Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Plus-1 Jam: MLGW’s Second Week of Live Music on Beale

MLGW’s May salute to Memphis Music continues on Beale Street this Friday and Saturday, May 10-11, to help raise funds for MIFA’s Plus-1 utility assistance program. Memphis 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.

My Brother’s Sister, who performs from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, May 10, features Bethany Pope, 16, on fiddle and mandolin, and Taylor Pope, 19, on guitar, the kids of MLGW employee Robert Pope, Electric Distribution Crew Leader. They perform country, Christian and rock, 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 sing some backup with them.

Later Friday night from 10 p.m. - 12 a.m., Paving Funk will shake up Beale with a funky beat and some jazz, too. The all-instrumental trio plays around Memphis and the Mid-South. With a combination of modern influences as well as classic ones, Paving Funk creates original jazz/rock/funk music for modern audiences. Guitarist Corbin Miles, drummer Josh Fuller and bassist Frank Rhodes are known for their compositions and energetic live performances. With a groove-oriented sound this is music to move to. 

Saturday, the MLGW stage will present music all day, with Mullins Methodist Church Community Orchestra performing classical, pop and Christian music on Saturday, May 11 from 1-3 p.m. Through the years this group has grown from a small group of church members, playing woodwind and brasswind instruments, into a community orchestra which now includes both strings and percussion. MLGW employee Bill Bullock plays trumpet in the orchestra.

James Green from MLGW’s Management Accounting department took a different direction when he picked up mandolin as his instrument. He performs Saturday, May 11 from 4-6 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 mandolin. I like to use a lot of special effects when playing the electric mandolin.” He does some Neil Young, Bee Gees and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Beatles, Rolling Stones and other bands’ music.

Chad is a solo musician performing Saturday, May 11 from 7-9 p.m. He describes his music as a variety of styles. Chad sings and performs on acoustic guitar.

Rounding out Saturday night, May 11 from 10 p.m. ‘til midnight is the Muddy River Blues Band (pictured). Formed from last year’s Plus-1 Jam finale, the band features some talented MLGW musicians who recently performed at the Race to Care in Shelby Farms. Muddy River includes guitarist and vocalist Steve Shepard, guitarist and vocalist Dan Hope, guitarist Mike Lewis, guitarist Marty Bond, bassist Gerald Sanders and drummer Gary Carter.

There will be no performances on Mother’s Day, May 12. Visitors to the MLGW music stage are 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 contributing their time for a good cause.

Come out and enjoy a little MLGW music during Memphis in May. Performances this weekend (May 10-11) are Friday night from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. ‘til 12 a.m. A link for the music lineup, and bands featuring MLGW musicians are noted, can be found on MLGW’s website home page at

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