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April 4, 2017
by: Ted Hamm, Director

Melissa Etheridge for Good: 'Memphis Rock & Soul' Revives 1960's Musical History

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Melissa Etheridge and her full band will close out Season 4 of The Étude Sessions on Thursday, April 20th at the Stefanie H. Weill Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. In a recent interview with The Sheboygan Press, Etheridge promised that the show will feature some of her classic songs as well as music from her now album, 'Memphis Rock and Soul.' The unique album is a tribute to the Memphis Blues and a historic time in America music. Stax Records was among the first to recognize that soul music transcended racial segregation in the 1960's - recording renown artists like Booker T and the M.G.s, Otis Redding, and the Mar-Keys. By reimagining songs from the Stax Records songbook, like "Respect Yourself" by the Staples Singers, Etheridge reminds us of some of the lessons learned through the Civil Rights Movement. At the same time, she applies her special rock artistry to move Memphis Blues into a new genre. 

In a Rolling Stone interview, Etheridge shares the following about Stax and the Memphis Blues:

"It was just a joy of music and spirit and creating soul music, which is the music that inspired everybody. It inspired the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and everything you were hearing coming out of England. They were all listening to this music. I've seen Janis Joplin watching Otis Redding onstage, and then you go watch a clip of her at Woodstock, and she's moving and singing just like him. It's the deep inspiration, the deep birth of rock & roll that came from this music and this spirit. I think the spirit of rock & roll is that which excites and makes people think and moves us beyond our comfort zone, and that's why I really wanted to bring these songs back and reimagine them in a rock & roll way."

Melissa Etheridge is well known for giving voice to marginalized communities. We love that she brings her own energy to "Good Cause" as an artist in The Étude Sessions. Moreover, 'Memphis Rock and Soul" is an example of how artists become students of other artists, experts and their work. Our Good Cause is, of course, students in The Étude Group schools, who we hope to empower as leaders, creatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens through authentic learning experiences beyond classroom walls. The funds raised by this concert and season will support opportunities for students to participate in real world problem solving, college visits, artist-in-residence programs, and field experiences. 

Please join us for a night of great music, supporting our schools and a tradition of empowerment through the arts.

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