In celebration of 10 years of the Stax Music Academy, the Soulsville Foundation, which operates the music academy and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, is bringing the culture back onto McLemore Avenue with the first Soulsville street festival, dubbed "Stax to the Max."
The free outdoor festival will take place from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 16th, on the grounds surrounding the museum. There will also be free admission to the museum during regular hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As part of the entertainment, ensembles from the Stax Music Academy and the Soulsville Charter School orchestra will be joined by the Rhodes College Jazz Band and an ensemble from the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Local jazz/funk trio The City Champs will also perform, as will comedian Sinbad.
The headlining event, however, will be "Stories of a Real Soul Man: An Evening with David Porter & Friends," a program built around the venerable Stax songwriter and performer. Joining Porter will be current Soulsville president and Grammy-certified saxophone great Kirk Whalum, singer Wendy Moten, guitarist Gary Goin, J. Blackfoot (of the Soul Children), newcomer Jeremy O'Bryan, and others.
"Stories of a Real Soul Man" is a touring production created by Porter, which features storytelling, live music, and video.
Record Store Day
While Soulsville is having a street festival, the country will be having Record Store Day, a "holiday" of sorts designed to promote business at brick-and-mortar record stores. The local chapter of the Recording Academy is holding one of their Grammy GPS events Saturday in conjunction with Record Story Day. Dubbed Exploring the Resurgence of Vinyl, the event will be held at Ardent Studios from 2 to 6 p.m. and will be built around a panel discussion that will look at aspects of using vinyl — from recording to production to promotion and distribution. Panelists include Ardent owner John Fry, mastering engineers Larry Nix, Scott Hull, and Jeff Powell, and manufacturer Eric Astor. Admission to the event is $20, or free to Recording Academy members. For more information, contact the Memphis chapter of the Recording Academy at Memphis@grammy.com or 901-525-1340.
While the number of specialty releases flooding stores on Saturday is many (see thevinyldistrict.com/Memphis for a lengthy guide), Goner Records in Cooper-Young will have their own exclusive. San Francisco-based Goner artist Ty Segall is putting out a six-song, 12-inch EP of covers of British glam-rock band T.Rex, with a clear vinyl pressing available only at the Goner store. Goner will open at 11 a.m. for Record Store Day, with everything in the store 10 percent off and local bands The Limes and Manatees playing a free show in the adjacent alley from 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Meanwhile, over at Shangri-La Records on Madison, there will be live music on tap to celebrate Record Store Day, with Good Luck Dark Star and The Wuvbirds playing at 6 p.m.
Music notes: Congratulations are in order to the four finalists who emerged from last weekend's Memphis Music Launch event, sponsored by the Memphis Music Foundation. Delta Collective, Butta MD, Go Judo, and Arvada made it through the pitch and performance process and will go on to develop projects for a showcase concert in July. ... Some shows of note this week: With the local underground hip-hop scene having a bit of a rebirth, scene godfathers the Iron Mic Coalition are also having a resurgence. The group will celebrate its seventh anniversary on Saturday, April 16th, at the New Daisy Theater. Group members such as Jason Da Hater, Fathom 9, the Mighty Quinn and others are scheduled to perform. Tickets are $11. Doors open at 9 p.m. ... The Peabody's annual Rooftop Party series kicks off Thursday, April 14th, with live music from Ingram Hill. ... Snowglobe's Tim Regan brings his Austin-based band Oh No, Oh My to town for a gig at the Hi-Tone Café on Sunday, April 17th. Doors open at 9 p.m. and admission is $8. Regan's Snowglobe bandmate Jeff Hulett opens.