Monday, April 27, 2009

Memphis Music Spotlight: An Interview with Memphis Jones

{Memphis Jones ~ Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actor, comedian, and public speaker}

I am very excited to introduce to you one of the performers for the 30 Days of Hope Benefit Concert, this Thursday, April 30 at Nocturnal, Memphis Jones. I first met him when Christopher, Atticus and I took the Memphis Mojo tour to learn about Memphis music history and had the most entertaining 90 minutes of our life. Atop a stool on a small stage behind the driver, Memphis Jones captivated our group of locals and tourists with his storytelling ability mixed with his great versions of significant Memphis songs to demonstrate the musical stylings and strategies of legends such as Otis Redding, Johnny Cash, and, of course, Elvis.

We recommend this tour to everyone we know, and those who have taken our advice have thanked us immensely. Memphis Jones was kind enough to donate a family pass to the Mojo tour to our auction. Click here to bid now.

I also had a chance to ask him a few questions about Memphis music and his musical path. See his thoughts below.
***
"For the past 6 years, music has been my only job. I'm Memphis Jones. Ain't that sweet?"
Living in Memphis didn't directly contribute to the creative aspect of my musicianship until I realized that every band that I would ever love had heroes that came from Memphis. After developing an ear for the Memphis influence in the musicians I admired I grew a taste for the pure stuff, so I started going to the source: the music that was created in Memphis during the first half of the 20th century. Now it's about all I have ears for and the music that I create today is just a big old hodge-podge of stuff I've picked up and pieced together along the way. If you look at it right you realize that writing or creating music is just playing things that sound right; stuff that reminds you of other music that you like. Sonic quilt-making. So as for me, I have become a product of the music made here before my time. Just a faint echo of my own heroes.

It is very hard to judge how Memphis is currently viewed by the "music world"- we get very little recognition from the industry and very few bands achieve success beyond filling up a night club in Memphis. Thousands of people come here every year because of the music that was made here in the last century, and many musicians from around the world esteem Memphis very highly for being the home of blues and rock & roll, but there seems to be very little life in the local music culture's ability to focus national interest in what happens here today. What could change that? I'm not sure- another Sam Phillips wouldn't hurt. Professional studios in Memphis should be willing to go further with developing the bands here in town- that's how you find people like Elvis Presley. Bring in the talent and audition them in the studio, roll the tapes and see what happens.

Music history has always been a passion of mine. From the Beatles to the Zombies, I have always loved the story behind the song as much as the song itself. My old friends and relations from my school days called me Rock Trivia Jones. There is so much out there to be fascinated by, and it all points back to Memphis. I became an expert by default.

I have to go on record and say that my life was radically changed by the power of my savior Jesus Christ. I plugged into his plan for me and have been living my dreams daily ever since. Sounds churchy, but I swear there is nothing like it. All I do is love God, love people, and love music. That is my whole life. Rain and shine, I stand on the promises in the Bible. I don't have to pretend, I don't have to hide, I only have to be myself and God handles the rest. That is freedom.
***
Thanks Memphis!
Memphis Jones has recently been involved in a film related to Elvis portraying Elvis' mentor, "Brother Frank. You can read more about him at his website http://www.memphisjones.com/.
You can also learn more about the Memphis Mojo Tour, part of the Backbeat Tours, at http://www.backbeattours.com/.

2 comments:

christopher said...

i have recomended the tour to many folks. i know a few have thanked us. it is a lot of fun. we are planning on trying to get folks together for a halloween walking tour of "haunted" buildings in memphis. should be great fun.

Carolyn said...

I took my mom and brother on the Mojo tour - Memphis Jones is the BEST singer/tour guide! He gets everyone involved in the music and you feel like you are also part of Memphis when you finish the tour. His knowledge of the music of Memphis is vast! Everyone I've told about it has planned the tour also! Great!

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails