Tuesday, September 29, 2009



“STILL LIFE IN SOUL: Contemporary Music Photography by Jacob Blickenstaff”
November 6, 2009 – April 30, 2010

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music announces a new exhibition, “STILL LIFE IN SOUL,” opening November 6th, 2009. The exhibit explores the current life, activity, and resurgence in popularity of soul music through portrait, performance, and documentary photography made since 2005 by music photographer Jacob Blickenstaff.

Opening Reception and Party

Friday, November 6, 2009 - 7-10 p.m.

Food, Cocktails, Former Stax Records Artists, Jacob Blickenstaff, and other Special Guests

Live Music by the Stax Music Academy

$20 General Admission - FREE to Stax Museum Members

Click Here for information about how to join!

More about "STILL LIFE IN SOUL":

Soul music was a nuanced, emotional, and energetic idiom that reached a worldwide audience at its height in the 1960s but then virtually disappeared by the end of the 1970s. After subsequent decades of disco, hip-hop, rap, and modern R&B – much of which covered and sampled original soul music classics from Stax Records and other labels – the roots of authentic soul are sprouting again with revived careers of veteran artists, dynamic new acts, successful concerts and festivals, reissue projects, and soul-driven independent labels.

According to Blickenstaff, “This started out as a project about music history, but I quickly found a community of music lovers, labels, bands, festivals, and DJ’s that were all coming together to support and create great music with the older artists. This work focuses on the current lives of the artists but the story is really about everyone working together to make it happen. It’s an amazing, passion-driven phenomenon that soul music is growing again in the 21st century.”

Artists represented in the 40 photos in the exhibit include Bettye LaVette, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Barbara Lynn, Maxine Brown, Roscoe Robinson, Harvey Scales, Candi Staton, Sir Lattimore Brown, Otis Clay, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Skip Pitts, Ben Cauley, Mighty Hannibal, John Gary Williams (of the Mad Lads), and many others. The work chronicles performances at The Ponderosa Stomp, Lincoln Center, Dig Deeper, and the Brooklyn Soul Festival, as well as recording sessions at Daptone Studios. Performances were backed by contemporary soul bands the Bo-Keys, The Sweet Divines, and Eli Reed and the True Loves.

As the only soul music museum in the world, it’s an essential part of our mission to recognize these incredible artists and organizations that are dedicated to authentic soul music who are bringing a whole new generation of fans to the scene. It is also very much in keeping with the philosophy of our Stax Music Academy, where we carry the Stax Records legacy of playing real music into the future with a new generation.

Jacob Blickenstaff is a music photographer based in New York City. His work has been published internationally in magazines and newspapers including Rolling Stone, WIRE, Wax Poetics, No Depression, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Offbeat, Gambit Weekly, and Time Out New York. He has also been an official photographer for the Ponderosa Stomp since 2007. Additional music clients include Lincoln Center, NPR Music, Daptone Records, and Proper American Records. This is the first major exhibition of his photography.
An opening reception for the exhibit will be held November 6th at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, during which students of the Stax Music Academy will perform for guests and former Stax Records artists.

For more information, images, or to schedule an interview with the photographer, please contact Tim Sampson at 901-942-2535 or

To learn more about Jacob Blickenstaff and to see more of his photography, visit his website at

Sunday, September 20, 2009

O My Soul! Big Star box set now available at the Stax Museum

While Stax is best known for the classic soul music that it churned out in the '60s and '70s, there were also a few rock and roll bands and artists that recorded for Stax and its sister labels. One of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed bands from that era is the subject of an impressive new CD box set, which is now available at the Stax Museum Online Shop.

Big Star inspired a fevered allegiance among fans of power pop, giving rise to a cult of believers who spent decades spreading the gospel. Their enthusiasm turned this obscure Memphis pop band – one that got little airplay, sold few records, and only played a handful of times – into a remarkable rock and roll resurrection story. Big Star’s trek from obscure Memphis band to standard bearers for an entire genre of music has never been fully mapped – until now.

Keep An Eye On The Sky spans 1968 to 1975 and shows the progression of Big Star through selections from such studio precursors as Rock City and Icewater; music from Big Star’s acclaimed albums (the Ardent/Stax releases #1 Record and Radio City, as well as Third/Sister Lovers); and relevant solo work by group principals Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, who formed Big Star in 1971 with bassist Andy Hummel and drummer Jody Stephens.

This four-CD collection mixes classic Big Star tracks with a trove of unreleased demos, unused mixes, alternate versions of songs, and a 1973 concert recorded in Memphis. The lavish packaging includes extensive liner notes, rare and never-before-seen photos from William Eggleston and others, and insightful essays about the cult of Big Star and the band’s history.

Check out some of the reviews:

4 1/2 Stars
- "The four CDs of Keep An Eye On The Sky are the last word on Big Star's first, ultimately glorious lifetime." - Rolling Stone

4 1/2 Stars - "Anybody who has ever loved the band will find something to cherish here, whether it's the crackerjack live show... or merely the context of the set, which tells the story of America's greatest cult band this side of the Velvet Underground in a complete and affecting fashion." -

A - "Anyone who still needs convincing will find the case for Big Star's legendhood made beyond a reasonable doubt on Keep An Eye On The Sky." - Entertainment Weekly

9.3 (out of 10) - "Big Star aren't just rock's greatest cult band; they were arguably rock's first cult band. Keep An Eye On The Sky sounds like the one reissue that finally gets Big Star right." - Pitchfork