Savannah’s piano playing blues dynamo, Victor Wainwright, just released “Memphis Loud”, the follow up to his 2019 Grammy award nominated debut album. Wainwright, who is currently based in Memphis, Tennessee, is beloved for his innovative approach to boogie-woogie and blues, drawing on elements of roots music, R&B, soul, gospel, hip-hop, and even psychedelia.
“This is a straight continuation from our last album,” Wainwright explained. “You can listen to them straight through if you wanted to. The songs came together just as I expected.”Victor Wainwright · Memphis Loud Sampler 2020
Wainwright co-produced “Memphis Loud” with Dave Gross and was able to bring back all of the same players from the first album, plus some new additions.
“We grew the family a little bit, we reached further and took on the music from a slightly different angle,” he added. “I also tried to represent that on the front of the album by asking the same artist to recreate our train on the front of the album. The musical train but, actually positioned at a slightly different angle, coming at you at a slightly different angle, and I think that’s what this music is doing, but you can most certainly tell it’s from the same group, and it’s a continuation.”
Even though the album is called “Memphis Blues” the sound is shaped by Wainwright’s experiences in Savannah.
“Our music history within our Savannah family runs really deep,” explained Wainwright. “My grandfather was a professional musician in Savannah, so was my dad, uncle, and others in the family. They played in and around Savannah their whole lives. I think the music, that you can hear on this album, it really has a Savannah history to it, and if you listen to it, if you’re hip to that sort of roots music, blues, honky tonk, genuine rock n’ roll sound, it’s going to sound familiar because these are the roots in which I grew up, And I’ve been told a few times that it has a very original Savannah-ish sound that is very intriguing to me and something that I appreciate.”
“Memphis Loud” was slated to come out April 24, but was delayed because of COVID-19. The album was finally released May 22 and immediately debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart.
“It’s humbling, but also when you’re sitting around and realizing people are going out and pre-ordering on Amazon and the website it makes me feel great because it encourages me to keep working as hard as I am, also to complete the trilogy,” said Wainwright. “I’ve got one more to do and I’m already working on that album. I’ve been finished with this one for seven or eight months, so I’ve turned the corner and started the new one.”
Backed by his outstanding band, The Train, Wainwright is a highly energetic performer and gregarious raconteur, wowing audiences with his electrifying honkey-tonk piano and soulful voice. Unfortunately, it is impossible to tour on the new album, but Wainwright is still entertaining his fans with a new series on Facebook called “Late Night with Wainwright.”
Streaming from Wainwright’s home studio in Memphis, the first episode premiered on May 19 and drew over 32,000 views. “Late Night with Wainwright” is a variety show that goes beyond the usual quarantine concert format. Episode 2 featured a hilarious cooking segment, call-ins from his bandmates, a guest music performance with award-winning harmonica phenom Dennis Gruenling, recorded zoom call “gig story” with band mate Damon Fowler from Southern Hospitality, and of course, plenty of on-the-spot live music.
The series also offers an opportunity for fans to chat live with Wainwright before and during the show. Wainwright plans to produce a new episode about every three weeks, so keep an eye his Facebook page for future shows.