Elizabeth Cawein

Elizabeth Cawein is the founder and director of Music Export Memphis, which leverages public and private support to function as an export office for Memphis music, creating opportunities for musicians and driving economic development through music and culture. She is also an adjunct professor of music publicity at the University of Memphis, and in 2019 will teach a new course she developed on Music Urbanism at Rhodes College.

Memphis music for April: Collaboration

By Published: April 15, 2019 4:41 PM CT

I love a good collaboration, when two things – or people, or ideas, or tastes – that were already great, all on their own, come together to create something even greater. Those peanut-butter-and-jelly moments. 

<strong><span>Elizabeth Cawein</span></strong>

Elizabeth Cawein

And I’m biased, of course, but I think there’s something particularly wonderful about musical collaborations, both the totally unexpected and the so-perfect-together-they’re-completely-obvious. From the one-off singles to the supergroups, I’m pretty much always here for what happens when innovative musical minds meet – and that’s part of the focus for this month’s playlist.

I’ll admit that I have collaboration on the brain because of an event Music Export Memphis is hosting April 18 – our second annual Tambourine Bash, which raises funds for our Ambassador touring grants – which will heavily feature new collaborations between artists we’ve showcased or funded in the last year.

Some of those artists make an appearance on this playlist, including Marcella & Her Lovers (“Where You Are”) and Nick Black (“One Night Love”). Because I love a good theme (surely if you’ve been reading these columns for a while you’ve picked up on that much by now), I’ve also included a thematic double-play: collaborative tracks from some of our Tambourine Bash artists, like Talibah Safiya on KAMAUU’s “MiNT” (she’ll be performing with Marcella Simien at the event) and Daz Rinko featuring She’Chinah (“Black Girl Magic”). Daz will share his new collaboration with Nick Black at the Tambourine Bash, and he’ll perform later in the night with the slate of artists we took to the A3C hip-hop festival in Atlanta last fall. (In case you missed it, we shared the highlights in video shot and produced by About 35 Miles over on our YouTube channel.

Other killer collaborations on this month’s mix include “Funnel of Love” by Motel Mirrors, one of my all-time favorite Memphis collaborations between Amy LaVere and MEM Ambassador John Paul Keith, and “Not Allowed in the House Anymore,” by another favorite, Loveland Duren – Vicki Loveland and Van Duren’s project graced our showcase stage at AmericanaFest in 2017, and we’re proud to support Van as an MEM Ambassador.

“Dreamer” by Amy LaVere & Will Sexton is another of my personal most-loved tracks on the list, and it’s a thematic double-up, too – an awesome collaboration (check out the entire "Hallelujah I’m A Dreamer" album) and a preview of the silent auction at The Tambourine Bash. Our auction is 100% Memphis-music-themed, and Amy and Will have generously donated a house concert that’ll be up for grabs alongside all sorts of musical experiences and one-of-a-kind items (think signed vinyl test pressings, handwritten lyric sheets, personal songs) donated by many of the other artists featured in this month’s mix.

The Tambourine Bash will close out with a set from the crew at Unapologetic featuring Future Everything, so the playlist also includes tracks from "Stuntarious Vol. III," the latest edition of Unapologetic’s own masterful tributes to collaboration.

We’re not all PB&J moments this month, though – it wouldn’t be right not to throw in some brand new music for you to check out, so look for new tracks from Erlee, Sumo Tre, Dylan Amore and MEM Ambassadors Hash Redactor.

And for all my shameless plugging, I’ll leave you with this: Even if you can’t make it to our event this week, I hope you’ll check out the upcoming show details for one or two of the artists on this month’s playlist and go see them live. For as much as I love the magic of a good collaboration, I love the magic of a live performance even more.


Music Export Memphis Tambourine Bash Marcella & Her Lovers Nick Black Talibah Safiya

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