An Amazing Night of Memphis Music at The Buccaneer with John Paul Keith and Dave Cousar @JohnPaulKeith

016 John Paul Keith & Daniel McKee017 Pat Fusco & Dave Cousar018 John Paul Keith & Daniel McKee019 John Paul Keith020 Pat Fusco, Dave Cousar, John Paul Keith & Daniel McKee021 John Paul Keith & Daniel McKee022 Special Guests023 Art Edmiston024 Marcella Simien024 John Paul Keith025 Pat Fusco, Dave Cousar & John Paul Keith026 John Paul Keith
All the years I have lived in Memphis, I had never been to the Buccaneer Lounge in Midtown, but I saw on a live music schedule in the Memphis Flyer that my homeboy Daniel McKee was playing a gig there, so I decided to go. According to the schedule, the show was supposed to start at 10 PM, but when I pulled up, the place actually looked closed. One guy was standing on the porch, and only a couple of cars were outside. But I ventured on in and paid the cover charge, even though the place seemed fairly deserted. My friend Daniel was the first to arrive, and over the next half hour musicians started to arrive, Pat Fusco with his B-3 organ, a drummer who had only recently moved to Memphis from New York and whose name I didn’t catch, indie Memphis rocker John Paul Keith and blues guitarist/singer Dave Cousar. When things got underway about 11 PM, it proved to be one of those amazing, serendipitous nights of music that can happen in Memphis. The song choices ran the gamut from soul to rock to blues to country, with a decided New Orleans bent at times. Dave Cousar and John Paul Keith took turns fronting different songs, and saxophone player Art Edmiston wandered in during the first set. When it seemed like it couldn’t get any better, shortly after John Paul’s soulful reading of “Bring It On Home To Me”, Marcella Simien dropped by to join him in a duet of Lee Dorsey’s “Waiting For My Ya-Ya”, and Paul Taylor came through to sit in as well. The Buccaneer is not a large club, and by the end of the night, it was standing room only, as John Paul Keith closed things out with a very appropriate song, “That’s How I Got To Memphis.” The cold winds howled outside, but it was a warm and cozy night of Memphis music inside.

Buccaneer Lounge
1368 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-0909

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Keep up with Marcella Simien:

Sons of Mudboy @CTDickinson @LutherDickinson @SteveSelvidge @memPT Live at @LevittShell #SidSelvidgeTribute

The band Sons of Mudboy AKA Three-Legged Dog is the logical outgrowth of the super Memphis group Mudboy and the Neutrons, which I have discussed at length in the past. Sons of Mudboy consists of Steve Selvidge, Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson and Paul Taylor, and as such was the perfect group to close out Tuesday night’s celebration of the life and work of Steve’s dad Sid Selvidge. The band played an acoustic set, which was followed by a fairly lengthy documentary about Sid Selvidge in which the late singer-songwriter discussed the impact of Furry Lewis and Black culture on his music, and also where he discussed the origins of the name Mudboy and the Neutrons. Then the band Son of Mudboy came back out and closed out this most important night of Memphis music with a final electric set.

Son of Mudboy-The Dark End of The Street @LutherDickinson @CTDickinson @MinglewoodHall

“The Dark End of the Street” is a classic Memphis soul song written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman that is forever associated with the legendary Memphis soul singer James Carr. Although there have been a number of covers over the years, few have surpassed the Carr version for sheer intensity and pathos. Son of Mudboy’s version Wednesday night was impressive, however, as they demonstrated clearly how Memphis’ style of indie rock is really infused with blues and soul.

Son of Mudboy-Casey Jones On The Road Again @LutherDickinson @CTDickinson

Son of Mudboy performing Furry Lewis’ “Casey Jones” live at their Mingelwood Hall gig on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. This version of “Casey Jones” is also sometimes called “On The Road Again” or “Natural Born Eastman”, and paints a rather different image of the railroad hero than the traditional ballad. The origin of the term is obscure (perhaps deriving from “easy man”) but in old Black slang, an “eastman” was a pimp, and Furry Lewis emphasized Jones as a ladies man and rambler rather than a traditional hero.

They STILL Walk Among Us: Son of Mudboy Live at @MinglewoodHall @LutherDickinson @CTDickinson

I never got to hear Mudboy and the Neutrons in person, the rather bizarre Memphis supergroup consisting of Jim Dickinson, Lee Baker, Jimmy Crosthwait and Sid Selvidge, but I have been fortunate enough to hear their records. The spirit of Mudboy lives on in the form of Son of Mudboy, formerly Three-Legged Puppy, consisting of Luther and Cody Dickinson, Steve Selvidge and Paul Taylor. At their Minglewood Hall performance last night, Son of Mudboy performed traditional songs like “Casey Jones on the Road Again AKA Natural Born Eastman”, “Didn’t We Shake Sugaree”, “The Dark End of the Street” and “Going to Brownsville”, all songs that would be familiar to anyone who has heard the recorded works of Mudboy and the Neutrons. The rousing second set closed with Jim Dickinson’s feel-good call to civic revolution “Power to the People”, with its famous line “Lucille was there, but Beale Street was gone.” The crowd of a hundred or so demanded an encore, and the band obliged with the slow and mournful drug ballad “Codine” and a final joyful reading of “Hey, Bo Diddley.” Son of Mudboy will appear each Wednesday at Minglewood Hall during the month of April, starting at 8 PM.

Paul Taylor and Blooz Emergency at the Memphis Blues Showcase, Rum Boogie Cafe

Coinciding with the International Blues Challenge, the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street sponsored a Memphis Blues Showcase on Saturday, featuring an afternoon and evening line-up of local blues talent, including a new blues power trio called Blooz Emergency, featuring musicians who are also a part of Paul Taylor’s band Merrymobile. Their set was an interesting mix of traditional blues and roots rock, including a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand”.