Listen Up July: 12 Live Music Shows In Memphis

Here are the twelve live music shows you won't want to miss in Memphis in July 2015. 

Hope Clayburn 40th Birthday Show

1. Mates of State, 1884 Lounge at Minglewood Hall, Sunday, July 5, doors at 7 p.m., $12 – $15, all ages
Fill your post-holiday Sunday evening with a trio of indie pop groups at 1884 Lounge in Minglewood Hall. Six-piece orchestral pop group Hey Marseilles and twin sisters Good Graeff will open. Check out the latter's latest video (the song is upbeat and addictive) here. The main act is husband-and-wife team Mates of State. If you like Spoon or Death Cab For Cutie, you'll like these guys.

2. Hope Clayburn Birthday Show, Hi-Tone Cafe, Monday, July 6, doors at 8 p.m., $5, 18 and up
Get funky with Hope Clayburn and her band (they sing the I Love Memphis Podcast "theme song") and special guests Marcella Simien and The Three Kings to celebrate her both birthday at the Hi-Tone on Monday night. 

3. Star & Micey, Peabody Rooftop Party, Thursday, July 9, show at 7 p.m., $10, 21 and up
One of Memphis' favorite indie pop rock groups takes the music to the rooftop at the Peabody. To learn more about Star & Micey, listen to this episode of the I Love Memphis Podcast. See the rest of the Peabody Rooftop Party lineup here.

4. Mitski & Elvis Depressedly, Hi-Tone Cafe, Friday, July 10, doors at 7 p.m., $10, 18 and up
NYC-based songwriter Mitski builds upon her classical music background with "vivid lyrical imagery, buzzed out guitars, and evocative vocals"; she's recently been featured in Pitchfork and New York Magazine's top ten female musicians to see this summer. Eskimeaux and Models & Bonus will open.

5. Daddy Mack Blues Band, Center for Southern Folklore (123 S. Main), Saturday, July 11, show at 8 p.m., $10 donation, 18 and up
Bluesman Daddy Mack celebrates his 70th birthday and his blues band's seventh CD release at the Center for Southern Folklore.

6. Bantam Foxes, The Buccaneer, Wednesday, July 15, show at 1o p.m., $5-$10, 21 and up
Twins Sam and Collin McCabe hail from NOLA, where they found rock drummer Jared Marcell and started making rock music in a sea of jazz and zydeco bands and fans. Now they're bringing their music to rock-n-roll-loving-Memphis. Comedian Andrew Polk describes their sound as "a cross between SpaceHog and the Toadies". 

7. Lord Huron with Widowspeak, Minglewood Hall, Thursday, July 16, doors at 8 p.m., $18 – $20, all ages
LA-based Indie folk band Lord Huron continue their "Strange Trails" tour with a stop in Memphis. Widowspeak ("dream-pop and slowcore rock and roll, easygoing melodies and dusty, snaking guitars") out of New York state will open.

8. St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Levitt Shell, Saturday, July 18, show at 7:30 p.m., free, all ages
Judging by the Memphis response to St. Paul and the Broken Bones at last fall's show, you're going to want to get to the Shell very early to get a seat. Seriously, y'all love this soulful band! 

Cha Wa
Cha Wa. Photo by Christopher Porsche West via

9. Cha Wa, Levitt Shell, Thursday, July 23, show at 7:30 p.m., free, all ages
Get ready to dance for this one. The Levitt Shell describes Chawa as "funk with feathers – sound roots in traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian music mixed with funk and soul…a non stop groove machine." It's free, but always a good idea to bring a $5 – $10 for the donation bucket. 

10. Toad the Wet Sprocket, Minglewood Hall, Sunday, July 26, doors at 7 p.m., $29.50 – $79.50, all ages
90s pop group with some seriously dedicated fans (they raised $250,000 pre-selling their album on Kickstarter) takes their nostalgia show to Minglewood Hall at the end of the month. Sadly, they're not bringing tour mates Smash Mouth with them for this show.

11. Chris Robinson Brotherhood, New Daisy Theatre, Friday, July 31, doors at 7 p.m., $20 + fees, all ages
Rolling Stone describes the CRB as " quirky, triply, soulful, and downright magnetic." The psychedelic rock group plays at the end of the month in the newly remodeled New Daisy on Beale Street.


12. Raekwon & Ghostface Killah 20th Anniversary Tour, Minglewood Hall, Friday, doors at 8 p.m., July 31, $15 – $200, all ages
Two hip-hop legends and former members of the Wu-Tang Clan mark the 20th anniversary of the classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx album release.

I did want to throw out a few heads-ups for some of the buzziest Memphis bands playing at the Levitt Shell in July: Mighty Souls Brass Band on Friday, July 10, Dead Soldiers on Thursday, July 16, and Motel Mirrors (John Paul Keith and Amy LaVere) on Friday, July 17, and Mark Edgar Stuart on Sunday, July 26. See the full Levitt Shell lineup here.

As always, the monthly "Listen Up" posts are not meant to be a comprehensive list of all the live music going on in Memphis this month, but a quick rundown of some notable shows of different sizes, genres, and venues. 

Do you want to submit a band/show/venue for inclusion in August's Listen Up? I accept both Memphis-based bands and touring shows. Submissions must be received by July 24. Email me at with info and please use the subject line "Listen Up August"Or just click here.

I Love Memphis via


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