The Cooper-Young Festival is all about the unique art finds and the sounds of local music. With 20 musical acts this year, there is something for everyone!
The Main Stage, located in front of Young Avenue Deli, kicks off at 11:15 am with the Latin and Cuban folk of Los Cantadores before new pop sensation Brennan Villines. Detective Bureau, a top local jazz fusion collective is next, followed seamlessly by the international funk of Hope Clayburn’s Soul Scrimmage. The energy will stay high with rock-n-roll favorites James & the Ultrasounds before soulful chanteuse Susan Marshall takes the stage with special guest Reba Russell in tow. The Main Stage wraps with this year’s headliner, power rock trio Dirty Streets, fresh off a major European tour.
The Memphis Grizzlies have teamed up with Goner Records for a stage this year. Expect to see a wide variety of internationally known bands that are on the Goner label along with some surprise appearances by the Memphis Grizzlies. Be sure to catch Guitar Wolf straight in from their hometown of Nagasaki, Japan, at 4:30 pm. Tons of raw, underground talent here with years of experience. The Grizzlies/Goner Stage is located at the intersection of Young Avenue and Meda Street.
Mulan Bistro is hosting the stage located in the First Congo Church parking lot. This lineup brings a ton of hometown favorites! New Madjack Records artist Brandon Taylor gets things started, and you have to be sure to witness the Reverend John Wilkins, a gospel/blues guitar legend at 1:30 pm. This stage will continue to highlight many of the top songwriters in Memphis, concluding with swamp soul princess Marcella Simien and local Americana super group Motel Mirrors!
Look for details on the Rock 103 After Fest party happening this year immediately after Cooper Young Festival. Galloway House is hosting this new event with proceeds going toward the Johnny Cash Statue. After Fest starts at 7 pm inside Galloway House located at 1015 South Cooper Street. Enjoy more bands, beer, Rock 103 swag, and celebrities!
located in front of Young Avenue Deli
11:15 a.m.: Los Cantadors
12:15 p.m.: Brennan Villines
1:15 p.m.: Detective Bureau
2:15 p.m.: Hope Clayburn
3:15 p.m.: James & the Ultrasounds
4:15 p.m.: Susan Marshall
w/ special guest Reba Russell
5:15 p.m.: Dirty Streets
Goner Records Stage
located at Young Avenue and Meda Street
12:30 p.m.: Chickasaw Mound
1:30 p.m.: Mark Edgar Stuart
2:30 p.m.: Alicja Pop
3:30 p.m.: Tyler Keith & the Apostles
4:30 p.m.: Guitar Wolf
Mulan Bistro Stage
located in the First Congo Church parking lot
11:15 a.m.: Brandon Taylor
Noon: Jana Jana
12:45 p.m.: Me and Leah
1:30 p.m.: Rev. John Wilkins
2:15 p.m.: Grace Askew
3:00 p.m.: Dave Cousar
3:45 p.m.: Marcella & Her Lovers
4:30 p.m.:Motel Mirrors
Los Cantadores 11:15 a.m.
The region’s best mariachi band, Los Cantadores has entertained the Mid-South for years with a great mix of authentic Latin and Cuban folk music. With classic mariachi outfits and a wide-ranging song list, Los Cantadores makes any day a fiesta.
Brennan Villines 12:15 p.m.
From a tiny town in western Kentucky, Brennan Villines has called the Bluff City home since 2006 when the singer/songwriter reinvented himself in an old Memphis mansion-turned-bar in Victorian Village. The style he developed there — a seamless blend of jazz, R&B, and playful, funky pop — is all over his 2015 debut solo album Free. The songs on the record represent both heartbreak and triumph.
Detective Bureau 1:15 p.m.
Detective Bureau is 6-7-piece group of some of the finest jazz cats in Memphis that explores late 60’s and early 70’s Afro Brazilian soul jazz stylings. Think Grant Green meets CTI Records. It’s classic and fresh every time.
Hope Clayburn 2:15 p.m.
After making her name in New Orleans-styled jam outfit Deep Banana Blackout, Hope Clayburn moved to Memphis and has never looked back. Her band cooks up a funk and soul stew with an international flavor that can’t be duplicated. Having just completed a South American tour, Memphis will be treated to an all action performance when she takes the stage.
James & the Ultrasounds 3:15 p.m.
James and the Ultrasounds are not necessarily typical of the Memphis garage rock scene, though they do owe plenty to that tradition. Since forming in 2012, the band has steadily built a cult fan base in the States and Europe on the strength of their Misspent Records single and Madjack Records LP. It’s modern day rock-and-roll without the pretense.
Susan Marshall 4:15 p.m.
From her early days off Broadway to Atlantic Records and a celebrated solo career, Susan Marshall has become arguably the contemporary Memphis scene’s most powerful and versatile pure singer. It’s no wonder she’s also had a phenomenal career singing with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Keith Richards, Norah Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ann Peebles, and the North Mississippi Allstars, among others.
Dirty Streets 5:15 p.m.
The Dirty Streets bring a raw, bluesy guitar rock with a funky roots/garage edge and some ripping six-string licks. The music carries an authentic ’60s/’70s rock vibe that’s built around heavy power trio blues riffing with a psychedelic edge and a touch of Southern rock. Their latest album has garnered rave reviews and they return home on the strength of a massive European tour.
Mulan Bistro Stage
Brandon Taylor of Radio Ghost 11:15 a.m.
Radio Ghost is an acoustic guitar and fiddle duo that plays a unique blend of country blues and folk music. Songwriter Brandon Taylor draws influence from songs he heard from the Mississippi delta growing up in Memphis while fiddle player Adam Brooks bring a little Appalachia from his home state of West Virginia.
Jana Jana 12 p.m.
Jana Jana is the new solo project from Jana Misener, a name that most will recognize from her years anchoring indie folk darlings Giant Bear before founding the Memphis Dawls with longtime friends Holly Cole and Krista Wroten. As Jana Jana, her voice soars above a bed of cello loops. This rare solo set is not to be missed.
Me & Leah12:45 p.m.
Me & Leah are a Memphis duet that features banjo, guitar, catchy melodies, and sweet harmonies. The group is comprised of two friends who talked about playing together for years, and then one day actually started doing so. Jeff Hulett is known from his days in Snowglobe and his own band Jeffrey James & the Haul, while Leah Keys is the familiar face behind Crosstown’s wildly successful “Spillit” storytelling series. Their tunes are sweet and quiet, haunting and nostalgic.
Rev. John Wilkins 1:30 p.m.
Though born in Memphis, Reverend John Wilkins is a child of the North Mississippi hill country. Wilkins’ father, the venerated blues and gospel singer Robert Wilkins, was the principal influence on his son’s development. Wilkins’ father had made a series of recordings in the 1930s that included the original “Prodigal Son”, which was later recorded by the Rolling Stones. It’s with that spirit that Rev. Wilkins continues to create a sound can have only been made by a child of the North Mississippi Hill Country.
Grace Askew 2:15 p.m.
On the road now for over 7 years, Grace has had the opportunity to tour with some of her musical heroes such as James McMurtry, Keith Sykes, Leon Russell, Dale Watson, Marty Stuart, Lisa Marie Presley, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Steve Earle, Shawn Colvin, Justin Townes Earle and Hayes Carll. Also, having gained worldwide attention on NBC’s “the Voice” (reaching the final 32 of season 4) and PBS’ “Sun Sessions” as well as national mega-press for her latest Sun Studio-recorded release, Scaredy Cat, from Rolling Stone, Spin magazine, Teen Vogue, and American Songwriter. Grace has solidified herself as a powerhouse of talent
David Cousar 3 p.m.
By his own admission, David Cousar is traveling at the speed of dark. He won’t be often caught in the spotlight, preferring instead the nuanced shades that fall in the twilight hours and beyond. His singing and guitar sound are unmistakable though, having played on classic Memphis records with artists from Al Green to Susan Marshall to Marcella Simien.
Marcella & Her Lovers 3:45 p.m.
Hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana, Simien grew up onstage with her father, two- time GRAMMY award winner Terrance Simien. In 2009 she moved to Memphis to attend the Memphis College of Art. In no time she was back onstage, delighting audiences with a sound born from fusing elements of her Creole heritage with the angelic grind of Memphis soul.
Motel Mirrors 4:30 p.m.
What started as a conversation about records became a collaboration of powerhouse Memphis artists — Amy LaVere, her husband Will Sexton, and John Paul Keith. With an ear towards emulating the classic ’50s and ’60s country duets (George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn), timeless is a good word for their sound. If you put the needle down and close your eyes, you might mistake yourself for being somewhere else.
Chickasaw Mound 12:30 p.m.
Top shelf up-and-coming rock and soul action from Memphis, TN. “Chickasaw Mound delivers soulful garage rock like no other band in Memphis. Singer Jesse Davis is one of the most promising local front men in recent memory, and his backing band of seasoned players speaks for itself.” — Staff Picks: Best New Band in Memphis 2015, The Memphis Flyer
Mark Edgar Stuart 1:30 p.m.
Memphis session man turned singer/songwriter who has a John Prine-like ability to deliver songs that feel poignant, witty and authentic. “Both 2013’s Blues for Lou and last year’s Trinity My Dear were revelatory declarations of his deft touch with simple, yet catchy melodies and heart-on-the-sleeve subject matter.” — The Memphis Flyer
Alicja Pop 2:30 p.m.
Alicja Trout (The Clears, Lost Sounds, River City Tanlines) has had a hand in plenty of the best underground sounds from Memphis over the past 20 years. This is her latest: a great little indie pop three-piece. “Bedroom pop genius from Memphis’ own Alicja Trout. … Her pared down pop sensibility prevails. This in not self-indulgent, it’s charming and dark in equal measure.” — Maximum Rock n Roll
Tyler Keith & the Apostles 3:30 p.m.
Oxford, Mississippi’s Tyler Keith (Neckbones, Preacher’s Kids) and the Apostles are on a journey through the darkness. Along the way they find fat hooks, lowlifes, and good times. They play songs about big rigs, trains, and murder. Always in the shadow of a cross. “Tyler Keith has been releasing really great garage music in Oxford, Mississippi, for over 20 years with the Neckbones, the Preacher’s Kids, and now his current band, the Apostles. Really catchy lyrics about life and love (“Desperate Measures,” “Shadow of a Cross”). I really like the sound progression from New York Dolls/Johnny Thunders, Gun Club, (early) Rolling Stones to even King Louie influences on this record.” — Antigravity
Guitar Wolf 4:30 p.m.
Guitar Wolf is a legendary jet rock and roll band from Nagasaki, Japan. Their first album, Wolf Rock, was put out by Goner Records in 1993. “The feedback-projecting power trio from Nagasaki has been obliterating ear drums since 1987. The band’s ’50s rockabilly look paired with its thrash-garage roar quickly got the attention of the caveman rock ‘n’roll circuit in the early ’90s. Guitar Wolf’s ferocious sound also comes with a live show that is a high-octane, non-stop blitz of two-to-three-minute songs — usually consisting of no more than four chords total.” — CBS Seattle