Melvia “Chick” Rodgers-Williams is a dynamic, versatile blues and soul vocalist with a pretty sparse recorded legacy (mostly under her maiden name, Melvia “Chick” Rodgers). She’s deft and audacious enough to take on warhorses such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and Aretha Franklin’s “Dr. Feelgood,” retaining the power and feel of the originals while making […]
Julien Baker’s 2015 debut album, Sprained Ankle, and its 2017 follow-up, Turn Out the Lights, centered the singer-songwriter’s sometimes fragile but always sincere voice as she journeyed through addiction and came to terms with her sexuality and spirituality. Her songs were bold in their lyrical honesty and unadorned presentation: Sprained Ankle featured just Baker and […]
Despite a 1952 smash for Chess Records, pianist Willie Mabon was soon overshadowed by labelmates such as Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters.
Bluesman Johnny Shines spent the late 30s on the road with the great Robert Johnson, then lived long enough to win a W.C. Handy Award in the 90s.
Natalie Hoffmann is best known as a vocalist and guitarist with Memphis noise-punk band Nots, but in Optic Sink, her new project with percussionist Ben Bauermeister, she trades quirky, garagey rock for stripped-back, electronics-heavy postpunk exploration. In recent years Hoffmann has been dealing with a creative block triggered by losing two loved ones, but she […]
Memphis musicians enjoy a well-deserved reputation for having more going on beneath the surface than they initially let on. Alex Chilton, Tav Falco, and Jim Dickinson are known for putting a trashy stamp on roots music in their songwriting, but they also incorporate outside influences at unpredictable times. Such is also the case with the […]
Blues guitarist Jimmy Johnson, still going strong at 91, released his newest album just four months ago.
The Riot Fest crowd may not have been howlin’ at the moon, but the Memphis band still created a rip-roaring good time.
Memphis vocalist Karen Wolfe has adopted the persona of a vintage blueswoman—feisty, independent, and ready to call out no-good men.
Don Bryant narrowly missed stardom at Hi Records in the 60s, but now he’s taking another swing.
Polite but excruciatingly thorough Canadian music interviewer Nardwuar likes to bring his subjects gifts inspired by obscure details of their lives. During his September 2018 interview with Miami MC Denzel Curry, the rapper got so flummoxed by the hyperspecific questions that he asked if Nardwuar was with the feds—but when Nardwuar handed him a cassette […]
Hotels play a starring role in film history, from Georges Méliès in 1897 to Wes Anderson in 2014.
Porchlight’s production is fun, but lacks depth.
Cash McCall has moved from gospel to soul to blues, and his best-known song is still the 1966 single “When You Wake Up.”
Jimmy Johnson—older brother of Syl—started out playing soul, but he came into his own as a bluesman in the late 1970s.