Listen Up June: 15 Live Music Shows In Memphis
Ed. Note: Contributor Baylee Less is back with another handy list of live music picks in Memphis in June 2017.
Summertime in Memphis means pools, Jerry’s, afternoons by the river, and general merriment even in the sweltering humidity. Don’t let the summer heat get you down with these 15 not-to-miss shows in June.
1. Memphis Punk Fest, Various locations, Thursday June 1st – Sunday June 4th, Times vary per day, $55-$60, 18 and over
Experience the best of punk at the fifth annual Memphis Punk Fest this weekend at venues all across the city including the Hi-Tone, Growlers, High Cotton Brewing, Murphy’s, and more. Day one at the Hi-Tone benefits the Mid-South Food Bank and day two at the P&H Art Show benefits CHOICES. Enjoy head bangin’ fun for a good cause.
2. Chris Milam, Loflin Yard, Friday June 2nd, show at 8 p.m., free, all ages
Soulful rocker Chris Milam returns to Loflin Yard to concoct a night of dancing and dreaming. His album Kids These Days showcases Milam’s ability to shift between country, folk, and rock genres. Check out my favorite track “When I Was Young” complete with a comforting southern twang, harmonic interludes, and a reflective story about childhood.
3. The Shins, Minglewood Hall, Saturday June 3rd, doors at 7 p.m., $37, all ages
Now two decades old, The Shins embark on another national tour and are gracing Memphis with a date. These guitar pop rockers solidified their icon status with hits “New Slang” and “Simple Song,” but I’ve enjoyed their new album Heartworms for its fresh storytelling and added playful production elements.
4. Norah Jones, Mud Island Amphitheatre, Thursday June 8th, show at 8 p.m., $52-$68, all ages
Norah Jones’s velvety voice sounds blissful in any setting, but set against the mighty Mississippi there’s no doubt her jazzy soulful sound will take you on a celestial float down the river. “Don’t Know Why” you haven’t bought your tickets yet? Neither do I.
5. John Paul White, Levitt Shell, Friday June 9th, show at 7:30 p.m., free, all ages
You may know John Paul as one-half of the entrancing folk duo, the Civil Wars – but his solo work is just as rich, haunting, and soulful. The Florence, Alabama native paid homage his strummy southern rock roots in his new album, Beulah, but the airy, wholesomely acoustic “Hate the Way You Love Me” finished first as my favorite track.
6. Graham Winchester and the Ammunition, Lafayette’s, Saturday June 10th, show at 10 p.m., free unless cover charge, 21 and up
Fresh off the release of the album Until the End, Winchester and the Ammunition are hosting a night at Lafayette’s. Graham Winchester, the multi-instrumentalist and lover of all things Memphis, has pulled together a 7 Man All-Star Band to compose rock music that can’t be restricted to one genre. Listen to Until the End on Bandcamp and hear the psychedelic, indie, and classic rock influences that flourish throughout this candyland of an album.
7. The Music of Miles Davis: From Bebop to Hip Hop, Crosstown Arts, June 10, 6-10 p.m., $10, all ages
The Crosstown Jazz Series is designed to salute classic jazz music, with contemporary musicians performing the work of the legends. This night, enjoy music from Paul McKinney and the Knights of Jazz. Doors at 6 p.m.,performance at 7 p.m. Cash Bar. Get tickets.
8. The Bacon Brothers, Germantown Performing Arts Center, Wednesday June 14th, show at 7:30 p.m., $35-$70, all ages
Kevin and Michael Bacon were just two kids making music before both their film industry careers kickstarted, and their music-making became a side project. The Bacon Brothers create the silky smooth kind of Americana rock that pairs nicely with a leather chair and short glass of whiskey. Although Kevin won’t be Footloose shakin’ it, this band of brothers will make your heart flutter and foot tap with their homegrown sound.
9. Ruthie Foster, Levitt Shell, June 15th, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., free (donations accepted)
A three-time GRAMMY-nominated blues and folk singer, Ruthie Foster has performed with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and the Allman Brothers and released a steady stream of studio albums since 2002. She graces our very own Levitt Shell on Thursday, June 15.
10. Brennan Villines “The Jazz Age” feat. Claude Hinds, Neal Bowen, and Terrence Clark, Lafayette’s Music Room, Sunday June 18th, show at 4 p.m., $5, all ages
Spend Father’s Day afternoon with Dad at Lafayette’s supporting local pianist and songwriter Brennan Villines. Villines dishes up sweet piano ballads that fall on the spectrum between Harry Connick Jr.’s jazzy edge and Ben Kweller’s softened exterior. This special show will also feature Claude Hinds, Neal Bowen, and Terrence Clark.
11. Blackbear, New Daisy Theatre, Sunday June 18th, doors at 7 p.m., $25-$35, all ages
Born Matthew Tyler Musto, this 26 year old LA native is known professionally as the hip-hop hard hitter Blackbear. Although he’s currently on tour for his new solo album digital druglord, the musical Renaissance man has worked as producer and songwriter alongside industry icons including Justin Bieber, Pharrell Williams, Childish Gambino, and Machine Gun Kelly (Yes, he was behind the effortlessly catchy “Boyfriend”).
12. Artistik Lounge 5th Anniversary, 1884 Lounge at Minglewood Hall, Sunday June 18th, doors at 7 p.m., $10 at the door, 18 and over
Come celebrate the 5th anniversary of the artistic connectors and collaborators of our city, Artistik Approach and TamED Productions. You’ll hear soul, rap, jazz, hip-hop, and blues harmonies fuse and flirt with one another for a sincerely synergetic night.
13. Drew Erwin, The Silly Goose, Friday June 23rd, show at 7 p.m., free, 21 and over
For a nice chilled brew and some quality unprocessed acoustic melodies, head to the Silly Goose on Friday June 23rd and keep Drew Erwin company. Erwin recently released his EP Sincere, and the namesake eloquently describes the native Memphian’s sound. His singer/songwriter lullabies are the kind that pair perfectly with rain, but will glisten no matter the weather.
14. Rooney, The Hi-Tone, Tuesday June 27th, doors at 7 p.m., $18-$20, 18 and over
This retro-guitar pop group gained major attention back in the early 2000’s with their hit single “When Did Your Heart Go Missing?;” for one reason or another they entered into a lengthy hiatus from 2011 until this past year. Rooney fashions music that fuses the summery energy of LA with classic rock elements, similar to their contemporaries OK Go and Bad Suns.
15. Yo Gotti & Friends Birthday Bash 5, Fedex Forum, Thursday June 29th, show at 7 p.m., $35-$229, all ages
Although this is the fifth annual Yo Gotti & Friends Birthday Bash in Memphis, this party has never been held at the Forum. Past guest lists included Nicki Minaj, Jeezy, and Rich Homie Quan, but it’s still unclear what surprises this Memphis rap artist has in store for 2017.
A born and raised Memphian, Baylee Less recently returned to her roots after her four-year hiatus at the University of Maryland. A new contributor to ILoveMemphis and Memphis Travel, she is excited to share the reasons she’s always loved Memphis. She enjoys live music, Asian food, and being outdoors. Follow @bayleeless on Twitter for updates about being vegan in the land of barbecue.
To submit a show for inclusion in July’s Listen Up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by June 20. Please use Listen Up July in the subject line. Then go submit your show to the calendar, too.