Well, we can’t say the state of Tennessee never does anything for Memphis, not after seeing the stellar promotional video just released by the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development. It’s designed to promote Memphis as a music tourism destination, and it hits all the right notes, from the usual — Graceland, Beale Street, Sun Studio — to the less obvious — Ardent Studios, the Stax Academy, St. Blues Guitars, the Ornamental Metal Museum.
The film is beautifully shot, both in black-and-white and in color, a visual love letter to the city. The premise is a little hokey: an actual Knoxville indie band (the Black Cadillacs) with two Memphis-born members drives to Memphis for inspiration to complete a song they’ve been working on. The boys go all over town, soaking up the vibe, talking to Memphis musicians, eating at Gus’s, hanging out at Willie Mitchell’s studio.
Once they get the song worked out, they head over to Ardent Studios to record it. And it’s not a bad song, to be honest. But the real star of the show is Memphis. It’s a sales job for the city, but it’s done with class and a reasonable amount of hipness and subtlety. Bravo to the state Department of Tourism Development for a job well done. You can view the video below and judge for yourself.