On Saturday, October 3rd, Southern Avenue took part in Democracy Comes Alive, a one-day, nonpartisan virtual music festival aimed at channeling the power of music to make a critical impact on civic engagement in this November’s elections and beyond. Southern Avenue has been a staple of Live For Live Music’s virtual music festivals throughout the year, contributing performances to Quarantine Comes Alive and Justice Comes Alive as well as Democracy Comes Alive.
This time around, band members Tierinii Jackson (vocals), Tikyra Jackson (drums), and Ori Naftaly (guitar) gathered for stripped-down trio performances of Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and Jerry Wexler‘s timeless ballad, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, and Southern Avenue original “Don’t Give Up”.
The virtual set opened with “Natural Woman”, which was first made famous by the late Aretha Franklin back in 1967. The cover of the beloved song gave Tierinii Jackson the chance to showcase her powerful vocals right out the gate, and the trio closed the feel-good soul anthem with smiles and subtle laughter. Naftaly then tuned his guitar down to a lower range for one of their own originals, “Don’t Give Up”, which appeared as the opening track on Southern Avenue’s 2017 self-titled debut album. The second song also gave the Jackson sisters a chance to work out their call-and-response lyrical lines while Naftaly carried the song along with his dark and gritty guitar riffs.
Relive Southern Avenue’s performance from Democracy Comes Alive below. If you enjoyed the performance and have the means, consider making a donation to HeadCount and the Democracy Comes Alive artists via DemocracyComesAlive.com.
Southern Avenue – “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Don’t Give Up” – Democracy Comes Alive
Since the shutdown of all live events back in March, Tikyra Jackson was elected to the position of Governor for the Recording Academy‘s Memphis chapter. The drummer shared her debut solo single in mid-August with “No More Fear”. The band also returned to performing last month with an intimate, outdoor “Backyard” performance in their home state of Tennessee and a socially distant headlining show at Hamilton, OH’s RiversEdge Amphitheatre. Southern Avenue is also in the process of recording the band’s third LP in Memphis, this time with multiple Grammy-winning producer, Steve Berlin.
Southern Avenue joined 50+ performers and 10+ other speakers as part of Democracy Comes Alive, presented by Live For Live Music in partnership with voter registration nonprofit HeadCount. The 10-hour streaming event, powered by Nugs.TV and Plus 1, generated $40,000 and counting in funds for HeadCount as well as the participating artists, who remain out of work as the pandemic continues. In addition to the funds generated, Democracy Comes Alive led thousands of people to HeadCount’s tools to check your voter registration status and register to vote. For more information, head here.