Orion Free Concert Series: Memphis PowerPop Festival
Concert begins at 5:30PM sharp.
2023 Orion Free Concert Series at Overton Park Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Overton Park Shell is a nonsmoking facility.
*A live interpreter will be available in partnership with DeafConnect of the Mid-South.
About the Festival:
An evening of Power Pop returns to Overton Park Shell this year brought to you by the organizers of the Memphis Powerpop Festival and the Shell. The Sonny Wilsons will kick off the evening at 5:30pm with the headliner The Baseball Project taking the stage at 7PM. Join us for a great night of energetic music, delicious food trucks, community on the lawn, and entertainment for all.
About The Baseball Project:
In 2008 they busted out of the box and easily reached first with their Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails. The Baseball Project was on base and immediately posed a threat to go further. In 2011, they moved on to second with some wildness aptly called High andInside. They were halfway home. Three years later in 2014, the quintet of Big Stars moved on down the line to the aptly titled 3 rd , an epic double dip delight of craftsmanship and savvy.
And there they stayed. For 9 long years at the hot corner, but we’re happy to say that The Baseball Project is finally coming home, scoring big and touching ‘em all with their fourth album Grand Salami Time. The scoreboard is lighting up and the fireworks are illuminating the sky
Speaking of reaching home, this album is a homecoming of sorts, as the band recorded and produced the album with none other than the legendary Mitch Easter. BBP members Peter Buck and Mike Mills’ made their first albums with Mitch back in the early 80s with a swingin’ little combo called R.E.M.
Scott McCaughey and Steve Wynn kept busy themselves, busting out new tunes with the Minus 5/Young Fresh Fellows (Scott) and The Dream Syndicate (Steve), while stockpiling a passel of penned poetics about the national pastime, many co-written with Peter. Mike adds a new classic of his own about doctored baseballs called “Stuff.”
Linda Pitmon, who along with Peter and Scott has been part of a steady rhythmic nucleus, bashing out epic rock platters with Filthy Friends, Alejandro Escovedo, Luke Haines & Peter Buck, is back driving the ship from behind her mighty drum machine.
All in all, a fancy pedigree but, as Wynn points out, “this is our only band that plays stadiums” — true story as The Baseball Project has performed full sets along with the National Anthem and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at major league parks in Boston, Chicago, Milwaukee, Denver, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and more minor league and spring training fields, as well as having thrown out some exceptional first pitches (nothing but strikes!) as well.
It’s all part of an unusual arc and fun story of a band whose first gig was an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman followed by a festival in a medieval Spanish city. For a quintet that has seemingly done everything over the years with their other bands, The Baseball Project always offers new and uncharted experiences.
The album was recorded at Mitch Easter’s fabled Fidelitorium Studios in Kernersville, North Carolina, with the entire band performing live together in the same room, a joyous experience that seemed impossible to imagine only one year before. Mitch adds guitar on a few tracks and the record also features appearances by Stephen McCarthy (Long Ryders) and Steve Berlin (Los Lobos).
About The Sonny Wilsons:
The Sonny Wilsons is the power pop project of Adam Yancey (Solo artist, Afterglow, The Chain Hopsons, The Becky’s) and Allen Couch (East Link).
Adam Yancey, who gigged his way through flight school is, and this is a direct quote, “The only idiot in the world that got into the music business for the money. And the only idiot, in the history of idiots, which is a long list, who had to fall back on a music career to become an airline pilot!”
Multi-instrumentalist Allen Couch’s love of music began when he stumbled upon, and subsequently appropriated, his parent’s 8-track copy of Abbey Road. Yep, he’s that old…. Thus began a lifelong appreciation for a well structured pop harmony.
They are joined by singer-songwriter-guitarist Danny McGreger (Lately David), guitarist Chris Swenson (El Dorado Del Ray, Black Oak Arkansas, studio engineer) and bassist Johnny Norris (Crash Into June, Your Academy).
The Sonny Wilsons’ first album, recorded at Ardent and High/Low studios with Jon Auer (Posies, Big Star) producing, will be released late summer of 2023.