"We'd been admiring the development in the South Main historic district, and we wanted to be somewhere where we can help a neighborhood develop," says project manager Katherine Sage. "That's what we did on Beale Street 10 years ago, and it was time for a change."
The Recording Academy inhabits the bottom floor of a three-story building, in a space designed by South Main neighbors, architecture firm Archimania. The second and third stories of the building will be sold as condos. The building, located between Central Station and the entrance to the National Civil Rights Museum, offers a different vibe from the noisier, people-packed atmosphere of Beale Street.
Sage says the organization's sign was beginning to get lost amid the neon on Beale. "We're looking forward to this being a more accessible location for our members and customers to come and see what we're all about. We like that this space is more user-friendly."
The Recording Academy plans an open house for their new location on Friday, July 29th, which will coincide with one of the neighborhood's Trolley Tour nights.
In the meantime, the academy will sponsor a screening of the musical documentary Make It Funky! Thursday, June 23rd, at Malco's Studio on the Square in Midtown. The documentary focuses on the evolution of the funk and R&B sound in New Orleans, featuring artists such as the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Neville Brothers, and Allen Toussaint. Director Michael Murphy will be on hand to speak about the film, while artist Kermit Ruffins will provide live music. The event will be catered by famed New Orleans restaurant Galatoire's. The event starts at 6 p.m. with a $20 admission. Recording Academy members get in free.
Local Music News and Notes: After being delayed by this spring's Easley-McCain Studio fire, local rockers The Glass have finally finished recording their third album with producer Kevin Cubbins and have rescheduled a canceled May record-release show. The celebration now takes place Friday, June 24th, at the Young Avenue Deli. After the show, the band will head out on a month-long tour alongside fellow locals Lucero, whose new Nobody's Darlings was recently reviewed in Spin. The Lucero/Glass tour starts Thursday, July 7th, in St. Louis and will hit Western cities such as Denver, San Francisco, and Portland ... Alvin Youngblood Hart's Motivational Speaker, his first electric album since 2000's great Start With the Soul, is due out this week on Tone Cool/Artemis ... Other Memphis-connected records due out in the coming weeks include singer-songwriter John Hiatt's Master of Disaster on June 21st. Recorded at Ardent Studios with Jim Dickinson at the helm, the record also features back-up from North Mississippi Allstars Luther and Cody Dickinson ... Also on June 21st, a couple of interesting collections are on tap. Local label Ecko will release On the Chitlin Circuit: Southern Soul Hits and historic local radio station WDIA will release a two-disc collection of music and station history/soundbites, WDIA-AM 1070: The History, The Music, The Legend ... You may have to wait awhile longer for the upcoming Big Star album, but newest members Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow will have a new album from their other band, The Posies, out June 28th. Titled Every Kind of Light, the album is on Rykodisc, the same label that will release the Big Star record ... June 28th also sees the start of another round of Al Green reissues. The ongoing reissue series picks up with Green's 1975 classic Livin' for You, but the feature attraction will be 1977's self-produced The Belle Album. Other titles include Al Green Is Love, Full of Fire, Have a Good Time, and Truth n Time ... A couple of weeks later, on July 12th, Arista/Legacy will reissue a real rarity, Green's pre-Memphis 1967 album Back Up Train, recorded under the name Al Green & The Soul Mates ... That date should also be a big one for local rap, as Three 6 Mafia cohort Frayser Boy releases Me Being Me on the group's Hypnotize Minds label. But the big story will be the arrival, just ahead of the film, of the soundtrack to Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow. The final track list for the record hasn't been released, but you can hear instrumental samples of some of the tracks on the film's Web site HustleandFlow.com, which also features a "Memphis Insider" link where Brewer waxes romantic about such Memphis haunts as Black Lodge Video and Cozy Corner barbecue shop. n