Enjoy country and blues tunes that were born in Memphis at Lee Street’s annual show

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lee Street Theatre’s annual country music show started off as a group of five, but that number has grown to seven with the addition of Kenny Thomas and Zach Davis.
The men provide the bass and drums, respectively, to round out the vocals, guitar and piano played by Tripp Edwards, Matthew Weaver, Carol Harris, Mary Gillespie and Graham Carlton.
Edwards said the formation of the group is the brainchild of Cindy Graham.
“She first approached us 3 years ago about doing a ‘Bluebird Café’ type country show,” he said. “We all met and discussed what songs we would like to do and began rehearsals.
“We now have a catalog of close to 100 songs.”
The theme for this year’s show, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. today, is “Meet Me In Memphis.”
“This show we decided to pay homage to the roots of country and blues that were born in the city of Memphis,” Edwards said. “We will be playing songs that came out of Sunn Studios, Stax Records as well as others.”
Carlton called the show a “most unique production.”
“We are creating this based on our love and appreciation of music,” he said. “We are not portraying characters, but we are presenting an era.”
Weaver said the group feels like family.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to play with these talented musicians and singers,” he said.
Gillespie echoed that sentiment.
“I love it,” she said. “Even though we bring different musical traits to the table, we are able to blend together and come up with something real fun.”
Edwards said Lee Street is really the only place where a couple like this can be assembled.
“They give us the parameters, and then they give us autonomy to come up with a set list of the era,” he said. “This allows us to introduce our personal favorites to the show.
“What comes out is a truly fresh take on some really classic songs.”
The show is at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday at the Looking Glass Artists Center’s black box theater, 405 N. Lee St.
Tickets, which are $15, can be purchased online at leestreet.org/tickets or by calling 704-310-5507. They will also be available at the doors.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
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