By Kierstyn Pryor
This year’s Beale Street Music Festival is expected to be one of the best festivals Memphis has ever had. After a three year hiatus, CEOs and managers of the on-going Memphis in May celebration are eager to make this one unforgettable. While the lineup of artists consist of many international acts, there are also several of Memphis’ very own talented artists included in the list.
First on the line up is local artist Barbra Blue. Inspired by artists like Johnny Cash and Ray Charles, she continues to carry their legacy through a deep blues sound and a strong vocal ability. She was most recently named “The Reigning Queen of Beale Street“ and has become the first and only female singer to perform on Beale Street five nights a week for 21 plus years. The vocalist’s songs “What To Do“ and “Can’t Get Your Lovin’ Off My Mind“ further display her outstanding voice and show just how great of a singer she is. We encourage you to visit her at the Coca-Cola Stage at 2:00 pm on Friday. We are most certain that she won’t let you down!
From performing at several of the city’s local venues to performing internationally, they are now making their way to a much bigger stage in their hometown. Ghost Town Blues Band is also an amazing representation of good blues music. The group has continued to keep the blues legacy alive through their music and world wide performances. Claiming the #1 spot on the Billboard Blues charts, they have proven their prominence through memorable lyrics and outstanding energetic stage presence. We can’t wait for them to grace the Memphis stage as well! The Ghost Town Blues Band will also be performing at the Coca-Cola tent on Saturday, headlining during the 8:00 pm slot.
Blvck Hippie, a local band specializing in rock and many other alternative genres, is devoted to moving audiences through emotional experiences and catchy melodies. Consisting of band members Joshua Shaw, Casey Rittinger, Celest Farmer, and Lynne Weldo, their music connects to people for an abundance of reasons. The band’s goal has always been surrounded around diversity, musicality, and showing others that black kids are allowed to be different too. They continue to show the listeners that it is okay to be vulnerable and emotionally open. By visiting Blvck Hippie on stage, you will leave with a new urge to be more of yourself than the day before and a love for a new style of music. Blvck Hippie will be performing at the Bud Light stage at 2:00 pm on Saturday.
Don Bryant & the Bo-Keys music strongly reflects the established soul sound that has flooded the city since the 1960s. Displaying their experience and views on deep life experiences, it is clear that they were made for the music world. Don Bryant spent many of his years penning songs for musical acts such as Al Green and Ann Peebles, and his songwriting skills are apparent throughout his newer music. They have been featured in numerous projects for Hollywood films and have been performing at festivals and venues for years. Unsurprisingly, they know exactly how to move a crowd! Bryant & the Bo-Keys will be at the Coca-Cola Blues tent at 9:30 on Saturday night.
Last, but not least, is Memphis’ Orange Mound native Chick Rogers. Harboring an abundance of soul through her raspy voice and extensive experience, she will be making her first appearance at the Beale Street Music Festival. Rogers has performed at events such as the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Chicago Blues Festival, and at Bernie Mac’s Midnight Mac show. While she performs many powerful songs like “Ain’t No Way” and “Don’t Play That Song,” she has her own music out as well. She is fluent in engaging audiences and making them feel her emotions. We hope that you make your way to see just how talented she is! Mrs. Rogers will be performing at the Coca-Cola Blues tent on Sunday at 2:00 pm.
The Beale Street Music Festival will be held Friday, April 29, 2022-Sunday, May 1, 2022 at the Memphis Fairgrounds at Liberty Park. Visit www.memphisinmay.org to view the lineup and to purchase tickets.