sunday April 28, 2013 was the Garry Goin Band, who themselves have a new CD out called “Road Trip” which was released to stores on April 16, 2013. The album can be purchased for download at