At the beginning of each week, we here at WAMM like to survey the previous seven days for some of the top stories in Memphis music and provide you with a one-stop-shop of ICYMIs. In this edition, we have tons of new music, a look at the Memphis blues in 2022, and a celebration of a landmark concert. Enjoy!
Cameron Bethany Releases New Video, Single “Love is a Bill”
Memphis’ reigning king of sultry indie soul is back with a new video that fits his retro sound like a well-tailored suit. Cameron Bethany’s “Love is a Bill” is a welcomed return for the crooner and a visual feast that falls somewhere between the loverboy personas of Al Green and Drake. We hope this means that even more music from Bethany is forthcoming, but for now we’re satisfied with the chilled-out swagger of “Love is a Bill,” a perfect track for the end of summer.
Aaron James Releases New Video, Single for “Nobody Really Makes Love Anymore”
In related news, Cameron Bethany’s labelmate at Unapologetic. is also back with new music this week, which bodes well for fans of the collective. James’ new single “Nobody Really Make Love Anymore” is the first song from his upcoming album of the same name, which is scheduled to drop sometime in November. As fans of James know, his forte is creating lush and rich songs of heartbreak, and he delivers yet again.
What’s Old is New Again
This week, Alex Greene wrote a captivating story in Memphis Magazine about how the music that has long defined Memphis–the blues– continues to evolve in new and exciting directions. From rapper Al Kapone’s album “Blues Rap Music” to the genre-bending blues of duo Memphissippi Sounds, Greene makes an exciting case for the continued relevance of the genre and points out that once again, Memphis is the true home of the blues.
The L.A. Times Pays Homage to Wattstax
50 years ago this week, Stax Records traveled to Los Angeles to stage one of the most consequential and celebrated live music events in history. Dubbed Wattstax, the festival was intended as a Black Woodstock and featured some of the label’s biggest names, including Rufus Thomas, the Bar-Kays, and the Staple Singers. To mark the anniversary, the Los Angeles Times has written an in-depth history of the concert and how its impact still reverberates to this day. A must read for fans of Stax and soul music in general.