SLG Music is a record label and distributor that celebrates the innovative music of the Mojo Triangle, a geographical area that can be visualized if you draw a straight line from New Orleans to Nashville, then over to Memphis and back down to New Orleans, following the curves of the Mississippi River. That triangular patch of land is the birthplace of country, blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. SLG Music Director James L. Dickerson coined the phrase for his award-winning music history, Mojo Triangle: Birthplace of Country, Blues, Jazz and Rock ‘n’ Roll. In the 1980s, Dickerson was the publisher of Nine-O-One Network, at one time the third-largest-circulation music magazine in the U.S.
It is the mission of SLG Music to celebrate the music of the region and help elevate the art form to new levels. As a division of Sartoris Literary Group, SLG Music is dedicated to the exploration of Southern culture.
PICK A DREAM / Papa Don McMinn
Producer: Don Nix
Executive Producer: James L. Dickerson
Papa Don McMinn is one of Memphis’ most respected blues guitarists and vocalists. For years he was part-owner of Rum Boogie Café, where he was leader of the house band and instrumental in the redevelopment of Memphis’ Beale Street. Over the years he has performed or recorded with B.B. King, John Mayall, Etta James, to name a few. For years he has wanted to record a country album, Memphis style, one that would reflect a more soulful take on country music. Pick a Dream is the culmination of that dream, as nurtured by the creative genius of Don Nix, and it shows McMinn at his very best.
Memphis has been influencing country music since the 1950s.The first wave came from Johnny Cash, whose raw, energetic music transformed Nashville music by replacing the foot-tapping rhythms of fiddle and banjo with a hard-driving guitar rhythm and passionate song lyrics that sometimes walked the dark side of the street. Following him to Nashville was a Sun Records engineer, the late Jack “Cowboy” Clement, who became a major influence in Nashville in the 1960s as a producer, musician and songwriter. The third leg in that musical stool was producer Chips Moman and his house band, the 827 Thomas Street Band, all of whom relocated to Nashville in the mid-1970s.
Following in that tradition is former Stax Records producer Don Nix, best known for his work with Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, and Albert King. He is the songwriter of “Going Down,” the blues-rock anthem that has been recorded by Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam and others. He began this album by contacting some of the best songwriters in the country, including “Pick a Dream” songwriter Larry Raspberry, lead singer for the Gentrys (“Keep on Dancing”) and hit songwriter (Jimmy Buffet’s “Dixie Diner” and Carly Simon’s “Tired of Being Blonde);” Gary Talley, Nashville songwriter and former guitarist with the Grammy-nominated Box Tops, the first Memphis group to score a No. 1 pop hit (“The Letter”). Rounding out the songwriters were Nashville legend Bob McDill, (“Good Ole Boys Like Us” and “All the Good Ones Are Gone)” and the late John Jarrard, who scored 11 chart-topping country hits as a songwriter (Alabama’s “There’s No Way” and George Strait’s “Blue Clear Sky).”
Once he had gathered songs from some of America’s top songwriters, Nix put together an all-star group of musicians to work in the studio: on drums, Greg Morrow, who has worked with Amy Grant, Sheryl Crow, and LeAnn Rimes; on bass, Tommy McClure, who has worked with Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Aretha Franklin; on keyboards, Doyle Newmyer, who performed with the Memphis Symphony and Memphis Civic Orchestra; on sax, Lannie McMillan, who has worked or recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Moody Blues, and Al Green; on guitar, Gene Nunez, who has worked with the Memphis Soul Revue and Sam the Sham; on steel guitar, Robby Turner, who has recorded and toured with The Highwaymen and the Dixie Chicks.
If you like country music with barbecue-dripping soul, and want it flawlessly performed and produced, Pick a Dream is the album for you.