Photo by David McClister
While deeply rooted in the blues, the up-and-coming band – guitarist Ori Naftaly, vocalist Tierinii Jackson, drummer Tikyra Jackson and bassist Daniel McKee – explores soul, gospel, rock and even pop forms. Working with producer Kevin Houston (North Mississippi Allstars, Lucero, Patty Griffin) on what will be their debut full-length recording, the as-yet-untitled album is scheduled for release on Stax Records in spring 2017.
“This young group embodies the spirit and sound of Memphis, both past and present,” says Concord Label Group President, John Burk, “And Stax is the perfect imprint to represent Southern Avenue’s unique blend of rhythm & blues, gospel and Southern soul.”
The band takes its name from a Memphis street that runs from the eastern-most part of the city limits all the way to Soulsville (the original home of Stax Records). It’s a fitting moniker for this diverse four-piece: two powerhouse sisters whose musical education came from the church (Tierinii and Tikyra Jackson), a jazz bassist (Daniel McKee) and an Israeli-born guitar virtuoso who grew up a student of the blues and funk (Ori Naftaly).
When Southern Avenue reached the finals at the 32nd International Blues Challenge, Naftaly and his bandmates knew they’ll be labeled “a blues band.” And they love the blues – but Naftaly says Southern Avenue is much more. “The genre brings diversity,” he says. “It brings together everything that came from the church and everything that came from popular music. It’s roots, Americana, soul and blues. It’s Memphis music.”
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