Posts Tagged ‘Memphis’

Ardent Presents Needs Your Help!

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

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It goes without saying that Memphis, Tennessee is a special town. The river is wide, the air is humid, the BBQ is sweet, and the music is so damn deep that you’re afraid you may drown.  Seriously, the town is just magical. We could sit here all day naming all the great people and places that make Memphis what it is but one place in particular needs your help right now: Ardent Studios!

Ardent’s history goes back some 40+ years and in that time, the studio and its label, Ardent Records, have been a part of some truly timeless music.  A short list includes: Isaac Hayes, Led Zeppelin, Big Star, Alex ChiltonR.E.M., The Replacements, The Cramps, ZZ Top, Booker T and the MGs, Cat Power, and the list goes on and on. Really.

Now, allow me to introduce John Fry, Ardent’s founder and sustaining force. John has been nurturing artists and bands since he was a teenager recording friends in his granny’s sewing room. John and everyone at Ardent have continued this history with a great series called The Ardent Sessions where they invite local and touring acts into one of their studios to give a live performance that is recorded and offered to the world for free. Have a look at Ardent’s YouTube Channel for some great clips from artists like Valerie June, Jumpback Jake, Rainy Day Manual, Star and Micey, Susan Marshall and more.

Right now Ardent Presents needs your help in raising money to continue operating this great series. To offer your support, you can become a “backer” via their Kickstarter campaign. But be quick, as there are only 9 days left!

Below is a message directly from John Fry about The Ardent Sessions and their Kickstarter campaign:

“Rachel Hurley and I decided to kick off The Ardent Sessions on BreakThruRadio.com 3 years ago this December. The idea was to give up-and-coming bands some internet radio exposure, and to give them an introduction to the Memphis music tradition and current scene by performing in front of a small live audience in one of our studios.

When possible, I enjoy combining that experience with a personal tour of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, as Stax is such a huge part of Ardent’s early history. It’s always fun for me to meet these young artists, and I am always amazed at how much they know about what all of us were doing in Memphis almost 50 years ago, not to mention how much they seem to enjoy some of that music.

Ardent Sessions, and its companion show, Ardent Presents (singer/songwriter acoustic) is now available on Ardentsessions.com in addition to BreakThruRadio.com.

Although this may seem like a new idea, it really goes back to the early 70s at Ardent. That’s when we had a pair of 15kHz equalized telephone lines to WMC-FM100, and we would originate live broadcasts from our Studio A with artists like Lynard Skynard, Pure Prairie League, Martin Mull, Big Star, Cargoe, The Groundhogs, Stories, Hookfoot, Elton John’s recording band on Tumbleweed connection, Ry Cooder with JLD, Wishbone Ash, Nazareth, and Charlie Daniels.

Yes, I do mean live – no delay, no opportunity to bleep or re-mix – no need to, really.

We started The Ardent Sessions because we thought it would be helpful to young musicians, and we have managed to keep it totally free of cost to the artists.

However, in the current economic conditions, this is becoming harder to do. At the moment we have no offsetting advertising income from the shows, so we thought we might ask fans to help us keep this a free service by donating to our Kickstarter campaign. Let us know what you think.

-John Fry”

Miss this? WRTC’s Seven-Hour Stax Records Show (now archived)

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

On May 21, WRTC in Hartford, CT aired it’s seven-hour marathon Stax Records show (co-hosted by Greasy Tracks jock Chris Cowles and Soul Serenade host Tom Shaker). And what a marathon it was. If you couldn’t tune it live, then you’re in luck as the entire show has been archived. Check the links below:

Stax Records Feature Hour 1: Interviews with drummer Jody Stephens, founding member of Big Star and staff manager at Ardent Studios; and Skip Pitts, guitarist from Isaac Hayes’ band and the one responsible for the famed wah-wah riff on “Theme From Shaft”

Listen HERE

Guitarist Skip Pitts talking about how “Shaft” came about in the studio …

Listen HERE

Stax Records Feature Hour 2: Interviews with Ardent Studios founder John Fry; vocalist John Gary Williams of the Mad Lads; and engineer Terry Manning

Listen HERE

Stax Records Feature Hour 3: Interviews with vocalist Eddie Floyd; Rick Nuhn of Concord Music Group; and writer/singer Sir Mack Rice

Listen HERE

Stax Records Feature Hour 4: Interviews with former Stax singer/composure and then publicity director Deanie Parker; and guitarist Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the MGs.

Listen HERE

Stax Records Feature Hour 5: Interviews with vocalist Sam Jones of the Astors and Tim Sampson, communications director of Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

Listen HERE

Stax Records Feature Hours 6 & 7: Interviews with composer and singer David Porter; Sam & Dave trumpet player Newton Collier; and with piano player, arranger and composer Marvell Thomas

Listen HERE

Charles ‘Packy’ Axton “Late Late Party 1965-67″ CD/LP PRE-ORDER!

Monday, August 8th, 2011

In the vast netherworld of soul there are countless characters that reside on the fringe, their significant contributions to American music history long forgotten. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, tenor saxophone player and bandleader Charles ‘Packy’ Axton is yet another of the uncelebrated, despite a deep pedigree and funky catalogue of notable grooves. Part of the mighty Stax family through birth—Packy’s mother Estelle Axton and uncle Jim Stewart founded the southern R&B dynasty in the early 1960’s—Packy picked up the sax at a young age, and after linking with future Booker T. & the M.G.’s Steve Cropper and Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, formed the The Mar-Keys. Almost reaching the top of the R&B and pop charts in 1961 with the classic “Last Night,” friction caused by Packy’s party going ways caused a split. It wasn’t until 1965 that the wild child had another national instrumental hit on his hands, “Hole In The Wall” by the Packers, chronicled by Light In The Attic Records in the first ever anthology of Axton’s work: Late Late Party 1965-67.

Charles 'Packy' Axton "Late Late Party 1965-67" stacked up!

Despite the loving support of his musically minded mother, Packy was ostracized from Stax proper through a rift with Stewart because of his casual approach and oft-eccentric ways. Packy preferred hanging out and playing music with local black musicians, something that in the racially tense south, was viewed negatively by some. Still, throughout the mid-1960’s, Packy recorded a series of hard, short, and down home R&B stompers at Royal and Ardent Recording Studios by heavyweight producer John Fry (Big Star, Isaac Hayes, Ry Cooder), accompanied by legendary Stax and Hi Records dynamos Steve CropperBooker T., and Teenie Hodges (Al Green, Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson). Featuring songs released on labels such as Bar Records, Hollywood, Pure Soul Music, and U.S.A. Records (not to mention several unreleased gems) Late Late Party 1965-67 includes seventeen powerful instrumental and vocal tracks for your listening pleasure. Supplemented by Memphis-writer Andria Lisle’s extensive liner notes, unpublished photographs, and featuring lovingly remastered audio, Late Late Party is shines a light on an overlooked part of the Stax story. Essential listening.

Charles 'Packy' Axton "Late Late Party 1965-67" CD and LP

For more info, audio samples and to pre-order Charles ‘Packy’ Axton Late Late Party 1965-67 (LITA 067 -CD|LP+Download Card for Unreleased Track|DIGITAL), click HERE!

Charles “Packy” Axton Listening Party in Memphis at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

For all of our Memphis friends, save the date of August 23rd for a very special engagement at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Charles “Packy” Axton - Late Late Party 1965-67 is the first ever anthology of Packy’s work as a band leader/songwriter and we are very honored to celebrate this release on Packy’s home turf in Memphis at the legendary Stax Museum. Spread the word with this Facebook event! Details below.

Listening Party - Charles “Packy” Axton – Late Late Party 1965-67 (LITA 067 CD | LP)
Stax Museum of American Soul Music – 926 East McLemore Ave, Memphis, TN
Tuesday, August 23rd from 4-6PM

Charles “Packy” Axton – “Late Late Party 1965-67″ CD/LP OUT NOW!

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Today is the day! We’re proud to present the first ever anthology of Charles ‘Packy’ AxtonLate Late Party 1965-67! And for all you Memphis folk, don’t forget about the FREE listening party at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music TODAY, Tuesday August 23rd from 4PM – 6PM. Details HERE!

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, tenor saxophone player and bandleader Charles ‘Packy’ Axton is yet another of the uncelebrated, despite a deep pedigree and funky catalogue of notable grooves. Part of the mighty Stax family through birth—Packy’s mother Estelle Axton and uncle Jim Stewart founded the southern R&B dynasty in the early 1960’s—Packy picked up the sax at a young age, and after linking with future Booker T. & the M.G.’s Steve Cropper and Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, formed the The Mar-Keys. Almost reaching the top of the R&B and pop charts in 1961 with the classic “Last Night,” friction caused by Packy’s party going ways caused a split. It wasn’t until 1965 that the wild child had another national instrumental hit on his hands, “Hole In The Wall” by the Packers, chronicled by Light In The Attic Records.

Steve Cropper, Charles ‘Packy’ Axton, Wayne Jackson, Don Nix, Terry Johnson, Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn. Photo courtesy of Don Nix.

Despite the loving support of his musically minded mother, Packy was ostracized from Stax proper through a rift with Stewart because of his casual approach and oft-eccentric ways. Packy preferred hanging out and playing music with local black musicians, something that in the racially tense south, was viewed negatively by some. Still, throughout the mid-1960’s, Packy recorded a series of hard, short, and down home R&B stompers at Royal and Ardent Recording Studios by heavyweight producer John Fry (Big Star, Isaac Hayes, Ry Cooder), accompanied by legendary Stax and Hi Records dynamos Steve CropperBooker T., and Teenie Hodges (Al Green, Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson). Featuring songs released on labels such as Bar RecordsHollywood,Pure Soul Music, and U.S.A. Records (not to mention several unreleased gems) Late Late Party 1965-67 includes seventeen powerful instrumental and vocal tracks for your listening pleasure. Supplemented by Memphis-writer Andria Lisle’s extensive liner notes, unpublished photographs, and featuring lovingly remastered audio, Late Late Party is shines a light on an overlooked part of the Stax story.

For more info, audio samples and order Charles ‘Packy’ Axton - Late Late Party 1965-67 (LITA 067 -CD | LP+Download Card for Unreleased Track | DIGITAL), click HERE!

Charles “Packy” Axton – “Late Late Party 1965-67″ – What’s Inside???

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Here’s a little treat for all of you who are asking…man, that “Packy” Axton release looks sick but what’s inside? Well, here you go:

Charles “Packy” Axton – Late Late Party 1965-67 (LITA 067 – CD | LP | DIGITAL) OUT NOW!

Wendy Rene “After Laughter Comes Tears” Anthology OUT TODAY!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Here it is! Out today – Wendy Rene After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-1965 (LITA 080 – CD | 2xLP | Digital). Collecting for the first time ever all of Wendy Rene’s recorded output (including two songs never before heard!), After Laughter is an essential document of this Memphis Southern soul legend. Spanning her earliest recordings with The Drapels to her final sessions in ’65, this anthology includes her most well-known songs “After Laugher” (as sampled by Wu-Tang Clan on 36 Chambers and featuring Booker T. Jones), “Bar-B-Q” (co-written with and featuring Steve Cropper) in addition to never before heard greasy jams like “I Wish I Were That Girl” and “He Hasn’t Failed Me Yet.”

Both the CD and 2xLP versions feature book-deep liner notes interviewing Wendy Rene by Memphian Andria Lisle (who also penned notes for our Jim Sullivan, Lou Bond, and Charles ‘Packy’ Axton releases), with many rare photos provided by Wendy Rene, unseen shots of original tape boxes, and original 45 labels. And what else? 2xLP housed in an extra thick Stoughton “Tip-On” gatefold jacket with a gloss so shiny you’ll need shades to keep from going blind. And for all you heads out there, we couldn’t resist cribbing the Volt logo for the CD/LP labels…smooth!

For the full visual/audio scoop, check out the “What’s Inside?” videos below and hop on over here to pick up your copy today!

Free Basin’ Fridays – Grab some BBQ with Wendy Rene!

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Oh yeah, the hits just keep coming. For this week’s Free Basin’ Fridays giveaway, we’re gonna float one lucky winner both a CD and 2xLP copy of our latest release Wendy Rene After Laughter Comes Tears – Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-1965 (LITA 080). You know the drill, leave a comment below (favorite BBQ joint in Memphis? Fav Stax song/artist/story? First time you heard Wu-Tang’s “Tearz” which samples Wendy Rene?) and don’t forget to include your name and email so we can contact you if you win! Winner announced on Twitter and Facebook on Friday 2/17 at 12PM PST!

Record Store Day 2012 – Lee Hazlewood “The LHI Years” 2xLP & Stax 10x 45 Box Set

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

We’ll bet all of you were starting to wonder, “hey, what’s Light In The Attic got up their sleeve for Record Store Day?”. Well, no more sleepless nights tossing and turning in constant anticipation…here’s a sneak peek at our Record Store Day 2012 (April 21) releases. Stay tuned next week for in-depth info about each release plus those snazzy “What’s Inside?” videos showing off these two glorious sets. But for now, let’s just say that we are very, very, very excited to share these with you all.

Lee Hazlewood – The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes, & Backsides (1968-71) (LITA 084)

  • Cuts from essential albums like Cowboy In Sweden and features duets with Suzi Jane Hokom, Ann-Margret and Nina Lizell
  • Audio re-mastered from original tapes
  • Unreleased song “I Just Learned To Run”
  • In-depth liner notes & unseen photographs
  • 50 random LP copies include a limited LHI Records patch!!!!

With his handlebar moustache and booming baritone, Lee Hazlewood was one of the defining stars of the late ‘60s. Though he’s perhaps best known for his work with Nancy Sinatra (including writing mega-hit “These Boots Are Made For Walking”), Hazlewood did stunning work away from that particular glamour queen and found latter day champions in Beck, Sonic Youth, and Jarvis Cocker. Now, for Record Store Day 2012, we are kicking off our excavation of the Lee Hazlewood archives with this anthology, Singles, Nudes & Backsides, collecting the best of Lee’s solo songs and duets from his LHI (Lee Hazlewood Industries) imprint. 2xLP housed in a deluxe gatefold Stoughton “tip-on” jacket, includes 8-page book-deep liner notes and OBI card. CD version available 4/25. Wonder what’s behind that OBI card? Guess you’ll have to wait to see…

v/A Never To Be Forgotten – The Flip Side of Stax 1968-1974 (LITA 085)

  • Only 4,000 hand-numbered copies worldwide
  • *Fifteen* random copies include autographed photos
  • Meticulously remastered from the original tapes
  • Ten 45rpm singles featuring original label and sleeve art and housed in a gorgeous custom made magnetic flip-top box
  • Extensive 84-page bound booklet brimming with informative interviews with the surviving musicians contained within and liner notes by Memphis writer Andria Lisle, candid photographs, and personal anecdotes from Stax enthusiasts and label veterans Stewart, co-owner Al Bell, and promotions manager Phillip Rauls.
  • Includes Download Card for full free download of set

Never To Be Forgotten: The Flip Side Of Stax 1968-1974 is our love letter to some of the lesser-known Stax Records artists, collected and presented in a knock-out 7” vinyl box set. Containing 10 faithfully reproduced 45-rpm singles from Mable John, Bernie Hayes, Lee Sain, Melvin Van Peebles, Roy Lee Johnson & The Villagers, and John Gary Williams, in addition to label stalwarts Johnnie Taylor, Mad Lads, Emotions, and Rufus Thomas, prepare to move, groove, and be enthused. Never To Be Forgotten comes housed in a beautiful flip-top container case replete with an extensive 84-page bounded booklet brimming with informative interviews with the surviving musicians contained within and liner notes by Memphis writer Andria Lisle, candid photographs, and personal anecdotes from Stax enthusiasts and label veterans Stewart, co-owner Al Bell, and promotions manager Phillip Rauls. Plus, a free Download Card for those turntable-less moments. If you loved the Wheedle’s Groove box set, than you will flip for this one.

Memphis Record Store Day Crawl – April 21, 2012

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

We love a lot of stuff: Memphis, Stax, Record Store Day, Shangri-La, Goner, and Satellite record shops…so why not celebrate all this? Presented by Light In The Attic Records in celebration of the Record Store Day release of Never to Be Forgotten: The Flip Side of Stax 1968-1974, a limited edition, lavishly packaged love letter to the final years of Stax Records! This 45 rpm box set and book (limited to 4,000 hand-numbered copies) will be available at the following locations. Visit Memphis’ independent record stores for giveaways, artist meet-and-greets, and more! Share with your friends here and help spread the word!

2-3 pm | Shangri-la Records
1916 Madison Ave, 38104. (901) 274.1916
Featuring DJ Buck Wilders

3-4 pm | Goner Records
2152 Young Ave, 38104. (901) 722.0095
Featuring DJ Hot Tub Eric

4-6 pm | Satellite Record Shop
Located inside the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore Ave, 38106. (901) 942-SOUL
Featuring DJs Leroy and Jones. Free admission to the museum 4-6 pm!