While there has never been a band more influential than the Beatles, there is no other city more identified with American music than Memphis. The Beatles openly acknowledged their love of Memphis blues, soul and rockabilly. The musical revolution of ‘50s was unleashed in Memphis in the set the stage for the cultural and musical phenomenon of the Beatles. Fifty years later, their songs prove to be timeless. Fried Glass Onions—Memphis Meets The Beatles began as a project imagining what might have happened if the band had recorded at the legendary Stax Records in 1966, as they were planning to do. Many of the songs heard on the first three Fried Glass Onions volumes have an identifiable Memphis twist; fans and critics of both Beatles and Memphis music were overjoyed!
Volume 4—Memphis Loves The Beatles, representing the work of over 50 musicians, adds another eleven songs plus a remix of “All You Need Is Love” to this unique series. As Lennon and McCartney were unparalleled as writers of love songs, this CD delivers love songs exclusively with that Memphis feel.
The CD opens with artist extraordinaire Ross Rice on “Please Please Me,” a punchy horn-steeped, Memphis-style version of this 1963 hit. The energy continues with Memphis soul singers Eddie Harrison & Debbie Jamison on “It’s Only Love,” followed by Deering & Down’s beautiful interpretation of the often overlooked McCartney ballad “I Will.” Lennon’s early song, “Anytime At All,” features Memphis studio singer Vicki Loveland, a powerful vocalist whose grit and soul electrifies this track. Southern soul band the Memphis-All Stars’ silky smooth vocals are the perfect recipe for another early Beatles number “If I Fell.”
Nora Tucker sasses the microphone on “Honey Pie,” a White Album gem, arranged more akin to blues without losing any of the original’s charm. The Beatles first official number one hit, “From Me To You,” features blues belter Redd Velvet; the slower tempo, and acoustic instrumentation intensifies this classic melody. Eccentric singer Harlan T. Bobo contributes a stark, yet beautiful interpretation of Lennon’s “Julia.” With a nod to North Mississippi hill country blues, “She’s A Woman” is a blues fan’s fantasy featuring Sir Charles Ponder atop an earthy mix of harmonica, slide-guitar and piles of percussion. Beale Street’s Ghost Town Blues Band demonstrates remarkable musicianship while leaving room for guitarist/singer Matt Isbell’s soaring solo on Abbey Road’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” Inside Sounds producer and songwriter Eddie Dattel re-arranges “All My Loving,” showcasing his voice over a warm ensemble of piano, drums, bass and guitar.
“All You Need Is Love,” the gospel inspired finale takes the original to another level. This triumphant anthem alone brings audiences to their feet and celebrates the heart and soul of the Beatles. This track alone is well worth the price of admission.