Stax legend Booker T. Jones returns to Memphis behind new memoir, album

The NewsDesk
Read Time5 Minute, 1 Second

CLOSEAutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide“Sitting down and reliving my life,” says Booker T. Jones. “It was almost more intense the second time around.” The Stax Records legend, famed cog of label house band Booker T. & the MGs, and Memphis music icon is discussing the experience of writing his recently published memoir, “Time is Tight.” Jones — who launched his book with an appearance at the Stax Museum last fall — returns to town Saturday, headlining a concert at Crosstown Theater.“It’s weird, because when you’re looking back, you’re doing it with a magnifying glass or crosshairs on every event,” he says. “Everything becomes bigger — and it’s also coming from a different point of view, because this was a reflection.”Jones labored on the book for many years, initially pulling together strands and stories before pulling the narrative together.  “I’m not a writer, so the process of doing it was all kinds of different processes. Sometimes I’d be writing on Holiday Inn notepads on the way to the airport to a show, jotting something on a topic so I could remember it for later … and then having to try to relocate that piece of paper when I was able to get behind a computer,” he says, laughing. Jones — who just launched his 2020 road schedule last week — makes a point in his concerts to showcase his myriad influences, taking audiences on a journey through his musical life.“Of course there are certain songs I can’t not play,” he says. “People would be disappointed if I didn’t play (MGs hits) ‘Green Onions’ or ‘Hip Hug-Her’ or ‘Time is Tight.’ Other than that, I play the songs I was instrumental in arranging or writing, or songs that influenced me, as well as more recent material of my own.” After a 20-year break — during which he focused on producing other artists — Jones returned to his solo career in 2009. He released a pair of LPs for hip Los Angeles-based indie label Anti-, including 2009’s Grammy-winning “Potato Hole” and 2011’s Grammy-nominated “The Road From Memphis.” In 2013, Jones returned to the Stax label and released “Sound the Alarm.” BLUFF CITY BICENTENNIAL: 200 Memphis music momentsMEMPHIS CONCERTS: Live from Memphis: 10 big Bluff City concerts worth catching in 2020Last year, he launched his own label, Edith Street Records, with a companion LP to his memoir, called “Note by Note.” The 11-track disc finds him reworking important songs from throughout his career and recording new ones with a group of younger artists, from The National’s Matt Berninger to Vintage Trouble’s Ty Taylor. Jones says he conceived of Edith Street (named after the South Memphis avenue he grew up on) as a label that could be “Stax-like.” In addition to it serving as a home for his own projects, he’s hoping to work with up-and-coming Memphis musicians. Stax Music Academy alumna Evvie McKinney appears on “Note by Note,” doing a version of the Rufus and Carla Thomas hit “‘Cause I Love You” — one of Jones’ earliest studio performances. “There’s so much talent to be scooped up in Memphis. I’m looking forward to developing that with the (label),” Jones says. “I’m glad to see Memphis continues to cultivate it, too. It’s a geographical phenomenon that so much talent has always seemed to be located in one area. Every time I’ve visited I’ve seen a lot of talented kids, and now with the (Stax Music Academy) it continues on. It’s a strange thing, but it’s definitely a gift.” Musical education is at the core of Jones’ very being. Even now, at the age of 75, he practices regularly, focusing on the fundamentals. “The first scales I learned in Memphis as a boy, those gave me the muscle memory in my fingers, arms and brain. So I still go back to that,” he says. “If I can do those right, then I know I can go out and play a show.” MUSIC EDUCATION: Stax Music Academy to celebrate 20 yearsON TV: Justin Timberlake, Ellen DeGeneres & Stax Music Academy: A big night of holiday givingJones’ upcoming concert will showcase his varied musicianship beyond the organ, the instrument he’s most identified with. “As a young boy, I was focused in four different directions: first, was the drums. I used to play drums on my mom’s floor; she had hardwood floors. Then I had a ukulele, so that was the first four strings of the guitar, which I later learned. And my mother, she played piano, that was my organ teacher and piano teacher. Then, outside the house I got other instruments like the oboe and clarinet. I don’t play those last two anymore, that’s where I’ve fallen short,” he adds, chuckling. Although his son, Ted Jones, serves as his band’s guitarist, Booker T. Jones will also pick up the instrument on stage, flashing a fascinating style. Of his influences on the six-string, Jones notes that he “tends towards the Spanish. As a young boy I was influenced by Segovia, you know how Curtis Mayfield had a Spanish influence in his guitar playing? I think that’s me, too.” Jones’ concert at Crosstown this weekend will, as always, have special meaning. After decades spent living in California — the Bay Area and Hollywood — Jones relocated a few years ago to Nevada, near Lake Tahoe. But, he says, Memphis will always be home. “I really went for it when I was in Memphis,” reflects Jones. “Maybe I had a premonition I was going to be able to make it. But I always went for it: whether with my teachers and my lessons, or in the sessions or writing songs at Stax. I have to honestly say that looking back, I don’t have a lot of regrets in life.” Booker T. Jones Saturday at the Crosstown Theater Doors at 7 p.m. Showtime is 8 p.m.Tickets: $60 Available at Crosstownarts.org AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlideRead or Share this story: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/entertainment/music/2020/01/14/stax-records-booker-t-jones-mcgs-memphis-music-time-is-tight/4456643002/

0 0
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleppy
Sleppy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %
Next Post

NeNe Leakes’ ‘Ladies Nite Out Comedy Tour’ Is In Full Effect!

Ron Collins Jan 14, 2020 9:08 AM PST NeNe Leakes proudly announced her followers that her famous comedy tour already began. Just the otheer day, she said that Vegas got lit for the comedy tour. ‘Ladies Nite Out Comedy Tour is in Full Effect. We hitting NEW ORLEANS & HOUSTON […]
nene-leakes’-‘ladies-nite-out-comedy-tour’-is-in-full-effect!

Subscribe US Now