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VOL. 125 | NO. 140 | Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Up on the Roof

Madison Hotel offers sunsets, river views and parties on Thursdays

MITCH McCRACKEN | Special to The Daily News

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Thursday night is party night in Memphis, at least from mid-April until the end of August on the rooftop of the Madison Hotel.

Sunset atop the Madison Hotel Concert Series is a cooperative effort between the Madison Hotel, Resource Entertainment Group and local entertainment. The music ranges from jazz to blues to rockabilly to oldies.

Resource Entertainment Group books the entertainment, for the most part all Memphis groups, while the Madison Hotel supplies the venue with a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River as the sun sets.

Some of the acts that have entertained on the rooftop this season are Memphis All-Stars, Grant Garland Band, Elmo & the Shades (who will be returning Aug. 26), Reba Russell Band, Joyce Cobb and Eddie Harrison.

Last Thursday night The Legends of Rock performed to a capacity crowd. Their music is the hits of the 1960s and 70s and features Dean Deyo, president of the Memphis Music Foundation, on drums. The other members of the band are Andy Black, David Beaver, Gina Moore, Mel Senter and Mike Strickland, who have been involved in Memphis music for years.

“We had a marvelous time. Love, love the band,” said an excited Betty Simpkins who was enjoying the show and the slight breeze that was cooling things off a bit last week. “It was like one big party and the ambience was out of this world – pretty near heaven.

I have said before, you can feel the Memphis music when you hit the city limits.”

That breeze did seem to cool things off a bit. But then it got a little too breezy.

“We really blew them away – literally,” Deyo said after the performance. “The night was warm but with a nice breeze. Then a storm came up and a straight-line wind hit and dumped a light pole on my drums – that stopped us immediately and emptied the dance floor. A memorable night.”

Josh Spotts, Catering and Conference Service manager for the Madison Hotel, said he is proud of the concerts now in their eighth season.

“They help promote the hotel, Memphis music and local entertainment in a fun and exciting way,” he said.

The Sunset atop the Madison Hotel Concert Series for the remainder of the season will be Brad Birkedahl & the Burnin’ Love Band on Thursday, Daddy Mack Blues Band July 29, Gary Johns Aug. 5, Brian “Breeze” Cayolle Aug. 12, Eric Hughes Band Aug. 19 and Elmo & the Shades on Aug. 26. Tickets are $7.

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