Tennessee makes headlines in the music world as Lucero play a fan-created setlist, Granville Automatic bring Nashville history to life in print and in music, and Dom Flemons and Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band team up with the legendary Stax guitarist Steve Cropper.
Dom Flemons and Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band “Shake” It With Steve Cropper
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and Carolina Chocolate Drops cofounder Dom Flemons invited the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band to record a cover of the Elmore James blues classic "Shake Your Moneymaker" at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis. As if this joining of roots performers whose respective talents are matched only by their knowledge of the music at such an important recording studio weren’t enough, they brought a living, breathing part of blues history into the mix as well. Steve Cropper — ace session guitarist at the nearby Stax Records Studio, member of Booker T. & the MG’s, co-writer of soul classics including “In the Midnight Hour” and “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay, and member of the Blues Brothers (aka the Good Old Blues Brothers Boys Band from Chicago — joined them at the session. Longtime friends Flemons and Peyton jammed with Cropper and a host of other stars on the song for some 10 minutes at the 2019 Blues Music Awards in Memphis, but cut it down to a lean, mean 3 minutes for the studio version. Watch them tell the story behind the song and download it here.
Granville Automatic Reveal Music City’s Shady History in Print and Song
Nashville songwriters Vanessa Olivarez and Elizabeth Elkins aren’t content solely to perform together as Granville Automatic, a band that specializes in storytelling songs that have been recorded by artists including Billy Currington, Sugarland, and Wanda Jackson. Their co-writing efforts now extend to print, and their debut book, Hidden History of Music Row — co-written with Nashville historian Brian Allison and with a foreword by Kix Brooks — was released by the History Press on August 31. This Friday, Granville Automatic will release Tiny Televisions, a musical companion piece to the book with Nashville history-referencing songs about the Trail of Tears, a 1960s nursing home, a long-gone neighborhood called Hell’s Half Acre, and more.
Lucero Throw Virtual Block Party
Memphis chicken-fried Southern rock-punk act Lucero are throwing a couple of virtual watch parties Friday and Saturday, September 11 and 12, with the first one guaranteed to make fans happy. Friday’s setlist will be completely fan-requested via Set the Set, a web service that lets audience members vote on which songs they’d like an artist to perform during upcoming livestreams. (Other artists who take e-requests — and capture fans’ email addresses and other data — through Set the Set include C&I reader favorites such as Randy Rogers, Rascal Flatts, and Drew & Ellie Holcomb.) Single-day tickets are $15, two-day general admission is $20, and various bundles ranging up to $125 include screen-printed posters, T-shirts, signed postcards, and participation in a group Zoom chat with the band.
Blitzen Trapper Announce Future Jokes
Portland’s Blitzen Trapper, a band that mixes psychedelic rock, folk, and 1970s country sounds, have announced their next album, Holy Smokes Future Jokes, is due September 25 via Yep Roc Records, and you can pre-order it now. Consequence of Sound premiered “Masonic Temple Microdose #1” from the album in June, and the upbeat jangly acoustic number “Requiem” last week, with its chorus “Shine a light through the dark day” sounding like an aural balm in troubled times like these. Check it out below.