Melissa Etheridge Delivers New Soul-Deep Stax Tribute!
Melissa Etheridge's new album Memphis Rock and Soul is a tribute to Stax Records and the rich history of classic Southern soul. The album is a collection of deep soul covers associated with the original Stax label, including songs recorded by Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, The Staple Singers, William Bell and more. The album also features new, original verses written by Melissa on two of the tracks. Etheridge showcases her signature rasp and unmistakable guitar prowess with a fierce take on the Sam & Dave standard "Hold On, I'm Coming" which serves as the album's lead single. John Mayer also guests on lead guitar on a pair of tracks.
While the original Stax studio is long gone, Etheridge took to another hallowed local spot, Willie Mitchell's Royal Studios (home to Al Green, Ann Peebles and others), to channel the classic Memphis sounds found on these soulful standards. Memphis Rock and Soul was produced by Willie's son Boo Mitchell, and features a backing band comprised of Hodges Brothers and other top Memphis musicians who are legends in their own right. Etheridge even recorded with Al Green's famed RCA 77DX ribbon microphone ("No. 9"). Memphis Rock and Soul also spotlights the empowering role Stax played in the Civil Rights Movement, a fitting theme for Melissa, who has become a pivotal voice of the modern LGBT rights movement.