Overton Park Shell’s Free Concert Preview

After a two month hiatus during the most sweltering months of the summer, the Overton Park Shell’s Orion Free Concert Series is back for the fall season with a slate of 12 great (and free!) live performances. While we certainly wouldn’t advise against trying to catch them all, the reality is most of us will have to pick-and-choose. In order to help with this task, we took a deep dive into the line-up to choose our 5 must-see shows. Here is our totally subjective list…

Los Rakas

Friday, September 1st

From Bad Bunny to Rosalía, Spanish-language artists are absolutely dominating the charts in 2023, and cousins Raka Rich and Raka Dun are well-positioned to be the next big stars to hail from the Spanish-speaking world. Panamanians by way of the Bay Area, the duo are known for their fresh mix of hip-hop, plena, reggae, and dancehall music that provides the perfect vibes for the end of summer. If the team at the Shell wanted to kick off this season with a bang, then mission accomplished.


Thee Sinseers

Friday, September 8th

Whether you’re a fan of classic soul artists such as Etta James and Sam Cooke or prefer the updated retro soul of artists such as Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse, L.A.’s Thee Sinseers should be right up your alley. Led by multi-instrumentalist,and singer-songwriter Joseph Quiñones, Thee Sinseers are a large band with an even bigger sound. Their label, Colemine Records, has earned a reputation for producing some of the world’s best retro soul and Thee Sinseers are continuing that legacy in impressive fashion.

Dirty Streets

Friday, September 15

You know we had to give some local musicians some love at some point, so allow us to (re)introduce you to Dirty Streets, the Memphis-based soul rock trio whose sound owes as much to Stax Records as it does classic rock legends such as CCR and the Rolling Stones. Since 2007, the band has been honing their craft and elevating their live performances, making them one of the Bluff City’s most dynamic performers. Don’t take them for granted just because they’re local…this is one show you don’t want to miss!

The Memphis Country Blues Festival

Saturday, September 23rd

Beginning in the mid-1960s, the Memphis Country Blues Festival was a radical and era-defining musical event that helped bridge the gap between races, classes, and generations. If you don’t know this history, it’s absolutely worth delving into, but we’ll let you pursue that info on your own. Either way, the festival has reemerged in recent years and continues to be a celebration of our region’s unique musical culture, bringing together some of the best country blues artists on earth for a day-long shindig. This year’s MCBF features the North Mississippi Allstars and Alvin Youngblood Hart, two giants of the genre who promise a rollicking good time.


Spree Wilson

Friday, September 29th

Although he was born in Nashville (don’t hold it against him), Spree Wilson’s soulful sound is much more at home here in Soulsville, USA. Equal parts old-school soul and new-school hip-hop, Spree Wilson’s sound is both timely and timeless, bridging the gaps between both eras and genres. One of the best things about the Shell’s free concert series is the ability to catch rising stars before they have hit the mainstream, and Spree Wilson is a prime example. 

For the Overton Park Shell’s full line-up, visit their website here

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