Band Listings Saturday, May 2
Green River Ordinance
Cellular South Stage • 2:30 p.m.
This Texas-based quintet is a straightforward, radio-friendly rock band in the vein of Collective Soul or Matchbox Twenty. After building up their audience the grassroots way for a few years, the band released its major-label debut album, Out of My Hands, earlier this year.
Chancho En Piedra
Cellular South Stage • 4:10 p.m.
Representing this year's Memphis in May honored country, Chile, Chancho En Piedra is a Latin rock band that first formed in the early '90s and has become one of Chile's most popular bands.
Cellular South Stage • 5:50 p.m.
San Francisco's Thriving Ivory is a modern-rock band whose big, ambitious sound is influenced by the likes of Coldplay and U2. After building their following touring behind a self-produced eponymous debut album, the band signed to Wind-Up Records (the label that launched Creed) and released a new version of the album nationally last year.
Cellular South Stage • 7:30 p.m.
Based out of Corinth, Mississippi, Saving Abel honed their sound in Memphis recording studios before signing to Virgin Records for their 2008 debut album. The band's Southern-flavored hard rock proved to be a hit, the single "Addicted" sailing to #2 on Billboard's "Mainstream Rock" charts and the band's eponymous debut eventually going gold.
Cellular South Stage • 9:10 p.m.
When the Florida-based band Creed struck it rich on the Billboard charts, label reps flocked to the sunny South to snap up likeminded talent. In Jacksonville, they found Shinedown, an Alice in Chains-meets-Puddle of Mudd melodic rock group that has sold over six million records this decade. The band has also experienced some line-up changes, with Memphis guitar hotshot Zach Myers joining the band in 2008.
Cellular South Stage • 10:55 p.m.
Led by charismatic lead singer Jonathan Davis, featuring provocative material, and adding elements of hip-hop and funk to their rock foundation, California alt-metal band Korn was one of American rock's biggest success stories during the post-grunge '90s, with nine consecutive albums debuting Top 10 on the Billboard album charts, sales of more than 30 million worldwide, and five Grammy Awards. Most recently, the band has continued to be prolific, with two 2007 albums, MTV Unplugged and Untitled.
Jump Back Jake
Sam's Town Stage • 2:30 p.m.
Led by New York transplant Jake Rabinbach, Jump Back Jake has emerged as one of Memphis' most impressive new bands, mixing swamp rock and Southern soul in a sound that draws on regional influences such as Tony Joe White and Stax Records. The band has the honor of being the first signee to Ardent Music, the renowned Memphis studio/label's new reentry into releasing secular rock music. Jump Back Jake's 2008 debut, Brooklyn Hustle/Memphis Muscle, is a powerhouse affair driven by Rabinbach's commanding vocals.
Sam's Town Stage • 4:15 p.m.
Susan Tedeschi is perhaps one of the most unlikely blues stars to emerge over the past couple of decades — a young white woman from Boston who studied at the Berklee School of Music. But, influenced by Bonnie Raitt, among others, Tedeschi is the real deal, a commanding guitarist, singer, and songwriter who spices up her electric blues sound with elements of R&B and gospel. She's garnered multiple Grammy nominations in the process.
Sam's Town Stage • 6 p.m.
Not just another band from East L.A., Los Lobos are America's greatest Latin rock band, mixing rock-and-roll, Tex-Mex, blues, and soul into an eclectic, virtuoso roots mix that first flowered with the band's classic 1984 breakthrough album How Will the Wolf Survive? and has survived through a quarter-century of music that has swung from the traditional to the avant-garde. A classic American band.
Sam's Town Stage • 8 p.m.
The enfant terrible who released the classic punk-oriented late-'70s albums My Aim Is True and This Year's Model aged more gracefully than many at the time might have expected, becoming one of rock's most durable, versatile, and prolific artists over the past three decades. Elvis Costello started from a new wave/punk foundation but eventually embraced soul, country, Tin Pan Alley pop, Dylanesque folk-rock, and any number of other stylistic detours, all united by his sharp, literate songwriting. A few years ago, Costello filmed a live concert DVD at the small Memphis club the Hi-Tone Café. This year, he returns to town to play the city's biggest musical stage.
Sam's Town Stage • 9:50 p.m.
Arguably Memphis music's greatest living artist, Al Green belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of soul vocalists along with Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke, his repertoire of flutters, sighs, grunts, repetitions, and other effects transcending mere words even when in the service of a great lyric. Green recorded a string of classic albums in the 1970s — Call Me, I'm Still in Love With You, The Belle Album — before abandoning pop music for the pulpit of his Memphis-based Full Gospel Tabernacle Church. In recent years, however, he's made a return to secular sounds with a strong series of comeback albums, the best of which is 2008's Lay It Down.
Budweiser Stage • 2:25 p.m.
This Memphis oddball specializes in a comic, hedonistic, but ultimately gentle form of rap-rock. He's a cult artist here at home but is about to be introduced to the country via his featured role in the Memphis-based MTV series $5 Cover.
Budweiser Stage • 4:05 p.m.
The son of reggae legend Bob Marley, Julian has followed brothers Ziggy, Stephen, and Damian into the family business, keeping their father's famous sound alive on concert stages worldwide.
Budweiser Stage • 5:50 p.m.
Formed at Memphis' Porter Junior High School, the Bar-Kays grew up to be one of the hottest groups to record at Stax Records, eclipsing the MGs with an instrumental hit of their own, the '67 Volt classic "Soul Finger," and becoming Otis Redding's preferred backing group. Unfortunately, that same year, four members of the Bar-Kays were killed in the plane crash that also took Redding's life — yet surviving musicians James Alexander and Ben Cauley rallied to take the group to new heights. As famous for their flashy stage presence as for their "Shake Your Rump to the Funk" performances, the Bar-Kays are sure to pull out all the stops at this year's Beale Street Music Fest.
Budweiser Stage • 7:35 p.m.
Hip-hop's house band recently became Jimmy Fallon's on the comedian's late-night talk show. But this Philadelphia-based band, led by drummer ?uestlove and rapper Black Thought, is primarily known as hip-hop's most reliable live band. It's one that keeps getting better on a string of increasingly strong and bold albums such as Tipping Point, Game Theory, and, 2008's possible career best, Rising Down.
George Clinton & P Funk
Budweiser Stage • 9:30 p.m.
It's not a party until the mothership lands: Expect perennial P-Funkster George Clinton to take the Beale Street Music Festival to a higher level this year. Now pushing 70, Clinton remains an elevating, energetic force on stage. Whether the funk pioneer and his ragtag band of rock-soul compatriots decide to work their way through hits like "Maggot Brain" or "Flashlight," you can bet that a packed crowd will be moving and grooving to their cosmic beat.
Blues Tent • 2:15 p.m.
Dwight is a Nashville-based blues and Americana artist.
Hubert Sumlin with Billy Gibson
Blues Tent • 3:50 p.m.
Greenwood, Mississippi-born Hubert Sumlin got his start on KWEM radio in West Memphis, playing with Pat Hare and James Cotton back in the 1950s. Howlin' Wolf took Sumlin north to Chicago, and blues guitar hasn't been the same since. Sumlin's unpredictable twisting riffs and solos — check out "Killing Floor," "Mr. Airplane Man," and "Wang Dang Doodle," for starters — led him to be crowned the King of the Outer Space Guitar. Now in his 70s, Sumlin never ceases to astonish and amaze. Don't miss this performance, which will be anchored by Memphis harmonica master Billy Gibson.
Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm
Blues Tent • 5:45 p.m.
In a genre — the blues — aching for interesting young talent, the late R.L. Burnside's grandson Cedric Burnside delivered with last year's 2 Man Wrecking Crew. Switching off drums and guitar and taking songwriting turns with gruff-voiced sidekick Malcolm, this heir to the north Mississippi blues throne tells his personal family story ("R.L. Burnside"), acknowledges his membership in the hip-hop generation, and reveals a sweet, soul-infused singing voice. Keeping the blues alive, indeed.
Blues Tent • 7:25 p.m.
A third-generation (at least) bluesman who honed his craft at his father's Arkansas juke joint, guitarist Michael Burks turned to blues as a full-time career about a decade ago, releasing a string of acclaimed modern blues albums for the stalwart Alligator label, including 2001's made-in-Memphis Make It Rain.
Blues Tent • 9:05 p.m.
Pacific Northwest harmonica player and songwriter Curtis Salgado walks the fine line between blues and soul, working as a sideman for A-list blues acts such as Robert Cray and Roomful of Blues before setting out on a successful solo career in the '90s.
John Lee Hooker Jr.
Blues Tent • 10:50 p.m.
John Lee Hooker Jr. inherited more than his name from his father, a post-war blues star who laid down hundreds of unforgettable tracks, including masterpieces like "Crawlin' Kingsnake" and "Boogie Chillen." Now, his son and namesake, who has been performing since he was 8 years old, has imported that vicious electric guitar sound into the 21st century, as evidenced on his Grammy Award-nominated, Handy Award-winning 2004 debut, Blues with a Vengeance.
Robert "Wolfman" Belfour & Richard Johnston
SoCo Blues Shack • 2:15-7:55 p.m.
Two of the Mid-South's most authentic blues musicians — veteran Robert "Wolfman" Belfour and younger hill-country iconoclast Richard Johnston — will alternate sets at the Blues Shack all day Saturday.