take a listen!
Grammy-nominated Southern Avenue kind of sneaks up next to you and before you know it, you’re smitten. It’s an intriguing soul music they create, borrowing from the gospel church, the soul vibes of their Memphis hometown, and a wide variety of other musical influences.
The band has been on a journey, insisting that it be more than just another blues band. Its sights have always been more expansive.
“The genre brings diversity,” says Ori Naftaly, the Israeli-born guitarist and bandleader who found a home in Memphis several years ago. “It brings together everything that came from the church and everything that came from popular music. It’s roots, Americana, soul and blues. It’s Memphis music.”
Singer Tierinii Jackson is the centerpiece of this mix, but she is careful – like the others – to make the song a priority every time. She welcomes the subtlety of the deep grooves, created by Naftaly’s sympathetic and restrained guitar, as well as the percussive rhythms and vocals of her sister, Tikyra. Add bass and keys to the mix, throw in handclaps or hand drums, horn flourishes or other touches, and you are creating something out of the ordinary.
The band won wide acclaim with its first album in 2017, and garnered a Grammy with its second album. Last year, it released its third album, Be The Love You Want, produced by Grammy-winning Steve Berlin, the saxophonist and keyboardist for Los Lobos. The album is a high-style groove that embraces the band’s social consciousness as well as its self-actualization.