Signing Story With Blues Band Southern Avenue

Date Signed: March 20, 2024

Label: Alligator Records

Band Members: Tierinii Jackson, lead vocals; Ori Naftaly, guitar; Tikyra “TK” Jackson, drums, vocals; Ava Jackson, violin, percussion, vocals; Jeremy Powell, keyboards; Blake Reah, bass.

Type of Music: Blues, R&B

Management: Jonathan Schwartz - General Music, LLC

Booking: Jordan Burger - Reliant Talent

Legal: Janine Small

Publicity: Marc Lipkin - Alligator Records

A&R: John Burk

Web: southernavenuemusic.com 

Southern Avenue is a band that is certainly a product of its environment. They are the new wave of blues and roots ensembles that are carrying that musical torch of the past and infusing it with a fresh and vibrant energy.

Lead vocalist Tierinii Jackson, along with sisters Tikyra and Ava are true daughters of the South and, specifically, Memphis, TN natives. Here the lead vocalist talks about her experiences growing up in their hometown. “Memphis is very rich in culture and history. When I was growing up, I didn’t leave Memphis very often so I didn’t understand what was so special around me and the music that I was always immersed in,” says Jackson. “My grandparents were pastors and I was sheltered growing up in the church. But riding this whole musical journey in the band has been about me connecting my roots to the gospel and the blues.”

The band’s origin began in 2012 when Naftaly, who eventually married Tierinii, came from Israel with his solo band to play the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. As the band broke up Naftaly wanted to stay on and sought out a singer. Tierinii was recommended to him and they got on very well. Bringing in Tikyra on drums and as a writing partner sealed the deal for a partnership in starting a new band. 

Named for a popular street in the area, Southern Avenue played all over Memphis. They steadily built a strong following which culminated in their being discovered by Exceleration Music’s John Burk in a club on St. Patrick’s Day. He initially signed them to a deal with legendary Stax Records in 2017. 

“I think the biggest and most significant change is the bond we create when we write together,” says Jackson. “We were such a new band when we started writing together. But the more our family has grown and the relationships have evolved, the stronger our collaboration is.”

Southern Avenue’s, as yet untitled, Alligator Records debut will drop sometime in 2024.