Hailing from Southwest Missouri and deeply inspired by the musical legacy of Memphis, Sister Lucille has turned the worlds of blues, roots, and soul on their collective head and created their own genre – Memphunk!
On March 17th, their sophomore offering Tell the World hits the streets via Blue Heart Records. Produced by Bluff City legend Reba Russell and co-produced and engineered by Dawn Hopkins, it’s no coincidence the CD is being released on a female owned label. The premiere single, “Why Not You,” is about empowerment, strength, and a collective of capability and talent blowing the lid off a proverbial musical jar that’s been sealed too long.
Being recorded, engineered, and co-produced by the self-proclaimed “Blue Eyed Bitches,” Russell and Hopkins, the video for “Why Not You” added female director Kim Lloyd as well. Russell wrote the song, specifically for this project. It’s a cigar box, slide guitar fueled anthem featuring Russell, Sister Lucille lead vocalist Kimberly Dill and her band mate Jamie Holdren. Filmed in Memphis, a very cool feature of the video is when Sister Lucille pauses at the Beale Street brass notes of engineer, Hopkins, (at 2:38) and producer Russell, (at 2:49). Also watch near the end when the ladies all show some love to the statue of Ida B. Wells at the east end of Beale Street.
The musical genetics of Sister Lucille run deep. From lead singer Dill’s Opry debut at the Ryman Auditorium as a teenager, opening for the legendary Kitty Wells, to the band’s Beale Street debut in 2014, the Springfield, MO foursome breathes funk in to the Blues, stirs it with the soul of Gospel and tints it with an air of Country to forge a sound that’s distinctly American but universal in its appeal. Dill and Holdren are both second-generation musicians, and their collective musical DNA is the fuel for Sister Lucille’s fire.
For those who don’t recognize the name Reba Russell, allow me to be the first to welcome you out from under the rock under which you’ve been living. The Memphis Chapter of NARAS awarded a Premier Player Award for vocals to Reba in both 1998 and 1999. She was also named an Emissary of Memphis Music by the Memphis Shelby County Music Commission in 2009. In 2011, Russell was nominated for the Koko Taylor Award by the Blues Foundation during their annual Blues Music Awards in Memphis. For over 35 years Reba Russell has performed in almost every venue, studio and event around the Memphis area and continues to be a stalwart of the Memphis Music Scene. Just Recently in 2018, The Reba Russell Band received an Honorary Brass Note on Beale Street.