Most of you probably don't associate the Young Avenue Deli with the blues. That's what Beale Street is for, right? Well, not this week.
Helena, Arkansas, native and Fat Possum alumnus Cedell Davis plays his blues the old-fashioned way -- with a butter knife as a slide. Born in 1927, Davis has been around for a while, once playing backup for Robert Nighthawk, but didn't start releasing records of his own until the '90s. His latest, Lightning Struck the Pine, features a host of alt-rock-associated backing players, including R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, who'll be part of Davis' band for his Deli show Wednesday, November 13th. Earlier in the week, the Deli will host Memphis' finest contemporary blues player, Alvin Youngblood Hart, who is riding the wave of his great batch of acoustic blues, Down in the Alley, recorded for new local label Memphis International. Hart will play the Deli Saturday, November 9th.
For an energetic mixture of rock, rockabilly, and country, all lovingly rendered, you'll want to visit Murphy's Sunday, November 10th, to see Tom Clark and the High-Action Boys. They may hail from NYC (by way of Illinois), but after a drink or two, you might mistake them for real hillbillies. As inspired by classic punk groups like the Ramones as they are by Merle Haggard and George Jones, the High-Action Boys are high energy personified. They will be joined by Subteen Mark Akin in a rare solo appearance.
World Boogie is coming to Shangri-La Records Saturday, November 9th, when Jim Dickinson plays on the porch in support of his newest release, Free Beer Tomorrow. This may be Dickinson's first release since the bluesy Dixie Fried 30 years ago, but as a producer and session musician, he's hardly been dormant. The amazing Replacements album Pleased to Meet Me had Dickinson's fingerprints all over it, as did Bob Dylan's immediate classic Time Out of Mind. Aretha Franklin, the Cramps, and Alex Chilton have all benefited from the Dickinson touch, as have Mudhoney, Ry Cooder, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins. As an artist, Dickinson's sound has become as eclectic as the range of artists he has produced. Dickinson will be joined on the porch by his sons Luther and Cody, whom you may know a bit better as the North Mississippi Allstars. --Chris Davis