Grammy nominated keyboard player/singer-songwriter Victor Wainwright and the Train are set to release Memphis Loud May 22nd on Ruf Records, featuring 12 songs, all written/co-written by Wainwright. Memphis Loud was co-produced by Wainwright and Dave Gross and recorded at Music+Arts Studio in Memphis, TN.
Joining Wainwright (vocals, piano, Hammond B3, electric piano) in the studio are Th Train: Billy Dean (drums, percussion, vocals), Terrence Grayson (bass, vocals), Pat Harrington (guitar, vocals), Mark Earley (baritone sax, tenor sax & clarinet), Doug Woolverton (trumpet & flugelhorn) and Dave Gross (guitar, vocals, percussion). Special guests on Memphis Loud include former ‘Train’ Greg Gumpel (guitar/vocals), Reba Russell & Gracie Curran (vocals), Monster Mike Welch (guitar).
As a seven-time Blues Music Award winner, including Band of the Year and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, 2020 BMA nominee for Piano Player of the Year, Victor Wainwright’s release is a snapshot of America’s great cities and genres, embodying a connection between exciting unseen places with a modern twist. As the title suggests, Memphis Loud’s rattle-and-shout originals demand to be played at speaker-shaking volume.
“Find a moment”, Wainwright advises, “to sit back with your favorite headphones or speakers, turn it up, and listen. It’s heavy and I know you’re gonna love it.”
Stick a pin in the post-millennium roots scene and you’ll find Victor Wainwright at the heart of the action, breaking the rules. Since perking up ears with his 2005 release, Piana’ From Savannah, the now Memphis-based Savannah, Georgia native has been a vital force in the American roots scene, lost count of his industry awards, and elbowed aside the pop pretenders to scale the dizzying heights of the Billboard Top 10. He’s an ageless, genre-defying presence, busting at the seams with original music that darts between Americana, Jam, Soul, Funk, Blues, Jazz and even Psyche- delia. As he says; “Everyone’s welcome aboard the train.”
Wainwright’s latest locomotive only further stokes his creative fire. Whether in the studio or on the stage, Memphis Loud follows The Train’s self-titled studio debut’s 2019 Grammy Nomination with joyous, ears-wide-open music. The exchange of energy is breathtaking. “Our fans are like locomotive firemen,” says the bandleader, “frantically shoveling coal into the furnace. They fuel us as we pull handles, twist knobs and screech around bends. With flying sparks and a wicked whistle, we’re arriving right on time with Memphis Loud.”
The title track, “Memphis Loud” skillfully combines Wainwright’s piano-driven rhythmic fire with the story of a benevolent music-locamo- tive. Featured artistically on the album’s cover, this unique train proudly offers an exciting journey, escape and redemption to all who board it. With echoes of New Orleans piano, horns, and haunting chamber vocals, the song conjures a cinematic sense of looming, while celebrating the catharsis of music. “By the song’s end,” explains Wainwright, “the listener is surrounded by a hundred singing voices in emotional toil, but relieving that pain by singing, and letting it all out.”
All aboard! Renowned for twisting roots music into bold new shapes, Wainwright’s recording sessions in Memphis, flanked by co-producer Dave Gross and a Wishlist of special guests, has birthed a modern classic. “I like to produce and write with immense musical curiosity,” he says, “leaving no roots stone unturned, but pushing the art-form forward. I carry with me the lessons from my grandfather, who taught me piano, and countless hours studying the roots of blues, genuine rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, boogie-woogie and honky-tonk, all the while honestly developing that into something modern, fun, unique, emotional and powerful.”
Victor Wainwright Online