Amy Black’s first few albums focused on roots/Americana and classic country, with covers of Johnny Cash alongside Black’s originals. But beginning in 2015, the singer — then based in Boston — changed her emphasis to concentrate on music in a southern soul style. After an EP and album both pointedly titled The Muscle Shoals Sessions
(and recorded at FAME Studios), Black moved south and continued her exploration of that style. Seven of the 10 tracks on Memphis
are Amy Back originals, and showcase the vocalist’s deep understanding of the sound and aesthetic of music made decades ago at Stax, Ardent, Sun, Hi and other studios in the Bluff City. Even the titles (like “It’s Hard to Love an Angry Man”) telegraph Black’s point of view: synthesizing country, soul and other genres that have deep roots in the West Tennessee city on the river.
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Sarah Borges, Dusty Springfield