Following up on the news that MTV New Media had greenlit Craig Brewer’s new Memphis-based project, $5 Cover, the musician-centric web series wrapped shooting this week.

On set it sounds like Brewer and his crew are letting the cast of real Memphis musicians do their thing without stepping in too much. “Funny story about when we were shooting at Java Cabana,” show blogger Tommy writes, “we were filming Kate doing coffeehouse stuff. During shooting, the phone rang (Java Cabana was closed that day) and Kate ended up answering it. It was a telemarketer and Kate, in character, told them she wasn’t interested and hung up. Imagine a lot of laughing after Craig yelled, Cut!

These are artists most of us haven’t heard of, but probably would go check out if we were in Memphis for a few nights. Yes, there’s a whole interactive gauntlet of features coming with the series – a virtual tour of the local music scene, video blogs and exclusive audio tracks. But maybe we shouldn’t forget that there’s the cast itself, all talented aspiring musicians and all with active MySpace pages and growing followings. So much for creating fake character pages on MySpace, these are the real deal. There could even be a breakout amongst this cast, given the caliber of the storyteller behind it. Amy LaVere, Al Kapone, Muck Sticky, Lucero, Valerie June, Two-Way Radio, Snowglobe – they’re all still out there working the Memphis scene. Things could change once the series drops later this year, so probably a good idea to check them out now.

What’s great about Cover is how much MTV is just letting Brewer tell his story without trying to Real World: Memphis the project. As Brewer put it back in July, “MTV is giving us a small chunk of change and complete control to highlight the artists of our community in a fun, sexy new way, and on our own terms.”

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