One fateful summer night in a club on Beale Street, the paths of two uniquely gifted musicians aligned. Cameron Kimbrough (grandson of Junior Kimbrough and native of the famed Mississippi hill country) brought his stripped-down drum rhythms from the open air of Potts Camp, MS, to the crowded room. As the audience took in Kimbrough’s drum beats, another powerful and mesmerizing voice emerged – the sound of Damion “Yella P” Pearson’s harmonica. An instant connection grew from this chance encounter, and Cam and Yella teamed up to form Memphissippi Sounds.
Memphissippi Sounds is a refreshing blend of the past and present of blues music. Kimbrough grew up hearing the blues at his grandfather’s juke joint, and he later taught himself to sing and play guitar and drums. Yella P bought his first harmonica at age 13, a purchase he was able to make after a month of saving his lunch money. He spent countless hours honing his sound in downtown Memphis, which eventually led to him performing alongside Beale Street legend, ‘Big Jerry’ Parnell. Despite being raised on traditional blues, Memphissippi Sounds has managed to avoid the trend of merely imitating the greats of yesteryear. Instead, they bring a modern and eclectic energy to the genre, with influences gained from growing up during the rise of rap and the revival of soul. This is most evident in the vocals and lyrics of Memphissippi Sounds, which range from rhythmic and politically-charged to soulful and laid-back. Yet through it all, they never lose the authenticity of the blues.
Memphissippi Sounds officially debuted their custom sound at the New Daisy Theatre while opening up for guitar legend Eric Gales. Since then, they’ve taken the Memphissippi sound on the road, playing everywhere from juke joints to major music festivals throughout the United States and abroad. In 2021, Memphissippi Sounds released their critically acclaimed debut album, Welcome to the Land, a project that charted internationally and also earned them their first Blues Awards nomination for Best Emerging Artist Album. Upcoming shows include multiple club and festival dates in the United States and Canada as well as a European tour in late 2023.
AWARDS & NOMINATIONS
Blues Music Awards – Nominees for Best Emerging Artist Album (2022)
Blues Blast Music Awards – Winners for Best New Artist Debut Album & Sean Costello Rising Star Award (2022)