The boundary-breaking Memphis combo Southern Avenue continues its musical revolution, which began with its debut album on the Stax record label in 2017. The group embodies an effortlessly organic soul/blues/R&B fusion reflecting the band members' diverse roots.
With its second album, Keep On, released on May 10, 2019 viaConcord Records, the dynamic outfit has expanded its gritty style to embrace new musical challenges and a more expansive creative vision.
Southern Avenue combines the talents of a prodigiously talented set of young musicians who bring theirindividual backgrounds and wide-ranging musical interests to the table, carrying the Southern soul legacy into the 21st century while showcasing the powerful chemistry and electrifying live show that they've honed through extensive stage and studio experience. Since the first release, they've played in more than a dozen countries, wowing audiences at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Firefly, Electric Forest and Lockn'.
Guitar phenom Ori Naftaly originally built his reputation in his native Israel before joining forces with deeply expressive Memphis-bred singer Tierinii Jackson and her subtly powerful drummer sister Tikyra Jackson. The band's lineup is rounded out by versatile keyboardist Jeremy Powell, an early alumnus of Stax Records' renowned music academy.
Keep On brilliantly captures Southern Avenue's combustible chemistry, with the emotion-charged energy of such distinctive originals as "Whiskey Love," "Savior," "Too Good for You," and "We Are Not So Different" reflecting the players' evolving talents as well as the influence of the extensive roadwork that they've invested in the band. The album was recorded with producer Johnny Black (Jessie J, Daughtry, Estelle) at Memphis' legendary Sam Phillips Recording, and includes guest appearances by seminal Stax Records artist William Bell, and a horn section comprised of Art Edmaiston (JJ Grey & Mofro, Gregg Allman) and Marc Franklin (The Bo-Keys, Gregg Allman).
Notable upcoming tour stops include the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point, Calif. and Dingwalls in London in May; Electric Forest in Rothbury, Mich. in June; Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Ore. and Interstellar Rodeo in Edmonton, Alberta, in July; Telluride Blues in Colo. in September; and a Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas run in November with Tedeschi Trucks Band. The very busy and ever evolving full tour schedule is available here.
"Keep On reminds us of the power of the ensemble and serves as an important example of how the past can shine a bright light on the future ... "Savior," the latest single from the new collection, offers listeners a glimpse of the collective's soulful and seeking nature." —POP MATTERS
"With Keep On, Southern Avenue reaches out to a new generation of soulsters while preserving the tradition of Stax and Memphis soul. These songs flow deep down into our hearts and bones, moving us in ways we never expected to be moved (or perhaps we refused to let ourselves be moved), the way that all great soul music continues to move us. Like many great soul songs, too, these songs urge us to see the glimmers of hope in our darkness and to embrace those around us in the arms of love." —NO DEPRESSION
"Of all the threads of blues and soul woven through this year's Beale Street Music Festival, few have been more inspiring than Memphis' own Southern Avenue. From the beginning, they've struck many as marking a watershed moment, not only for their youthful enthusiasm for older forms, but as a flagship act for the briefly revitalized Stax label. Since their first gig in September of 2015, they've gone from success to success, to the point where an appearance at Memphis in May's musical extravaganza is the norm, not the exception." —MEMPHIS FLYER
Southern Avenue on the web: