Two veterans of the local music scene recently launched a music promotion, consulting and booking company.
And that company, called Kangaroo, has a full slate of big projects in the works and a serious lineup of artists already on the company’s roster.
Rachel Hurley and Curry Weber started Kangaroo a few months ago. Among the company’s new projects, they were tapped in December to be the official bookers for The Poplar Lounge – which, with the closing of the Hi-Tone, they want to turn into a more high-visible live music venue.
Kangaroo, which also just set up its official office in the back of Poplar Lounge, gave The Buccaneer Lounge a complete social media overhaul. Kangaroo helped the Buccaneer get a new website up and running to get the word out about the shows they put on.
Kangaroo is putting together a weekly residency with Madjack Records at Poplar Lounge to showcase their artists. And the new agency was hired earlier last year by the directors of “Meanwhile in Memphis,” a Memphis music history documentary, to help promote the film and help raise money to get it finished and released.
Hurley has been working directly with Memphis Music Foundation director Cameron Mann to help get the movie released. And Kangaroo put on a New Year’s Eve show at the Poplar Lounge to kick off the new partnership with the venue and to raise funds for the documentary.
Star & Micey headlined the show with Kait Lawson, and all proceeds will go directly to “Meanwhile in Memphis.”
“We started Kangaroo back in March,” Hurley said. “Curry and I had been working together for years helping Star & Micey with shows and promotion while working for Ardent. We kind of just realized one day that we had a business. We had both been asked by other bands over the years to help them get organized but we had never felt like it was the right situation before.”
Weber and Hurley both left Ardent in 2012 to do Kangaroo full time. He also is now Star & Micey’s official manager, and he has worked with the Memphis Music Foundation to book bands and run sound for both the Memfix and Memshop initiatives.
In other recent Kangaroo news, the company was hired by director Craig Brewer to handle the promotion for the new album from Memphis musician Jason Freeman.
“In addition to booking and promoting The Memphis Dawls, Lord T & Eloise and Star & Micey, we immediately started booking and promoting touring bands who needed shows in Memphis at The Hi-Tone, the P&H, 1884 Lounge and Murphy’s,” Hurley said. “They were mostly bands we became connected to through the podcast we did at Ardent called The Warm Up. We invited bands that were touring Memphis to come to Ardent and record, and I would take them and give them tours of Stax or Sun and basically sell them on Memphis. It was great for Ardent, but it also helped us develop a nationwide network.”
Hurley spent the last several years doing promotion for a Big Star documentary while also working on Web strategy for Ardent. Weber was an engineer at Ardent for several years and worked on multiple Grammy-nominated albums.
The name for their new company has some significance about the direction they’d like to go in. As a result of the way they’re shaped, Kangaroos can’t walk backwards – a trait the new company will be aiming to emulate.