Monday, November 2, 2009

Rockabilly pianist Smoochy Smith at the Powerhouse Tuesday

On Tuesday from 7 - 9pm the Powerhouse, Oxford's community arts center, will host a "Rockabilly and Liquor" edition of its Troubadour Lounge series featuring Sun Records recording artist Jerry Lee "Smoochy" Smith. Also performing are Oxford's own Jimmy Phillips and Donovan McCain, who is leading the house band. The event, which costs $7, will also include tastings of Jeremiah Ward Sweet Tea Vodka and Catdaddy Moonshine.

Smith, born in 1939, began working with Carl Perkins when he was just 14, and first recorded for Sun a couple years later with Ken Parchman. He also recorded with artists including Ace Cannon, Billy Lee Riley and Warren Smith. In the early '60s he was a member of the Stax group the Mar-Keys, who had the hit "Last Night." In the '80s I remember being impressed by Smith's frantic piano work when he was touring with the Sun Rhythm Section, a group of rockabilly veterans that also included Sonny Burgess, Paul Burlison, Stan Kesler, and J.M. Van Eaton. Here's an article about Smith by Bob Mehr in the Commercial Appeal.

Here's some video of Smith in action.

Smoochy Smith from Southern Folklore on Vimeo.

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