Founded 1963 Relaunched 2019. The Postmodern South.

Duwayne Burnside Brings The Hill Country To Railgarten

Railgarten, in the Midtown neighborhood of Memphis, is the Bluff City’s most Austinish night club, featuring indoor and outdoor stages and seating, as well as a volleyball court and multiple bars. The club originally also included a diner, which closed during the pandemic, but that space has now reopened under the name The Farmer, and has sort of a diner vibe with a gourmet twist.

Although I was exhausted from an afternoon at the Delta Fair, when I saw that Duwayne Burnside and his band were playing on the outdoor Railgarten stage, I decided to drive down and catch his show. And since I had not eaten yet, I ventured into The Farmer to try the burger, and I was not at all disappointed. The Farmer, which was formerly The Elegant Farmer when it was in a different location, features a menu heavy on Southern comfort foods, such as fried shrimp, catfish, po-boys and roast chicken. My burger, made to order with cheese and bacon was absolutely delicious as were the fries it came with. A slice of key lime pie was the perfect finish to an excellent dinner.

Fueled with that delicious meal, I was ready to go outside and catch Duwayne Burnside’s band. Burnside, a son of the late Hill Country blues legend R. L. Burnside, is arguably the best living Hill Country guitar player today. Incorporating the traditions of his dad’s music and that of fellow Mississippi bluesman Junior Kimbrough, he adds the influences of Albert King, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan to his overall style, making him a most exciting artist to catch live.

On this Saturday night show, with a good crowd on the dog-friendly patio, Burnside performed many of his familiar standards, including “As The Years Go Passing By,” “Sweet Sixteen” and Junior Kimbrough’s “Have Mercy On Me,” backed by his usual band, and at least one couple had been married earlier in the day and was celebrating by coming to see Duwayne Burnside. Although Hill Country blues is not as common in Memphis as it is in North Mississippi, the crowd seemed to enjoy the evening, even if they did not know all the words. And as usual, whenever the weather is decent, Railgarten makes a wonderful place to hear the Mid-South’s best musicians.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.