Album Review: Various — Always Memphis Rock and Roll

For me, the Black & Wyatt Records label is a trademark of quality. Since its launch in 2018, the Memphis label has sought to bring interesting and outside-the-box music to the wider public. And it’s been quite successful on that score: I’ve covered a number of Black & Wyatt releases here on Musoscribe, including titles from Jack Oblivian, Turnstyles, Your Academy, Snowglobe, Heathens and more.

It seems like as good a time as any for the label to pause a beat and take a victory lap. And that’s pretty much what Always Memphis Rock and Roll is: a 14-track collection of songs from some of those artists, and others besides. Recorded in 1956(!), the amazing “Steady Girl” from The Heathens is the standout cut here – and the one with the most compelling back story – but it’s a fun comp from start to finish. The song list aims to chronicle Black & Wyatt’s first few years in operation, and this set of (non-chronologically sequenced) tunes succeeds on that level, drawing from B&W’s first nine releases. It’s also a fun listen, and – for anyone who might need it – a tidy window into understanding what the label is all about. And hey: it’s on vinyl.