Mighty Souls Brass Band is Memphis’ only brass band.
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Debut album out January 27 on Blue Barrel Records

(MEMPHIS, TN) – If you’ve been just about anywhere in Memphis lately – an outdoor festival, a craft beer tap room or a revived music hall, say – you’ve seen some incarnation of the Mighty Souls Brass Band. That rotating collection of musicians, anchored by Sean Murphy on sousaphone, will finally share its sound with the world outside Memphis with Lift Up!, out on Blue Barrel Records January 27, 2015.

Mighty Souls Brass Band isn’t a soul band, nor is it a funk band, a marching band, or a swing band.  And yet, depending on where you catch them live, you’ll hear all of those influences, as well as more from around the globe, in the group’s music.  “We’re not interested in just being a bunch of Memphis musicians playing New Orleans-style brass band music,” says Murphy.  “We love that music, and we honor it.  But we love Memphis music too, and world music, and we want to pay tribute to that history.  And it’s a deep one.”

The Mighty Souls Brass Band roster is an evolving list of knockout players whose chops around Memphis are long-established. The group began to coalesce in 2012, when Murphy and sax wizard Jim Spake came together to play a New Orleans-style funeral, accompanied by horn player/vocalist Jeremy Shrader and percussionist Earl Lowe. Murphy, who has spent 13 years honing his chops in an improv dance and music group, found a kindred spirit in the wildly versatile Spake, whose sax playing has graced three decades’ worth of albums by Alex Chilton, Al Green, the North Mississippi All-Stars, Solomon Burke, Rod Stewart, Natalie Merchant, and dozens more.

The philosophy, the sound and that killer line-up make the Mighty Souls the perfect fit for Blue Barrel Records, a Memphis imprint that will also make its debut with Lift Up! in January.

The record was largely recorded live (at Music+Arts Studio in Memphis) to catch the infectious synergy of the group.  MSBB’s members composed ten of the album’s dozen tracks – rooted by bandleader Murphy’s sousaphone, this band has talent to burn, and that talent burns bright and fierce on Lift Up!  From the swaggering opener “STS” to the stomping blues-holler “Lift Up Your Mighty Soul” to the stately southern swing of the traditional “I’ll Fly Away,” this is a band that knows where its roots lie, but also where its branches are reaching, far out into the world, a world that, as Murphy notes, seems invariably to express its deepest spiritual desires and celebrations through music.

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