Al­bum boasts im­pres­sive lineup of iconic punk rock­ers

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - MUSIC -

The steady f low of Mem­phis-con­nected trib­ute projects (we re­ported last week on a forth­com­ing al­bum pay­ing homage to Char­lie Rich) con­tin­ues with the re­lease of a new record ded­i­cated to South­ern hard rock­ers Black Oak Ar­kan­sas.

The disc, “Mu­tants of the Mon­ster: A Trib­ute to Black Oak Ar­kan­sas” comes out Fri­day (CD and dig­i­tal) from the Saus­tex Records la­bel out of Hous­ton, but it’s a lo­cal ef­fort through and through.

In ad­di­tion to its Mem­phis-based sub­ject (Black Oak has claimed the Bluff City as its home base for decades now), the disc was put to­gether by Joey Killingsworth and Dik Le­doux of Jo­ce­phus and the Ge­orge Jon­estown Mas­sacre.

The group serves as the back­ing band for the bulk of the 17 tracks on the disc. Black Oak front­man Jim “Dandy” Man­grum, gui­tarist Rickie Lee Reynolds, as well as late BOA ax man Jimmy Hen­der­son, turn up on sev­eral tracks. But it’s the ros­ter of guest con­trib­u­tors that’s both im­pres­sive and un­ex­pected. It in­cludes a num­ber of iconic punk names: the Dead Kennedys’ Jello Bi­afra, Black Flag’s Greg Ginn, An­tiseen’s Jeff Clay­ton, and the But­t­hole Surfers’ Paul Leary and JD Pinkus.

The pro­ject was six years in the mak­ing. Back in 2011, Jo­ce­phus col­lab­o­rated with Man­grum on tracks for a 7-inch sin­gle of Black Oak cov­ers. But, as Killingsworth notes, the in­ter­est in and af­fec­tion for Black Oak was such that the idea of a full BOA trib­ute al­bum soon took on a life of its own. “It seemed like the more peo­ple we got on board, the eas­ier it got to get other peo­ple in­volved,” he says.

Ul­ti­mately, the guest ros­ter would come to in­clude the Su­per­suck­ers’ Ed­die Spaghetti, Dash Rip Rock’s Bill Davis, Shooter Jen­nings, Jimbo Mathus, Hawk­wind’s Nik Turner, long­time Wil­lie Nel­son har­mon­ica ace Mickey Raphael, and for­mer NFL of­fen­sive tackle Kyle Tur­ley, among oth­ers.

Killingsworth says part of the goal for the pro­ject is to fo­cus on Black Oak’s mu­sic, par­tic­u­larly the work of the band’s nu­mer­ous sixstring stylists.

“The guitar play­ers from Black Oak never seemed to get their due,” K illingsworth says. “Har­vey Jett and Stan­ley Knight, Jimmy Hen­der­son and Ricky Lee . . . that’s some mon­ster play­ers and play­ing that no­body talks about. That was the main catalyst for me — to get them guys some at­ten­tion. There’s so many good heavy rock Black Oak songs. We wanted to shine a light on that.”

Jo­ce­phus the Ge­orge Jon­estown Mas­sacre will cel­e­brate the re­lease of the disc with a show at 10 p.m. Fri­day night at Rock­House Live Mid­town (2586 Po­plar). What­ever Dude and Chees Kees will also per­form. Cover is $5.

CD copies will be avail­able at the show; a lim­ited-edi­tion dou­ble or­ange vinyl LP will come out in Septem­ber. Pro­ceeds from the sales will go to Mem­phis an­i­mal char­ity The Sav­ior Foundation.

For more on “Mu­tants of the Mon­ster,” go to saus­


Fa st-r isi ng Mem­phis blues-rock combo South­ern Av­enue is of­fi­cially part of the Stax Records fam­ily. The band’s long-ru­mored sign­ing to Cal­i­for­nia-based Con­cord Mu­sic Group, the com­pany that owns and op­er­ates the con­tem­po­rary Stax la­bel, was for­mal­ized last week.

The group — led by Is­raeli-born gui­tarist Ori Naf­taly, with vo­cal­ist Tierinii Jack­son, drum­mer Tikyra Jack­son and bassist Daniel Mckee — has been work­ing with pro­ducer Kevin Hous­ton (North Mis­sis­sippi Al­ls­tars, Lucero) on their de­but al­bum for Stax.

An­nounc­ing the sign­ing, Con­cord La­bel Group pres­i­dent John Burk said South­ern Av­enue “em­bod­ies the spirit and sound of Mem­phis, both past and present. And Stax is the per­fect im­print to rep­re­sent South­ern Av­enue’s unique blend of rhythm and blues, gospel and South­ern soul.”

South­ern Av­enue’s al­bum is ex­pected to come out some­time in spring 2017. In the mean­time, the group has been hit­ting the road hard. This week­end will see them play B.B. King’s Blues Club in New York City, as part of a brief East Coast run, ahead of a tour of Bel­gium and the Nether­lands.

The band’s next Mem­phis show is set for Sept. 8 at Beale Street’s Rum Boo­gie Café.


Mis­sis­sippi R&B icon Bobby Rush is back with a new al­bum. Rush’s lat­est — the vividly ti­tled “Por­cu­pine Meat” — is set for a Sept. 16 re­lease on Rounder Records.

The disc finds ven­er­a­ble Rush — a three-time Grammy nom­i­nee and Blues Mu­sic Hall of Fame mem­ber — backed by a crew of top New Or­leans play­ers, plus name guests in­clud­ing Dave Alvin, Joe Bona­massa, Keb’ Mo’ and Vasti Jack­son.

Ahead of the record, Rush will be in the MidSouth, per­form­ing as part of Sat­ur­day’s Tri-state Blues Fes­ti­val at the Lan­ders Cen­ter in Southaven. The 14th an­nual edi­tion of the event will fea­ture Rush along Lenny Wil­liams, Shirley Brown, T.K. Soul and Sir Charles Jones, among oth­ers.

Tick­ets for the event, which starts at 6:30 p.m., are $28 to $60. Avail­able now at all Tick­et­mas­ter out­lets, tick­et­mas­ or (800) 745-3000.

The great Bobby Rush read­ies a new al­bum and high­lights this week­end’s Tri-state Blues Fes­ti­val in Southaven.

South­ern rock­ers Black Oak Ar­kan­sas are the sub­ject of a new trib­ute LP, spear­headed by Mem­phis band Jo­ce­phus and the Ge­orge Jon­estown Mas­sacre.



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