Field Reportings from Issue #26
WOODY WOUNDUP: In addition to a second volume of Mermaid Avenue due from Billy Bragg & Wilco mentioned last issue and due out this spring (Wilco was in the studio in mid-January recording new tracks for it), another Woody Guthrie-related project is also in the works. Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records plans an April 11 release of ‘Til We Outnumber ‘Em, which documents a Guthrie tribute held in September 1996 at Severance Hall in Cleveland. (The two-day event was reviewed in ND #6, Nov.-Dec. ’96.) The disc features Guthrie covers by the likes of DiFranco, Bragg, Bruce Springsteen, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Indigo Girls, Dave Pirner and Arlo Guthrie. That concert was held in conjunction with a Guthrie exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; another such exhibit, titled “This Land Is Your Land: The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie,” recently was organized by the Smithsonian and opened at the Museum of the City of New York on February 5, with a scheduled run through April 23.
FESTIVE FARE: MerleFest celebrates its 13th year April 27-30 at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, with host Doc Watson and a lineup including Willie Nelson & Family, Nanci Griffith & the Blue Moon Orchestra, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott and scores more. More information is available at www.merlefest.org or by phone at 800-343-7857….
The Bill Monroe Bluegrass Festival, held in the late, legendary bluegrass pioneer’s hometown of Rosine, Kentucky, is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28.
ON THE HORIZON: A long-in-the-works new Ray Price album is finally due out this spring on Buddha Records as part of a deal between Buddha and Justice, which owned the rights to the record but had been essentially out of operations for the past couple years….
Lucky Dog recently recorded two shows by Waylon Jennings at the storied Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, with the intent of releasing a live album later this year….
Kevn Kinney, longtime frontman for Atlanta band Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ who also recorded albums under his own name in 1990 (for Island) and 1994 (for Mammoth), has a third solo disc due out April 18. Originally scheduled for release on Evil Teen Records last year, the disc — titled The Flower And The Knife, has been picked up by Capricorn….
The latest from the Jayhawks is due in May on Columbia. Though keyboardist Karen Grotberg played on the album, she recently was replaced in the band’s touring lineup by Jen Gunderman….
North Carolina band Jolene has been cut loose from its Sire deal and expects to have a new album, tentatively titled Attic Ocean, out this spring on another label….
Whether or not Jay Farrar’s new album will be with Son Volt remains a mystery, but Farrar reportedly has recently recorded some demos with Denton, Texas, band Centro-matic. Farrar apparently got to know the band when they did some recording a year or so ago at the studio in Milstadt, Illinois, where Son Volt had worked.