On Saturday, October 7, Mempho Music Festival will continue the tributes deep into the late-night hours with a very special “Mempho All-Stars” jam. With Lettuce/Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno as the Musical Director, the band will feature a rotating cast of musicians, including bassist Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company, Allman Brothers Band), guitarist Steve Kimock (RatDog, Phil Lesh & Friends), harmonica player/vocalist John Popper (Blues Traveler, Frogwings), steel guitarist Robert Randolph (Robert Randolph & The Family Band), drummer/percussionist Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit), drummer/percussionist Wally Ingram (Timbuk 3, Stockholm Syndrome, David Lindley, Cheryl Crow), guitarist Papa Mali (7 Walkers), DJ Logic, guitarist Eric McFadden (P-Funk Allstars, Stockholm Syndrome), vocalist Leslie Mendelson, keyboardist Peter Levin (Gregg Allman Band), vocalist Lamar Williams Jr. (Les Brers), bassist Tad Kinchla (Blues Traveler), and bassist MonoNeon.
This stellar group of musicians will come together to honor the fallen southern rock greats who passed away earlier this year, founding members of the Allman Brothers Band Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks, and Col. Bruce Hampton. The relationship between these three musicians and their influence on southern rock music go back to the late 1960s, and have made an inimitable impact on the musicians that will take the stage on Saturday. With members of the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman Band, Les Brers, Frogwings, and Aquarium Rescue Unit on the main stage together, the “Mempho All-Stars” will perform music in memory of Gregg, Butch, and Bruce for a late-night set that is included in the price of admission. In true “jam” fashion, the set will thrive in the improvisational atmosphere of over thirteen world-class musicians who have been known to collaborate within the realms of rock, funk, soul, jazz, and more. With Memphis music in the air, fans can expect a healthy dose of tributes and covers, as well as the unexpected jams we all know and love.
This late-night announcement comes on the heels of Wednesday’s Steve Cropper & Friends lineup release, which includes Dave Mason (Traffic), Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers, Dead & Company), John Popper (Blues Traveler), Eddie Floyd (wrote “Knock on Wood” with Cropper), as well as legendary keyboardist Lester Snell (Isaac Hayes, Shaft, B3 organ), drummer and cousin to Al Jackson, Steve Potts, trombonist Victor Sawyer, and tenor sax player Jim Spake. Steve Cropper & Friends will tribute Memphis music, and will follow Booker T Presents: A Stax Revue & Journey Through Soul, Blues, and R&B.
The inaugural Mempho Music Festival takes place Oct. 6-7 at the 4,500-acre Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in America, just minutes from Downtown Memphis. This year’s lineup includes Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Cage the Elephant, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Cold War Kids, Bishop Briggs, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Hard Working Americans, Southern Avenue, JoJo’s Slim Wednesday, and more.
Big River Presents have recruited a stellar team of professionals to work with the event, including production manager and fellow Memphian Mike Smith from Widespread Panic, Royal Studios owner Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, former Ardent/Compass Point Studios engineer and legendary producer Terry Manning, Rolling Stones and Allman Brothers Band keyboardist Chuck Leavell, and the city of Memphis.
Chuck Leavell, who is also the founder of the Mother Nature Network (MNN) added in a recent press release, “As a special advisor to MEMPHO, I’m proud to help bring one of the greatest musical cities in the world a new kind of music festival. The setting is spectacular and the talent line-up is top notch with a combination of great new artists and some established fan favorites. As an environmentalist, I’m also very pleased that everyone involved has a high sensitivity to keeping the event clean and green, and in harmony with nature.”
With the tagline, “music food and nature,” MEMPHO seems to share the urge to preserve the rich musical history of Memphis. Its founders are committed to making it an integral part of the Memphis cultural scene for years to come. At 4,500 acres, Memphis’s Shelby Farms Park feels like the obvious home for this new-natured event. The Park features miles of paved and unpaved trails, dozens of lakes and ponds, the internationally recognized and sustainably designed Woodland Discovery Playground, a buffalo herd, the FedEx Event Center, The Kitchen Bistro and Kitchenette, a water play splash pad, an outdoor event stage overlooking an 80-acre lake, a treetop adventure course and more. It’s the perfect backdrop for this exciting inaugural event. Tickets — including single-day and two-day general admission and VIP passes — are on sale here. Ticket prices, which currently begin at $40, will increase Friday, Sept. 8.
For more information, head to the festival’s website.
Mempho All-Stars Full Lineup, 10/7/17: