Thursday, March 8th at 4 p.m. before Thacker Mountain Radio.

 

We’ll be hosting a listening party for Memphis Rent Party–the companion soundtrack to the book of the same name by Robert Gordon.The soundtrack, released on Fat Possum Records, features tracks by Alex Chilton, Junior Kimbrough, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Dickinson, Charlie Feathers, and many more!

Robert will join us at the record store at 4 p.m. to sign records and hang out before his reading on Thacker Mountain Radio at 6 p.m. at Off Square Books.

You can preorder a copy of the record on “Rent Money Green” vinyl from us and a copy of the book from Square Books.

 

More info on the release:

Memphis is about individualism, about distinct characters making it different. The best music out of Memphis be it deep blues, early rockingElvis, Staxsoul, indie 1990s Grifters, or todaysJulien Bakeror North Mississippi All Stars forged its own sound. The Memphis aesthetic is to not sound like hits, but to sound different. Sometimes different hits.

OnMarch 9, 2018,Fat Possum Recordswill releaseMemphis Rent Party, an audio romp through the fabled city home of the blues, the birthplace of rock n roll, a soul music capital. The compilation featuresJunior Kimbrough, Alex Chilton, Furry Lewis, Jerry McGill, Calvin Newborn, Mose Vinson, Jim Dickinson, Charlie Feathers, the Panther Burns, Jerry Lee Lewis,and more.

This collection of very varied recordings from the greater Memphis area is the soundtrack to authorRobert Gordonssixth book,Memphis Rent Party. Like the book, like the city, this album is all over the place and everywhere it goes, it goes there with a bang.

Fully half of the album is unreleased material, including songs new to some of the artists catalogs.Big StarsAlex Chilton, in his punk rock glory, performs Johnny Too Bad, a deep track fromJimmy CliffsThe Harder They Come. The band didnt know the song,but they follow along with shambolic 1979 zeal.

Premiering here is a collaboration betweenLuther Dickinsonof theNorth Mississippi All Stars andSharde Thomas,granddaughter of fife shamanOtha Turner. The two grew up together in the dust of Mississippi Hill Country, and with this goat picnic celebration they use the newest technology to create old sounds. The bass drum reverberates like giant water drops, the fife caroms like a rabbit making babies, and the slide guitar is the causing of it all.

Also premiering here:Jim Dickinson, arch-bohemian bluesman and alternative everything godhead, tackles the unheralded (and shorn) Id Love To Be a Hippie (But My Hair Wont Grow That Long). Recorded after a mescaline-fueled traditional hippie blue moon ceremony, this track screams with mid-1970s abandon.

Two of the tracks come from cassette recordings that Robert Gordon made on location documents of fleeting Memphis blues moments.Junior KimbroughsAll Night Long was recorded in Kimbroughs living room in the middle of a Mississippi cotton field on aSunday1986 afternoon, neighbors packed in, everyone high on homemade white whisky, the cabin floor churning. Good times, good times. Elsewise, the dance floor grinds slower when MemphissFieldstonesbreak into Little Bluebird. Live from their longtime gig at Greens Lounge, across from a South Memphis junkyard, the Fieldstonesruled the dance floor at any tempo.

HearingCalvin Newborndo Frame for the Blues live in Memphis is, like theNewbornfamily chapter in Gordons book, a map of previously uncharted territory.Calvinis the jazz great who, with his brotherPhineas, the late jazz piano prodigy, brought true grit toB.B. KingsSam Phillips sessions. The Newborns made a career of beautifully mixing jazz and blues, recording and performing withHank Crawford, Count Basie, Mingusand many others. These brothers were the nexus of Americas indigenous music, jazzing the blues and making blues of jazz. Fonkified.

ThisMemphis Rent Partycompilation also features:
ⅩOutlaws on the lam:Jerry McGills take on Guy Clarks Desperadoes Waiting for a Train was recorded while the felon was on the run from the FBI and had no I.D. he could show the law. Hes backed by Mud Boy and the Neutrons in one of their greatest performances.
A 1960s living room recording of pre-War bluesmanFurry Lewis energetic in his 50s, but letting the music hang between the notes.
Jerry Lee Lewisfreeing his soul on the old weeper Harbor Light, for which youll weep no more after hearing this rocking version.
Tav FalcosUnapproachable Panther Burnsfinding their way around a tango at their second-ever gig, 1979.
ⅩBarrelhouse piano playerMose Vinsonturning the piano into toothpicks.

Arentpartyis when friends come together to hear music, dance, and help a pal through hard times; its a celebration in the face of looming tragedy, an optimism when the wolf is at the door. Gordon finds mystery in the mundane, inspiration in the bleakness, and revels in the individualism that connects these diverse encounters.

About the producer:
Robert Gordonis a Grammy winner and an Emmy winner. Hes a writer and a filmmaker. Hes a native Memphian who has been exporting the citys authentic weirdness since long before his first book,It Came From Memphis(1995). Hes been nominated for six Grammys; his win was for the liner notes to the Big Star box setKeep an Eye on the Sky. His Emmy was forBest of Enemies, the 2015 documentary about Gore Vidal, William Buckley, and the demise of civil discourse in America. Hes not the rockabilly singer, hes not author ofDeep Blues, and hes not the university in Scotland. He lives in Memphis.