Why would two doctors appetite to alpha a almanac label? Ask Dennis Black and Robert Wyatt of Black & Wyatt Records, and they’ll acquaint you it’s because they adulation Memphis music.
Black is a pediatric gastroenterologist, and Wyatt is a pediatric nephrologist. They met through their assignment at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and affirmed over their adulation of music, decidedly Memphis rock-and-roll.
Wyatt says alike admitting he’s lived and accomplished anesthetic in Memphis back the 1980s, for abounding years he was blind of the city’s abundant underground music scene. “When I had a analysis to run, a analysis lab, and a ancestors to raise, I absent out. My lab techs were activity to the Antenna Club, but I never did.”
Black grew up in Covington and formed at the town’s radio station, WKBL, in aerial school, again for Memphis State’s WTGR “Music has affectionate of been my amusement all along,” he says. “Unfortunately, I can’t absolutely play. But I like audition alive music, and I accept a acceptable almanac collection.”
“About the time $5 Cover came out, I started advantageous absorption to Memphis bands and affair Memphis musicians,” Wyatt says.
After he got to apperceive several Memphis musicians through the charwoman company, Two Chicks and a Broom (“Valerie June bankrupt our abode for a adequately continued aeon of time.”), he started hiring bands to comedy for backyard parties at his home in 2012. The Harbert Avenue Balustrade Appearance has back admiring Jack Oblivian, the River City Tanlines, Snowglobe, and James and the Ultrasounds, to name a few.
“He’s his own little institution, with the balustrade shows,” says filmmaker Mike McCarthy, a Memphis jailbait avant-garde whose babe Hanna Star was additionally featured in a balustrade show. “Mike approached me about absent to put the Fingers Like Saturn anthology out,” says Wyatt. Fingers Like Saturn was a bandage McCarthy formed to affection Cori Dials (now Cori Mattice), a accompanist and extra he met while alive at Sun Studios in 2006. He saw Mattice sing with her bandage the Splints. “They were good, but she looked like a Chrissie Hynde/Debbie Harry amount — absent in time, abounding of charisma.”
McCarthy wrote a agglomeration of songs and aggregate keyboardist Shelby Bryant, sax amateur Suzi Hendrix, cellist Jonathan Kirkscey, and guitarist George Takeda. Again he put guitar astrologer Steve Selvidge on drums, which, amazingly, works aloof fine.
“I alien Cori to this accumulation of accomplished eccentrics,” says McCarthy. “She jumped appropriate into it.”
The bandage recorded at Sun Studios and at Selvidge’s home studio. “I’ve consistently played in jailbait bands, but I capital this bandage to be a well-produced glam-rock band,” says McCarthy.
Filled with Memphis abundant hitters and captivated calm with Mattice’s able alto, the glam access is palpable, abnormally in songs like the Bowie-worshipping “Glam Lies.” But, back it’s Memphis, the sounds are added eccentric. “Satin (Pine Box Lullaby)” dabbles in Mexicalia by way of Johnny Cash. “Black Ray of Sunshine,” a carol about the Black Dahlia, is an aboriginal archetype of the string-arranging abilities that accept fabricated Kirkscey a approved soundtrack composer.
Before the eponymous almanac could acquisition a label, Mattice’s career took her out of Memphis, and the bandage drifted apart. Ten years later, McCarthy played the recordings for Black and Wyatt. “We listened to the recordings, and they were absolutely good!” says Black. “It was aloof a cabal of contest that it didn’t get a advanced absolution at the time. If we were activity to do it, we absitively to accomplish it a absolutely nice record.”
Fingers Like Saturn will accumulate at DKDC on October 24th for Black & Wyatt’s aboriginal almanac absolution party. But the label-mates are already attractive advanced to their aing release: a distinct by the Heathens, a Memphis aerial academy barn bandage that recorded at Sun Studios in 1956. Black and Wyatt plan to abide absolution a admixture of a Memphis acts and absent gems from the 60-year history of Memphis rock.
“We’re not in it to become millionaires,” says Black. “We accept our day jobs. We appetite to get the music out there.”
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