After a week of sub-freezing and sometimes subzero temperatures this day all though cloudy was nice in comparison. It was about to get a lot better. Memphis Tennessee’s own Southern Avenue was making a stop at the Appalshop Theater in Whitesburg.
If you haven’t heard of Southern Avenue you need to correct that in a hurry. Tierinii Jackson, Ori Naftaly, Tikyra Jackson, Jeremy Powell and Gage Markey put on a high energy show and Tierinii can sing! Everyone in attendance knew they were in for a treat with the first notes of “Steady Beats” then “It’s Gonna Be Alright” if you weren’t hooked by then there’s something wrong with you!
Did I mention Tierinii could sing? She can hold her own with anybody, as she danced and sang her way through each song I kept thinking to myself that she reminded me of someone… then it hit me a young Tina Turner! Now I’m not comparing her to Tina Turner that would be unfair just her delivery of the songs and the way she presents herself on stage. You need to see for yourself!
The rest of Southern Avenue are talented musicians, a very tight band that looked like they enjoyed playing every note that they presented to the Whitesburg crowd. With Ori Naftaly on lead guitar, Tikyra Jackson on drums and vocals, Jeremy Powell on keyboards and Gage Markey on bass, I can see why American Blues Scene has said many times “If Memphis is a genre, this is it!”.
They performed several other tracks from their debut album Southern Avenue including “What Did I Do”, “Love Me Right” and “Wildflower”. Even a great cover of the Beatles classic “Come Together” but for me, the highlight was the last song and first single of their album Southern Avenue “Don’t Give Up”. It’s a perfect song for the crowd to sing along with and to close a show, great message!
Local musicians Patrick Little and Joe Salyers of the band Blue Stone Mystic opened the show with an acoustic set of their own material. Their music is blues-based rock and roll which translated really well for this acoustic set. I’ve photographed them several times over the years opening for some heavy hitters that have come through our region including Don Dokken, Bret Michaels and Israel Nash.