One of Memphis’ stalwarts of the great ‘90s garage scene, instrumental band Impala, will return with ‘In The Late Hours,’ out August 24 on Electraphonic Recordings, drawing on Memphis’ garage, blues, and soul traditional and incorporating surf, spaghetti western, music from spy movies, and music to strip by. It’s the band’s first album since 2006’s ‘Night Full of Sirens.’
The band has impeccable credentials: its debut was co-produced by Sun Records and Jerry Lee Lewis veteran Roland Janes; they opened shows for Dick Dale and Davie Allen & The Arrows; had music in George Clooney’s film “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.” Scott Bomar, the group’s bassist, began producing and running his own studio, formed the seminal blues-soul combo the Bo-Keys, and began composing, creating scores for films such as Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan and Mississippi Grind. Other Impalas include trumpeter Marc Franklin, who was a member of the bands of Gregg Allman and Bobby “Blue” Bland, and drummer Paul Buchignani, formerly of The Afghan Whigs.
Impala reformed in 2017, and after woodshedding with a series of local gigs, returned to the recording studio to create this brand-new album, aptly titled In the Late Hours. Recorded at Bomar’s Electraphonic Studios in downtown Memphis, In the Late Hours features ten intoxicating guitar- and sax-driven R&B songs, born out of that golden era of Memphis music when rockabilly, rhythm and blues, jazz, garage and soul music collided. These songs channel potent ghosts—namely, Packy Axton, Willie Mitchell and Ike Turner, all pioneers of Memphis’ instrumental scene—but they’re hardly derivative. They bristle with urgency and make your heart beat fast.