Black Keys, Jason Isbell kick off Memphis festival

As the 2022 Memphis Music Festival kicks off on the grounds of the Memphis Botanical Gardens, the Radians Amphitheater thrives with a familiar name and sound.

The small but enthusiastic early crowd was greeted by performances from rising stars Bette Smith and Aditya Victoria, who helped usher in the early hours of Friday’s three-day festival. The crowd swells at sunset and is based in Nashville, with deep ties to Memphis and the South Central.

Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter Jason Isbell has become a Bluff City favorite, going through all stages of his rise – from Minglewood Hall to Orpheum to Beale Street Music Festival, with multiple appearances at Mempho.

Jason Isbell and Unit 400 perform at the 2022 Memphis Festival at the Memphis Botanical Garden on Friday, September 9th.  March 30, 2022.

The former University of Memphis student — who gave up just a few credits while earning a degree in creative writing and started playing at local café The Map Room in the 90s — has grown up with the support of his band The 400 Unit. Part of the time was back in Memphis (which included drummer and ex-Memphian Chad Gamble, along with Isbell’s wife, fiddler/singer Amanda Shires, that night).

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