Last October, the inaugural Mempho Music Festival was held at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tennessee. Mempho hosted a pair of tribute sets and festival organizers have unveiled official audio of an all-star tribute performance held in honor of Allman Brothers Band co-founding members Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks as well as Col. Bruce Hampton – three patriarchs of the jam scene who died in 2017.
Lettuce/Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno served as the musical director and led a rotating cast of musicians that also included bassist Oteil Burbridge, guitarist Steve Kimock, harmonica player/vocalist John Popper (Blues Traveler, Frogwings), pedal steel wiz Robert Randolph, drummer/percussionist Jeff Sipe, drummer/percussionist Wally Ingram, guitarist Papa Mali, DJ Logic, banjo player/vocalist Rev. Jeff Mosier, guitarist Eric McFadden, vocalist Leslie Mendelson, keyboardist Peter Levin, keyboardist JoJo Hermann, vocalist Lamar Williams Jr., bassist Tad Kinchla and bassist MonoNeon. The ensemble played a mix of songs from the Allman Brothers Band and Aquarium Rescue Unit’s live repertoires.
Lamar Williams Jr., John Popper and Steve Kimock were featured on the “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin'” opener. Next up was a similar lineup on “Trouble No More” before Leslie Mendelson was added to the mix for “Midnight Rider.” A cover of Al Green’s “I’m A Ram” then included contributions from Papa Mali, MonoNeon and DJ Logic, among others. Col. Bruce was honored with one of his favorites “Yield Not To Temptation,” with Papa Mali, Rev. Jeff Mosier and JoJo Hermann among the standout performers on that one.
The set rolled on with a stunning “Dreams” featuring Lamar Williams Jr. on vocals and a solo by Kimock. Next up was a “One Way Out” starring Kimock, Popper, Williams Jr. and Robert Randolph. Leslie Mendelson then led “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember” ahead of the beloved instrumental “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.” Eric McFadden shined on “Whipping Post,” while Papa Mali let it loose on “Please Call Home.” The final two numbers of the evening, “Southbound” and “Turn On Your Lovelight,” included contributions from most of the “Mempho All-Stars.”
Listen to a recording mixed and mastered by Terry Manning:
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