Each week, the team at WAMM searches near and far for the best live music options around, and this week has it all: Neo-soul, old school funk, and some rock ‘n roll of every variety.
7:30 p.m, Sunday, April 24th
The Greenroom, Crosstown Arts
Neo-soul meets a vintage spirit in the music of Memphis native singer and songwriter Talibah Safiya. Fresh off of her newest single “Imagine That”, Safiya’s artistry becomes deeply thematic and theatrical when she gets on stage. Whether Safiya is performing at a local festival, or a small listening room anywhere across the country, expect to get comfortable with intimacy and deep truth poured through the filter of the song every single time you see her.
Tower Of Power
8:00 p.m, Saturday, April 23rd
The Soundstage at Graceland
Fifty years of successful R&B-funk-soul performances and 19 studio albums can’t be wrong. Tower of Power began in Oakland, California following the summer of love of in 1967, a time when soul music still topped charts and sophisticated horn sections were mixing with rock ‘n roll and funk bands. Founders Emilio Castillo (on tenor sax) and Stephen “Doc” Kupka (on baritone sax) haven’t missed a beat since. The large ensemble band has a history of over 60 members, who have consistently pushed the genre into contemporary territory and brought a party all the while.
Sunweight, Modern Bodies, Glorious Abhor
8:00 P.M., Saturday April 22nd
The Hi-Tone (Big Room – Upstairs)
Every Memphis show-goer at some point will, inevitably, note with a sigh of regret how few touring bands stop in town anymore. “I don’t wanna drive to Nashville all the time”, they might grumble. It’s true, Memphis is far too often overlooked by headlining musicians in their US travels, but when there’s pack-leading local talent like the Bluff City favorites in Sunweight and Glorious Abhor around, maybe it’s time to rethink the drive east and stick close to home. As it happens, both these bands can be found at the Hi-Tone’s big room upstairs this Friday, where Sunweight are celebrating the release of their newest full-length, Cannoned Hip. Their churning power-trio dynamic is as expertly-tuned as ever, coaxing shades of stoner metal riffage and fiery jam-band fretwork . As for Glorious Abhor, their notoriously-kinetic live energy is a high-spirited take on throwback power-pop and feisty 90s alternative. And hey, there’s an out-of-town band to take in as well, as Modern Bodies visit us from Tupelo These are all fine reasons to shop local when it comes to live music Saturday. Nashville will be there another day.
Freeloader, TVYellow, Ben Ricketts
8:00 P.M., Sunday April 23rd
The Hi-Tone (Small Room – Downstairs)
Freeloader boast a highly-impressive Memphis origin story, branching off of beloved local indie-roots institution Dead Soldiers, an intimidating legacy with which to reckon. Still, Freeloader’s tunes more than pay respect to their family tree, with anthemic and addictively-catchy jams and towering harmonies that could’ve found a home on Wilco’s Being There in some other strange multiverse. Don’t let those country-rock touches fool you, however, as Freeloader get heavy, right when it’s needed most…but there’s more! Pitching in for Sunday’s festivities at the Hi-Tone is another cherished Memphian, Ben Ricketts, who never fails to win hearts and minds both with his always-enjoyable take on good vibes synth-pop and indie-folk. The Oxford ex-pat has made himself quite a cozy nest here in Memphis, and we’re lucky to have him around to keep our spirited lifted. On top of that, local pop-punk/garage upstarts TVYellow round out the bill, newer faces on the scene who’ve managed to make turn quite a few heads with their throat-shredded ragers of towering riffs.