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It Came From Memphis
Upstart Records CD UP 022, 1995

 The Memphis you never heard

Compiled by Robert Gordon as a companion disc to his book by the same title (Faber and Faber, 1995),  It Came From Memphis collects rarities, oddities and forgotten (or completely unknown) gems that trace the Memphis mystique from the late fifties to the present. Gordon stays well clear of the Memphis sounds we already know about (Elvis and Sun Records rockabilly, the Stax soul sound of Booker T), and instead presents us with a kind of archeological dig. Among others we've never heard of, Gordon scatters Mud Boy and The Neutrons, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Moloch and William Eggleston. The material ranges from bizarre to psychedelic, one string acoustic to musique-concrete electric, pure soul to punk to classical to delta blues. All from Memphis one way or another, and all stitched together with excerpts from legendary Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips' radio show. For anyone interested in what else was happening in Memphis outside of Sun and Stax, and in what's happening today, this disc is a real treat. I haven't read the book, but I'm definitely going to. And for the other half of Memphis and Muscle Shoals I heartily recommend Peter Guralnick's excellent book,  Sweet Soul Music (Harper Perennial, 1994). --  Jason Staczek

Copyright © 1996 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.