From the We Are Memphis Music team, here’s a mix of live music picks we think you can’t afford to miss out on this week.
7 P.M., Thursday January 13, Hernando’s Hideaway
Freezing temperatures and leaden skies have Memphians scavenging for any light and warmth to huddle around, and Thursday evening should provide substantial quantities of both for the weary winter soul, as long-running Bostonian alt-country mainstays Clem Snide drop by the Hideaway. Eef Barzalay has been a larger-than-life character in the American indie underground since the early 90s, his voice a distinctively-hoarse grumble with a hint of Jeff Mangum’s earnest keening, his songs downtrodden anthems spiked with enough levity and stubborn hope to help them sail. The solace may be fleeting, the January storms unrelenting, but nonetheless, take a few hours to treat yourself.
Jombi / Lavendear
7 P.M., Friday January 14, The Hi-Tone (Big Room Upstairs)
Jombi are a newish Memphis collective with a fairly-singular sound for our scene, a sort of breezy jam band-ish ramble bejeweled with earnest indie-pop vocals and some sprightly, soaring guitar-work. It’s the kind of swirling, dreamy music that pairs nicely with a lush summer afternoon, even as the wintry dregs of a Mid-South winter dampen the illusion. They hit the stage at Hi-Tone’s big room upstairs on Friday, accompanied by another promising local talent, Lavendear, who’s received kind words from this publication more than once, offering a compelling, shoegaze-infused indie-pop that’ll pair well with Jombi’s throwback, psych-leaning charms. The Hi-Tone is on a hot streak lately, especially when it comes to booking exciting and envelope-pushing Mid-South bands, so this night is one not to miss.
7 p.m., Friday January 14, Duncan Williams Performance hall at GPAC
For years, Memphian Bill Hurd has been one of the city’s most celebrated saxophonists, earning him comparisons to giants of the genre such as John Coltrane. During his career, Hurd has played alongside iconic musicians such as Isaac Hayes, Kirk Whalum, and Maurice White and his jazz ensemble features some of the most renowned musicians in the region. On Friday, Dr. Hurd will be gracing the stage of GPAC for a must-see show for fans of jazz.
The Soul Rebels
7 p.m., Friday January 14, Railgarten
If you prefer your jazz with a little more attitude and grit, then Friday night also offers up New Orleans’ Soul Rebels, a jazz band that incorporates elements of hip-hop and funk into the traditional NOLA brass band sound. During my time living in the Big Easy, the Soul Rebels became a personal favorite and their ability to get a crowd up and moving might be unparalleled among their brass band contemporaries. If nothing else, I guarantee they’ll help you shake off the January blues.