Memphis Soul Revue
Today Live on Main Street (Volumes 1 & 2)
It was a moment lost to history — June 2, 1976, Memphis, TN. Stax Records had recently closed its doors, and Main Street was being ripped apart for a new Downtown Mall area. To go out with a bang, a group of Memphis legends got together for one final downtown concert. People were leaving their offices to come and listen to Rufus Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Sir Mack Rice, George Parks, Marvell Thomas, and Funn, among others. This concert was never available commercially, until now. A Stax employee named Carl Wise knew enough to get a tape recorder out there to capture this event. Only recently was he able to get the studio time and backing from Icehouse Records to get these two discs out to the public.
The two discs are a slice of history, a moment caught in time for all of us who never had a chance to be in Memphis when this music was in its prime. We get to hear Rufus Thomas singing “The Funky Chicken” and bringing a lady up from the audience to learn the dance. Sir Mack Rice is featured on his very own song “Mustang Sally,” and he sums up his Memphis music career with “I’m Among Friends.” Eddie Floyd shines on “Knock On Wood.” The audience really gets into Funn’s renditions of “Love Train” and “Backstabber.” The final jam session/artist recognition track brings a smile to your face. The recording is of surprisingly high quality, considering the age of the master tapes.
If you are nostalgic for a time when the blues gave rise to soul, when you could hear the beginnings of funk in the background, these discs will be a treat. If you liked The Blues Brothers or The Commitments and wondered where that music came from, this is a great place to continue your education. Whether listening for nostalgia value, or just to lose yourself in the groove, Today Live on Main Street delivers.
Icehouse Records http://www.icehouserecords.com