March 2, 2007
Many great bands spend years traveling around in a 15-passenger van, hopping from bar to bar and club to club. They scrape up just enough money to pay for gas to make it to the next gig and fill their growling stomachs with gas station cuisine. Most never quite get over the hump to larger success, falling into that chasm where good bar bands go to die.
These days, if there’s a band in this category that has the chance to make it, it’s Tishamingo. Touring in support of their February ’07 release, The Point, Tishamingo will succeed where others fail because they are the total package. The musicianship is there, the songwriting is there, and they cut it both on stage and in the studio. They showed the crowd at Newby’s in Memphis on March 2 just how good they can be when things click.
Over the course of several hours, Tishamingo nearly played The Point in its entirety, broke out some older gems, and threw in some appropriately-placed covers.
The show kicked off with "Ain’t Got Time," and then they moved into the new material with a downright sizzling "Are We Rollin’."
The slide guitar on Wear N’ Tear‘s "Smoked Mullet" was as good as slide guitar gets, and they backed that up with some more new cuts, "Get on Back" and "This Time."
Everyone seems to be covering the Band’s "Chest Fever" these days; Widespread Panic has been playing it for a few months and recorded it for the Band’s tribute disc Endless Highway. However, Tishamingo beat them to the punch, and frankly, do a better job. The version in Memphis was nothing short of phenomenal.
"Travel On > Goin’ Down" was maybe the highlight of the night, and the "Goin’ Down" section was a definite nod to their home for the night, as it was written by Memphian Don Nix.
"Hillbilly Wine" was the one tune that gave "Travel On > Goin’ Down" a run for its money as smoker of the night, and was followed up by a great "Poison Whiskey." They then broke out the theme song to Smokey & the Bandit, "East Bound & Down," and then called it a night.
The term "Southern Rock" is a bit of a misnomer, because for the most part all rock and roll music originated from the South…bands like the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd have both fought and embraced the term.
Tishamingo certainly seems primed to carry the gritty, whiskey-soaked Southern Rock torch, proving it in Memphis.
photos by Josh Mintz / photosbyjosh.com