Southern Avenue is the name of a street in Memphis. On it, at 1932, is Soulsville, the original home of the legendary Stax Records. It is also the name of a band, a brand new band that happens to be signed to Stax/Concord.
- Thursday, September 14, 2017, 5 p.m.
Winstons Beach Club,
1921 Bacon Street,
Southern Avenue is a soul band. And just as soul was a people’s balm back in the day, so does Southern Avenue reflect same. From their Facebook page: “We have each learned to free ourselves of fear and in return, immersed ourselves into a career where we have the freedom to voice truth, honesty, pain, love, growth, and peace through our music.” What’s really thought-provoking is the band more or less got started by an Israeli guitarist who grew up listening to American blues.
At the front and the back of the band’s stage are the church-raised sisters Tierinii and Tikyra Jackson, singer and drummer in that order. Jazz bassist Daniel McKee and Jeremy Powell on keys round out the rhythm section, with Israeli-born blues believer Ori Naftaly on guitar.
Southern Avenue, "Don't Give Up"
SA broke out of Memphis in a few months and booked road trips all over America and Europe, and all of it on the strength of their songwriting. Southern Avenue is not a cover band. Well, except for one cover on their self-titled debut recording, which entered Billboard’s Top Blues album chart at number six in June. They sound like an old band is why.
At this stage of the game, most young groups are still working out set lists and membership and tightening up in general. Southern Avenue came out of the chute as a complete and realized project. Which did not go unnoticed by neighboring friendlies like the North Mississippi Allstars band and a local music critic who called them the best band in Memphis. All they need is grit. A decade on the road ought to fix that.