The Cooper-Young neighborhood was the canary in the coal mine of a Midtown cultural revival now raging at the other end of Cooper, on Overton Square, and Cooper-Young's annual neighborhood street festival — taking place on Saturday, September 14th — might be the city's biggest and best.
In addition to all of the vendors and activities, the festival will feature local music on three stages from late morning to early evening. The main-stage headliner will be the Motel Mirrors, a new country duet project that pairs two of the city's most popular established roots performers — classic songcraft savant John Paul Keith and versatile upright-bass-thumping singer Amy LaVere. The Motel Mirrors released a fine, eponymous, seven-song debut EP in late August.
Among the artists joining the Motel Mirrors on the Cooper-Young main stage are the Dead Soldiers, an increasingly polished folk/country-rock band that's building a considerable live reputation around town, the reggae band Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, and Merry Mobile, the latest project from talented multi-instrumentalist Paul Taylor. The Cooper-Young Festival will also feature a "School of Rock" stage showcasing young students from the local music school and a secondary stage jointly sponsored by the Memphis Grizzlies and the Cooper-Young-based Goner Records label and shop. Memphis' Ex-Cult and garage-rock heavyweight Jack Oblivian will be on the Griz/Goner stage. For a full schedule and info, see cooperyoungfestival.com.