Memphis Soul Music – Past and Present

From the birthplace of soul music to its vibrant contemporary music scene, Memphis has been a city that effortlessly weaves together the threads of soul history and thriving modern-day musicians for generations. Discover why Memphis is not only a city with an unmatched soul music legacy but also a vibrant hub for the evolution and continuation of this timeless genre!

Southern Avenue

This soulful ensemble combines elements of soul, blues, and gospel to create a fresh and energetic sound. Led by the powerhouse vocals of Tierinii Jackson and the skillful guitar playing of Ori Naftaly, Southern Avenue has garnered acclaim for their captivating live performances and soul-stirring lyrics. Tracks like “Don’t Give Up” and “Keep On” showcase their ability to infuse traditional soul with a modern edge.

Valerie June

With her distinctive voice and poetic songwriting, Valerie June has become a rising star in the contemporary soul music scene. Her music effortlessly blends elements of folk, blues, and soul, creating a unique and captivating sound. Songs like “Pushin’ Against a Stone” and “Astral Plane” highlight her soulful delivery and introspective lyrics, showcasing her ability to transcend genres.

Talibah Safiya

Talibah Safiya’s music style is a captivating fusion that defies easy categorization. Drawing from a wide range of influences, her music seamlessly blends elements of soul, R&B, jazz, and electronic sounds to create a truly unique sonic landscape. Safiya’s velvety smooth vocals, combined with her poetic lyricism, create an intimate and emotive listening experience. Her music often carries a sense of introspection, exploring themes of love, identity, and self-discovery. With her rich and soulful voice, Talibah Safiya effortlessly navigates through genres, delivering a mesmerizing blend of sounds that is both contemporary and timeless.

Don Bryant

A veteran of the Memphis soul music scene, Don Bryant has recently experienced a resurgence in his career. Known for his work as a songwriter and performer for Hi Records in the 1960s and 1970s, Bryant returned to the spotlight with his critically acclaimed album “Don’t Give Up on Love.” With his smooth and soulful vocals, Bryant continues to captivate audiences with his timeless sound and heartfelt delivery.

Joyce Cobb

A true legend of Memphis soul, Joyce Cobb has been a staple of the city’s music scene for decades. Known for her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence, Cobb’s music embodies the essence of soul. From her early hits like “Dig the Gold” to her recent releases, such as “Love Infection,” Cobb’s soulful delivery and captivating performances continue to captivate audiences.

The Bo-Keys

This Memphis-based band blends soul, funk, and R&B into their signature sound. With a lineup consisting of seasoned musicians and members who have played with iconic artists like Al Green and Otis Redding, The Bo-Keys have a deep understanding of the soul music tradition. Their albums, including “Heartaches by the Number” and “Got to Get Back!”, exemplify their ability to deliver grooves that honor the rich legacy of Memphis soul.

Memphis continues to be a hub for contemporary soul artists who draw inspiration from the city’s storied musical history. These talented musicians, with their soulful performances and innovative approaches, ensure that the spirit of Memphis soul lives on, captivating audiences and keeping the soul music flame burning bright. Looking for a concert to check out? Be sure to visit We Are Memphis Music Live!

Banner Photo Credit: The Stax Museum of American Soul Music

You might also be interested in: Famous Memphis Musicians | Memphis Singers

You Might Also Be Interested In…


Catching Up with Memphis Rapper Bleu Levees About His New EP, Influences, and Impending Fatherhood

By Katie Kelly Last month, Memphis rapper Bleu Levees dropped his latest project The LSD Tapes Vol 1. The experimental […]


WAMM in Rotation: 5 Songs for April ’24

Memphis music is truly unstoppable. Each month welcomes more and more incredible new projects. Here are just 5 we’re highlighting […]


WAMM in Rotation: 5 Songs for March ’24

Memphis music is truly unstoppable. Each month welcomes more and more incredible new projects. Here are just 5 we’re highlighting […]