World Cafe

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Jody Stephens on Ardent Studios and Big Star

Big Star Big Star
Our Sense of Place visit to Memphis moves away from Soul music to the place where the seminal albums of American power-pop were created. Ardent Studios is where the Memphis band Big Star made the three albums that define the genre.

We talk with Jody Stephens, Ardent studio manager and drummer for Big Star, about recording with his now deceased band-mates Alex Chilton, Chris Bell and Andy Hummel. Jody also praises Ardent owner John Fry, who started engineering at the age of 14, for helping to forge the band’s sound. Big Star inspired so many other bands to record at Ardent including REM and The Replacements.
There is lots more about Memphis food, venues and more spots to visit at our Sense of Place website.

Session Setlist
Big Star / "September Gurls" / Radio City
Big Star / "Thank You Friends" / Sister Lovers

Spotify Playlist Ardent Studio Artists
1. Big Star - "In the Street"
2. R.E.M. - "Orange Crush"
3. ZZ Top - "La Grange"
4. The White Stripes - "Blue Orchid"
5. The Replacements - "Alex Chilton"
6. James Taylor - "You've Got a Friend"
7. Leon Russell - "It's A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"
8. George Thorogood and the Destroyers - "Bad to the Bone"
9. Gin Blossoms - "Found Out About You"
10. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble - "The Sky is Crying"