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Cory Branan to perform Hands of Mothers benefit

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There was a time when Memphians could catch a Cory Branan show pretty much any night of the week. You could see solo shows at defunct venues like the Map Room or the Daily Planet, then catch a bigger show at the Hi-Tone with Lucero as his backing band. Then, a dozen years ago, he said goodbye to his hometown and chased his dream to Nashville.

Branan's said a lot of goodbyes, and he's been saying even more lately. His latest collection of songs is called Adios, and he's called it a "death record." But the vaguer title is sufficient, as Branan, a peripatetic, genre-defying artist, takes listeners on a bright, relatively upbeat tour of dark places and sad farewells. As death records go, it's lively, crawling with self-criticism and social awareness.

Cory Branan
  • Cory Branan

On Adios, Branan marries pop hooks to stories of relationships gone south, parents gone to heaven, and gun-happy cops turning routine traffic stops into "Another American Nightmare." Electric guitars jangle, while groovy organ riffs suggest you can take the boy out of Memphis but not the converse. Local fans who've missed Branan's quirky, humor-laden oeuvre can say hello and hear songs both new and old when he comes to town this week to play a benefit brunch for Hands of Mothers at the High Cotton Brewery, Sunday, July 23rd, at 11 a.m.

Hands of Mothers is a not-for-profit organization that provides "skills training, business mentoring, microloans, and market linkage support to vulnerable women and young adults" in places like Honduras and South Africa. The Bloody Mary brunch will help fund and sustain business opportunities for women in Rwanda.

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