Memphis is a city with music in its blood. In 1999, when musician and producer Fred Ford, co-founder of the Beale Street Music Festival, was diagnosed with cancer, David Less organized Fredstock, a fundraiser to help with his medical bills. Less contacted Memphis legend Alex Chilton (The Box Tops, Big Star), who was living in New Orleans, to ask him to participate.
Alex said he didn’t have any musicians to play with in Memphis, so Less suggested the Hi Rhythm Section, the band behind classics from artists including Al Green, Ann Peebles, Ike & Tina Turner, O.V. Wright, and Otis Clay. Alex replied, “That will work.”
Available on CD, Digital, and LP, Boogie Shoes: Live on Beale Street was recorded at the New Daisy Theater in Memphis during Fredstock. This previously unissued live set contains versions of hits by the Supremes, Otis Clay, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard; even a cover of the KC & the Sunshine Band title track. Street date is May 7, 2021 from Omnivore Recordings.
Packaging contains liner notes from producer David Less, a friend of Chilton and author of the acclaimed Memphis Mayhem: A Story of the Music That Shook Up the World, and features a cover by rock ’n’ roll and folk art painter Lamar Sorrento.
Omnivore will also offer a limited edition bundle that features the LP and a numbered print of the album cover. This special edition is limited to 100 copies, and is only available from the OmnivoreRecordings.com website.
Less, in his liners, writes: “I never saw [Alex] have so much fun on stage. Without rehearsal, Alex called songs and the band locked in. The horn section consists of top Memphis session guys who huddled together when each song was called creating parts on the fly. The pure joy of playing this music so freely with such legendary musicians comes across in every groove of the record.
Get ready to discover this performance by Memphis icons — tearing it up on stage, making music, and having fun. You’ll want to put on your Boogie Shoes.
1. Boogie Shoes
2. Precious, Precious
4. Kansas City
6. Big Boss Man
7. Where Did Our Love Go
9. Hello Josephine
10. Trying to Live My Life Without You