Jungle out there?
Elvis Presley and Sam Phillips were reunited this past week in Memphis. Based on a few vague but still revealing social media posts and tweets, it appears that officials from Sony/ Legacy — the custodians of the Presley catalog — and longtime Elvis band members were on hand at Phillips Recording Service to work on tracks for an upcoming Elvis project.
Pressed for details, Sony/ Legacy VP of A&R Rob Santos (who, along with several other high-ranking Elvis project producers, was in the Bluff City) said he could not comment specifically. But images from Twitter and Instagram showed members of the Phillips family — Jerry, Jud and Halley Phillips — posing with members of Presley’s TCB Band.
Now, Australia-based website Elvispresleynews is reporting that the TCB Band “worked in secret” on material that is presumed to be part of a forthcoming 40th anniversary package to mark Elvis’ final sessions.
The February 1976 sessions were recorded in Elvis’ Graceland home, in the den area known as the the Jungle Room. Some of these Jungle Room sessions have been previously released in a limited edition from the Elvis-dedicated imprint Follow that Dream.
Elvispresleynews noted that last week, in addition to their visit to Phillips, “guitar player James Burton, piano player David Briggs, drummer Ronnie Tutt and bass player Norbert Putnam were at Graceland, and in particular in the Jungle Room. Expectations are that a new album will be released by Sony Legacy Recordings … a special release around the Jungle Room Sessions to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the legendary recordings.”
Elvis typically is the subject of an annual box set, archival project or reimagined release each August around the anniversary of his death. It’s unclear whether these rumored “final sessions” from the Jungle Room will be completed by then, or fall into the 2017 Elvis release schedule.
In May 2014, the Buccaneer bar hosted what was billed as a solo concert by Reigning Sound/oblivians singer Greg Cartwright and local band Toy Trucks, fronted by former Reigning Sound bassist Jeremy Scott. As it turned out, Cartwright, Scott and drummer Greg Roberson decided to deliver a spur-of-the-moment three-quarters reunion of the original Reigning Sound (pianist Alex Greene was absent) much to the delight of a small, surprised cadre of fans.
The set — which focused on material off the first three Reigning Sound studio albums, 2001’s “Break Up, Break Down,” 2002’s “Time Bomb High School,” and 2004’s “Too Much Guitar,” with a few odds, ends and choice covers thrown in as well — was surprisingly sharp given its impromptu nature.
Two years later, the group’s full original lineup (with Greene) will perform a pair of shows this weekend in Memphis. The gigs will mark the original Reigning Sound’s second real reunion effort since 2003 (they previously appeared at the 2010 Antenna Club reunion).
The band will headline a concert as part of the River Series at the Harbor Town Amphitheatre at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, following opening sets by Robby Grant and DJ Hot Tub. The amphitheatre is located across from Miss Cordelia’s on the campus of the Maria Montessori school, at 740 Harbor Bend Road. A $5 donation is suggested, and proceeds go to benefit the school.
The band will follow with a Sunday night set at the P&H Café. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. with DJ sets from Andrew Mccalla and Cartwright. Cover is $10 at the door.
Local label Madison Line Records is ramping up with a pair of releases this month.
The nonprofit Christian music label owned and operated by Visible Music College — the music and worship school headquartered in Downtown Memphis —just put out the self-titled debut from The Visible Collective. The four-song EP of contemporary pop-rock comes from a group based out of the Visible Music College’s Chicago campus.
Next week, the label will put out “We Are,” the latest album by the Memphis campus ensemble Visible Worship, a vocal-harmony-infused rock outfit. The group will be touring in support of the disc this summer, playing a variety youth events, festivals and churches across the country. They’re currently raising funds to support the tour via Indiegogo.
Both releases will be available from Madisonlinerecords.com and all major digital retailers.
the original lineup of Memphis garage-rockers Reigning Sound reunites for a pair of shows this weekend.