Minglewood Hall presents
Lucero Family Block Party 2019!
Blackberry Smoke, Will Hoge, Austin Lucas, Ben Abney and the Hurts, The Mighty Souls Brass Band
1555 Madison Ave.
Memphis, TN, 38104
Doors 2:00 PM / Show 3:00 PM (event ends at 10:00 PM)
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
You could say we were one of the lucky ones, starting this band in April of ’98 without a clue as to what we were doing. We were getting tired of the steady punk rock and metal diet and we wanted to try our hand at country songs, or do our best Tom Waits/Pogues impersonation.
The trick there was that we couldn’t really play our instruments! I had never played guitar before and Ben Nichols (lead singer, guitar) had only played bass in other bands. Finding Roy Berry (drummer) and John C. Stubblefield (bassist) solidified the line up and being hidden away in Memphis allowed us to woodshed, experiment with different sounds and create one that was ours alone.
Eventually we got out of town, and playing 250 shows year not only made us tight as a band but as a family as well. We are still one of the few bands out there with the original line up from almost the beginning, and it shows.
Picking up Rick Steff on keys allowed us to expand the sound and grow musically. Being able to play whatever we could think up in our heads and having the music we loved and grew up on motivate and inspire us to try new things and take chances. We realized that if you added some horns to Ben’s lyrics that it took it to the next step, from sad bastard country rock to soul and R&B and we realized we were a Memphis band and came by it honest. We have always brought Memphis with us wherever we went and this just proved it.
We came out screaming on 1372 Overton Park. Big sound, bigger horns – like a kid with a new toy we put them on everything and loved it! This record was a marked departure from the previous sound and announcement of way things we’re gonna be now!
While 1372 Overton Park was written and the horns added after the fact, Women & Work was written with the horns in mind so it was a little less gung ho and was starting to settle in nicely. Women & Work is one of the best modern Southern rock records in my opinion and the song “On My Way Downtown” has almost surpassed “Tears Don’t Matter Much” as the crowd favorite… almost!
This brings us to the new record. All A Man Should Do contains some of the most resonant lyrics Ben Nichols has ever written, lyrics that read like chapters from his life on the duality of relationships, getting older, finding where you want to be in this world, and musically we are broadening our sound. Working with producer Ted Hutt for a third time at the famous Ardent Studios, we felt comfortable enough to take some chances with a palette of new tones that sound understated yet powerful, bringing life to the stories behind the lyrics without overshadowing them.
It’s also the first time we’ve ever put a cover song on a record, with a full band version of big star’s “I Fell in Love with a Girl”, and having Jody from Big Star sing back-up vocals makes it that more special and amazing. This is a Memphis record in the greatest sense and a perfect finish to the three-part love letter to a city that brought us up and made us what we are today.
“I was 15 years old in 1989. This record sounds like the record I wanted to make when I was 15. It just took 25 years of mistakes to get it done.” – Ben Nichols
“Having Big Star actually sing on your cover of a Big Star song that you’re recording at Ardent Studios – it doesn’t get much more exciting than that.” – Ben Nichols
American Southern Rock band from Atlanta, Georgia. formed in 2000
"Took a whole lot of miles to know what I know now," sings Will Hoge on
"Growing Up Around Here," the opening track off of his tenth studio album,
Small Town Dreams. "I'm kinda proud of growing up around here." It's been a
whole lot of miles, indeed: miles on the road, driving the bus himself from venue
to venue since the nineties; miles to and from Nashville writing rooms, where
he's spent countless hours penning songs – some for him, some for others;
miles exploring lands outside of his native Franklin, Tennessee, chasing the
spirits of his musical heroes. Roads meet, roads split, roads led to home. This is
the album that follows them all, every twist and turn in Hoge's American
journey – a journey that's positioned him as one of our keenest, most honest
modern storytellers, telling both his tale and ours.
"It's a reflection of where I am currently in my life," says Hoge of Small
Town Dreams, "but also where I grew up, and, ultimately, where I think I'm
going." From the streets of the town where he was raised, to the sidewalks of
cities a hundred times the size, we all have dreams; and these are the stories of
growing up, looking back and passing on those dreams, told as only Hoge can.
Nostalgia, in his hands, is truly magic.
After producing several albums on his own, including 2013's Never Give
In, Hoge partnered with Marshall Altman (Frankie Ballard, Eric Paslay, Matt
Nathanson) on Small Town Dreams, after the idea to work together popped into
his head during one of those late-night drives. Ballard's "Helluva Life" came on
the radio followed by Paslay's "Friday Night," and he was taken by how true to
the artist the production rang. "Neither of those sound like records I would
make, but they both sound so uniquely them," Hoge says. "So I called up
Marshall, at 2 a.m. – he was up in the studio that late. We started the process
right after that. He's part cheerleader, part conductor, part coach, part fan, all
at the same time."
The result is a collection of songs that paint a vivid snapshot of the
American experience – the struggles to overcome the confines of youth; the
perfect cycle of parents watching their children make the same beautiful
mistakes they once did; the feeling when we realize our roots run deeper than
we've ever known. The partnership with Altman (as well as a guest appearance
from Vince Gill on guitar) bred a sound that's both crisp and raw, letting the
lyrics and unforgettable melodies shine while never casting too much of a gloss
on Hoge's signature raspy bellow.
An extremely prolific songwriter with ten albums under his belt and
countless songs written for others (including a Grammy nomination for Eli
Young Band's number-one hit, "Even If Breaks Your Heart," co-written with
Paslay), Hoge saw this next phase of his journey as an opportunity to explore
even deeper into both his country and rock & roll roots. Never fitting
particularly neatly into a genre box, he's always just made the music that
moved him – but it's safe to say that he feels more kinship with the country
community than ever, particularly as a storyteller.
"That's my favorite thing about the genre itself," he says. "That's what I
love most. Country music is the only genre left telling anybody's stories
Those stories are part of what has made Hoge a vital force in fan's lives
who have followed him across the country and seen countless shows – his
songs speak to the reality of all our experiences, delivered in a way that is
honest, true and ever changing. There's no musical formula here or
predictability to seeing Hoge live – whether opening for the likes of Eli Young
Band or Dierks Bentley, or playing his own sold-out dates, he can stir up
somber, acoustic moments in one turn and then spring a hard-rocking,
plugged-in number the next. "The magic happens in the unsafe moments," he
There's safety, however, in Hoge's words, as he documents the mystery in
our future and the security of our past. It's human experience he studies, and
connecting with the listener is part of what makes it all worthwhile for Hoge.
"I tell these stories about me, or a friend, or an experience," he explains,
"and to have someone come up to me and say, 'that's exactly how I felt,' or 'your
songs helped me through a tough time,' that's the ultimate compliment."
Take "Middle of America," which opens with a simple, sweet guitar strum
and ushers into a full-fledged rock-country anthem with a rollicking heartbeat –
it's about the moments, both perfect and flawed, that unite us all. Or "Guitar or
a Gun," that tells the story of a young boy, a few dollars in hand, facing a
pivotal decision at the local pawnshop: should he buy a guitar, or a gun? "One
can feed your family, and one will end you up in jail. He seemed to know which
one was which but me, I couldn't tell," Hoge sings in impossibly vivid
storytelling that's one part Bruce Springsteen, one part Bob Dylan, one part
Hank Williams. And then there's the closer, "Till I Do It Again," that's as much
The Clash as a country romp, showcasing the best of the special hybrid that
Hoge hits with every lick.
The title of the album, Small Town Dreams, was inspired by a photo that
Hoge found while visiting his mother back in Franklin – a picture of him as a
child, riding bikes with a group of neighborhood kids in the field behind his
house. "We're the most non-threating small-town gang ever," he laughs. "It's
this real innocent photo, and everybody's smiling and happy. I started thinking
about all the people I had lost contact with, and how, at that age, everybody in
that photo truly believed they could do anything they wanted to, and that those
sort of small town dreams are possible."
But when those photos and yearbooks of our youth have been lost in the
piles, and the yellowed pages of newsprint has disintegrated into dust, we'll still
have our stories: and Hoge turns those stories into song, into melodies that last
far longer than any etched or snapped record. Will Hoge, the man, is many
things. A husband, a father, a survivor, a devoted small-town son who credits
much of his love of music to his rock 'n' roll loving dad. Will Hoge, the artist,
belongs to us all – a storyteller first and foremost, charting and living our Small
An American country/folk musician from Bloomington, Indiana.
Ben Abney and the Hurts
Americana from Memphis, TN.
The Mighty Souls Brass Band
It was a dream Sean Murphy had fostered since high school, ever since he’d first dipped an ear into the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s discography. Murphy had a vision of a brass-band outfit anchored by a tuba bass line—a combo that could draw from New Orleans traditions, but one that mainly honored the deep, wide-ranging musical history of Memphis, Tennessee. And it took a couple of decades of woodshedding in a wide array of formal and improvisatory settings, but today, tuba player/composer Murphy and a group of crack-shot co-conspirators are brewing a strong, soulful pot under the moniker Mighty Souls Brass Band, comprising some of the city’s most sought-after musicians, putting a uniquely Memphis spin on a tradition that’s as global in its scope as it is root-deep in American popular music.
Mighty Souls Brass Band, a rotating collective of composer-players versed in a multitude of musical traditions, isn’t a soul band, nor is it a funk band, a marching band, or a swing band. And yet, depending on where you catch them live, you’ll hear all of those influences, as well as more from around the globe, in the group’s music. “We’re not interested in just being a bunch of Memphis musicians playing New Orleans-style brass band music,” says Murphy. “We love that music, and we honor it. But we love Memphis music too, and world music, and we want to pay tribute to that history. And it’s a deep one.”
True enough. Check MSBB’s roster, for one thing—an evolving list of knockout players whose chops around Memphis are long-established. The group began to coalesce in 2012, when Murphy and Jim Spake came together to play a New Orleans-style funeral, accompanied by horn player/vocalist Jeremy Shrader and percussionist Earl Lowe. Murphy, who has spent 13 years honing his chops in an improv dance and music group, found a kindred spirit in the wildly versatile Spake, whose sax playing appears on three decades’ worth of albums by Alex Chilton, Al Green, the North Mississippi All-Stars, Natalie Merchant, and dozens more. When Murphy outlined his project—a brass ensemble whose repertoire drew from American soul and funk as well as global traditions—Spake jumped at the chance, as did a host of other players from Memphis’ powerhouse session-musician community. On any given night the talent represented onstage at a MSBB show can run from five to 14 members deep, showcasing some of the best and most esteemed players in the city’s rich performance pool.
That elasticity—of personnel, and of the music—allows MSBB to enjoy a lot of flexibility in its arrangements and live performances. “That’s the great thing, one of the great things, about this group,” says Jim Spake. “Sean’s got to be there, he’s our fount of craziness. But it can be a different band on any particular night. In other settings, you might think, ‘Oh no, man, we don’t have our bass player?’ In this group, the feeling is more like, ‘Hey, who’s playing today…? Cool…’”
That portability brings us to MSBB’s many diverse gigs, which can take them—as the band’s lively booking schedule recently did, over the course of a single day in October 2014—from a morning show playing globally-derived “world brass band” music for children age 8 and younger, to an afternoon’s polka-inflected set at an Oktoberfest party, to an evening opening for (and backing) New Orleans legend Dr. John. To hear Murphy talk about the heady blend of styles the MSBB works in is to hear how the band’s music drinks deep from a multitude of sources. The tight, polished work of MoTown’s session horns; the gritty, dirty inflections of New Orleans’ funky Meters; the slippery R&B of Memphis’ own Booker T. and the MGs—it all finds a place in the thumping heartbeat of Mighty Souls Brass Band.
For proof, check the band’s debut album—Lift Up!, on Blue Barrel Records—largely recorded live, to catch the infectious synergy of the group. You’ll hear all of these influences, but you’ll also hear the writing and arrangement talents of the MSBB’s members, who themselves composed ten of the album’s dozen tracks. This vigorously creative impulse, this desire to weave something new from the threads of various traditions, is what makes Mighty Souls Brass Band a unique act even among brass ensembles. Rooted by bandleader Murphy’s sousaphone (“I like to say I play the ‘brass bass,’” he notes cheekily), MSBB has talent to burn, and that talent burns bright and fierce on Lift Up! From the swaggering opener “STS” to the stomping blues-holler “Lift Up Your Mighty Soul” to the stately southern swing of the traditional “I’ll Fly Away,” this is a band that knows where its roots lie, but also where its branches are reaching, far out into the world, a world that, as Murphy notes, seems invariably to express its deepest spiritual desires and celebrations through music.
Mighty Souls Brass Band is a group attuned to that desire, that celebratory spirit. It’s a music that swings, that soars, that swoons—all of which is suggested by that profound, that humble, that most human of words: “Soul.”
How mighty, indeed.
$1 from each ticket purchase is going to Stax Music Academy: https://staxmusicacademy.org/
RAIN OR SHINE
SAT April 13 - Block Party
Kids 10 & under get in free with an adult
SPONSORS: Wiseacre, Central BBQ, Old Dominick, 98.1 The Max
3:30-4:00 – Ben Abney & The Hurt
4:20-5:00 – Austin Lucas
5:00-5:10 - Mighty Souls Brass Band
5:30-6:15 - Will Hoge
6:45- 7:45 - BlackBerry Smoke
8:00-8:10 - Mighty Souls Brass Band
8:15-10:15 - Lucero
Chairs, umbrellas, Blankets are cool, Backpacks will be searched, no coolers, no re-entry. Outside bars are CASH ONLY SO PREPARE PROPERLY, only 1 ATM inside, 1884 Lounge, B-SIDE & Minglewood Hall will be open for Liquor and to start a tab