Few towns cast a larger musical shadow than Memphis, and the multi-generational revue Take Me to the River captures the electrifying soul that continues to emanate from Blues City. Inspired by Martin Shore’s SXSW Film Festival-winning 2014 feature documentary (and the resulting album of the same name), Take Me to the River features a sensational and diverse cast of artists united by their deep connections to Memphis, starting with blues harp legends Charlie Musselwhite and Bobby Rush and Stax soul great William Bell, who’s responsible for hits like “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” “Private Number,” and “Born Under a Bad Sign.”
They’re backed by a stellar band led by keyboardist/arranger Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, a scion of the Hi Records family. The combo is stocked with Stax and Hi Records mainstays like the brothers Charles and Leroy Hodges (on B-3 and bass, respectively), who played on some 20 gold and platinum albums by Al Green, Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson, Otis Clay, and other Memphis soul stars. Connecting the golden age of Stax and Hi to the contemporary scene are MCs Frayser Boy and Al Kapone, who brought national attention to the Memphis hip-hop scene in the 1990s.