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  • Carl Beust

Southern Avenue at Joy Theatre in New Orleans

Once again the band Southern Avenue visited New Orleans, Louisiana during Jazzfest. This year the Memphis soul and blues band canvassed the city playing three shows at three different venues within a week. On this particular night the band was supporting the jam band super group The Word at the Joy Theatre.

The soul/blues/R&B fusion band, consisting of Ori Naftaley (guitar), Tierinii Jackson (vocals), Tikyra Jackson (drums), Jeremy Powell (keyboards), and Evan Sarver (bass) formed in 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee. In February of 2017 the band released their self-titled album on Stax Records. These performances in New Orleans introduced their audience to their follow-up, Keep On, recorded on Concord Records, which was scheduled to be released on May 10, 2019.

The band set foot on stage a bit after nine and instantly introduced the crowd to “Whiskey Love” and “Switchup,” two tracks off their forthcoming album. With the entire band bathed in red lights, vocalist Tierinii Jackson drenched the audience with her sultry voice. A highlight was the call and response between guitarist Naftaley and keyboardist Powell during “Keep On.” Jackson danced between the two as though they were vying for the vocalist attention. The band really kicked it up a notch covering Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady.” Jackson’s soaring vocals accompanied by her sister’s up front drumming pushed the band to the next level and had the audience on their feet dancing. From then on the band had the undivided attention of the crowd. Three new songs preceded “Don’t Give Up” featuring a call and response with the band. Throughout the night the band combined its gritty blues with modern soul sound. By the time the band ended their set it was evident this band is more than worthy to carry the southern soul/blues legacy.

After a tour of Europe the band will return to the US in June and begin promoting Keep On. Tour stops will include the Electric Forest Festival in Michigan and the Peach Music Festival in Pennsylvania.

Whiskey Love / Switchpp / It’s Gonna Be Alright / Rocksteady / Too Good For You / Jive / Lucky / Don’t Give Up


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