MLGW’s May salute to Memphis Music continues this weekend on Beale Street to help raise funds for MIFA and Plus-1. MLGW musical talent will be on display on our tent-covered stage next to the Elvis statue on the north side of MLGW’s Administration Bldg. on Beale Street between Second and Main. The diverse lineup includes several bands that feature MLGW employees.
Rock Solid, who perform from 9-11 p.m. Friday night, May 11, will play Rhythm and Blues and Old School to get Beale Street visitors dancing to some favorite standards. Expect a little soul music, Motown and get-down tunes from this talented lineup. The band features several MLGW musicians, including Gerald Boyd, Ed Smith, Markus Holt and Calvin Bonds, who work in MLGW’s Electric Distribution Engineering and Substation Transmission Engineering depts.
James Green, from MLGW’s Management Accounting dept., took a different direction when he picked up mandolin as his instrument. He performs solo on Saturday from Noon to 2 p.m. “I play both electric and acoustic mandolins,” says Green. “Although I play a lot of songs in Hard Rock or Metal style, that’s not exclusively what I do. I like to take songs that one would not normally think of as mandolin tunes and do them on the mandolin. Some songs I do in a Metal or Hard Rock style are Neil Young’s ‘Down by the River,’ the Bee Gees’ ‘To Love Somebody’ and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Tuesday’s Gone,’ among others. I like to use a lot of special effects when playing the electric mandolin.” On acoustic mandolin, Green plays songs by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other bands.
Shep Dog and the Da Fenders is a blues band that features MLGW musicians Steve Shepard from the Water Distribution dept. on vocals and guitar; Mike Lewis, Water Engineering, on guitar; Marty Bonds, Rates/Regulatory Affairs, on guitar; Gary Carter, Electric Distribution, on drums and Gerald Sanders, IT, on bass. Shepard talks about old blues masters such as Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters when he describes the band’s focus, but you’ll hear a lot of current and old favorites in the blues “Shep Dog” plays and sings. Lewis and Shepard were instrumental in organizing MLGW Celebrates Memphis Music.
My Brother’s Sister, who performs from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, features Bethany Pope, 15 and Taylor Pope, 18, the kids of MLGW employee Robert Pope, Crew Leader in Electric Distribution. They perform country, Christian and rock on electric and acoustic guitar, fiddle and mandolin, doing tunes such as “Orange Blossom Special,” “The Battle of New Orleans,” “Free Bird” and songs by Taylor Swift and the Beatles. Their mom, Tracey Pope, will be singing backup with them.
Visitors to the MLGW music stage will be asked to make donations to help Plus-1, which is administered by MIFA to help those in need of one-time utility assistance. There will be donation buckets to benefit Plus-1 and tip buckets to support the performers who are donating their time for a good cause.
Come out and enjoy a little MLGW music during Memphis in May. Performances this weekend (May 11-12) are Friday night from 6-11 p.m. and Saturday noon ‘til 11 p.m. A link for the music lineup, and bands featuring MLGW musicians are noted, can be found on MLGW’s website home page at www.mlgw.com under “Latest News.”