My dad says that all music is derivative. That we all build upon one another while working for that sonic perfection. I play in a new Memphis power pop band, and I have found my forefathers.
I go and see Jeffery and the Pacemakers every chance I get. Why? Well, I was not around during the heyday of the classic Memphis venue, The Antenna Club. I was not old enough to hang around my idol Jay Reatard. But this band brings a lot of it to me. They are some of the best musicians in Memphis and play the music that both their band’s and my band’s music is built upon: Classic British Invasion and some other ’60s greats.
How cool it is (and sometimes spine-tingling) to hear and feel these songs played live! From the Beatles to the Kinks to the Yardbirds, I had no idea that there was so much awesome rock played in the ’60s! Jeff Golightly plays guitar (and frequently John Lennon) and just fills the venue with power, passion and precision. He and bass player Rick Camp led The Crime in the ’80s. They starred at the Antenna Club and across the country. Guitarist Danny Umfress has only played with the likes of Johnny Cash!! Yeah. Of course, drummer Robert Hall spans several generations of Memphis music, playing with the Gentry’s of the ’60s and the killer Jerry Lee Lewis now. Talk about an all-star band playing all-star music!
When I go to a Jeffery and the Pacemakers show, I am always surprised by the large range of ages in attendance. It is pretty much all types and ages of music fans, and then I see them get up and dance. Wow! Who would’ve thunk it, and then suddenly the feeling hits me, and I am up there as well, feeling the fun, carefreeness, and sometimes the protest of the ’60s all over again. The Small Faces, The Zombies, The Hollies, The Dave Clark Five. Wow, maybe I’ll see you at their next show!
EDITOR’S NOTE: They’re playing a matinee at the Hi-tone this Sunday at 4 in honor of John Lennon’s birthday!
Audra Brown is a songwriter, guitarist and vocalist who lives in Midtown. She has written over 2,000 songs while just barely being 21 years old. She fronts a three-piece rock band called SnagglePus who just recorded an EP with Cody Dickinson producing at Music + Arts Studio. Audra is a trekkie, lives with two black cats, and loves Hunter S. Thompson.