Q&A Scene: Sun Rising

Q&A by Damon Smith

Tell us about your new tour?

Sun Rising have been promoting and airing the music of Sun Records, more importantly, the artists that Sun’s producer and owner, Sam Phillips, tracked down and recorded through out 1950 through 1957. Our latest leg of tours including this Saturday night at the  Thornbury Theatre will encompass the stories and anecdotes, some that are hilarious and some that are down right unbelievable, plus the music of artists such as BB King, Howling Wolf, Jerry Lee lewis, Carl Perkins and a young bloke named Elvis that you quite likely haven’t heard of yet…He was great!

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

Rich, robust and a myriad of flavours and layers. Perhaps like an authentic New Orleans Gumbo which has a bunch of amazing ingredients boiled down to form a delicious and intoxicating meal of ‘WOW’!!

Which song resonates most strongly and why?

Red Hot, which is a song that was recorded a few times by different artists at Sun is a band favourite and a huge crowd pleaser. The version we depict is from Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson and I personally love it as it features a call and response between the Billy and his band. Billy says knowingly, ‘My Gal Is Red Hot’ and the jovial group behind him scream, ‘Your Gal Ain’t Diddily Squat’…A highlight in any rock song, I think considering such a personal matter about one guy suggesting his new ‘Gal’ is a awesome and his mates saying ‘Naaa mate, she’s a shocker’!!

Any on the road anecdotes?

We have been all over the shop with this show and as much as there are some great ‘in van’ moments shared, the highlight would be playing a popular hard rock ballad song (while under the influence of a great theatre show in Western Australia plus bourbon)  that involved a toy Elephant joining in on the Chorus/outro bit. Not an anecdote but a great private memory that no doubt makes little sense to readers here.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Sun Record’s producer Sam Phillips, the artists and their incredible sound, stories and songs.

What’s next for you?

After a ridiculously MASSIVE 3 sold out shows in Adelaide last week, we’ll be doing the Thornbury Theatre this Sat 20th Junw followed by a very special Elvis themed show at the Caravan Club on the 15th of August.

What’s your scene?

Playing and having a ball with a great bunch of musicians while living vicariously through the music of the amazing sounds of the fifties.


Sun Rising- The Songs That Made Memphis, was the brain child of Damon Smith and David Cosma. The two have been mates for a long time and worked together on each others original music projects.

They have a deep effection for the music of Sun Records, in particluar David with Elvis and Damon with Jerry Lee. They both wanted to tell the amazing story of Sun Records and hence, the show was born!

Designed to inform and educate the audience as well as rocking them senseless, Sun Rising takes the famous tales and hilarious anecdotes from Sun Records artists and its creator, Sam Phillips.

The show walks the audience through a chronological tour of Memphis’ famed Sun Records, focusing on the early period of 1950-57, touching on artists including Ike Turner, Howlin’ Wolf, BB King, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis & more…




About Mary Boukouvalas 1576 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.