Memphis Music Feature: TK and Tierinii Jackson of Southern Avenue

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Tk and Tierinii Jackson posing together
Michael Weintrob
Michael Weintrob

Today’s interview is with TK Jackson and Tierinii Jackson of the Memphis-based blues group Southern Avenue.

“What I love about the Memphis music scene is that I’m never disappointed. The talent is unmatched in every category.” - TK Jackson

Tierinii and TK Jackson are the women of Southern Avenue.

They anticipate a new record released in the summer of 2021. Meanwhile, you can see them on for a very special live stream from the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. 

MH: In one word or phrase, what about Memphis inspires you creatively?

TK: I love that every encounter I have with another Memphian, whether I know them or not, I leave the conversation or interaction with more joy and appreciation for life. Everyone feels like a close relative that you haven’t seen since Christmas 2001. 

Tierinii: It’s obvious that Memphis has a huge musical history, exploring the different genres within that history inspires me to blend those influences in a way that pays homage to the original sounds, while presenting it in a more contemporary way.

MH:  Who in Memphis do you love to listen to?

TK: What I love about the Memphis music scene is that I’m never disappointed. The talent is unmatched in every category, from singers with tones so unique and broad, to multi-skilled artists who bring visuals and film to their music to tell their story and its real, raw material. Everyone has something different and tasteful to offer, something to spark conversation. 

Tierinii: I went to school with a girl who is now living in LA. Her name is Emi Secrest. And though she isn’t currently in Memphis, I feel that her music is still heavily influenced by the city’s sound and she happens to be one of my favorite Memphis Artists to listen to! 

MH: Which place gives you that Memphis vibe?

TK: The Stax Museum is home for me. The music, the displays that kept my eyes bright and big since my first visit in second grade back in 2002, It's like your favorite bedtime story that you read to your kids and their children and so forth. The music and history that came from there has shaped the way I connect with the world around me and I’m extremely grateful for that piece of my city.

Tierinii: The Stax Museum and Rum Boogie Cafe, because we got our start at the Rum Boogie and we got our respect when we got signed to Stax Records. So anytime we are at or near those places the energy is pure love and comfort. 

MH: Can you give advice for a young artist getting started? 

K: The greatest lesson I have ever learned is to be yourself and trust your instincts, trust your vision. The law of attraction is very real and while not every light is green and the tank isn’t always on full, you never stop going, never stop striving towards your goal. Never stop feeding that appetite for victory, even if the victory is getting out of bed. 

Tierinii: For every new level there are new challenges. For every new height, there is a new “bottom.” That’s why the road to success feels like a rollercoaster. But as long as you keep coasting and you stay on the ride you will reach your goal.

MH: Do you have a quick story that changed you as an artist, a moment in time that moved the needle for you? 

TK: The last night of the International Blues competition there was a moment when myself and my bandmates were holding hands, waiting on the results. After many sleepless nights, long rehearsals and mountains of donuts and coffee, we had made it further in the competition than we ever expected.  It was at that moment that I felt victory, that moment when I felt the love and strength of a bond that came to be because of our individual passion for music. Once they announced our name we jumped so high we haven’t come down since.  

Tierinii: I didn’t understand the band’s sound, I didn’t understand how people perceived us for a while or what they saw in us that made us special. But the more I accepted the love that was given and the respect that was shown, the more I learned to accept us for who we were. There wasn’t a moment of magic that made me see the light but the gradual process of growing together as a band really made me embrace the “now” of the journey to becoming who we are as artists today. I will always want to push us towards our full potential, but I’m definitely taking moments to embrace our creative journey in the “now.”

Watch for TK, Tierinii, and the rest of Southern Avenue on for a very special live stream from the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. 

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Donna D'Boyata

I got my start of BEALE ST at Rum Boogie also and fell in love with Southern Ave Band at Rum Boogie..
Seeing you guys
Florida was the highlight of my Florida life.
BTW I have both CD's and the Album.
Love you guys
Keep on keeping on
#1 fan
Donna H. D'Boyata

February 21, 2021 11:08am