By Jayne Ellen White
Summer is upon us, and we Memphians are ready to rock— outside, with some great tunes, for as many warm months as the weather Gods will allow. Whether you prefer to hear gypsy jazz in a historic cemetery or celebrate Juneteenth at the historic Orange Mound Tower– we have the outdoor concert recommendation for you! Here are 5 unique outdoor concerts not to miss this month in Memphis.
The New Respects
Saturday, June 11th
The Overton Park Shell
The Overton Park Shell is a mini utopia for outdoor music enthusiasts. See our recent venue profile describing the venue’s magic here. Siblings Zandy, Darius, Lexi, and their cousin Jasmine kind of fell into being in a band together— but they will dance and rock your face off on stage all night. A bonus is Zandy’s searing rock ‘n’ roll guitar solos! The New Respects will play as part of The Shell’s free outdoor music series on June 11th, so bring a picnic and some cold beverages- or just yourself, and rock out with this high energy family band.
Blues On Beale: Rodd Bland & The Members Only Band
Wednesday, June 15th
It is embarrassing to admit, but sometimes it’s a challenge to find blues music on Beale Street. So many DJ’s, country bands, cover bands, and soul bands play Beale nightly that it can get a bit saturated— but if you miss that real Memphis blues groove, this is the series for you…AND it’s outside! Handy Park located on Beale Street has an amazing stage and graded lawn for you to grab a beer and some wings and watch your favorite blues band play. Rodd Bland (the son of iconic musician Bobby “Blue” Bland) is blues royalty and he’s just off his recent Blues Music Award win for Best Emerging Artist Album. Come check him out and be put in a whole Memphis mood.
Tone’s Juneteenth Festival
Sunday, June 19th
Orange Mound Tower
Tone’s Juneteenth Gala and Festival weekend never disappoints. The entire weekend and schedule of events will feature live music performances- but the biggest opportunity for live outdoor music is at the Orange Mound Tower on Sunday, June 19th. Although the music and DJ lineup has yet to be announced— rest assured it will be epic… everything Tone does is!
Songs In The Cemetery: Amy Lavere
Friday, June 24th
Believe it or not, the historic Elmwood Cemetery hosts many activities for the living! This month, their ongoing series Songs In The Cemetery hosts one of Memphis’ favorite singers and bass players— Amy Lavere. The Memphian by way of Louisiana is most likely a fan of celebrating life in the Southern tradition of an old -fashioned, respectful cemetery picnic. Bring a lawn chair and watch the sun set on one of the longest days of year!
Live At The Tracks: Max Kaplan
Thursday, June 30th
The Central Station Memphis
Rufus Thomas said it best when he said, “Ooooh– wee, that Memphis train!” The Central Station Memphis, A Curio Collection Hotel, is unique in and of itself. Inside, there are many opportunities to revel in the history and traditions of Memphis music, but Thursday, June 30th you can sit track side outside and relax to the acoustic offerings of blues and Americana artist Max Kaplan. Grab a drink at the bar and take in downtown just off of South Main Street.